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Difference between NEF and jpeg

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Chris C, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. I've been converting a batch of NEF images into jpeg to burn onto a disc. I've noticed that on a couple of them, the resultant jpeg image has a slightly lower saturation. :frown: I've brought both images up on the screen to compare, and there is no question as to the difference. I thought maybe I chose the incorrect color profile, but after redoing it, the same results were displayed. Has anyone experienced this who could explain it to me? (I assumed the NEF and jpeg of the same image should look exactly alike.):confused: 
  2. jeremyInMT

    jeremyInMT Guest

    What software are you using to convert to? What colorspace are you using to view the NEF in and what colorspace are you changing the jpg to? What are you using to view the resulting jpg?
  3. Jpeg is a compressed file type. It should look very similiar if not the same, but just remember everytime you do anything with that jpeg, as in PS or the like, you degrade the image. A Tiff type file will not do this.

  4. Ghunger


    Apr 2, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    I was gonna post a long winded reply of how each file type works, but I think simple will probably be better. When you go from NEF to jpg there is a certain amount of processing that goes on and depending on how the compression works it can and likely will alter the way your images look to some degree.

    As a side note, NEF's are compressed also, it's just a lossless compression, like a zip file. You can compress and decompress a NEF as much as you want w/o losing any info, unlike a jpg, which is recompressed every time you save an edit, and loses info each time.
  5. DrJay32


    Oct 14, 2006
    Colorado, USA
    First of all, you need to make sure that all your NEFs are converted to the sRGB color space during the editing process. This can be done in Photoshop or in Capture NX. Make sure you choose "convert to profile" and not "apply profile" when you do the conversion.

    Depending on what application you use to view your JPEGs, this is the most likely culprit-- not all browsers are color-space aware.

    Second, there is the possibility that a JPEG will not match all colors perfectly; this depends partly on the amout of compression you use when saving the JPEG.

  6. genehsu


    Apr 15, 2007
    Minor correction. NEF compression may not be completely lossless. For many camera models, one might be able to see a difference in the highlights between a compressed and an uncompressed raw capture. For most people and most photos, it doesn't a big enough difference to matter.

    Here's a good writeup: NEF compression
  7. What Jason said. Many people use Adobe RGB as there working space. You need to convert the file to sRGB for jpeg
  8. Thanks, folks. I have converted all the NEF images to sRGB and Relative Coloremetric, just as Jason indicated. I pulled both the NEF and resultant jpeg up on the same NX screen and compared them. On the 3 or 4 images this has happened, the jpeg images were slightly washed out. (lower saturation, I guess) I've even gone back and re-chosen the color profile and saved the image as a jpeg again to make sure................with the same result.:confused: 
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2007
  9. StephanieHelen


    Jun 9, 2006
    This is my first time converting from nef to jpeg using capture one, came up as a film over it. May be same problem. I gave up on lightroom since for some reason, its only importing about 60 images.
  10. jeremyInMT

    jeremyInMT Guest

    have you tested this process with any other programs?

  11. No, Jeremy, the trial NX is all I've had to work with.
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