On 2009-09-30, Carusoswi <for...@gimpusers.com> wrote:
> In the spirit of the OP's question, if you make no adjustments in UFRAW, is
> there any more latitude for adjustment in the resultant JPG file (in Gimp or
> other editing application) than what you might get straight from the camera?

This is not a very have-a-clear-answer topic.

I would guess that with Canon, the answer is straightforward: the
RAW-converted output would be SIGNIFICANTLY better than in-camera one
in ALL respects.  Dynamic range, handling of clipping, handling of
noise, sharpness, etc.

With cameras which use more advanced versions of the Apical Iridex
hardware or firmware (starting with Sony, but Nikon is reported to be
in process of catching up), the situation is not as clear.  I did not
see any report of RAW processor which can match Apical-style "Dynamic
Range Optimizations".

So: there might be one respect (tonal mapping, sometimes called
"dynamic range") in which RAW-processed-JPEG might be not as good as
in-camera one...

> It feels as though I have a lot of latitude in GIMP.

8-bit is good enough for "minimally postprocessed" images, since noise
would provide sufficient dithering, both in highlights and in darks.
However, significant noise reduction and/or substantial tonal mapping
has a risk to make banding visible.  Which makes GIMP not very
suitable for such styles of photography.  (Not so with the subjects I
favor most, so I did not see that.)

Hope this helps,

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