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OM-D E-M5: JPEG vs RAW

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tonyturley, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    372
    Nov 19, 2014
    Sometimes the JPEGs from my OM-D E-M5 leave a lot to be desired. Take the example below, taken on a morning with strong, diffuse sunlight pushing through a broken cloud layer, and shadows varying between weak and very strong. The woods were mainly brown and grey. The SOOC JPEG is washed out, with muddy colors and poor contrast. A few seconds with the RAW file and RawTherapee yielded the second image.

    I've gotten into the habit of just scanning through the JPEGs with a basic image viewer, selecting the photos I want to use, then working with the RAW files. How do you folks deal with OM-D files?

    Tony

    _C271783a_zps981e0829.

    _C271783_zpsc2b13702.
     
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  2. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Sounds like my approach although sometimes the jpegs are better. I prefer controlling sharpness and noise reduction although the em5 does better with the colors, IMHO.
     
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  3. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I do it pretty much the same. Skim the Jpegs, process selected Raws. After I'm done working that shoot, delete the Jpegs and keep the Raws and PSDs.
     
  4. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    534
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I don't shoot jpgs at all, only raw. Import everything to LR5, apply a few Quick Develop presets so they look ok and then work on the ones I like. I backup everything from my card but delete all the discarded ones (bad ones, not so great or very similar to better ones) from my computer.I usually come back a few days later (or even weeks) to fine tune the developed keepers. I keep everything in raw/dng in LR and only make jpgs when exporting.

    I don't think I will ever go back to only jpg again (I had no option with my old p&s). I want to retain as much info as possible for the future. Plus, I don't mind working in the digital darkroom.
     
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  5. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Wow, that's a weak Jpeg for sure. What white balance and Jpeg settings were you using?
     
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I am with Tassiefig

    Shoot only RAW, the only difference is that I use Aperture as opposed to Lightroom

    Even while the card is still loading I can start to preview the images and mark obvious rejects and potential 'good' ones

    just seems to me a very efficent way to work

    K
     
  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Another one here for Tassiefig's approach, RAW + Lightroom but I don't use Quick Develop presets. I just process each shot individually and once you're used to how your files tend to look and what works best for them, it really doesn't take long to process most images to an acceptable result. It can take quite a bit longer to process the images that really attract me to the point where I'm really happy with the result if I really want to try and get the most out of a particular image. I can go out for a walk, take 20 or more shots, come home and process most of them in under a minute each and be reasonably happy with the result. Then I can spend hours working on a single image.

    For me, processing scratches 2 itches. One is the desire to get more out of my images than I would if I simply shot JPEG and accepted whatever the camera delivered, and the other is the fact that I enjoy the process of processing due to the combination of hands on involvement and the fact that it involves learning a skill and then practicing and refining it over time. Even if I couldn't do better than the camera's JPEGs, I'd want to do my own processing anyway simply because I enjoy doing it.
     
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  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    100% raw works for me too. Lightroom is pretty quick in Library mode to sort the wheat from the chaff. JPEGs out of camera close too many avenues unnecessarily IMHO.
     
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I always save both JPEG & RAW as some JPEGs are fine (through Oly Viewer 3) for web display, but I use Capture One (8) for processing the RAWs normally to get more out of them when I need to.
     
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  10. Joon525

    Joon525 Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Sep 24, 2012
    NJ
    100% Raw.
    Apply the HueLight E-M5 profile.
    Mark the bad ones as "rejected" and the keepers as "picked" in Lightroom 5.
    Fine tune the keepers and possibly delete the rejects to save some space.
    Export the keepers to jpeg.
     
  11. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    372
    Nov 19, 2014
    Thanks for all the replies, unfortunately, my main PC is a Linux box, so no LR for me. I haven't looked into running it under Wine, but I've had inconsistent results with running Windows apps under Ubuntu.

    +1 on contrast, WB set to Cloudy, and -0.7 EV.

    Tony
     
  12. bigal1000

    bigal1000 Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Sep 10, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I shoot only raw now. Best ones get saved as tiff files, others large jpeg files and some deleted, I mainly use Lightroom 5.7 or sometimes DXO 10
     
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  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I normally shoot JPG very flat anyway and do some post work on them.

    EXCEPT

    When I see a scene where the dynamic range may be a bit too much for the camera to handle or I know I will be doing some intensive PP, then I will shoot RAW and process accordingly.
     
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  14. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Which picture mode?
     
  15. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    372
    Nov 19, 2014
    Natural 3.
     
  16. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    Before recently, I never shot raw. Can't transfer them to iPhone wirelessly, which is a bummer, and I wasn't using Lightroom so the files were just taking up space. That said, I rarely if ever shared a JPEG straight out of camera.

    In November, I switched to 100% raw as an experiment for the entire month, editing in Lightroom. I got pretty used to the control, and now don't want to give it up but do want to go back to editing photos on my phone occasionally. Some shots I'll still want to take to LR, but a lot I'd rather edit on mobile and share quickly. So I've switched to raw + JPEG. Just recently. We'll see how that goes.

    If Olympus wifi was faster and allowed raw transfers, I'd have no reason to shoot JPEGs, but we're not there yet.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    JPG's depend on the in-camera settings. Mine are set to be punchier so they will look more vivid than the RAW's. That said, I shoot RAW+JPG for the greater latitude of RAW files in post.

    I use Lightroom 4, dropping back to Photoshop Elements 9, if I want to use its clone, blur, and skewing tools. I didn't like LR's built-in noise removal as opposed to a third party photoshop plug-in when I used the EPL1, but it's fine for the 16MP Sony sensors. The Lens Tagger plugin for Lightroom is wonderful when you shoot legacy lenses. Right after import, I add the focal length and f-stop to the EXIF when I can still remember them. Used to hate post processing. It's more fun with Lightroom.
     
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  18. RKTodd

    RKTodd Mu-43 Regular

    101
    Dec 6, 2012
    Indiana
    If you choose to, you CAN create a jpeg from your RAW files in camera. I would only do this for a few shots that I needed/wanted to send to my iPhone. Look in the menu under playback/edit. I just found this out myself.
     
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  19. wclavey

    wclavey Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Sep 27, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Westley
    I'm sorta the opposite of everyone here. For years, I shot only RAW on my 4:3 bodies and did my own conversions to B&W ...I shoot to convert to B&W and process about 99% of what I shoot as B&W, but I will occasionally do a color picture to prove that I still can.

    But I have used the B&W JPG mode on my camera to show me what the scene looks like in B&W... I show the JPG and store both. When I got the E-M5, I found that the B&W JPGs look great! I am really pleased with the conversion processing done in the camera. I keep all the RAW files in case I want to process one in color, or there was some particularly problem in the JPG conversion, but most of the time, I use the JPG.

    What's more, I always argued with myself that because I never print one of my own images larger than 8x10", I was not losing too much using the JPG file. But this fall, I went on a photo expedition where the host also printed an image from each participant, 18x24". My macbook had some problem and would not convert the ORF file, so I was stuck for the week working with only the JPGs in Photoshop until I got back home. I was shocked (...as were all the other participants) at the quality of the B&W JPG that came out of the E-M5. And I guess I was wrong about thinking that I have to limit myself to 8x10s.

    This experience has convinced me more that I should use the B&W JPGs whenever possible and with the time I save, shoot more.
     
  20. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    :confused:

    How is the camera suppose to know the final intent of the camera?
    How is it suppose to know that high contrast and warm temperature is preferred over a more muted final result?

    Short answer, not possible. You have to tell the camera what you want. For that you need to know and understand the camera.

    Other than that... I agree... its easier and more effective to shoot RAW unless your final intent is to immediately send it for online consumption out from the camera.


    PS> I actually prefer the first version. Too much contrast and too much warming is like adding too much salt to a well prepared if not somewhat bland dish. I'd rather have it true to form.