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Old 11th February 2019
MikeOxon MikeOxon is offline
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Re: Topaz: Process JPEG as RAW

Originally Posted by Jim Ford View Post
I see that they make the common mistake of capitalising 'raw', as if it were an acronym like JPEG!
While I agree that RAW is not an acronym, it is still an abbreviation for a format that usually contains a lot more than just the raw sensor data.

The article in starts with a statement that "A camera RAW image .... contains the raw image data captured by the camera's sensor ...., saved in proprietary file format specific to the camera manufacturer."

Each manufacturer tends to use their own file suffix : ORF, NEF, CR2, etc., so RAW has become a generic term for such formats.

Camera makers increasingly include a lot of extra information in their RAW formats, such as dead pixel or lens distortion data. The Olympus 17mm lenses present a considerable amount of barrel distortion, which can be seen in the raw sensor data, but most "camera aware" RAW converters correct this automatically.

I always used to use a RAW format but, since changing to Olympus, I find it is so much easier to achieve optimum exposure, by using the information from the electronic finder, that JPEG files from the camera are almost always adequate. Having said that, I also keep the RAW format files, in case I encounter particular problems with an image file.

I suspect that Topaz are taking advantage of the fact that, despite the loss of data from JPEG processing, these files still contain more information than most displays can show. I find that the 'levels' control in an image processor is by far the most useful tool for 'improving' the appearance of a displayed image. I am often surprised by how much extra information can be found in both the shadows and highlights of many JPEG images by appropriate adjustment of the Red Green Blue (RGB) levels.
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