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Sharpness with RAW vs JPEG

How much image quality is thrown away by JPEG vs a properly converted RAW file? Steaming truck loads of stuff from the barn has been written on this subject.

Your eyes won’t lie to you.


The Nikon D800E was set for JPEG fine Optimal Quality at standard settings with maximum sharpening (in the hopes of increasing detail). The RAW was 14-bit lossless-compressed NEF, converted to 16-bit TIF using Adobe Camera RAW 7.2.

The camera was set for 4400° K white balance, actual gray-click white balance in ACR was 4200° K, fairly close and of no consequence to our sharpness considerations.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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Variants RAW, JPEG available in full article

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