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Fujifilm Finepix X100

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RAW vs JPEG — Sharpness and Noise

Here we examine RAW quality compared to JPEG quality.

JPEG has some serious disadvantages for dynamic range: see the exposure page showing just how detail that is blown-out in JPEG can be recovered with RAW.

Even if you want only JPEG, you are much better off shooting RAW, then batch-processing the RAW to JPEG, then tossing the RAW. By shooting RAW, you can choose exposure, white balance and sharpening later, and you stand a far better chance of rescuing too-dark or too-light images.

Sharpening the RAW conversions

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Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless is by yearly subscription. Subscribe now for about 25 cents a day ($90/year).
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Diglloyd Guide to Mirrorless offers comprehensive integrated coverage of most APS-C and full frame mirrorless cameras and lenses.

Special emphasis is placed on Sony full-frame, including Sony lenses and the high performance Zeiss Batis and Zeiss Loxia lenses plus Rokinon/Samyang and others. Fujifilm X, Olympus and Panasonic M4/3, Sigma dp Merrill and dp/sd Quattro are also covered in depth. Years in the making, it offers a wealth of material for choosing and using a mirrorless camera.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away. For example, the best way to set up your Sony camera.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly with the numerous lenses available for Sony.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning—best practices and how-to and processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops.
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Sony.

Variants jpeg, raw available in full article
Test scene
Fuji X100, f/5.6 @ 1/320 handheld, ISO 200

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