Nikon 5100 JPG compression
I've been doing some reading online and the opinions seem a bit varied about whether JPG FINE, JPG NORMAL, and JPG BASIC has any difference in actual quality of the image when viewed on a computer.
I mainly use my 5100 as a walk-around camera and photograph stuff I would otherwise take with my smartphone. This includes scenery, skyline, nice cars, etc. I don't plan to ever print my photos.
I just wanted to get some opinions on whether there is any appreciable difference in quality between the different levels of JPG compression?
#1. "RE: Nikon 5100 JPG compression" | In response to Reply # 0
MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Sun 02-Jun-13 06:53 PM
Welcome to Nikonians!
If you never adjust the images and only view them on a computer, the jpeg compression ratio should not make much of a difference.
If you use an editing program to make adjustments to the image file, then re-save it, the higher the compression ratio that you use, the more the Image Quality will be degraded and lost forever.
While you might not care now, at some time in the future you might want to make adjustments and print the images. That is why many of us shoot Raw or at least jpeg Fine Large.
#2. "RE: Nikon 5100 JPG compression" | In response to Reply # 0
Asgard Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Sun 02-Jun-13 09:31 PM
As Marty mentioned, just viewing on a computer you will not see a big difference.
But each time you want to modify a JPEG image, you lost information more and more.
Basically the camera shoots in RAW, but if you have selected JPEG files, the onboard camera computer is looking at the settings you have and processes the RAW data and writes a JPEG to the card. The alternative is to have the camera write the RAW file to the card, and you do the RAW processing on your computer.
You may agree, it is the smarter way.
I would start to shot in RAW+ JPEG.
This way you have always the original and a JPEG image.
Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
Eala Freya Fresena
#3. "RE: Nikon 5100 JPG compression" | In response to Reply # 2
grnzbra Nikonian since 28th Sep 2011Wed 05-Jun-13 04:05 PM
Always assume that the day will come in which you view one of your images and you see one that is absolutely breathtaking and you want to print it or crop it or something. You will wish for the absolute best in the starting photo. Set your camera for RAW or RAW + JPG with the largest and finest possible settings. If that requires a larger, more expensive memory card, so be it. Then, when THAT picture comes along, you won't find yourself wishing you had a better starting point.
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#4. "RE: Nikon 5100 JPG compression" | In response to Reply # 0
Silicon is cheap (as little as $1 or less per Gbyte for moderately fast media).
So I've always subscribed to the idea of capturing as much image quality as possible. RAW gives you the most options, but if you don't want to deal with post-capture processing, then properly exposed JPEG files at the highest quality is the way to go. There will be increasingly noticeable differences at higher compression ratios, and these will show up as "blocking" of colors when you look at your image at higher zoom ratios, or loss of edge contrast. These artifacts, which depend on the complexity of the images may (or may not) result in a loss of fine detail in images which you may wish you had saved. You can verify the amount of loss for yourself by collecting duplicate shots at various JPEG compression ratios. For 4x6" prints, or viewing at low resolution on a computer monitor (such as on a web page), these compression artifacts will be of little consequence even at JPEG BASIC (16:1), but may become apparent if images are destined for viewing in a larger format.
But silicon (or magnetic media) is cheap. So why sweat it? Save RAW and/or fine JPEG and no worries about what the camera did to your image.