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JPEG vs RAW - What is the difference?
8067 9 2017-3-14 02:28:20
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In DJI GO 4 under Camera Settings, you will see there are three options for photo formats: JPEG, RAW, and JPEG+RAW. What setting should you use? Let’s take a look at a look at some advantages and disadvantages of shooting in each format.

Highlights and Shadows


The photo below was taken with the Zenmuse X5S in JPEG and RAW formats. The sun is a bit over exposed, and the foreground is a bit under exposed, so making the photo look natural will take some editing. Adjusting tones in each format gives us a clearer picture of how JPEG and RAW differ from one another.

1.png

The main problem with JPEG images is that they are compressed and information is lost, so you don’t have as much control over how they look in post-production. Take a look at the edited JPEG image below. When shadows and highlights are reduced, the trees in the foreground look somewhat unnatural, and the sun still looks overblown.  

2.png

Since no information is compressed in RAW, RAW files retain more details than JPEGs. After the same toning, the RAW image looks much more appealing and natural.

       3.png

White Balance

With RAW images, you’ll also be able to more easily correct white balance issues in post. Depending on what type of light you are shooting in and your white balance settings, you may end up with a color cast: a tint that gives your image unwanted coloration. The photo below was taken with the Phantom 4 Pro in JPEG and RAW formats.

4.png

After adjusting the color temperature and tone of the JPEG file, the image is still does not look very good.

5.png

Since RAW files contain unprocessed grayscale data, you won’t be out of luck even if you set your white balance incorrectly during shooting. Shooting in RAW makes adjustment easier without a reduction in quality.

6.png

Viewing Files


While RAW images can be more easily manipulated during editing, they are not superior in every way. RAW images cannot be viewed without special imaging software, like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, on a mobile device or your PC, but JPEG images can! If you shoot a RAW photo with your DJI product, a low-resolution JPEG will be saved in DJI GO for you to view, even if you do not select RAW+JPEG. However, you won’t be able to view the RAW file without a computer.

7.png

File Sizes

Additionally, RAW files are five times the size of JPEG files. As you can see below, a Phantom 4 Pro DNG file (RAW file) takes up around 34,000 KB, while a JPEG is only around 7,000

8.png


Timed Shots

Also, since RAW files are larger, they take longer to process and save to the SD card. This affects the shortest interval at which you can take Timed Shots. The screenshots below are taken from the Mavic Pro.

Notice that the shortest Timed Shot interval is two seconds for JPEG images and 10 seconds for RAW images.
9.jpeg


So is one format better than the other?

It depends on what you want to do. A clear advantage of JPEG files is that you spend less time in processing, and you can spend more time in shooting. When shooting in RAW, you get as much data as possible from the sensor, and you have more options during editing. Which one to use is up to you! Feel free to share your questions or comments with us here on the forum or on social media.

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2017-3-14 02:28:20
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fansba80753a
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What about the barrel distortion difference between the JPG and RAW?
2017-3-14 05:32:05
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DroneSmeg
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Lens distortion has no relation to the shooting mode. Editing software like Lightroom has lens profiles for DJI drones and corrects for it with one mouse click. AFAIK, if all you want to do is correct for lens distortion, it isn't necessary to shoot raw. It is a good idea if you want to do other edits without introducing large amounts of  noise.
2017-3-14 07:16:27
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jonbeal
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I asume you get two images saved when you select jpeg/Raw in the Mavic Settings?
2017-3-14 07:48:22
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Atletismo343
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DroneSmeg Posted at 2017-3-14 07:16
Lens distortion has no relation to the shooting mode. Editing software like Lightroom has lens profiles for DJI drones and corrects for it with one mouse click. AFAIK, if all you want to do is correct for lens distortion, it isn't necessary to shoot raw. It is a good idea if you want to do other edits without introducing large amounts of  noise.

Yeah I understand what you are saying... but I think DJI is doing some post-processing themselves when exporting the JPEGs.
2017-3-14 08:22:49
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DroneSmeg
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Atletismo343 Posted at 2017-3-14 08:22
Yeah I understand what you are saying... but I think DJI is doing some post-processing themselves when exporting the JPEGs.

Sure, a jpeg is a completed photo. The camera does the processing for you. It's the digital equivalent of a Polaroid. Raw is a digital negative that you can edit to look how you want it. It isn't "DJI themselves..." It's every camera you use when you shoot jpeg.
2017-3-14 08:29:38
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Fruxen
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A very useful post from DJI.

I shoot 100% RAW myself, but for most people I think it's overrated. JPGs are so much easier to handle. Don't worry, you are not missing THAT much.

Sure you see the quality improvement of RAW vs JPG in your own fullscren pixel peeping image editing. But honestly, when those photos eventually are downscaled to 700x500 and shown to your non photography nerd friends on Facebook, the photos won't look vastly different.
2017-3-15 04:27:53
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robbie27
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I must say your article is really nice. Compared to 8-bit JPEG format that can only contain up to 256 shades of Red, Green and Blue colors (total of 16 million), 12-bit RAW images contain the most amount of information with 4,096 shades or Red, Green and Blue (equivalent of 68 billion colors!) and higher. RAW files contain the most dynamic range (ratio between the maximum and minimum measurable light intensities of light and black) and can later be used to recover underexposed/overexposed images or parts of an image.
Unlike JPEG, RAW files utilize lossless compression, meaning they do not suffer from image-compression artifacts.
No image-sharpening is performed on RAW files, which means that you can use better and more complex sharpening algorithms for your photos.
But! RAW files require post-processing and conversion before they can be normally viewed, which adds a significant amount of time to workflow.
RAW takes up much more camera memory and space than JPEG images. This means that memory card can store fewer images and camera buffer can quickly fill up, causing the camera frame rate to drop down significantly. JPEG images are fully processed in camera and all settings such as White Balance, Color Saturation, Tone Curve, Sharpening and Color Space are already applied to the image. So you do not need to spend any time on post-processing the image – all you need to do is extract the image out of the memory card and it is ready to use.
JPEG images are much smaller than RAW images and therefore consume a lot less storage and need much less processing power.
Due to the smaller size, cameras can write JPEG files much faster, which increases the number of pictures that can fit in temporary camera buffer.
2017-3-22 04:02:23
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robbie27
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Who has interest can read this article about jpeg files https://www.cleverfiles.com/howto/what-is-jpg.html ’cause there are more interesting information about jpeg format
2017-3-22 07:53:17
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PassBy
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Thanks for the info. im understand now.. =)
2017-3-22 17:54:59
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