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5.2 JPG vs. RAW for Time Lapse

I figured it was due time that we compare a JPEG image with a RAW image. So this is the first JPEG from my sunset sequence, but I've used a special picture style to maintain the dynamic range. So if we look at the histogram, you'll notice that the dark area doesn't meet the side and we've got some information preserved there. But we've got a spike over here despite my best efforts to preserve the data, which is this hot spot in the sun. If we compare that against the raw image for the same sequence, you'll notice the histogram looks quite different. We've got a spike either end but the difference is I've got more of a chance of rescuing this than I do with the JPEG. But before I proceed, let's take a look at what I've actually done to my camera to get this flat look. So I've installed a picture style on my camera called Cinestyle, and what this does is it turns the standard profile, which is this high contrast image to a lower contrast image which preserves more information and gives me more possibilities in post production. If you don't have a Canon, you can always go ahead with any camera and modify your settings. So I'll begin by starting with a neutral Picture Style. Knocking out the Sharpness and the Contrast, and lowering the Saturation. This will give you more dynamic range in your JPEGs and make it more useful for post production. Without modifying this, it's probably going to underexpose or overexpose and lose information that's never gonna come back. So if I try to process this image, let's take a look with the curves. Because I've compensated with the dynamic range, it's gonna look nasty. So I need to bring some information back in. And if I make an S curve, which is the common way, you can see something a little similar to my raw image. And if I pull that down I can try to get that a little better, but that spike isn't really going to go away. If I move over to the raw image, if I go to the curve mode here and try a similar. If I pull this in, I can pull that up. I can quite quickly rescue the spike there, and if I pull this one down, I've still got a little bit of a spike there. But for the most part I'm going to be able to restore the information in this image and have a lot more flexibility when it comes to editing. So really if you have the option, choose RAW every time. If you don't have the option then do modify your camera to get a flatter look for your JPEG sequences.

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