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Just say NO...to JPEGs

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Yesterday I shot some candids while out with my family for Thanksgiving dinner. Up until recently I had been shooting a Fuji so I thought nothing of shooting in JPEG at ISO3200. Well, we're not in Kansas anymore. The images are noisy, detail is terrible and overall kinda sad because I managed to capture some really nice moments. Of course its my own fault for not shooting in RAW like I typically do but I was really quite surprised at how noisy and lacking in detail they came out. Recently I have been toying with the notion of shooting in BW instead of converting but that idea went out the window as of last night. To be blunt, the JPEG engine on the NEX 6 is terrible.

    Overall the NEX 6 has been a great match for my adapted lenses and in good light the images have been lovely but clearly shooting at ISO 3200 and above is not something it does well. It's back to RAW for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
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  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    It's good to know the limitations of the gear you are using. I suppose next time I'm in a low light situation I need to use the flash :(.
     
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    (Even if I always shoot RAW,) ISO 800 was my absolute limit when I had the Nex-6 and people used to tell me that I was "crazy" (and that they got good results at iso 1600 etc)....I guess how much noise one is willing to accept is subjective. Or maybe I suck at noise reduction skills on processing :D
     
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I have a folder full of horribly oversaturated images that taught me to run tests on JPEG settings *before* the road trip (NOT during).

    I wouldn't be against using JPEG again in the future [if a body I were using had a particularly good in-camera recipe]. But since storage & processing became relative non-issues for me, I don't feel particularly compelled to be committing to certain color & contrast profiles in the field when I don't have to.
     
  5. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    I would not print an image larger than A4 off anything higher than about 800iso off either of the Nex6 or A7, but depending on output I have got away with 6400iso off the Nex. I don't in many cases worry about the noise and downsizing can get rid of a lot anyhow. If a camera has Raw i will use that just for the advantages it has especially when photographing smaller gigs where the lights can be completely and utterly random.
     
  6. Alex66

    Alex66 TalkEmount Regular

    74
    Dec 23, 2014
    Yes you can get a 128gig SD card U1 speed in the UK for about £25 now and decent Trancend U3 64gig for under £20, never had a Trancend give me an issue.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Well the ISO3200 images I shot would probably be fine printed small. The noise had a very film grainy look which wasn't the end of the world but the details were pretty terrible.

    I should think that it would have been better in RAW.

    Would the a6000 do a better job? With the blowout prices on them right now it might be worth it if high ISO is better. I do like the UI/layout on the a6000 better than the NEX.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I picked up my RAW habit shooting Fuji and haven't looked back. Like you I would shoot JPEG if they looked good but RAW is pretty painless.
     
  9. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    655
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Is it worse than this? I blame my own inabilities for the lack of sharpness. I promis Ill improve. I know it's far from Roundball standards but be honest, besides the lack of sharpness around the eye, is this crap?
    DSC01068.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
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  10. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    655
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    BTW Id like to see the difference between jpeg's and RAW files re hi ISO Pics from aps-c. Would be informative.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    That looks fine. So yes, much worse than that.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    This the best I could manage...

    23063292310_24f30ae046_b.
    twelve going on jaded
    by kevin dixey, on Flickr

    I did some cropping and tonal adjustments but no noise reduction. The focus area set to the bridge of the glasses. The lens was a Sigma 30 (which is reasonably sharp).
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
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  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I figured out the problem. I had set the contrast on the JPEG to +3. There is still a noticeable difference between RAW and JPEG but at least that gets it closer.
     
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  14. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    411
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    That's a great shot. I think the composition and subject overcome any technical deficiencies, to me anyway.
     
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  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Thanks for the compliment. After some more noodling I was able to get much better ISO 3200 images. RAW images are still better than JPEG. They have more detail and of course more latitude for working them. Interestingly, I find that the JPEGs noise pattern is very film-like but they tend to look a bit over exposed despite the settings being equal.

    That said, my overall impression of high ISO in the Sony is that it's not particularly good over ISO 1600. Luckily I don't do a ton of high ISO shots but it is a bit of a let down given that my Fuji was capable of very clean ISO 3200 shots. Guess you can't have everything.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  16. RnR

    RnR TalkEmount Regular

    29
    Jul 23, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Heard rumours of various raw 'cooking' done by the various camera manufacturers. Fujifilm does a fair bit of noise reduction on the raws. Sony does a bit of sharpening, which would highlight noise. On the later model Fujifilms a few have complained about the 'plastic' skin at higher ISO's which is not apparent on the earlier models, so perhaps Fuji have increased their noise reduction in the raws as an attempt to compete in a market focused on high ISO performance.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    As a former Fuji shooter if I were to pick another Fuji it would be an X-Pro 1 or XE-1 because I found the images from the older X-Trans more to my liking. Still, the images between all of these cameras is very close.
     
  18. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I think the default JPEG compression level for FINE is too aggressive, given the resultant file size from the a6000. For a 24.3 Mp sensor, file size should be double. In bright light, the noise is not evident until over ISO 3200. In low light, the noise is clearly visible and annoying as low as 800.
    For a SOOC JPEG that I can live with, I don't shoot higher than 800. I don't think you will see major improvements going to an a6000 body.
    I haven't done a comparison to see if the noise is present in the RAW version.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    That is what I have been thinking.
     
  20. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    I also find the amount of light matters a good bit - ISO 3200 in daylight to get shutter speed high enough gives me perfectly acceptable results on my E-M1 (even a 80x60cm); high ISO in low light scenes is a different kettle of fish entirely.
     
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