Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Reigate, Surrey, UK.
    Posts
    419
    Real Name
    Gary

    Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    I was reading an online article which was giving tips for taking sport/action photography. One of these was to use JPEG rather RAW as it could be written faster to the memory card. The issue that immediately comes to my mind is that it would restrict PP options. But, I guess that could be balanced out by you being able to get get more shots done? I am sure there are many other arguments. I would be interested to hear any thoughts.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    1

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    I shoot a lot of dirt bikes and other motor sport and I while I use raw when shooting other stuff I only shoot jpeg when doing the bikes, I was taught when we shot film to get it right in the camera before shooting and I still apply this to my action shots now.

  3. #3
    kris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Posts
    215
    Real Name
    Andrea

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Dear Gary,

    I think the correct way of addressing the problem is to reverse it. You should not think if it is better to shoot JPEG or RAW
    for an abstract sport/action photography, but rather for the sport/action shots I am going to take it is better JPEG or RAW.
    This also includes the PP time and use of your shots.

    I am not a professional but I frequently shot a lot of indoor sport. The main problems in this case are light and white balance. These can change dramatically from one shot to the other, so to have a correct exposition and WB requires a lot of work.
    Moreover I am not compelled to produce JPEG to sell quickly, so I can spend some time in PP. For this reason I usually shot in RAW, and if the speed is crucial I reduce the color bit depth to 12. In this way I can concentrate on trying to catch the
    good moment in the action.

    Probably for outdoor sport/action I would use a different approach, but I never tried.

    A pro may disagree with my way of taking pictures, but not only the budget may be different, but the goal is
    different.

    Bye
    Andrea

  4. #4
    Ady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cambridgeshire
    Posts
    179
    Real Name
    Adrian Asher

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Hi Gary,

    I once contributed to a similar discussion on another site and was roundly condemned because I suggested that there might be circumstances when one may consider shooting JPEG. So I'm a little reticent to suggest it again in public, but here goes!

    When shooting scenes that change very rapidly, such as fast moving sports, it can be very useful to shoot JPEG and use Tv, Av or even P rather than M.

    I have done quite a bit of motorsport and cycle photography, some of which has been on a very short deadline, i.e. delivering images at the end of the event. For these events shooting RAW+JPEG would be ideal as you'd have a set of images that can be used straight out of the camera and have the RAW to work on later. However this does tend to reduce continuous shooting to just a handful of frames, so I do often find myself switching to JPEG only in such scenarios purely for the higher number of frames in a single burst.

    For example, Canon state that the 7D will manage a burst of up to 15 RAW frames or 126 JPEG frames at up to 8fps. However I find that RAW shooting can be quite variable, delivering anywhere from 10-20 frames in a burst, RAW+JPEG it drops to about 6 frames but JPEG only it seems to be endless (using 90Mbps+ CF cards).

    If you generally shoot RAW don't forget to check over your camera settings for shooting JPEG. The first time I went out and shot JPEG only it completely slipped my mind to check the image settings because they are ignored by Lightroom if you shoot RAW, fortunately the out of the box settings were OK for the job in hand

    Having said all that Andrea makes some very good points regarding indoor shooting that I'd not considered being an outdoor sports shooter, so maybe you should stick to RAW, I guess it depends on the nature of the sport/venue.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Reigate, Surrey, UK.
    Posts
    419
    Real Name
    Gary

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Thanks Adrian, Andrea and 'Steel Horse' for your replies. I think that what you say makes a lot of sense. Choose a setting that is appropriate for a particular scenario. I currently use RAW and probably think it is the best option for me. But, so far I cannot see a reason why JPEG couldn't be used. It seems to make sense to be flexible and use the options that are available to you.

    Unfortunately, my camera doesn't shoot RAW+JPEG but that would be an ideal setup. I do use Lightroom for PP and that is pretty good at allowing you to process RAW files quickly.

    Cheers for now

    Gary
    Last edited by oldgreygary; 6th August 2012 at 05:52 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,713

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    As far as I can see, there is only one possible reason for shooting jpeg. When the shots have to be sent in, possibly by e mail etc, for urgent inclusion into a publication. Such as newspaper sports photographers.

    And as a personal preference, I'm never keen on shooting bursts anyway. Too often I shoot a series of poor compositions then miss the one perfect shot because the camera is processing all my previous junk.

    Now, I prefer to anticipate the action and shoot one, or two shots only for each scene.

  7. #7
    Glenn NK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    As far as I can see, there is only one possible reason for shooting jpeg. When the shots have to be sent in, possibly by e mail etc, for urgent inclusion into a publication. Such as newspaper sports photographers.

    And as a personal preference, I'm never keen on shooting bursts anyway. Too often I shoot a series of poor compositions then miss the one perfect shot because the camera is processing all my previous junk.

    Now, I prefer to anticipate the action and shoot one, or two shots only for each scene.
    A few years ago, a national BMX competition was held in our city.

    The guys shooting for a living (putting images up for sale during the meet), had to get their images up quickly, or no one would buy them. Essentially, after every race, there were images displayed at the photog's booths.

    I'm quite sure that they did not shoot RAW - or they would never have made a single sale.

    So, we need to differentiate between rapid shooting of multiple shots for sale minutes later, and what many of us do: go home and pore over our shots, and fiddle with each one for some time.

    As a strict amateur, I have no deadline, so I would shoot RAW only - the guy making a living will probably have to shoot JPEG - I think this is reality.

    Glenn
    Last edited by Glenn NK; 6th August 2012 at 10:24 PM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgreygary View Post
    I was reading an online article which was giving tips for taking sport/action photography. One of these was to use JPEG rather RAW as it could be written faster to the memory card. The issue that immediately comes to my mind is that it would restrict PP options. But, I guess that could be balanced out by you being able to get get more shots done? I am sure there are many other arguments. I would be interested to hear any thoughts.

    Cheers for now

    Gary
    JPEG is really only a "finished" format ... so if one can get an image to fly out of the camera that's pretty close to "finished" then it's fine (and in many cases that is in fact the case). In terms of writing image to the card, it depends on a number of things; my 1D X with a 1000x speed card can shoot 12 frames per second for about 70 frames before it stutters as the buffer fills - but it only takes a couple of seconds (literally) to finish writing everything to the card ... all RAW.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    A Pacific Island
    Posts
    925
    Real Name
    Andrew

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    I have to assume we are only considering processing and all the shots in either format are equally good in composition. I've been at a zillion soccer, baseball, motocross and hockey games and tournaments. I would say it depends on who the photos are for. If you are shooting for yourself and want to end up with the best possible shots then you shoot in raw and work on the data until you get exactly what you want. If you are at a hockey tournament, motocross race, whatever, where there is lots of action going on and you are selling photos to participants and their supporters then use jpeg. Stick it on aperture priority and shoot away. The biggest reason the purchasers won't know the difference nor do most even care. They are after shots to remember the event and they don't want to have to wait. A great shot of little Johnny scoring a goal or getting some air on a jump is what the moms and dads and participants are after. Just make sure the white balance is right for the facility and the uniform colours are right. At hockey tournaments in particular, photographers with assistants who have good quality on-site monitors and printers make some pretty good money.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    I've watched this discussion about formats for a good few years now and it never ceases to amaze me how folk allow others to sway their useage of the raw or jpeg format. It really doesn't matter if the result is to your liking.

    Take myself for instance: I shoot 70-80,000 images per year of nutters on cycles, road racing, time trialling and cyclo-x all on jpeg. Yes, the odd few fail on white balance or exposure. Chuck 'em away.

    I shot 600+ last Friday night of a show produced by Imperial College London MTSoc down in Devon, UK in jpeg. 567 have gone to their Director via email and will be on their website shortly. Don't worry about it! Shoot and enjoy!

    The image you didn't take is the image that won't sell. Know your camera and keep shooting. White balance can be corrected to a certain extent in jpeg so just get the exposure right and move on.

    The more images shot the better experience gained etc. Try average, evaluative, spot and partial metering to see what happens. Read the manual and fiddle with the controls. The more you shoot the better control you will have.

    Oh, Colin, you might have a Canon 1DX but I have two 1DMK4's with fast cards but I bet my jpegs beat yours handsdown ... :-)


  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Oh, Colin, you might have a Canon 1DX but I have two 1DMK4's with fast cards but I bet my jpegs beat yours handsdown ... :-)
    I'll bet they do too ... I'm a 100% RAW shooter

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Reigate, Surrey, UK.
    Posts
    419
    Real Name
    Gary

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Don't worry about it! Shoot and enjoy!

    The more images shot the better experience gained etc. Try average, evaluative, spot and partial metering to see what happens. Read the manual and fiddle with the controls. The more you shoot the better control you will have.

    Steve, I took these quotes out of your post as they sum up nicely for me how I should approach things.
    By the way I tried the link for your gallery site and the link didn't work('s' missing from the end?) .

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    468
    Real Name
    Larry Saideman

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    There are two major arguments for shooting jpegs with sports: 1. You get many more shots in a burst before filling the buffer; 2. Much faster to reach a deadline. If you frequently shoot in bursts or need to meet a deadline, jpegs are definitely the way to go. But, what if you do mostly single shots and have plenty of time? Plus, let's say you don't mind spending time on the computer adjusting all the sliders to maximize your shots. Then, shoot RAW. I shoot indoor ice skating action for my own benefit ultimately sharing pics with other parents and the athletes. I like to shoot single shots most of the time. I also tend to like to play with white balance after the fact since there is so much artificial light plus skin tones to think about. I shoot RAW. I find editing in Adobe Camera Raw gives me the best results. Personally, I do not like taking that many pictures. So, I rarely shoot continuously. My practice is the same even for outdoor soccer action.

  14. #14
    kris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Posts
    215
    Real Name
    Andrea

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by Brev00 View Post
    There are two major arguments for shooting jpegs with sports: 1. You get many more shots in a burst before filling the buffer; 2. Much faster to reach a deadline. If you frequently shoot in bursts or need to meet a deadline, jpegs are definitely the way to go. But, what if you do mostly single shots and have plenty of time? Plus, let's say you don't mind spending time on the computer adjusting all the sliders to maximize your shots. Then, shoot RAW. I shoot indoor ice skating action for my own benefit ultimately sharing pics with other parents and the athletes. I like to shoot single shots most of the time. I also tend to like to play with white balance after the fact since there is so much artificial light plus skin tones to think about. I shoot RAW. I find editing in Adobe Camera Raw gives me the best results. Personally, I do not like taking that many pictures. So, I rarely shoot continuously. My practice is the same even for outdoor soccer action.
    Dear Larry,

    I perfectly agree with your point. That's also my "style" of taking shoots.

    Just few comments. I think how you shoot, JPEG vs RAW, single vs burts etc., depends, not only on your deadlines, but on you. I personally prefer taking mainly single shots because I like the challenge of catching the right moment. This makes more fun to me than just holding my finger on the shutter button and let the camera taking a "film". Also sorting 600+ shoots of a single session is, for me, not much fun. Not to speak about the time its takes. But that's is "my way" of taking pictures.

    Steve has probably the fastest camera in the world, and he is completely satisfied with it because its fits his "style" of shooting. I am happy for him. The camera is just a tool, but it is you that take shoots. I bet that even with the best colour in the world not everybody can produce a Raffaello painting.

    Cheers
    Andrea

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by oldgreygary View Post
    Steve, I took these quotes out of your post as they sum up nicely for me how I should approach things.
    By the way I tried the link for your gallery site and the link didn't work('s' missing from the end?) .

    Cheers for now



    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for pointing out my signature link was incomplete. Now sorted.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I'll bet they do too ... I'm a 100% RAW shooter

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Just to add comment about shooting vast amounts of images in sport; it's necessary for instance to provide a gallery of images covering the whole of the field of riders if you want to sell anything.

    Imagine that there's 80 riders bearing down on you and you're crouched on the inside of the right-angle corner. So who's coming through first? No idea as you cannot see them approach in most cases due to hedgerows, fences, gates wall etc. So, pre-focus and set focus to manual, wait until you hear the grunts of the riders then press and hold shutter until all the field has passed. Result? 10 frames per second and about 8-10 seconds of riders coming through. Max 100 frames of arms, bums, legs and wheels. Good fun really and considering they often only have three laps of a 9-12 mile circuit you're only going to get three attempts at getting any rider.

    So, before they get to you there's a few calculations to make; depth of field, shutter speed, focal length of the zoom and exposure. As I mentioned in my previous post without shooting and making mistakes, learning is nearly impossible.

    The MK4 isn't the fastest - Colins 1DX at 12 fps is faster but then I'm happy with what I have and considering I might have 3-4 bodies on the course at any one event (on pocket wizard triggers) especially on cyclo-x the file numbers add up considerably after the event.

    Editing is a simple affair by loading into Canon DPP and star rating the ones I want to show I can reduce 750-1500 images down to 500 in a few minutes. Rename and batch process ready for web. Max time taken for this might be about 1 hour. Less for most events. You only need to see an image for about 3-4 sconds to see if it's worth showing to the world.

    Oh and the file size on my MK4's are set to M2 jpeg as that (according to Canon manual) relates to an 8mp sensor.

  18. #18
    kris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rome, Italy
    Posts
    215
    Real Name
    Andrea

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Dear Steve,

    mine was not a polemical answer. I shoot indoor gymnastic competitions, where things are much more predictable, so I can more or less figure out the good moment to press the shutter. So usually one shot suffices, sometime two or three. When there are pro taking images to be sold quickly during the competition, they are shooting JPEG, usually of reduced sensor size suitable for the final printed size. Besides they rarely use long burst, there is no need for these competitions. They use JPEG and reduced size because they have to produce, show and print the image quickly.
    That's fine, they have to sell. I do not. Our final results are often different, so is our final goal. To use the Andrew's words:

    "The biggest reason the purchasers won't know the difference nor do most even care. They are after shots to remember the event and they don't want to have to wait. A great shot of little Johnny scoring a goal or getting some air on a jump is what the moms and dads and participants are after. Just make sure the white balance is right for the facility and the uniform colours are right."

    I use Ligthroom or view NX2 so editing and sorting is a rather simple affair. However even if you reduce down to 500 images,
    it still takes times to me to look and appreciate 500 images. If you spend 5-6 sec./image you need almost one hour.
    Mine images are mainly for me, and my friends, not for selling on web.

    Stated that, I do not want to criticize your way of shooting, nor I am saying mine is better. I am just saying that our subjects/conditions, style and final goal are different and both of us are adapting the style of shooting to our needs and taste.


    Cheers
    Andrea

  19. #19
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,982
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I shot 600+ last Friday night
    Not sure that I press the shutter that many times in 6 months, never mind in one evening! But then I'm one of those boring people who stands around looking at a tree or a wall for an hour before pressing the shutter once or maybe, if I want to really live out on the edge, twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Editing is a simple affair by loading into Canon DPP and star rating the ones I want to show ....
    I agree and think this is DPP's great strength. It is perfect for that 'first-cut' editing job.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Jpeg vs Raw for sports/action

    Quote Originally Posted by kris View Post
    Dear Steve,


    Stated that, I do not want to criticize your way of shooting, nor I am saying mine is better. I am just saying that our subjects/conditions, style and final goal are different and both of us are adapting the style of shooting to our needs and taste.


    Cheers
    Andrea
    Andrea,

    No criticism taken as inplied or offence taken from your words. No worries.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •