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Thread: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

  1. #1
    Digital's Avatar
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    RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    In Lightoom I can make adjustments both to the RAW files, and JPEG files (with the exception of WB regarding JPEG).
    So my question is what advantage does RAW have over JPEG regarding the adjustments in Lightroom?
    Any feedback regarding this question will be greatly appreciated.

    Bruce

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    In Lightoom I can make adjustments both to the RAW files, and JPEG files (with the exception of WB regarding JPEG).
    So my question is what advantage does RAW have over JPEG regarding the adjustments in Lightroom?
    Any feedback regarding this question will be greatly appreciated.

    Bruce
    Bruce:

    A quote from Martin Evening's book on Lightroom:

    "A raw capture file contains the direct raw data as captured by the sensor, without any pre-image processing applied to it. This is the major advantage of raw: when you shoot using raw mode, apart from the exposure and ISO setting, nothing else about the image processing will have been decided yet. A raw file is really like a digital negative that has yet to be processed, and as such it's a master file with the potential to be edited in many different ways.

    When you process a raw file, you potentially have more tone information to play with and therefore more flexibility when making tone and colour adjustments in the Develop module (than one does with JPEG files)."


    Who is Martin Evening?

    http://www.martinevening.com/

    http://www.focalpress.com/page/authors_martin_evening/

    http://www.dpreview.com/articles/225...htroom-catalog

    I have all the books he has published on LR (four I think).

    Of course, you have already pointed out a major advantage of raw in your post. I never decide on WB until I process my RAW files - and the WB is adjusted to what I feel the image will look best with (I have a calibrated monitor).

    Glenn

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    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Glenn, I appreciate your response. Bruce

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    In Lightoom I can make adjustments both to the RAW files, and JPEG files (with the exception of WB regarding JPEG).
    So my question is what advantage does RAW have over JPEG regarding the adjustments in Lightroom?
    Any feedback regarding this question will be greatly appreciated.


    Bruce
    The difference isn't so much in the process but in the starting point. The RAW file will contain a lot more data than your equivalent jpeg (usually about 80% more). As long as the processing is non destructive as it is in LR the difference will be in clarity, colour rendition, tonal values and detail. You may not notice this on a monitor but you will notice it when you start printing.
    It doesn't mean you should always shoot in RAW, it just means you need to be aware of the difference when you shoot and decide if it is really going to matter to the end result. If you're just going to send a shot to your mum because she hasn't seen you for a while, then your mum will excuse you if its a bit undernourished (but not you). If you're going to send a shot off to the printers for a comp or publishing you better shoot in RAW to get the best possible results.

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    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by tomdinning View Post
    The difference isn't so much in the process but in the starting point. The RAW file will contain a lot more data than your equivalent jpeg (usually about 80% more). As long as the processing is non destructive as it is in LR the difference will be in clarity, colour rendition, tonal values and detail. You may not notice this on a monitor but you will notice it when you start printing.
    It doesn't mean you should always shoot in RAW, it just means you need to be aware of the difference when you shoot and decide if it is really going to matter to the end result. If you're just going to send a shot to your mum because she hasn't seen you for a while, then your mum will excuse you if its a bit undernourished (but not you). If you're going to send a shot off to the printers for a comp or publishing you better shoot in RAW to get the best possible results.
    Thank you Tom for your comments. Bruce

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    I humbly suggest that the difference is actually in the end point.

    One can get more out of a RAW file than from a JPEG file.

    Glenn

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Actually, I find post processing in Adobe Camera Raw easier than using JPEG, Actually, whenever possible, I will open a JPEG image in Camera RAW. I don't shoot in JPEG but, need to adjust many images which are sent to me by our foster parents all over the USA.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    There is a theoretical and practical advantage to shooting RAW because of the adjustments that you can make in PP. The upsides are well documented.

    That being said, 95% of my work is done in jpeg because I do get things right in camera most of the time and the images are more than adequate for posting on a webpage. Often all I will do is some minor cropping. The other 5% of the time, I will go back and tweak the RAW image (I shoot jpeg + RAW almost all the time); and that is generally only when I have either blown the exposure or white balance or I am planning to print the image.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Good day everybody:
    What advantage does RAW has over jpeg in printing? does it have better contrast, better color, sharper or what exactly.
    thank you in advance for the answer.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by mahfoudhhi View Post
    Good day everybody:
    What advantage does RAW has over jpeg in printing? does it have better contrast, better color, sharper or what exactly.
    thank you in advance for the answer.
    All these terms are related with personal tastes ...
    There is no rule on the stone about which one is better for a specific photograph.

    Raw means cooking the food in the kitchen by yourself, JPEG means putting some spices on the food already cooked by your camera. If you're in the kitchen, you have a lot of choices when deciding how to cook the food from the beginning of the process and you have more limits ... but with JPEGs your boundaries are more tight. Yes, you may add spices on it, but not so much ...

    If you only take some family shots from a holiday, the difference is not so important ... but, as we all know, photography is mostly about personal interpretation of the message a photograph can have ... and you have more room for your personal interpretation with raws ... now and in the future.
    Last edited by AltayHan; 26th February 2013 at 08:06 PM.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    raw and jpeg printing
    Hello Hafedh.

    The short answer, I expect you'll get longer ones, is that you can't print RAW. Some applications, such as Lightroom, allow you to print a RAW image, but the software has to produce a printable image first. The difference is the manipulation you can apply to a RAW image before printing the result.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    I cannot for the life of me understand the fetish about shooting JPEG. RAW files are just as quick and easier to work with. Unless you want to print directly from the camera which I would never even think about doing. RAW is no more expensive and no more difficult to use and a good camera will allow a very decent burst of high speed shooting when using RAW...

    However, I will imagine that along with questions like:

    Do I need a protective filter on my lens?
    Is Canon "L" glass worth the money or can I make do with cheaper lenses?
    Do I need Image Stabilization in a short focal length lens or for sports?
    What lenses do I need for a visit to xxxx?

    and

    I shot JPEG with the wrong white balance, what can I do?

    ...the RAW vs JPEG argument/questions will keep appearing over and over again. And the answers are always the same.

    JPEG is very good but, RAW is better!

    ...and the rebuttal is always, I am careful and get my images properly exposed in the camera, so I don't need to shoot RAW...

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I cannot for the life of me understand the fetish about shooting JPEG. RAW files are just as quick and easier to work with. Unless you want to print directly from the camera which I would never even think about doing. RAW is no more expensive and no more difficult to use and a good camera will allow a very decent burst of high speed shooting when using RAW...

    However, I will imagine that along with questions like:

    Do I need a protective filter on my lens?
    Is Canon "L" glass worth the money or can I make do with cheaper lenses?
    Do I need Image Stabilization in a short focal length lens or for sports?
    What lenses do I need for a visit to xxxx?

    and

    I shot JPEG with the wrong white balance, what can I do?

    ...the RAW vs JPEG argument/questions will keep appearing over and over again. And the answers are always the same.

    JPEG is very good but, RAW is better!

    ...and the rebuttal is always, I am careful and get my images properly exposed in the camera, so I don't need to shoot RAW...

    Richard, after researching and giving a presentation on the advantages of RAW all I can say to your comments is "AMEN". Bruce

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    I'm a simple kinda guy and to my way of simple thinking, taking pictures in RAW is like doing math with a pencil. You can go back and change and adjust things as needed if things are not just right. Shooting pictures in JPEG is like doing math in pen. You better get it mostly right the first time because your ability to adjust things is limited.

    Dr Bob

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Thank you everyone for the excellent answers.
    I appreciate it.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by davidedric View Post
    Hello Hafedh.

    The short answer, I expect you'll get longer ones, is that you can't print RAW. Some applications, such as Lightroom, allow you to print a RAW image, but the software has to produce a printable image first. The difference is the manipulation you can apply to a RAW image before printing the result.
    Thank you very much Dave.

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Another advantage to RAW in LR4: you can customize your default settings (camera profile, lens correction, etc) so that your preferred settings can be applied to every RAW image in the future.

    If you select 1:1 Render Previews, Lightroom will save each RAW photo in Camera Raw cache. You won't have to do it later.

    These ideas come from "Boosting Lightroom Efficiency" section in Photoshop Magazine, March 2013, pp. 70-71

    But, if you really must shoot JPEGS here is a way to get around the White Balance issue in Lightroom.
    Take a RAW image and set the WB to Daylight, don't do anything else. Save just that change as a preset and name it White Balance Daylight. Do that for each of the WB presets, Cloudy, Flash, etc. Now you will have the one-click White Balance presets you always wanted with jpegs!

    See Lightroom 4, by Scott Kelby. p. 206

    Maybe someday I will see a thread entitled, "Why should I shoot JPEGS?" And, hey Dr. Bob, I never would have graduated from high school if I would have had to do math problems with a pen!

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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bob View Post
    I'm a simple kinda guy and to my way of simple thinking, taking pictures in RAW is like doing math with a pencil. You can go back and change and adjust things as needed if things are not just right. Shooting pictures in JPEG is like doing math in pen. You better get it mostly right the first time because your ability to adjust things is limited.

    Dr Bob
    Dr. Bob...

    A good analogy. But IMO this is a better analogy.
    Shooting RAW is like doing a newspaper crossword puzzle in pencil...
    Shooting JPEG is like doing a newspaper crossword puzzle in a broad tip magic marker. It "can" be done but it sure is not the most efficient way to work!


    A PHOTO FAIRY TALE....
    Canikon has come out with a new totally automatic camera. When you point this new camera (which they are calling the JEPEGGER) at a scene, it decides how compose your subject, based on some quite complicated algorithms. I know that this would be a blessing to some camera clickers, but most photographers would rather retain control over their image...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 27th February 2013 at 04:24 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    A good analogy. But IMO this is a better analogy.
    Shooting RAW is like doing a newspaper crossword puzzle in pencil...
    Shooting JPEG is like doing a newspaper crossword puzzle in a broad tip magic marker.
    I do my crosswords in ink, but I photograph in RAW. That's because crosswords have a right answer, but photography doesn't. I think.



    Dave

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: RAW vs. JPEG in Lightroom

    A great analogy - pencil smears and can be messy to work with and your work can look terrible after you've erased it an number of times. A good (non-ball-point) pen will lay down a nice, solid line that won't smear, and while you may not always like the result, it is there quite permanently and can quite clearly demonstrate how good or bad your technique really is...

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