Saturday, 26 March 2011

Is your Jpeg better than your Raw?

This is a photo editing session I was doing from a shoot with the clothing company

Here are the shots before and after

This is the out of camera Jpeg
this is the face crop

More shots after the break

 out of camera jpeg full image

Out of camera Raw face crop

out of camera Raw Full shot

Long editing process on the Raw

Hair by Caroline Lamp
Stefanie rice


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  1. Yes when I first started shooting in raw I noticed that they didn't look as good as when I shot Jpeg but I also didn't really understand raw back in those days.

    I didn't really realise that the in camera settings such as sharpening, camera profile, colour space, brightnes and saturation didn't have any influence on the raw image. I have never tried matching the settings in Lightroom to those in my camera to see how close they would be, maybe that would be a good experiment to try.

  2. Hi Mr Dom,

    as a reference, you might also want to check how your NEF files are being processed in Nikons ViewNX softwore. I noticed that sometimes, even with the same camera settings applied in Lightroom, there is still a difference.

  3. I always find my jpegs look better than my raw files. Just tweak the raw files and you'll find they eventually look better than your jpegs.

  4. I shoot with Canon but it probably works similarly. Whatever setting the camera is set to take your jpg in (ie, "portrait"), canon calls them "picture styles", you should be able to add this setting directly to your raw image in lightoom from the camera calibration tab and get identical results. I recall you did this midway through your processing but I'd be willing to bet that the reason it didn't match exactly at the point is because you'd already made several adjustments. Perhaps if you started fresh with the file and applied the portrait setting first I'll bet the resulting edited raw image would match your jpg identically. That's the first thing I do with my raw files and then tweak from there.

  5. By the way, thanks for posting and for your great blog. I just discovered your blog via strobist and you've got so much valuable information and great videos and other posts on it. I'm really enjoying going through it and its on my daily list of things to check now. Keep up the great work.