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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:26 PM   #1
macrumors 6502a
Join Date: Jan 2011
Why do my RAW photos look better in editing?

I've always shot in JPEG but I got a new Nikon D5100 so I decided to shoot in RAW+JPEG to see if I could get better editing results. I noticed right off the bat that the RAW photos look way better, they have much more dynamic range. Even the "neutral" image setting on the camera tends to make it too contrasty.

I tried editing the RAW photos in iPhoto but noticed right off the bat that when I export them as JPEGs they look a lot more flat and desaturated compared to how they look in the software. While I edit them in iPhoto they look rich and colorful (even oversaturated), then I export them and they look terrible.I decided to try the View NX2 software that came with the camera and I got a similar result to iPhoto. I edited a RAW photo, saved it in the software, then exported it and when I opened it the exposure looked right but the colors were very flat.

Just to make sure it wasn't the viewer I'm using (Xee) I compared an edited photo in Xee to Preview and they looked exactly the same.

Other info:
I'm using a 2012 MBA 13" with the Samsung screen
The laptop is set to the default "color LCD" color profile
The camera is set to sRGB
JPEGs seem fine.
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