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How do you use your 50sII?
RAW, ride or die
16-bit TIFFs for me
8-bit TIFFs because I push the edge
Don't try to fence me in. I am as unpredictable as I am fickle.
I don't own a 50sII, but I like to participate in polls

Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?

  
 
AmbientMike
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


Hard to believe they don't lose anything in raw compression, or that they get every bit of data off the sensor. Might not be much but they probably lose something.


May 11, 2022 at 11:48 AM
mjm6
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
14 bit RAW beats 12 bit RAW. Both are compressed. 16 bit tiff has more bits and is uncompressed.




{{{sorry, this got to be "Dan Long" but I think it is worth going through bit depth in detail}}}

the 50S2 doesn't have 16-bit A2D converters as I understand it, so the absolute best bit depth you will get from the camera is 14 bits of color depth. This means that the camera, when it takes the light from the CMOS and converts it into a digital signal is only capable of differentiating the values into 14-bits of color depth.

If you then convert it to a 16-bit TIFF (which could be done in LR or in the camera), you "pad" the file with null data (most people say that it is "zeroes"). However, the original conversion to digital is the limiting factor and that remains locked at 14-bits, so you don't actually gain anything by padding the file to 16-bit, other than increasing the file size.

Here's an example of how this works, but vastly simplified:

Color bit depth of 2 bits; here's a data point for a single piece of RAW data for a single photosite:

01 Dark grey

It only has one value, because remember, each photosite in a Bayer CMOS array only records a single color because of the Bayer filter and when the RAW conversion is done, the other two channels are interpolated from adjacent photosites. Which color is immaterial to this discussion

2-bit color depth has 4 levels of delination; you can only effectively differentiate 4 (2^2 = 4) different levels of value (and that is normally assigned to full-black on one end and full white on the other). I'm going to make assignments in this imaginary color space that we''ll use.

11 Full white
10 Light grey
01 Dark grey
00 Full black

OK, so let's take this from 2-bit up to 4-bit. We now can get 16(!) levels of color information! (2^4 = 16) But, the file we started with is really only a 2-bit file. so this is what it looks like:

1111 Full white
1110 a little less white
1101 Just a little less white than above
1100 THIS IS THE PADDED DATA VALUE IN THE 4-BIT FILE FOR ALL OF THE 2-BIT INFORMATION FOR A WHITE PIXEL
1011 Shade of gray (light)
1010 Shade of gray (light)
1001 Shade of gray (light)
1000 THIS IS THE PADDED DATA VALUE IN THE 4-BIT FILE FOR ALL OF THE 2-BIT INFORMATION FOR A LIGHT GREY PIXEL
0111 Shade of gray (dark)
0110 Shade of gray (dark)
0101 Shade of gray (dark)
0100 THIS IS THE PADDED DATA VALUE IN THE 4-BIT FILE FOR ALL OF THE 2-BIT INFORMATION FOR A DARK GREY PIXEL
0011 Close to black
0010 A little closer to black
0001 Just a little bit closer to black than above
0000 Full Black THIS IS THE PADDED VALUE IN THE 4-BIT FILE FOR ALL THE 2-BIT INFORMATION FOR A BLACK PIXEL

Note that the reason people call the file "PADDED" is because if you take the two zeroes off the right of the 4-bit values, you get the exactly same value as the 2-bit file. Also, if you look, if you take the two right zero/one values off, you will see that all the rest of the four locations in the "White" or "Black" zones (and all the rest, by group) are identical , so if you were to convert a 4-bit file to 2-bits, the four values would all be grouped together into that single value, 1111, 1110, 1101, and 1100 would all go to 11, for example.

If the camera has the ability to generate (in the analogue to digital processing of the light (electrical signals) into the file data) the source light into a higher bit depth (4-bits in the example above), you would have the potential to use ALL of the values shown, from the 0000 value at the bottom to the 1111 value at the top. However, if the camera is limited in its' A2D conversion to only 2-bits, the best you can get is the four values I highlight above and the rest, while potentially possible in the file, won't actually exist in the file. What you have is a 2-bit file "padded" into a 4-bit structure.

So, converting to 16-bit in-camera is not going to give you a better file to work with (that you couldn't have gotten by converting to 16-bit in a RAW converter anyway).

It is true that when you get to making adjustments, having higher bitdepth will help avoid banding and other artifacts, but you have to be a bit careful about thinking that this solves all problems because unless you perform some form of data dithering on the original data as it comes out of the D2A conversion process, you don't really have data that occupies a full 16 bits worth of depth. It will look like what I have shown above (with all the data occupying only some of the possible levels in the file), only with a lot more bits.




May 11, 2022 at 12:17 PM
molson
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
Hard to believe they don't lose anything in raw compression, or that they get every bit of data off the sensor. Might not be much but they probably lose something.


What you are saying is inherently true, but I the problem is that the same compression losses are still there in the TIFF file (since it's created from the RAW file), plus whatever you lose converting from RAW to TIFF, plus the bloated TIFF file size from "padding" the data.

You gain nothing, but you lose some quality, some flexibility, and lots of storage space.



May 11, 2022 at 12:38 PM
mjm6
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


Lossless data compression does not lose any data (or misintrepret data, might be a better term) from the original if it is constructed properly.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lossless_compression

If the compression is truly lossless, it will be a bit-perfect copy once reconstituted back in the computer at home. I'm sure Fuji is using a truly losless compression on the RAW files.



May 11, 2022 at 01:00 PM
bobby350z
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
Hard to believe they don't lose anything in raw compression, or that they get every bit of data off the sensor. Might not be much but they probably lose something.


It is called "Lossless Compression" for a reason, "lossless", not "lossy".



May 11, 2022 at 03:42 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


Very interesting response @mjm6@ . I'm wondering if that is correct though? Shouldn't 11 in the original 2 bit file be 1111 in converted to 4 bit file? Both corresponding to white. And black 0000 in the final file. I understand the general concept that you aren't going to get the full 16 bits if they put less in but I'm not sure if this is correct. Or I'm not following the padding concept

I don't really think raw is as perfect as people like to think, I seem to have hit a nerve here. On older p&s they probably discarded data mostly jpeg only and jpeg compression loses data. So it's not like there's no precedent for losing some. You're going to have to push hard to have issues on a 14 bit raw though. But I still have a hard time believing that compression is truly lossless and they get every single thing. Maybe so but I doubt it. I'll look at the link provided above on lossless.



May 11, 2022 at 04:14 PM
mjm6
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
houldn't 11 in the original 2 bit file be 1111 in converted to 4 bit file? Both corresponding to white. And black 0000 in the final file.


Yes, you could argue that the 11 should go to 1111, as 00 goes to 0000. However, if you do that, you violate the even spacing of the levels in the file when you add the 2 additional bits to the file.

But, it's possible that they do this to ensure that there is always a pure white and a pure black value. I don't know exactly what they do in the file manipulation to nudge things like that. I've never dug into it deep enough to find out, but the basic approach is correct.

I expect, though, that when they pad a 14-bit file up to 16 bits, they don't really concern themselves with that because the value that is "pure white" in the 14-bit file (let's call it 11111111111111 or 1111111111111100 when padded to 16-bit) is still going to be really, really close to the pure white value in the 16-bit file (which is 1111111111111111), and there are only two other levels possible between them (1111111111111101 and 1111111111111110). There really isn't much space between them. Since 16-bit has 65,536 possible levels, approximating pure white by a point that is the fourth from the very end isn't something that I think they would concern themselves with, especially if it allows them to perform the functions of bit depth conversion and other things more easily.

I think I counted all the ones/zeros correctly...



May 11, 2022 at 05:17 PM
molson
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
I don't really think raw is as perfect as people like to think, I seem to have hit a nerve here.


I think a few people are just frustrated by not being able to explain the technology in terms simple enough to be understand...

Perhaps you could explain to us why you think a file derived from an "imperfect" RAW file could somehow be better than the original file it was derived from?



May 12, 2022 at 08:37 AM
molson
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
I don't really think raw is as perfect as people like to think, I seem to have hit a nerve here.


I think a few people are just frustrated by not being able to explain the technology in terms simple enough to be understand...

To put it another way, your camera does NOT capture TIFF files - it captures RAW files and then internally processes the RAW data to create a TIFF file, which it then records (if you select that option).

Perhaps you could explain to us why you think a file derived from an "imperfect" RAW file could somehow be better than the original file it was derived from?



May 12, 2022 at 08:40 AM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?




molson wrote:
I think a few people are just frustrated by not being able to explain the technology in terms simple enough to be understand...

To put it another way, your camera does NOT capture TIFF files - it captures RAW files and then internally processes the RAW data to create a TIFF file, which it then records (if you select that option).

Perhaps you could explain to us why you think a file derived from an "imperfect" RAW file could somehow be better than the original file it was derived from?


Funny I didn't seem to have too much trouble understanding the relatively complex post above for the most part.

The camera captures data that gets put into a raw file. Is that all the data from the sensor or has it been trimmed to make it into a more manageable file size at minimal loss? If it's been compressed or trimmed a bit to save on storage space you could potentially have a completely uncompressed file that has all the data. Uncompressed is tiff



May 12, 2022 at 05:35 PM
 


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AmbientMike
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?




mjm6 wrote:
I think I counted all the ones/zeros correctly...


Yeah you gotta look out for that binary. 1+1=10. Even jpegs have 256^3 colors I'd think, that's over 16 million so the last couple bits probabaly nort going to do much



May 12, 2022 at 05:41 PM
Peter Figen
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


"Uncompressed is tiff"

Tiff *might* be uncompressed or it might not be.



May 12, 2022 at 05:41 PM
molson
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
Funny I didn't seem to have too much trouble understanding the relatively complex post above for the most part.


That really doesn't appear to be the case...




The camera captures data that gets put into a raw file. Is that all the data from the sensor or has it been trimmed to make it into a more manageable file size at minimal loss? If it's been compressed or trimmed a bit to save on storage space you could potentially have a completely uncompressed file that has all the data. Uncompressed is tiff



You can have an uncompressed TIFF file, or you can have a compressed TIFF file - but since both have to be created from your RAW file, why not just shoot RAW in the first place to maintain the highest possible quality?

Or just shoot JPEG...



May 12, 2022 at 06:28 PM
curious80
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


molson wrote:
....

You can have an uncompressed TIFF file, or you can have a compressed TIFF file - but since both have to be created from your RAW file, why not just shoot RAW in the first place to maintain the highest possible quality?

Or just shoot JPEG...


While I have no experience with GFX, as a Fuji X-T3 user I can say that if I had the option of shooting 16-bit TIFF, I would definitely try to use it. For most shots (at least the outdoor ones) the default processing of the camera is very good and I want to use that and only make tweaks where needed. Working with the RAW file with say lightroom, I don't get that default processing and more work is needed to get to the desired output (the camera matching profiles don't really work well either).

The problem with shooting JPEG is that since the data has already been tone mapped to 8-bits, there is not much room left to make any significant adjustments. For example if your black has been crushed in the JPEG, or highlight has been blown, you can't bring it back. With 16-bit TIFF I should have that ability to get the default processing but still have room to make adjustments where needed.




May 12, 2022 at 07:54 PM
molson
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


I keep forgetting that Fuji is actively marketing these cameras to people with no real photography experience... where ignorance is bliss. No point in wasting any more time here.


May 12, 2022 at 08:04 PM
curious80
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


molson wrote:
I keep forgetting that Fuji is actively marketing these cameras to people with no real photography experience... where ignorance is bliss. No point in wasting any more time here.


Not really sure what you are trying to say here, if you have any actual useful point to make please say so. If your comment is directed as a response to my post then please specify which part of my post is incorrect or misguided



May 12, 2022 at 08:25 PM
AmbientMike
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


I should know better than to poke at people's purity issues by now

It gets so religious on fm. I remember pointing out canon is also a religious term on the canon board one time. I guess I'm a non religious jpeg shooter. Out having a good time. Your raw files are pure and holy




May 12, 2022 at 10:01 PM
Makten
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


curious80 wrote:
The problem with shooting JPEG is that since the data has already been tone mapped to 8-bits, there is not much room left to make any significant adjustments. For example if your black has been crushed in the JPEG, or highlight has been blown, you can't bring it back. With 16-bit TIFF I should have that ability to get the default processing but still have room to make adjustments where needed.


The problem with shooting TIFF is that the adjustments (simulation, WB, curves, saturation) have been applied before saving at 16 bits per channel. If your blacks are really crushed (0) or your highlights blown (16535) you are not getting them back with a TIFF. What you gain over JPG is less chance for posterization since the same image is built up by smaller increments in luminosity. But black is still black and white is still white. Outside the range.

The most reasonable solution would be shooting raw + JPG. If you are not happy with the JPG, process the raw with X raw studio, applying the changes you want, and save it as a new JPG. This software is using the camera to process the raw, which means your new JPG will be identical to a JPG SOOC with the same settings you applied in X raw studio.



May 13, 2022 at 12:32 AM
curious80
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


Makten wrote:
The problem with shooting TIFF is that the adjustments (simulation, WB, curves, saturation) have been applied before saving at 16 bits per channel. If your blacks are really crushed (0) or your highlights blown (16535) you are not getting them back with a TIFF. What you gain over JPG is less chance for posterization since the same image is built up by smaller increments in luminosity. But black is still black and white is still white. Outside the range.


While I understand your point I don't think it is capturing the entire story here. Yes I agree that TIFF would be less flexible than the RAW because if some value gets mapped to 16383 or 0 due to the processing steps then it is no longer recoverable. However there will be many values which would have been mapped to 255 in an 8-bit file but don't get mapped to 16383 in a 14-bit file and are instead mapped to say 16382 or 16381, 16380 etc. Lets say after the application of a tone curve your 14-bit file had values in the range 16352 to 16382, then in the 8-bit JPEG they will all get mapped to 255 and get "blown"whereas if that 14-bit data is now stored in a 16-bit tiff, those values will be preserved and not be blown. Similar effect will happen at the black end as well. So the 16-bit TIFF will have a much better ability to "recover" than the JPEG. In addition as you mentioned, it will suffer less from posterization when adjustments are made. Yes the 16-bit TIFF won't be as flexible as raw (specially if you use an aggressive profile like velvia), but it should still have much higher flexibility than the JPEG.


The most reasonable solution would be shooting raw + JPG. If you are not happy with the JPG, process the raw with X raw studio, applying the changes you want, and save it as a new JPG. This software is using the camera to process the raw, which means your new JPG will be identical to a JPG SOOC with the same settings you applied in X raw studio.


RAW + JPEG has been my approach but the workflow and catalog management becomes cumbersome. So even though I still typically shoot RAW + JPEG for my Fuji, in practice I end up using either the RAW set or the JPEG set but don't mix and match. For my Sony A7rIII, I just shoot RAW



May 13, 2022 at 02:30 AM
Sauseschritt
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Fuji GXF 50sII- RAW or 16-bit Tiff?


AmbientMike wrote:
Hard to believe they don't lose anything in raw compression, or that they get every bit of data off the sensor. Might not be much but they probably lose something.


Err, no they dont.

Thats why its called digital.

Unlike analog data, digital data doesnt degrade. Its either there or corrupted, and in the later case its gone. There is no deterioation stage.

The reason is simple: data is stored in 1's and 0's. The actual values are of course stored on a range - low charge means 0, high charge means 1. As long as the signal hasnt degraded the original is always preserved.

You get the best data possible.


Or possibly you refer to the fact that a sensor has finite resolution ? Sure. Thats true for any device though. Lenses, sensors, monitors, printers - all introduce errors and loss of resolution. You cannot avoid this loss.



P.s.: Oh and yes, lossless compression is lossless.

You can for example put executables in a ZIP file. Flipping a single bit of an executable and suddenly its a completely different processor command. But they work fine.









Peter Figen wrote:
"Uncompressed is tiff"

Tiff *might* be uncompressed or it might not be.


Last I checked (which, granted, was decades ago), TIFF only supports a pittiful compression. Maybe they upgraded, I dont know.




curious80 wrote:
While I understand your point I don't think it is capturing the entire story here.


You change anything, ANYTHING, the TIFF already has these changes applied - resulting in a loss of information.

For example your white balance says blue colors are overexposed, the TIFF fill will lose resolution in the blues, because white balance was already applied.

Whats of course worse is if your white balance shifts the reds or the blues in overexposure, because then you dont know their actual value at all anymore.

Thats why RAWs storing unprocessed data -> best.



May 13, 2022 at 03:25 AM
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