Comparisions RAW<->JPG would be appreciated ;)
|Here is the original JPG which is too dark and maybe too red.
We can't see any details in these zones.
|And here the RAW file with dark zone lighter.
That's what is intresting about RAW files with more depth. The in dark zone are set off but it's difficult to get burn zones back. I think that the original picture is too exposed to the right. Thus it's difficult fix noise which is very strong for every exposure.
|Here is the original JPG of my friend the horse.
The picture is very correct but too red. The camera did a good job in this case.
|And now the RAW converted to JPG. It's difficult to get much
better than original. The picture is softer and more yellow.
|This picture shows a common problem with JPEG which is dynamic range. Since the camera delivers a very high-contrast picture and the JPEG format has a very narrow dynamic range the room for tweaking is pretty much zero. In the RAW file however there is plenty of color and detail left in both the very bright areas as well as the very dark areas. This difference is quite big for P&S-cameras and much smaller for DSLRs since they produce much better JPEGs.|
|If the camera saves an underwater photo as JPG, it will look like this example. You may use any program to correct the colors - you will never get a good result. Red colors are not available.|
|This is the same photo saved as RAW and treated with an automatic color balance filter. Red fishes are really red.|
|This is a typical high-contrast compact camera dynamic range killer situation. You can see that the sky is washed out to almost white near the horizon and that dark areas (trees on the left and balconies) show almost no detail. (Note: I think this result can be also partly ascribed to my former obsession with high contrast pictures, I had contrast, sharpening and colour saturation set higher than normal)|
|This is the same picture processed from RAW using RAWTherapee. I used highlight and shadow compression, highlight recovery and corrected for barrel distortion. You can see a perfect blue sky and you can see details in trees and balconies (see full size photo). This is what the scene actually looked like to the human eye.|
|Here I tried to match the tone curve of the original JPEG to look like the result from RAW conversion. While there is some improvement the detail in dark areas is nowhere near the conversion from RAW and the sky is still hopelessly white (there is no way for simple curve to match colour restoring algorithm). To me this matched photo looks even more unnatural than original.|