The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the processing advantages of raw. Set your camera to record the combination of raw plus the highest quality JPEG so that for each image you take, you will get a raw and a jpeg file.
Open and process each pair of images in your usual image processing software. Any changes made to the jpeg will be post processing as the processing has already been done in camera. Use whatever options are available to make the best of the image.
Compare then two versions of each image paying attention to:-
– Dynamic range
– White balance and colour
What differences do you see between the raw and the jpeg image?
For this exercise I left the jpeg images as they were straight out of the camera, I saved a copy of each raw file and then when I edited the raw image this was then saved as a jpeg with applied changes. I’ve kept the three versions as it shows the difference between jpeg and raw straight from the camera, the camera has the ability to record both at one time so there is no difference in the image, and these can be compared with the edited raw file.
I tend to use raw for the majority of the time for my images as I like to post process them to ensure they meet my personal taste. For all images I’ve just altered the saturation levels, the blacks have been increased and in the artificial light image only, I’ve increased the vibrance slightly.
I haven’t added any extra sharpening as I tend to find that in a lot of cases it takes away more from the image than gives.
High Dynamic Range
When comparing the jpeg version to the raw file, there are a wider range of colours and tones in the raw file, the colours are more warmer and richer straight out of the camera so I feel that I’d have less processing to do with the raw file to get it to be a well balanced image than I would have if I always used jpeg. With the extra processing that I undertook, I noticed more with the high dynamic range image that the histogram went from very high tones on the right hand side of the image showing the high dynamic range to a move even histogram spread evenly across the whole range.
In summary, I will continue to use raw as my preferred way of capturing images but I know how to add jpeg capture at the same time with my camera for cases when I want to have a quick review of the image or don’t have the facility to view and process raw at that time such as holidays.