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Raw image versus jpeg,in elements

paulmckell 8 15
12 Nov 2012 4:14PM
I may sound like a bit of a numpty admitting this but on some occasions when converting my raw images they arent as good [in my view ] as the jpeg image.I like to take a decent image in camera and use elements mainly to perhaps sharpen, get rid of litter etc and perhaps tweek the saturation. is there a way to convert the raw to look like the jpeg ? i will then have a better starting point. Basically after lots of tweaking with the raw image , a lot of the time its just not as good. I have tried to find a way to view the raw and jpeg side by side ,but to no avail. I thank you in anticipation Paul. ps in case any unhelpful types feel the urge to reply feel free to view my images first, www.paulsphotographs.info

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mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2012 4:24PM
If you open the image in Canon's Digital Photo Professional software, it will read the in-camera settings and give you the same image as the JPEG.
Elements does have a way to replicate the Canon settings (the balance of sharpening, noise reduction etc) in Camera RAW but because they have reverse-engineered the programme it is not perfect. So you could take the Canon RAW file, convert to TIFF then work on that in PSE.

An alternative is to convert the jpeg to TIFF and this will maintain the quality of the jpeg while you work on it - for cloning out small areas and tweaks to saturation this is probably a good enough quality but if you want to do drastic things like recover details in shadow/highlights it is better to work on the RAW file.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
12 Nov 2012 5:24PM
Hi Paul, I like some of your images on your site. Can you give us a bit more guidance. For example I find the tone curve can make a big change to how images come out. So is it saturation, sharpness, punch?? that the RAW images lack.

Sorry if you have covered this, but have you checked what colour space you are in (if you know all this then sorry) Normally in-camera JPEG are in the SRGB colour space. But your RAW converter may be working in the Adobe RGB colour space, and if elements has not been set to manage colour space it may not load the image correctly and the end result can look flat. It could be you have selected Adobe RGB in camera and altering the flow???
JohnParminter 11 1.3k 14 England
12 Nov 2012 5:37PM

Quote: is there a way to convert the raw to look like the jpeg ?

Yes, there is a way to convert your NEF files so they look like the JPEG representation on your camera LCD.

Convert your NEFs using Capture NX2 and save as JPEGs or TIFFs. Open these in Elements and they should be an accurate representation of what you saw on your camera LCD, mine are anyway.

Warning though, you may have to streamline your colour spaces and also have a colour calibrated workflow throughout.

I have experienced the same problem as you when trying to convert NEF files in ACR, they just look completely different to what I thought I shot according to the camera LCD and I'm glad I moved away from that particular issue.

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
12 Nov 2012 6:38PM

Quote:I may sound like a bit of a numpty

No such thing Paul, Asking questions is how you learn stuff, So there is no such thing as a daft question, Though you might get daft answers.....LOL....Smile

As JP mentions Nikon files and the issues with raw files in adobe camera raw, Getting better results in a Nikon specific software, I can add that this was my findings also.

Many Canon owners also find that Canons own DPP software, Pulls out better images from Canon raw files, When compared to adobe camera raw.

In some recent tests, I have found that as 3rd party software's go, The latest Phase One, Capture One V7 pro, Easily beats adobe camera raw also, By a long way in my experiments with Nikon and Canon raw data files, You could try Capture One V7 pro on a trial basis, You get 60 days full trial for free, So might be worth a spin around the block.....Grin

Maybe one day the default settings on Adobes raw engine will please everyone, That said you can create a custom profile, But it might not fit every image, Trial and error....etc.

User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
12 Nov 2012 7:13PM

Quote:I may sound like a bit of a numpty

No such thing Paul, Asking questions is how you learn stuff, So there is no such thing as a daft question, Though you might get daft answers.....LOL....Smile

Very true.

You say

when converting my raw images they arent as good [in my view ] as the jpeg image.

The reason for that is really quite simple. Your Jpegs have been processed in-camera, using the default setting decided by the manufacturer plus any styles, scene settings, etc., that you may have selected. Your Raw files, on import, are waiting for you to process them. Perhaps the best way of looking at it is that your Raw files contain much more data than your Jpegs and that data is there for you to use in your processing. Cameras vary a bit but, in general terms, Raw files will show less sharpening, less saturation and less clarity than a camera-processed Jpeg.

For many users, Jpegs will give them everything they want - particularly if they are skillful enough to get almost everything "right" in camera. But if you aspire to more creative uses for your photographs, then it is useful to have all the data captured by the sensor available for you to use.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
13 Nov 2012 11:47AM
Apologies for cross-posting but my original post of this was in a camera-specific thread and it is maybe apposite to a general discussion of the Raw/Jpeg question. I think it illustrates when there are times that I really can make good use of all the additional data contained in a Raw file that might be dumped by a Jpeg file.

I have shown this example on ePz before - but here is the middle exposure of a 9-exposure HDR set (1EV intervals). As you can see, both the highlights and the shadows are completely useless:


and here is the HDR made from the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th exposures:


I don't think that I could have achieved that result if I had shot the originals in Jpeg rather than Raw. (Ignore the slightly different cropping of the finished photo.)

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