Is it better to shoot Raw or JPEG??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bellaPictures, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Ive been discussing this topic to my husband for a while now but im still not quite sure which is better

    Could anyone please help me out. Ive tried shooting both RAW and JPEG but dont know what the difference is

    Thanks so much:)
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I made the jump into RAW about a month ago. Talk about possibilities. It opens up a whole different aspect of photography

    If I understand it correctly, here are the differences

    JPEG: "Processed" inside the camera. Pretty much, the camera decides which information to 'throw', it will sharpen the image, add contrast, saturation etc. as it sees fit. Probably the best option if you want lots of photos from your card because they take up much less space, but doesn't give you full control of your images.

    RAW: Pretty much as it states, the "raw" image. The camera does nothing to it. Programs such as Photoshop offer programs to work with RAW, and it allows much more to be changed.

    It is sometimes surprising how different the same RAW and JPEG image turn out. They will be entirely different, because of the processing done in the camera. Currently i am shooting RAW + Jpeg, which is a pain to go through on the computer, but in the long run it is worth it, I believe.

    Really, it is a personal preference. If you have the program to edit RAW, I would continue shooting in it.

    Hopefully I got all my facts right. :S
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Peanuts put it well. I was upgraded to a Nikon D1H less than a week ago and started shooting raw for the first time. I am loving it and wonder how I lasted this long with out it. Truly resembles a digital negative. I work with Adobe CS and the programs make handling the file super easy. Look into how your programs handle the format. If you are having trouble editing the files let us know. There are a loads programs to accommodate raw.

    The trouble I see with the format is the size and time it takes to record. The size is what it is. So I just bought more cards. The D1H captures the image relatively fast in raw. My subjects rarely require speed. I can say that if I was shooting a soccer game then I would use jpg.
     
  4. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Wow,..so much information. Im pretty new to all the knowledge behind taking photos. I only bought my Nikon D70s a month ago and just been reading up about raw and jpeg photos.

    Im not good at editing that much at this stage as well so im not sure what programs are good for raw files. But it does take up alot of space, thats why ive been shooting jpeg

    I have done a little editing in photoshop but i dont seem to know exactly what to edit. I know my photos are not perfect, but sometimes when you know what to edit helps as well.

    At the moment my equipment includes Nikon D70s, 50mm 1.4 lens and 80-200mm 2.8 lens. Im hoping to get the 17-35mm 2.8 lens in a few weeks as well. Im still trying to get used to the camera.

    thanks for all your help
     
  5. lazarus219

    lazarus219 TPF Noob!

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    Maybe if you don't have a general experience with photoshop shooting jpeg until you understand the basic functions for altering images, just so you arent left with photos showing potential, but you arent sure how to edit it up to bring that shot out,

    There are plenty of good photo relaated tutorials on the net for photoshop
    Some functions to learn are:
    Levels
    Curves (relatively the same as levels, more confusing but also more functional)
    Sharpening
    Color Balance
    Black and white conversions,

    Other members will add to this list i believe, but thats a start for you,

    Raw is a better quality, and more controlled by the photographer, but also takes more time in post as these files are completely unedited,

    All files usually take a little editing to bring them out better, its a fact of digital- Jpeg will do alot of this for you, raw gives you the complete control that most people require as photographers
     
  6. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    yes i still need to learn about levels, curves, sharpening and colour balance....thats alot to know! But i will soon get there.

    please add some more to the list so i can start researching on it. At the moment im just using photoshop for B/W conversion, some filters and the just basically adjusting the brightness and contrast, and even doing is very basic.

    I would love to learn more about editing my pics or else raw files will do no good for me.

    thanks!
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    The digital darkroom is a whole other thread. Like a darkroom the process is a journey. Photoshop includes help which is useful. Experimenting and asking questions will provide the best knowledge.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I kind of think of it sort of like slide film and neg film. RAW is like neg film: it's going to need a fair amount of post processing before I can really use it, and it has more exposure latitude. JPEG is like slide film: it comes out of the camera pretty much ready to use, but if I don't nail the exposure it's going to be tougher to fix. Being a darkroom guy I like to fiddle with the image after the exposure so I shoot RAW.
     
  9. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Nice explanation matt!! That's exactly how I think of it, but I just couldn't put it into words like that.
     
  10. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    Deffinatly be prepared to spend as much time on the computer as you do behind the lens if your going to shoot in RAW. I love post-processing, so I jumped into RAW as soon as I bought my D70.
     
  11. bellaPictures

    bellaPictures TPF Noob!

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    Wow, i might have to switch to raw after hearing about this. The thing with me is that i get so impatient sometimes and just want to see the overall image without really doing a proper job on the editing.
    thanks for the input! much appreciated
     
  12. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    and make sure you have a good powerful computer that can handle the raw files. If your computer is struggling with the large JPEGs then stay away from RAW.
     

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