E-PL1 - RAW or JPG?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RichStant, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. RichStant

    RichStant Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 17, 2010
    Experimenting with my new E-PL1, I've been comparing RAW & JPG. So far I've just been comparing noise at high ISO, and while the noise reduction in the JPG is good, the colours in the RAW seem much punchier.

    What have other people been finding? DO you bother with RAW, or does the JPG suffice?
     
  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    It's just like clams......do it raw...
    There is more latitude and control with raw. The Oly's make great jpgs, true nuff but the raw files are much more manageable.

    To test, shoot in Raw + Jpg...then process the raw and compare to the jpg....
    now adjust the exposure slider in the jpeg and then in the raw....you'll be amazed at the difference....
     
  3. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I always do both. A monotone JPG SH quality, and the RAW. I mostly do b&w, and the JPG is good enough to handle the tweakings I might need on top of the oly OOC picture.

    Plus, in any situation, I prefer framing and composing my images in b&w, I find it less distracting than in colours.

    But for those occasions I really wished I had kept the colours, RAW is my safety net ; and as good as the in-camera jpg engine is (and it's the best on the market), I prefer to have latitude to apply my own 'style'.
     
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  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Thanks mauve for the personal experience....
     
  5. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    My favorite post processing routine is using the free program "Irfanview" as it reads the ORF files nicely. So I take the ORF file in, resize/resample it by 70%, one hit of sharpening and it prints a 13x19 perfectly. Indeed the color from an ORF is astounding already just opening it in Irfanview. I haven't needed any adjustment it's THAT good right off the get go. I also have Noiseware and Topaz DeNoise at my disposal if needed, but thus far it hasn't been very needed. The Pl1 has been doing a fine job. I feel so confident of it's abilities that I've decided to trust it with my next vacation coming up in May to the Northwest. I could choose a D700 or D5000 Nikon DSLR but I love the idea of one small bag carrying this body with some great lenses to work with that weigh next to nothing. So I'm looking forward to it now and count down the days.
     
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Congrats DC...your there!
     
  7. RichStant

    RichStant Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 17, 2010
    That was going to be my next question actually - for high ISO images, I had a play with noise ninja but the noise removal in the JPG was actually better than raw+noise ninja. Are noiseware/denoise good?
     
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    As noted and discussed at length elsewhere, I got an Oly rather than Panasonic partially because of the quality of the jpeg output. But after doing a bit of experimenting, within a couple of weeks I was shooting everything in RAW. Using Aperture, the default "preset" the program uses to process RAW files from the E-P2 (Apple doesn't support the E-PL1 yet, so you have to fake it out into thinking its processing the nearly identical E-P2 files) creates an image that is almost indistinguishable from the OOC jpegs. I did a bunch of RAW + JPEG images to compare and test this out. I found with a very minor exposure adjustment, I couldn't tell the jpeg from the RAW. So I added that little adjustment to the preset and now my RAWs are automatically processed to look indistinguishable from the jpeg. For a lot of the shots, that's as far as it goes. But for the handful of real keepers I get from X amount of shooting, the latitude for experimentation is just so much greater with RAW, so those jpeg-like images are the starting point and I start making adjustments and using brushes and whatnot from there.

    My primary reason for thinking I wanted to use jpeg was my assumption that "processing" RAW would be a hassle. Turns out its no hassle at all. Hence, no downside to using RAW and maintaining maximum flexibility with my files now and into the future as processing technology improves. So now I'm all RAW, all the time. As a wily old veteran of less than a month with this camera and playing with this post processing stuff.

    -Ray
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I have to admit that I generally find the jpeg just fine unless it's a very high contrast scene as in deep shadows contrasting with super bright highlights.
     
  11. RichStant

    RichStant Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 17, 2010
    Well, if anyones interested I had a play with various noise removal progs. I have to say I was most impressed with noiseware. With the others, if you applied the removal too agressively then the whole image became 'airbrushed', but noiseware was really good at removing noise without leaving it looking over-smoothed, or removing detail.
     
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  12. tpitch14

    tpitch14 Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 31, 2010
    PA
    This is a nice thread for a user like myself who is just getting into more advanced options. I've seen a lot of discussion about Aperture, but I'm not a Mac user :redface:

    That said, can anybody recommend a processing program for PC? I've seen Lightroom (and have Photoshop), but am not quite ready to put the money down on it (rather save it for lenses!) Any nice freeware available?

    Sorry if this was posted elsewhere...
     
  13. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Owning both an Oly and a Pany body I can say that the Oly jpgs are superior. That said after trying jpgs from both I am now going back to RAW and using the OlyColy profiles for LR and ACR for both my bodies.

    These are available by donation via Paypal from Colin. LINK:
     
  14. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Give Helicon Filter a try. Version 5 beta is available but the good news is Version 4 is available free at the moment. Normally the download trial reverts to a limited free version but this is the full version. Processing is a bit slow but it handles RAW and will recognise some PS plugins as a bonus.
     
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  15. f64

    f64 Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Mar 6, 2010
    Memory is cheap. I simply shoot jpg+raw. The jpg's are great and useful for most purposes. I consider the raw files my archive of "negatives". You never know when you might want to go back and re-process an image and the raw file gives you the most latitude. As an example of the difference between the files, a jpg saves 256 levels of brightness, and the raw file saves 4096 levels of brightness.

    On a recent trip, the top keeper was only possible with a bit of heavy-handed post-processing of the raw file. I knew when I took it, that it would make a pretty good b&w shot, but what I didn't know is that it would become one of my all time favorite photos! Memory is cheap, memories are priceless.

    I have been using raw most of the time for a long time. Now my camera is "hard-wired" to jpg+raw. :biggrin:
     
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  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I'm somewhat curious about what the shooting the jpegs get you that you wouldn't have with RAW alone? When I import my RAW files into Aperture, the preset I have that automatically processes them renders an image that is indistinguishable from a jpeg. This takes no effort and almost no time (maybe a couple of seconds when you first open a given file). If I want to send an image to Flickr or in an email or whatnot, Aperture automatically creates a jpeg when it does so. And if, for some reason, I just want a jpeg file of a particular image for some other purpose, it takes two mouse clicks to export one. I keep looking for a compelling reason to keep jpegs around also. Yeah, memory is cheap and getting cheaper, but you have twice as many files to manage and keep track of and back up. And when you do improve one using the RAW file, what do you do with the unfixed jpeg? Do you save a new one with the fixes and add it in with the jpeg files? Or just keep the original? I guess all of this file management would be worthwhile if having the jpegs provided me with something useful that the RAW files don't. But I can't see what they bring to the party. Can you explain?

    I guess I consider my RAW files my archive of "negatives" also, but since they can create instant "prints" for any use where you may need a jpeg, I just don't see the point. But I'm open to it if you can explain!

    Thanks,

    -Ray
     
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