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Thread: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

  1. #1
    asabet
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    LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Thought I'd share a quick example. This was taken at f/2.8 handheld, so not representing the pinnacle of per pixel sharpness achievable with this camera. Still, I think it's an eye opening example. I took this shot today in bright sun, high contrast conditions at the 24mm equivalent angle of view.

    Here's a comparison of the actual angle of view and light falloff in JPEG (left) and RAW (right):



    Here's the 100% crop, which shows something of the per pixel detail and dynamic range:



    I used Raw Developer for the conversion, with R-L sharpening and noise reduction disabled. This sharpening without NR results in some sky and shadow noise as you can see in the crop, but I love the way it prints.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Do you recommend RD over C1? I've always used Aperture for my raw conversion, but of course now can't. I find C1 to be a bit klunky and counterintuitive, especially wrt import.

    I agree that the dynamic range on this beast is pretty amazing, as is the low light performance.

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Amin,
    Thanks for the helpful example. I have an LX3 on the way and I have been wondering whether the in-camera JPEGs are good enough to skip shooting RAW. I guess not looking at your results.

    -Brad

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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    If I'm understanding Amin's post correctly, I'd disagree w/ Brad and say "yes." On my screen the jpeg (on the left ?) looks darned good.

  5. #5
    asabet
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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    Do you recommend RD over C1? I've always used Aperture for my raw conversion, but of course now can't. I find C1 to be a bit klunky and counterintuitive, especially wrt import.
    I've been a fan of C1 for years now, but I generally prefer RD for small sensor compacts. RD is very flexible from a sharpening and noise reduction standpoint. For example if noise reduction is disabled in RAW Developer, absolutely no additional noise reduction processing is performed, period, even if you shoot at ISO 25600. Same goes for sharpening; uncheck the "Enable sharpening" option and absolutely no sharpening is applied beyond whatever inherent "sharpening" the demosaicing process may incorporate. The files end up with more detail and look more "organic" to me. In addition, the tools to remove hot pixels and dead pixels in RD are very useful. C1 often leaves hot pixels in high ISO files. C1 Pro now has built in tools for distortion and CA, which Raw Developer doesn't. However, C1 Pro is very expensive! RD is fast and rock stable on my Macs, and I find it quite intuitive in use. The developer has also been extremely responsive to my questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Amin,
    Thanks for the helpful example. I have an LX3 on the way and I have been wondering whether the in-camera JPEGs are good enough to skip shooting RAW. I guess not looking at your results.

    -Brad
    Glad it was helpful Brad. I think the in-camera JPEGs are very good, to be honest. There is a good amount of detail. Colors are great, and dynamic range is also very good for a small sensor camera. The in-camera JPEG engine strikes a nice balance between noise and detail, and the in-camera B&W settings are already getting a rep for their high quality results. Many people refuse to use the RAW files until they are supported in Lightroom/ACR or Aperture, and most of those folks are very happy with the JPEGs. I was listening to the photography podcast TWIP, and the pro photographer Scott Bourne was very happy with his A3-ish prints of in-camera JPEGs. He also raved more than once about the "publication quality" appearance of ISO 80 in-camera JPEGs viewed full screen on a 23" Apple display.

    All that said, I would not shoot this camera in JPEG mode for shots that I think have potential to be very good. There is simply more detail and dynamic range in the RAW files. The example I've shown in this thread shows how much more detail the RAW file contains, but there is also much more noise in the version from RAW. In an A4 print, I don't doubt that many people would prefer the in-camera JPEG version. I'm just not one of those people .

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael S View Post
    If I'm understanding Amin's post correctly, I'd disagree w/ Brad and say "yes." On my screen the jpeg (on the left ?) looks darned good.
    Michael, yes the JPEG is on the left in the resized (first) image as well as the crop (second) comparison. I think the in-camera JPEGs are very good. This is the first Panasonic-made small sensor camera I've owned where I felt like the Venus engine was doing a great job. Prior to version IV of both, I thought Canon's DIGIC was outclassing Panasonic's Venus. I no longer think this is the case.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    I've been a fan of C1 for years now, but I generally prefer RD for small sensor compacts. RD is very flexible from a sharpening and noise reduction standpoint. For example if noise reduction is disabled in RAW Developer, absolutely no additional noise reduction processing is performed, period, even if you shoot at ISO 25600. Same goes for sharpening; uncheck the "Enable sharpening" option and absolutely no sharpening is applied beyond whatever inherent "sharpening" the demosaicing process may incorporate. The files end up with more detail and look more "organic" to me. In addition, the tools to remove hot pixels and dead pixels in RD are very useful. C1 often leaves hot pixels in high ISO files. C1 Pro now has built in tools for distortion and CA, which Raw Developer doesn't. However, C1 Pro is very expensive! RD is fast and rock stable on my Macs, and I find it quite intuitive in use. The developer has also been extremely responsive to my questions.
    Interesting. I have always just used Aperture and not really fiddled with other conversions. I downloaded the demo of RD and have to say that I prefer what I get "out of the box" with that over C1. Also the interface for RD is very clean and intuitive. C1 is kinda fussy and more of a hassle.

    No way I'm going to lay out $400 for C1 pro. C1 came with the camera but I hate adding more stuff to the work flow. I think RD makes a better image, but give the fact that you have to manually import images then change file extensions for RD makes me sigh. I'm hoping that Aperture is updated soon with support for the DL4...and I'm assuming that RD could as well.

  7. #7
    asabet
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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    I think RD makes a better image, but give the fact that you have to manually import images then change file extensions for RD makes me sigh.
    I asked the developer of Raw Developer, and the G10 and D-LUX 4 will be supported fully with the release expected next week. I'm not sure what you mean by manually importing images. With Raw Developer, you just open the folder where the images are stored. No need to import anything. I am looking forward to support next week so I can stop changing the file extensions.

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    Re: LX3 detail, vignetting, dynamic range, and angle of view in RAW vs in-cam JPEG

    I think the in camera jpg conversions for the LX3 are better than most of the better PS cams under most situations. I actually think Silkypix is a very good converter. When it comes to correcting severe CA/fringing, the in camera converter does a better job than I am able to do with silkypix or CS3. I never used jpg even with my PS but I am starting to with the LX3.

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