Pointless Post [sarc] about JPEG vs RAW (X-Pro 2)

…endless waves of grey… wait look, I see shades of yellow

I’m sleep deprived and near stark raving… But, I ran across something that become pointlessly interesting.

We’ve all done it. The inadvertent over exposed sidewalk shot. Our cameras held low at our sides, or clipped in on a shoulder strap. We turn and take a quick jog to snag a photo and in the process the camera snaps a few accidental shots of nothing.

Today/night, I was culling through a heavy library of assignment images and stumbled upon of these trash shots… Heavily over exposed. So much so – aside from a few odd blemishes – the frame is stark white from edge to edge.

I was about to trash it… one of the few times I do this… But, as I hovered my hand over the delete button, I got curious.

What if I pull back the exposure? What might I find in that endless white nothing? What secrets lie within?

To the Lightroom develop module I went and yanked that exposure slider back until something appeared. After about 3 stops, I noticed a huge sea of blasé grey and vaguely notice that the blemishes might be, leaves… maybe… yet, I was still unsure and increasingly becoming bored in this pointless distraction.

Slowly I began to hover over that delete key again, and again, a wave of curiosity struck and I began to examine the image. I realized this was the Jpeg output frame, so I scratched my head a moment and figured, why not take a crack at the RAW file. Let”s draw back the exposure on that one and see what happens….

Boom, that mindless little exercise, turned into this time consuming and pointless blog post, where I figured I would ramble on about nothing and then drop in four images to display an interesting comparison of recoverability between the two file formats.

Two of them reflecting the original output file in RAW and Jpeg and two reflecting the same files with a decrease in exposure by 3-stops.

I think the results are pretty straight forward.

Photo Info:

  • Fujifim X-Pro 2 & XF50-140 f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
  • JPEG + RAW
  • 1/3800sec – ISO800 – f/2.8 – 50mm

XPro2 // Original File // JPEG

XPro2 // Original File // RAW

XPro2 // -3 Adjustment to Exposure // JPEG

XPro2 // -3 Adjustment to Exposure // RAW

RAW Format for the Win!

This is a good time to add… I hope that seeing the results above, you understand that using the true power of the RAW file format is not a myth, or something to be debated. This really isn’t a pointless post (as my joking title alluded to). The proof is in the results!

Do not ignore the RAW approach… Yes, its a bummer that Lightroom has yet to catch up on fully recreating the tones and contrasty goodness of those glorious Fuji Filters… But you can always shoot in RAW+JPEG and do some processing with the newly improved compare feature…. or simply take some time to establish a new develop preset that best matches your favorite Fuji filter (yeah, good luck) and simply apply it to all your images during the import stage.

Seriously, I simply cannot justify the loss of detail or color correction power I experienced as an exclusive Jpeg shooter over this past year. Following this accidental realization, I am back to my digital negative roots.

RAW is still King… Full Stop.