Surprising Results Shooting Raw and Converting in Camera Versus in Photoshop

In this informative video from Pal2Tech, Chris Lee demonstrates how to convert raw files to TIFFs or JPEGs right in the camera. The results are both interesting and quite surprising when the images are uploaded and compared.

Converting raw files in-camera is a rather simple process, and probably a feature that many of us do not use (myself included). After watching this video and seeing the differences in the results, I am definitely going to start experimenting with converting files in my X-T4.

When zoomed in to “pixel peeping” mode, there is a definite difference between the raw versus the TIFF that was processed in-camera. Even more fascinating is when Lee compares the in-camera TIFF to a TIFF converted in Photoshop, using the same file. It is an excellent reminder that all of these variables can have an impact on the look of the final image.

After the photography tutorial, Lee changes gears and provides another valuable lesson, this time on the importance of family, photography, and the plusses and minuses of being a perfectionist. The struggle he describes in trying to take a family portrait is one of the most relatable stories for us as fellow photographers. 

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Pete Coco's picture

Haha Greg I was more surprised by the *actual* results than by the fact that they were different.

Paulus van Aken's picture

There is a fourth reason to go to tiff: if you're making prints yourself.
You surely want to have as much colourdepth as is possible.

Pete Coco's picture

Great point, thank you!

Jon Kellett's picture

True 10-20 years ago, but true today? I have an Epson SureColor P900 and I can't see the difference under a loupe between TIFF and JPG prints, though in the past I have seen differences in lab-sourced prints 15 years ago.

Also the medium has an impact on how noticeable any artifacts may be. Good luck seeing much detail up close if printing on Hahnemühle William Turner (a personal fav).

Greg Edwards's picture

I wonder how fuji's own x raw studio (or silkypix?) converter compares. If it's anything like Canon's DPP I would assume it would produce a tiff file identical to the in-camera conversion?

Greg Edwards's picture

Ignore this. I've just seen that x raw studio IS in-camera processing. I was unaware of that.

Ralph Tomaccio's picture

After 50 years being in photography and now retired I, too, have learned that the last half of your video about photographing family is just as important, maybe more so, than the first half about technicalities. There IS a difference between photography for clients and yourself than the photography you do for family gatherings. You have already proven yourself to family and catching the spontaneity of the day overrides perfection in details. I hope others pick up on the importance of what you were saying!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I'm guessing the in-camera tiff files were probably sharpened more on output than what Lightroom does by default. Similar to how jpgs are generally sharper than raw files.