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XT1 - Why do my RAW files have worse quality than the FINE JPEGs?


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Greetings.

I bought a used XT-1 last month and am still in the process of learning everything so this problem may be something very simple that I just couldn't find online and that maybe everyone knows...?

The pictures which I've uploaded as examples were taken using the RAW + FINE mode so they are the same picture, except one was compressed based on the RAW data to form a jpeg.

Now, the problem I have is that the RAW file (RAF, actually) on my PC does occupy more space (32MB compared to 5MB from the jpeg) but has a lower resolution as you can see. How is this possible? Aren't RAW files the absolute best a camera can produce? Or does the compression to jpeg enhance the details? I'm very confused as you can probably tell.

To upload the pics I zoomed in and cropped the rest out. The thing is: for the jpeg, since it has better resolution I didn't need to zoom is as much to get the same result. So the raw had to be zoomed to the max while the jpeg maintained its sharpness and could be furhter zoomed (I guess that's what resolution probably means...).

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you. 

jpg.png

raw.png

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What software are you using? Based on the photos it looks like you are comparing the fine jpg with the jpg preview embedded in the RAW file.

The RAW files has all the RAW data, so they have the potential to look better than the jpg, but the jpg files have things like sharpening, lens corrections, noise reduction and color adjusted, while the RAW files are RAW. They are for editing and getting the most out of the sensor, and since they have all the data the jpg conversion threw out there's much more that can be done, such as more exposure correction, shadow lifting, highlight recovery, white balance adjustments, and all the color corrections you want.

Edited by ErikN
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RAW files need indeed further processing. Until then, they tend to be less sharp and with less contrast than processed jpegs. You can set the RAW file to be compressed. That way it uses less diskspace. Since it is lossless compression, the image quality isn't affected.

Fujifilm has a really good jpeg engine, so for many it is a struggle to get better image quality from their RAW file, compared to the out-of-camera jpeg. Regardless of which RAW processor you use: Lightroom, Capture One, Silky Pics...

Thomas Fitzgerald published very good quick guides for processing Fuji RAF files in either Lightroom or Capture One. You can find them in his webstore: THOMAS FITZGERALD PHOTOGRAPHY. They cost a few $ but give excellent guidance and sample settings to get the best out of your RAF file for each specific sensor. The 16MP sensor in the X-T1 needs a few different basic settings compared to the 24 and the 26MP sensors.

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15 hours ago, Olaf W. said:

How did you develop the raw files? Maybe you are seeing just the embedded low resolution JPGs.

That was the case! I was opening the photos with the basic Windows program and once I opened them in Rawttherapee the RAW looked so much better! Thank you so much.

 

15 hours ago, ErikN said:

What software are you using? Based on the photos it looks like you are comparing the fine jpg with the jpg preview embedded in the RAW file.

The RAW files has all the RAW data, so they have the potential to look better than the jpg, but the jpg files have things like sharpening, lens corrections, noise reduction and color adjusted, while the RAW files are RAW. They are for editing and getting the most out of the sensor, and since they have all the data the jpg conversion threw out there's much more that can be done, such as more exposure correction, shadow lifting, highlight recovery, white balance adjustments, and all the color corrections you want.

I was using the basic photo program that came with Windows and turns out that was a bad idea. I understand that the RAW photos are mainly used for further processing but I thought they should appear better to begin with and that's what happens when I open them with Rawtherapee. Thanks to your comment I found that program and can now make some adjustments to the RAW to make it look a bit better! Thanks a lot.

 

2 hours ago, Herco said:

RAW files need indeed further processing. Until then, they tend to be less sharp and with less contrast than processed jpegs. You can set the RAW file to be compressed. That way it uses less diskspace. Since it is lossless compression, the image quality isn't affected.

Fujifilm has a really good jpeg engine, so for many it is a struggle to get better image quality from their RAW file, compared to the out-of-camera jpeg. Regardless of which RAW processor you use: Lightroom, Capture One, Silky Pics...

Thomas Fitzgerald published very good quick guides for processing Fuji RAF files in either Lightroom or Capture One. You can find them in his webstore: THOMAS FITZGERALD PHOTOGRAPHY. They cost a few $ but give excellent guidance and sample settings to get the best out of your RAF file for each specific sensor. The 16MP sensor in the X-T1 needs a few different basic settings compared to the 24 and the 26MP sensors.

I will indeed look into taking more pictures in JPEG and use RAW only for images that I feel like I will process later. For now I'm using Rawtherapee since I'm just starting out but thanks a lot for the info! 

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