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ricky1981

Shooting RAW or JPG?

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I know that for best quality we should all shoot RAW but I often just go JPG with my E-M1 due to the smaller size both on card on long term storage as well as reduced PP time/effort (albeit with less malleability in the files).

 

I'd be interested to know what the actual split of Q users is and any feedback on the difference in final output in terms of both final digital image and in print.

 

I also realize you can't actually not shoot JPG at the moment so by "what do you shoot" I guess I actually mean "what do you use"

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I use the jpgs exclusively. Yes, I read that working with the DNG files in Lightroom will give you the best results - but I cant be bothered. I dont want to spend any more time than I have to working on the computer. I then do tweak a select few somewhat in the Photos program (Edit mode) on my MacBook Pro and this does improve them somewhat. Particularly for the underexposed shots which I find are very common (presumably Leica does this to "preserve the highlights?"). I'd be interested in comments on this: am I really losing much quality by not using Lightroom/DNGs?

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DNG all the wayt. If you want to get the best out of your images in PP then you will have to use DNG. That said the OOC DNG's a very good and really don't need a lot of work but if you want to retain information in your shadows and highlights this will be gone if you only shoot jpeg. 

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I know that for best quality we should all shoot RAW but I often just go JPG with my E-M1 due to the smaller size both on card on long term storage as well as reduced PP time/effort (albeit with less malleability in the files).

 

I'd be interested to know what the actual split of Q users is and any feedback on the difference in final output in terms of both final digital image and in print.

 

I also realize you can't actually not shoot JPG at the moment so by "what do you shoot" I guess I actually mean "what do you use"

Ricky.

 

i use Raw + small jpg because I don't need a jpg file and want to limit the amount of space that the unneeded file takes.  If Leica allow us to switch to RAW only in the future, then I'll use that setting

There's no way to assess the user split here.  This forum cannot and doesn't reflect the true ownership / usage statistics across the globe.   Assuming you purchased the Q to raise your game, you do need to take a more advanced and possibly time consuming approach to shooting and processing,  

 

As far as using jpg only, it is possible to shoot at three quality levels but it's a complete waste of this new sensor to reduce the quantity of data recorded. You can never improve a degraded file.   Storage is very cheap.   The jpg files are internally processed to produce acceptable jpg image files according to a generally acceptable standards.  The RAW files are not images but are files containing the direct and unprocessed output of the sensor which are formatted into DNG files.  They are flat and unadjusted and don't represent the potential of your new camera until you apply adjustments in a converter such as Lightroom or Capture One, and other professional image processors that are configured to work with Image files from the Leica.  In Lightroom, there are specific corrections available for the Leica lenses.    When you process a RAW file you can always revert to the original as it is a non-destructive process.  JPG processing is destructive unless you keep renamed copies at each stage.    

 

It's up to you to adjust the RAW flat image to your liking and make it suitable for different media use.

 

In my opinion, purchasing the Q or any digital Leica and then avoiding  RAW to save time or to save space is the same as pouring money down the drain.    Forget what you did with the E-M1.  Move on.......

Edited by lucerne

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Thanks for the feedback, just to clarify - I don't have my Q yet (due to arrive in the next week).

 

I don't entirely buy into the 100% necessity to shoot RAW all of the time and found with my RX1 that I shot JPG 90% of the time because the end result was so similar as to be near indistinguishable on screen and even more so when printed. For landscapes or shots where I knew I would be PPing extensively I would shoot RAW but the rest of the time I found JPG more than good enough.

 

I was hoping to get some comparisons based on Q images because the quality of JPGs from cameras varies a lot, my X100 was fantastic but my Sigma DP2M is terrible.

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Use raw and batch process to jpg. Delete failures and fine tune critical shots as required. This way the pp effort is minimal.

This is the best process.  Think of having a contact sheet and only working those images that warrant the extra effort.

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Thanks for the feedback, just to clarify - I don't have my Q yet (due to arrive in the next week).

 

I don't entirely buy into the 100% necessity to shoot RAW all of the time and found with my RX1 that I shot JPG 90% of the time because the end result was so similar as to be near indistinguishable on screen and even more so when printed. For landscapes or shots where I knew I would be PPing extensively I would shoot RAW but the rest of the time I found JPG more than good enough.

 

I was hoping to get some comparisons based on Q images because the quality of JPGs from cameras varies a lot, my X100 was fantastic but my Sigma DP2M is terrible.

Leica images are unlike any other.  You shouldn't start off by planning your workflow based on other cameras.  Have an open mind and use all the features of the camera.  The lens is unique and has a colour profile of its own which you can only really exploit with careful processing.     The apple Photo app is hopeless with these files and I don't import any original files into it.  What's  the point of buying such an expensive camera?

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I'm not planning my workflow based on other cameras, that's why I was asking for feedback since I've had varying experience with my previous cameras and was interested to know how the Q's JPG files hold up.

 

I'm not too lazy to use RAW files, I do it regularly with my Sigma DP2M and that is a pain as you have to use Sigma's software rather than Lightroom but the Sigma JPG files are not good at all! The RX1 produced very very good JPG images and unless I needed heavy PP there really was no need to shoot RAW (in my opinion).

 

Thanks for the feedback and the batch import sounds like a good starting point until I get used to the limits and feel of the files

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If your objective is to display your photos on the 'net, then Leica JPEG will likely suffice. However, I think using a Leica camera for only web viewing JPEG images is a shame, a huge waste of the cameras resources, but most people will never notice because they do the same.

.

Edited by pico

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Just to chime in, I think RAW is a must if you want the most out of the camera, and it will give you an amazing amount of flexibility to fine tune your images. I think about what I used to go through when I shot film and how hard it was to do simple adjustments to optimize a photo, I don't mind spending a few minutes or more working on an image a feel turned out well enough to try to give it a little 'boost'. 

 

Personally, unless storage is a problem, I would shoot with the highest JPEG and DNG to start, if you like the JPEG and time is limited, enjoy that. If you feel like you caught something particularly special, or more importantly, if you like the photo but there's problems with heavy shadows, exposure, blown highlights, etc. You can very possibly bring the photo back to where you envisioned it when taking the picture with the myriad of RAW adjustments.

 

I'm sure after a short while, you'll find yourself only caring about the RAW files and dumping the JPEGs before even looking at them, although, I have seen some very nice JPEGs that I would not of touched in RAW!

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I think there's an important point here. One that I also subscribe to — which is, a lot of people feel they spend too much time on the computer as it is, and DON'T want to spend more, if they can help it.

 

Currently, the technology exists to create amazing OOC jpegs (see Fuji).

 

And in buying a Leica, one should expect that the quality of the images it creates will be among the finest. And these days, that should mean whether they're jpeg or RAW. 

 

Sure, I know I could make all sorts of wonderful enhancements to the (RAW) images if I spent time in Lightroom, etc. But the jpegs this camera creates should look at least as good as the image I create in my viewfinder - or better. The technology is out there. So it's very disappointing that Leica elected not to utilize it in the Q.

 

Many of us want the best image quality available — as an experience that begins and ends with the camera alone. In essence, that is Leica.

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I think there's an important point here. One that I also subscribe to — which is, a lot of people feel they spend too much time on the computer as it is, and DON'T want to spend more, if they can help it.

 

Currently, the technology exists to create amazing OOC jpegs (see Fuji).

 

And in buying a Leica, one should expect that the quality of the images it creates will be among the finest. And these days, that should mean whether they're jpeg or RAW. 

 

Sure, I know I could make all sorts of wonderful enhancements to the (RAW) images if I spent time in Lightroom, etc. But the jpegs this camera creates should look at least as good as the image I create in my viewfinder - or better. The technology is out there. So it's very disappointing that Leica elected not to utilize it in the Q.

 

Many of us want the best image quality available — as an experience that begins and ends with the camera alone. In essence, that is Leica.

 

Thats totally my opinion!

 

I bought a camera for 4.000€ that gives me terrible ooc-jpegs in bright environment. The ooc-jpegs from my X1, X2 and X 113 and even from my D-Lux5 were far better on Monitor, Beamer and big Television screen. Often I could not improve their good ooc-jpegs with developing the DNGs. So Leica has the technology.

 

For me its a blame for Leica what ooc-jpegs come out of the Q! Why does Leica forces me into developing EVERY photo in DNG if I would like to have good quality in short time? I know that there is much more possible with developing DNG. But there are many circumstances where I don´t need the total quality out of DNG and a very good jpeg could be enough. And sometimes after 8-10 hours on the computer at work, I´m not very glad to sit some more hours in front of the screen developing pictures. So I hope very much for a soon firmware update for the Q. Otherwise I will sell the camera although I like the camera apart from that very very much.

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I think there's an important point here. One that I also subscribe to — which is, a lot of people feel they spend too much time on the computer as it is, and DON'T want to spend more, if they can help it.

 

Currently, the technology exists to create amazing OOC jpegs (see Fuji).

 

And in buying a Leica, one should expect that the quality of the images it creates will be among the finest. And these days, that should mean whether they're jpeg or RAW. 

 

Sure, I know I could make all sorts of wonderful enhancements to the (RAW) images if I spent time in Lightroom, etc. But the jpegs this camera creates should look at least as good as the image I create in my viewfinder - or better. The technology is out there. So it's very disappointing that Leica elected not to utilize it in the Q.

 

Many of us want the best image quality available — as an experience that begins and ends with the camera alone. In essence, that is Leica.

 

 

Sorry folks, but there is so much nonsense in the above post it suggests a complete lack of knowledge by the OP, or some desire to use the camera as a point and shoot.   Leica users wouldn't really enjoy a machine that just produces pictures.     There is no such thing as "best JPEG", because the JPEG straight from any camera is a massaged , consumer friendly, popular styled image. It can be edited to taste but not as much as the raw.  The Raw however, is a larger untouched and unadulterated data file containing all the light values recorded by the sensor. Straight from the camera and rendered in the RAW converter  it is flat and probably not to anyone's  taste.    It isn't supposed to be your final output. The camera does not add or remove anything from the raw file.  It is unsharpened, uncorrected, and cannot be adjusted in the camera.  Raw files must be processed.  In fact, those  sharpening, contrast, saturation settings in your Q have absolutely no effect on the raw image.  Those settings only apply to the JPEG and once applied in camera, their effects cannot be removed.   In theory, only the LARGER raw file is the complete and best representation of what the sensor captured via the lens.  From that point on, the user adjusts the recorded data in a raw converter such as Lightroom and exports the image in the required format to suit the media you are using.  All Lightroom adjusted raws can be readjusted or reset to original an unlimited number of times. Unlike JPEG processing, RAW processing is non-destructive and you can always return to the original raw and create multiple versions of an image

OOC JPEGS may look good but actually limit your freedom to interpret the pure data from the sensor.  To be honest, if you like the JPEGS from your Fuji, you should go back to using it because the output from the Leica sensor has its own unique character which you are free to exploit to get the results you want.   That's why you should shoot RAW.   

Irrespective of available technology or brand, your best results will come by processing an unadjusted raw file and there is no such thing as "best image" .    How can you define "best"?   Is it best for screen, web, print?  It's subjective.   If you bought this Leica because it creates "best JPEG " images, without the need for post processing, then you aren't going to get the results that the camera and lens combination can deliver.   If you are going to agree to post processing, then you should post process using the raw file.

 

I'm not clear what you mean by lack of quality.  How do you expect Leica to build your idea of a quality image into a JPEG file.  I can't see how  Leica can configure it's JPEG images to suit you and to suit everyone else.   You have to work at your files.  The final results would then represent your personal, creative, interpretive and artistic skills. It most certainly doesn't depend on the camera alone.  (Thank goodness!)

Edited by lucerne

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Let us also consider that JPEG interpretations of color are coupled to culture. Asians have certain preferences, Europeans have another.

.

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