Tag Archives: jpeg

Raw vs. Jpeg Comparison

After posting on the processing of a raw photo, and processing of a jpeg, let’s compare the raw and jpeg photos straight out of camera, and how each look at the end of each editing cycle.

First comparison, I think you can tell an immediate difference between these two.  The second of these is the jpeg.  Same image, it’s just that the jpeg out of camera was adjusted to how the camera thinks the photo should look.  The jpeg looks like the white balance is a little closer to “white” than the raw.  Also, the highlights, shadows, contrast, etc was adjusted in the camera’s processing of the jpeg.  You can tell how much highlight detail was held in the raw by comparing the two images, paying attention to that center column.  You can see that near the top of that column, it doesn’t fall off to white as much as it does in the jpeg.  And now, moving along…

lens corrections

JPEG curves

As for these two, in the jpeg the shadows (particularly those on the shirt) are getting crushed, and the white balance is still too warm for my liking.  Also, the raw holds more dynamic range and details generally.  Also, the jpeg looks like it has too much contrast for my liking.

While it took me a bit of getting used to handling raw photos, I find myself better able to work with the raw photos than I could with jpeg.  I actually find it harder to get my photos looking the way I want with jpeg than I do with raw.  I’ve noticed I’m now able to get my photo looking the way I want it quicker if I have a raw photo.  Also, the main reason I like the raw photo is that it holds more information.  The photo has 14 bits in raw capture, compared to only 8 bits in jpeg.  Basically, I’m not willing to throw away that much data.  Those 14 bits hold more data on color info, shadow and highlight detail, and other things.  In these comparisons, I hope you’re able to see the difference between these two.  I think it best I end here, and I’ll end on this note: if you care about how your photo looks, shoot raw.  That’s not a suggestion.  You really should shoot raw.

Your photography friend,


On the Processing of a JPEG

In my post on processing a raw photo, I covered how I process one photo in particular, showing how certain steps affect the photo towards how I want it to look.  I also covered in another post how I like shooting raw better than jpeg, and now shoot exclusively raw.  Today, we’ll cover how I’ll process a jpeg, trying to get the photo to look the way it ended up in the last post.

This jpeg is straight from the camera.  The difference between this jpeg and the raw version, is that in the raw version I started with no adjustments directly from the camera, with the jpeg version, the camera processes the photo before it becomes a jpeg (you’ll find the comparison between these photos in my next post). The camera makes adjustments to the photo to how it would think it will look best, adjusting highlights, shadows, contrast, sharpness, etc.  Basically, even when right off the camera, the photo comes out a little different between raw and jpeg.

And for my first edit, I adjusted the color balance (white balance) to get it looking more towards white, since it was warm out of camera. Cyan/Red -10; Magenta/Green -5; Yellow/Blue +10. I only adjusted the midtones, since adjusting highlights and shadows would make the photo look worse.

For my second and final edit, I adjusted curves, lifting up on the right and pulling down on the left.

Stay tuned for the next post wherein I compare the raw and jpeg photos straight out of the camera, and the final edits of these photos.