thanks for chiming in! i like to chat with pros, and i hope to not make you lose your time
i peep at text on the picture until i see the classic JPEG artifacts. they are best visible around fonts as we all know.
* focus point: the letter E of nutella
* F/3.5 Shutter 1/45 ISO 400
* Manual mode and VR OFF
* camera firmly standing on countertop to minimize movements when i switch the pic saving settings
so in the example below i simply open each picture and zoom at 600% on the (U)d below the brand name:
then I crop the same portion in NEF, fine and basic (which are jpeg 98% and 75%) then stack them together as seen below:
The portion zoomed are resized with resize mode to preserver artifacts, and the result is saved as PNG to also preserve the artifacts.
As you can see, it's clear that NEF on d5300 is even more lossy than JPEG 75% - shocking
And this is just one example, we can see that everywhere on the picture, this has nothing to do with aperture or zoom or iso.
These are clearly lossy compression artifacts just like JPEG does, NEF does it similarly although i don't know the codec used.
NEF may be slightly smoother than JPEG 98% on plan areas, such as white surfaces, but overall this is really bad for the size in question:
* NEF = 18 MB
* jpeg 98% = 8.2 MB
* jpeg 75% = 1.7 MB
And finally, i did an export from NX studio into a JPEG 75% and the result is atrocious, as expected when you re-compress a lossy picture.
Worse, the size is 3.5MB > 1.7MB for the one produced by the camera, which is also expected.
This means in finale, that I can do nothing with my NEFs. Because when i export them to share them with friends or on my website, the result is grainy and look terrible. I have to apply all sorts of filters to smooth it and my time is more precious than anything.
Did I analyze this correctly?
Look, i know that these artifacts won't be visible when you don't zoom, let alone on a printout. It's just a question of principle.
if you pay $600 for a camera, you expect to have at least a mode that saves pictures LOSSLESS. Nikon does a good job of hiding this information that i found on stackexchange.
Which is the cheapest model in the chart below to get actual, lossless RAW files? I'm thinking of the d610
Template:Nikon DSLR cameras - Wikipedia