I've just done a wee test bracketing +/-2EV in jpg and comparing that to a single RAW exposure (all on Manual setting - 200ASA & Active D-lighting auto).
I notice that the +2EV jpg exposure shows considerably less noise in the (now lightened) shadow area compared to the RAW (14bits) exposure adjusted in ViewNX2 by +2eEV - when inspecting the image at 200%
I had thought that I would save space and processing by just taking one RAW shot (20Mb), compared to 5 jpg (5x6MB) ones (because we can only do a bracket in 1EV steps). The contrast of the RAW image is better however.
Quite a surprise - just thought I would share that and wait to be told I'm hoping for too much from a RAW image!
#1. "RE: Raw V jpg in bracketing" | In response to Reply # 0MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Mon 05-Mar-12 02:46 PM
Of course! Think about it... the signal to noise ratio will be 4x in your +2 exposure, with the liability of clipped highlights, which obviously don't effect shadows.
There is a group of highly dedicated, pixel-peeping photographers out there obsessed with shadow noise who always shoot a +2 frame, adjust the raw back down -2 and blend in the shadows from that exposure. See here:
His examples are impressive! (at a pixel-peeping level anyway... I find this stuff just doesn't show up in prints.)
I'll end by adding, I've long said that the popular technique of HDR processing from a single raw image processed to +/-2EV then run through HDR software is not going to buy you anything but HDR artifacts, like softness and haloing. Some people may be processing specifically for these artifacts, and indeed may identify that "diffuse glow" look with HDR. For those of us who strive for a natural look out of HDR processing, this technique doesn't buy anything that you couldn't get from careful processing of the original NEF.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
#2. "RE: Raw V jpg in bracketing" | In response to Reply # 1TheAncientSnapper Registered since 26th Feb 2012Mon 05-Mar-12 03:07 PM
Thank you - I'll go and digest his words.
But your logic is correct and I'm glad I've always used jpg bracketing to take my difficult exposures - the inside of churches especially.
I met a pro taking photos in a church the other day and he said I was wasting my time with jpg bracketing - he did a single RAW. So I thought I'd see if he was right!
My only gripe is the miserable 1EV step on the D700 - my old D70 allowed 2EVs and thus I could get away with 3 exposures, instead of now having to take 5!
The other problem I use to have was mirror slap on slow exposures - so the delayed exposure is a great feature. I've added a cheap MB-D10 with an infra remote - so all is looking good