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Thread: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

  1. #1

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    shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    I have always shooting, since I bought my first digital camera, in JPEG format, but lately as other people told me, I sould shooting in RAW format, I have started to wonder, if there is truly a big difference between RAW and JPEG's photo's ?

    I mean I have taken just now a couple of photo's in RAW, but can not see a big difference, so please what other members think about RAW Vs JPEG ?

    Griddi......

  2. #2
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Griddi, there's a night, and day difference between the two.

    RAW images capture everything that was originally there when the shutter 'clicked', and is why the files are much larger than JPEG. JPEGs are compressed files, that have been 'chopped' down by what a computer chip thinks is appropriate. They have also had some colour enhancing, and sharpening done by that same computer chip. I personally don't want those liberties taken away from me.

    The second biggest advantage comes in post processing. If for example your white balance is off, or you've severely under/overexposed an image, remember that all of the original info of what the camera 'saw' is still there, and the images are much, much, much easier to repair. Not so with a JPEG.

    Lastly, you say you can't see a difference. You must view the images in some way that truly shows the RAW file without modification, like ACR or some other RAW processor, then, when you open a JPEG, and that RAW file side by each, you will see a noticeable difference. I hope that helps!?

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    groovesection's Avatar
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Shooting in RAW is a godsend, It means i (as a noob) can glean a shot from anything as long as the highlights are not blown.
    Wether this is a good or bad thing is a whole different matter, But i would suggest everyone shoots RAW if possible, it gives you the most flexibility and is the best way to store your shots (you can revert back to the default at anytime)

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    It's a source of never-ending debate

    As I see it, JPEG shooting isn't "bad" or necessarily "inferior" - but - a lot of information is discarded in their production. If you nail your exposures and white balance (or are reasonably close) then RAW probably won't give you any great advantages. I like to think of RAW as having a far greater safety margin - whether or not you need that safety margin "depends".

    Here's a good example - during a studio shoot I had the lighting set up so that the key lighting was to camera left. In one shot Kasey briefly chose a pose that would have best been lit with lighting to camera right - and as such I got a shot that was several shots under-exposed. Because I'd shot RAW though, I was able to recover the image without any problems. So we could say that this shot - which is one of my favourites - is "alive today" thanks to RAW

    shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    There was a time that working in RAW meant adding a lot of processing time to the workflow, but with modern PCs that's not really an issue anymore. So in real-world terms there are potential advantages and no real down-side - so why not?

    Works for me
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 17th November 2012 at 11:03 PM.

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    If you always take perfectly exposed photographs in even lighting conditions with no WB issues you can stick to high quality JPEG's and it will be difficult to tell the difference. Unfortunately people with an interest in photography also tend to be a bit more ambitious and take photographs in non-ideal lighting and because RAW files provide PP software with far more information than a JPEG does there is greater room for making adjustments and sometimes rescue from an incorrect exposure. N.Z. Harrier vs Duck RAW and PP vs Over exposure

    The main reason I use RAW is in the field I want to concentrate on subject selection, composition focus etc. I do not unless it is absolutely necessary want to play around with grey cards and WB issues that are easily adjusted later during PP with a RAW file. If you want the finest detail your camera can provide, smoothest possible colour gradients and best control over sharpening etc. you should probably be using RAW.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Most of the contributors here on CiC are firmly in the RAW camp. I'm one of the exceptions and find that for 95% of the work I do jpegs are more than adequate. I virtually always shoot RAW + jpeg, so the few times that I need to do some heavy lifting in post-production, I do have the base file to work with. This usually means either some tricky lighting situations where the camera's jpeg conversion has blown the highlights or in other cases where I've just blown the exposure and need the extra data that the RAW file contains to rescue the image.

    I'm also someone who rarely uses Adobe Camera RAW when editing RAW files; I do my colour temperature adjustments in Nikon ViewNX2 and export to Photoshop as a TIFF file for further editing.

    I suggest you look at the various options and see what works best for you. If you find that your own workflow / end use benefits from shooting RAW, go ahead and do so, but if it does not, use jpegs.

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Hi Griddi,

    This one is the "Second Civil War" after the "Canon vs Nikon". Is more about "working field" and both are tools.
    Where final output has to be "perfect", that tool with maximum possibilities is requred (raw)
    Where information has to reach media fast, and informational content is far more important, JPEG is fine.

    Somewhere, don't remember exactly where, one sport photographer said: "For Beijing Olimpics, we have a deadline for maximum two hours between event closing point and pictures to reach our agency. We shoot arround 2000 picures per hour... RAW is never an option"

    Hope it helps,
    Leo

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Just a wee warning:
    your first RAW conversions won't be all that good probably, and might make you wonder (even more) what's the use of RAW. It's something that will have to be learned, as there are a number of extra variables to play with (sharpening being an important one). Once you get the hang of it, you do get a lot of advantages using RAW.

  9. #9
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    I'm not sure this is a matter of being in one camp or another (people just seem to take sides because what they do is "best"). As an aside to this, the oft posed question, "what is the best _ _ _ _ _ _ I should get?" is pretty well meaningless. There is no such thing as a best anything - there is a large set of compromises, each of which fits a different set of circumstances - RAW vs JPEG is just another example of this.

    My feeling is that Leo has summed it up very well - use the format that suits the occasion or your needs.

    I'd be surprised if sports photographers used anything but JPEG because;

    1) They'd fill up cards too fast (not practical) - or more likely they're sending the image via wireless, and large RAW files would take too long to transmit, and

    2) RAW files would require developing which they don't have the time to do, and

    3) I doubt they lug around a high quality calibrated backlit LCD colour monitor.

    Glenn

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    I've recently changed to shooting RAW + JPEG. The JPEGs are fine for most purposes, but I'd hate to find the one REALLY good image is damaged - so that's the insurance policy part.

    If I'm going to use a tablet to show friends and family my photos, then the JPEGS would certainly do. However, if I want to make a decent sized print and hang it on the wall then I want it to be as good as I can make it. That's a second reason.

    However, if I only did RAW processing on those few shots, I don't think that I'd ever get the hang of it, so in practice I PP all my shots from RAW to try and get my skills up.

    I also enjoy it!

    Finally, even as a new LightRoom user, RAW processing is an absolute breeze (I mean in principle, not in my hands!).

  11. #11

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Thank you to all of you for your advise, and comments......

    I think I will see how it is going with shooting in RAW from now on, even shoot a couple again today, just to try it out, although I have only the " Olympus Viewer " software, which was in the box when I bought my Olympus E-M5 in May, I think I could see a bit more detail in the photo's I shoot RAW today, but for sure I will need sort of a learning curve, as there in the Olympus Viewer are words like " Aberation, Cromatic , Unsharp Mask etc. " all of these I do not have a clue what I have to do with this......

    So today I worked on these RAW photo's as good as I could, perhaps I should also to install a better software, because I found out, after taking some photo's with my other camera Fuji X100 in RAW, I could not develope these in the " Olympus Viewer " seems, that Olympus Viewer takes only Photo's from Olympus camera's ......

    In a way I was quite happy so far with my JPEG files, also as I never print my photo's, but on the other hand, if my photo's would come out better when shooting in RAW, then I would even more happy with RAW files.......

    Thank you all again for your advise,

    Griddi.......

  12. #12
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    I shoot raw plus jpg and almost invariably use the jpg. One thing many people do not seem to realise about jpg's is that they have lots of dynamic range buried in them especially in more recent cameras. Jpg's have always had compressed low lights and even canon now offer modes that also compress highlights. They do this as the low light aspect seems to be inherent in sensors to some extent and and to get more stops into the jpg. This compression can be processed into acceptable pictures. The effect of the compression is to reduce the tonal range of the light levels that are compressed. The end results after processing in real terms often wont be any different to what will be obtained by processing raw directly. Raw does generally offer more exposure latitude but as the amount of compression increases in the jpg's that advantage gets smaller and smaller and really most of the available dynamic range can be used from jpg by getting to know the camera and what it tends to do when an exposure reading is taken. Usually this will just mean exposing for acceptable highlights. Personally I don't like trying to draw out realistic cloud detail so may waste some of the compression in the highlights to avoid having to do it. Any dark areas can always be improved. How much depends on the camera. Similarly a small amount of clipping in a jpg's highlights is often completely unnoticeable. That method leaves the complete dynamic range available for processing.

    This area is getting worse as time goes on or better depending on how it's viewed. I recently read a review of a camera that can it seems automatically generate a camera curve to suit what ever dynamic range is in the shot. Gone are the days when highlights were always reproduced accurately and clipped rather abruptly and I feel many peoples view of jpg processing is coloured by that. Also lousy jpg compression that really did loose lots of detail. True there is generally more dynamic range available in raw but it isn't as much as it was.

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  13. #13
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    If you always take perfectly exposed photographs in even lighting conditions with no WB issues you can stick to high quality JPEG's and it will be difficult to tell the difference.
    I don't think so. When you select a camera style for the camera to use in processing the jpeg for you, you are setting a lot more than just WB. You are also selecting levels of sharpening, contrast, saturation, and color balance. If all of those parameters, in addition to WB, turn out to be what you want, the jpeg should be fine. Otherwise, less so.

    I shot jpeg when I first switched to digital because I mistakenly thought the additional processing of raw images would be hard to learn. I only wish I had switched to raw earlier.

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    I don't think so. When you select a camera style for the camera to use in processing the jpeg for you, you are setting a lot more than just WB. You are also selecting levels of sharpening, contrast, saturation, and color balance. If all of those parameters, in addition to WB, turn out to be what you want, the jpeg should be fine. Otherwise, less so.

    I shot jpeg when I first switched to digital because I mistakenly thought the additional processing of raw images would be hard to learn. I only wish I had switched to raw earlier.


    Setting any of wb, tone curve, vivid - natural etc, sharpening and contrast are all independent as far as I am aware.

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Setting any of wb, tone curve, vivid - natural etc, sharpening and contrast are all independent as far as I am aware
    WB is separate, but with the cameras I have used, the others are not, and all can come into play in the camera's creation of the jpeg file. For example, with a Canon DSLR, the camera's conversion to jpeg is controlled by the combination of WB and "picture style" selected before the image is captured. The latter sets sharpness, contrast, saturation, and "color tone." "Saturation" appears to be both saturation and hue/ color balance. E.g., for the "landscape" style, Canon describes "saturation" as "High green−blue". These parameters are all baked into the jpeg image. If you take the identical shot with several different picture styles, you will clearly see the difference. (If you shoot raw, you can also emulate this by cycling through the picture styles for one image.)

    In many cases, this may be fine. But if you want full control over all of these parameters after the image is captured, the only way to get it is by shooting raw.

  16. #16
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Hi Dan the particular aspect I was referring to seems to be called highlight tone priority on canon's. 650D at least. Cameras are increasingly adding this sot of thing under different names. You could see what I mean by looking at the dynamic range section of various cameras on dpreview site. The curves here show the dynamic range of jpg's - note the 0 - 255 on the vertical axis. In the case I just mentioned the dynamic range increases by about 1 stop due to the compression in the highlight area giving over 9 stops in total. There are more extreme cases than this. It's also interesting to note than canon have added some compression to the normal mode in the highlight area. There is a certain amount of stinking fish in this area though. If you look at the graphs for the 5D III you will see similar changes bought on by simply changing the iso rating and where they have shown the 950D in normal and HTP the iso values aren't the same. This is a more interesting example.

    shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Having sold some lathe parts even though I feel these are too expensive really I may buy one - The camera is much smaller than the parts I have sold. My wife is glad to see that they have gone. But I wonder what normal gradation is looking at that lot. However auto is showing about 11 stops in a jpg!

    The high key aspect of this sort of thing is the tone "density" in the output caused by less dynamic range being used over the same output colour space.

    -

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Quote Originally Posted by just me View Post
    so please what other members think about RAW Vs JPEG ?
    I use Canon DSLRs and capture "raw + JPEG (L)". There are uses for both files and it is easy to capture both - yet another great advantage of Digital Photography.

    WW

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Opinions on shooting in RAW or JPEG vary according to what the photographer wants to do with the image in PP. It is entirely up to you and your needs to determine what format the file has to be in.
    The capacity of the storage media in your camera and the size of your budget to afford larger capacity storage media will also determine what size files you can capture.
    If you are shooting in full Auto mode you will most probably not need to shoot RAW. Shooting in full Manual mode you would want to shoot in RAW. Mishaps can be rescued in RAW whilst a JPEG has very limited chance of full recovery if you make a mistake.

    Make your pick - neither is right nor wrong - it depends on your requirements.

  19. #19
    Letrow's Avatar
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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    We should probably bundle these threads about RAW/JPEG, as we keep repeating ourselves ever so slightly.

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    Re: shooting in RAW.....or not ? .....

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrow View Post
    We should probably bundle these threads about RAW/JPEG, as we keep repeating ourselves ever so slightly.
    I have added a couple of tags Peter

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