SX50 – Shooting RAW
We’ve had our SX50 for about 3 months, and until now all the images we’ve posted have been shot as what we call “detuned” jpegs… where the camera’s jpeg engine is used to render and compress the image using minimized or reduced settings for NR, sharpening, saturation, and contrast. This method is somewhat analogous to shooting RAW, because most of the processing is then done in post rather than in-camera. We have been pleased with the results we get shooting this way with all our cameras, and recommend it to anyone who prefers not to deal with RAW processing for whatever reasons.
I had tried shooting the SX50 in RAW just briefly early on, and my initial efforts yielded somewhat mixed results. There was some additional detail in the RAW files and more latitude for exposure correction. At base ISOs the noise in oof backgrounds was surprisingly slight and easily dealt with, but in-focus subjects were both noiser and more artifacted at the pixel level. It required a fair bit of additional post-processing effort to achieve visible improvements in finished image quality at screen resolutions, when compared to our processed JPEG files. Writing the much larger RAW data files to the memory card also takes a toll on continuous shot to shot performance, so we just returned to shooting JPEG only instead.
I’ve recently revisited shooting RAW with the SX50 and am actively researching software and workflow variations which may allow us to further optimize the value of this feature…
Here are a few recently taken SX50 RAW images which have been converted with Digital Photo Professional (the included Canonware) and finished in Photoshop:
I hope to try using Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW, and some other applications which support SX50 RAW files, to see if we can develop a workflow and/or results that encourage us to shoot the SX50 RAW more often.
EDIT 3/5/2013 : Some additional RAW samples are now available here: CR2 Gallery