Saturday, April 17, 2010

RAW vs. JPEG Part 1 - Photography with Imre - Episode 18

Finally, the long awaited RAW vs. JPEG episode is live on YouTube. I had quite a long script for this one, so I decided to break it into two parts. The second part should be finished in a few days after I've completed some additional graphics for it. After that episode I'll be remaking my very first episode on aperture, followed by a few shows on various shooting tricks. So lots of goodies on the way (and I haven't forgotten about some of the music videos, but those will have to wait little longer).

And I must say, the research alone for this (and the second part) took quite a while to conduct. Indeed, the list of web resources is quite large and I know there are a few I haven't even included. But for those of you who really like to explore the intricacies of every topic, you've got a good starting point to keep you busy for the next few hours.

Overall, this episode pretty much speaks for itself. My intention here was to give a high-level overview of what happens when you take a picture starting from the processing of light that falls on the sensor to the saving of the file in either RAW or JPEG format. In regard to the sensor, I decided to stick with the Bayer color filter array as the example, as it's currently the dominate type used on imaging chips. But yes, there are many other varieties out there. Foveon's X3, for example, stands apart from many others in that each photosite on the chip records a full color value. Feel free to Google Bayer vs. Foveon for some articles arguing about which is better/worse.

Quick note: when I showed the raw data off the sensor, I separated the red, green and blue pixels so they could be seen more easily. Really, there would be no black spaces or pixels present and the image the camera "sees" would look more like the picture on this website; scroll down a little and you'll see the two photos of what appears to be a decorative spire of a building.

I'll have some more to write about when I release the next episode, especially as I'll be discussing some of the pros and cons to the RAW and JPEG formats, along with exploring when one should be used over the other.

Web Resources – Gamma and Tone Response

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