Often, in news groups, the question arises: How much sharpness will I lose if I use one of the JPEG settings instead of the NEF (or RAW) settings on my D100?

In an effort to offer a tiny shred of evidence, I have taken four photos of the exact same scene with a D100 and Sigma 105 Macro lens using JPEG-Basic, JPEG-Normal, JPEG-Fine and in NEF (raw) mode. The scene used is an antique airmail label box, seen below.

The four test shots were all tripod mounted, using anti-shock turned "ON" (custom setting 24). They were shot with a shutter speed of 1/3 sec and an aperture of f/9. Manual focus was used and left unchanged for all shots.

The area outlined in white has been examined in detail by zooming in, 1600X, using Photoshop. No post-processing (sharpening, color corrections, etc.) has ben undertanken. Screen shots were taken of each of the four magnified samples.

The images speak for themselves and I leave the viewer to reach his/her own conclusions. Be sure to note the very subtle details in the cream colored area.

Using JPEG-Basic

Using JPEG-Normal

Using JPEG-Fine

Using NEF-Raw mode

Last Updated: April 19, 2003