Use NEF or JPG - what are the differences?

Joined
Feb 20, 2005
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Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
I've only used raw (NEF) on a few occasions, plumping for large, fine jpeg 99.99% of the time and I've never been totally convinced by any of the many threads on the subject I've read on other boards.

But your pictures are strikingly different with the NEF being far, far better to my eyes.

I must re-think. Unless I can convince myself that my D70 won't show the same marked difference as your D2X.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
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New York City
Paul,

Have you ever considered applying USM in post to your JPEGs, instead of relying on the in-camera sharpening?

In this case, for starters, I'd try some local contrast enhancement using USM. Maybe something like 20/50/0 as a starting point though you'll probably need something stronger to come close to the NEF version you have there. Save the normal sharpening touchup at the end -- I often go for somewhere between 70/.5/0 and 100/.5/0 myself (after whatever other stuff, including a touch of curves and LCE).

As for the D70's own JPEG vs NEF, I think the difference is quite noticeable (though not usually quite *this* different), but if you're not printing large, it probably won't matter -- just apply a little touch-up in post. OTOH, Paul did apply some post USM there. If not applied, the difference probably won't be quite *that* big.

_Man_
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
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North Jersey
Paul,

I don't know if it is just me, but why would you compare picture run through USM to unedited picture; whatever the format. It doesn't make sense. Why didn't you post the picture of castle in JPG and NEF unedited so we could have better understanding. There is a clear difference in castle pictures but I barely see anything in full view.
 
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Jan 29, 2005
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JPEG is USM'ed in camera, as the setting was "sharpen medium-high". And no, I'm not Ron's student, too :)
 
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Sharpening in camera set to "normal" is not "no sharpening", so some pretty extensive sharpening is applied in camera.

difference in highlights (false colouration, white balance) and difference in contrast, especially in highlights, are quite obvious, too. Midtones in processed NEF are slightly higher, and contrast in midtones is lower.
 
B

bpetterson

Guest
Here is my method.
Sharpening in camera High
That way my LCD is sharp.

nef or jpg I open in NC- adjust USM {do this at viewing 100%].
Then futher edit in PS. [do this at viewing 100%]
USM maybe 100-0.30-1. Maybe a bit more for WEB.
Then Save for Web in PS under file

You should get both files looking the same.

It looks like you had the correct camera settings.
If you had bad camera settings- then the nef file is the best to correct.
If you are an expert then you might be able to correct jpg in PS alone.

Birger
 
B

bpetterson

Guest
Took your jpg applied USM in PS 250-0.6-1 and Save for WEB.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Birger
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
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121
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Great

Great Comparison, it would be nice to see some more comparisons. It looks as though shooting raw is definitely the best way to get the most out of the camera :)
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
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35,168
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Arizona
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Chris
Re: Great

Um,

StuSimmo said:
It looks as though shooting raw is definitely the best way to get the most out of the camera
Hasn't this been the common wisdom since Raw was introduced. The idea is that a big desktop (or even small laptop) computer does a better job of sharpening (etc.) than does the little computer that runs the internal camera jpeg engine.

The settings (normal, more, a lot more, less, a lot less, and none) give you only 5 steps of sharpening, so what happens if the optimum sharpening is obtained between two of those settings? The picture comes out either over sharpened or soft.

I my most humble (and not stuck-up either*) opinion, the best sharpening is not done by a single application of USM anyway.
 
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