Raw Format

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kirkg, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. kirkg

    kirkg TPF Noob!

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    I have a D90 on the way and was looking at some SD cards and see that Raw images require more space in general. What exactly is a raw image and what are the benefits - when do you use it v. jpeg,etc?

    Comparisons RAW v. JPEG ???????

    Thanks,


    BTW - great site
     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Uh oh. Strap yourselves in, boys!

    hehe...

    You may want to search on this one, there are ENDLESS discussions on this topic.

    In short...

    JPEG: Camera makes interpretations on the scene based upon what it thinks is appropriate white balance and exposure, and then discards "unecessary" information giving you a compressed image. (JPEG is a lossy compression format) You can make adjustments on the image, but if the data simply isn't there, there is nothing to adjust.

    RAW: The camera makes NO interpretations and gives you a complete dump of what the sensor "saw" at the time of exposure. You then make adjustments for exposure and color balance in post-processing on your computer. RAW allows you some 2-4 stops of "error" in exposure without loss of image data, as well as pretty much full color range adjustment without loss.

    My personal recommendation is to shoot JPEG until the day you realize that a RAW image would have saved you from a critical error you made, and then start shooting raw for at least those kinds of situations, and possibly all situations. For a lot of people, JPEG works just fine pretty much forever. The more you learn about the craft, the more you realize that RAW is critical in a lot of situations.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    RAW images are [as close as you can get] to the actual image recorded by the camera's sensor. JPG images have extensive processing applied to them and they're of significantly lower quality than a RAW image. The downside is that RAW images need in-computer processing before they can be displayed. If you're shooting images for posting on the web, .jpg is fine, if you're shooting images for print, you're better off with RAW.


    Edit: Never mind... what Chris said!
     
  4. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Again? Can't you new fellows search this? This has been discussed ten thousand times. And for each discussion, each 20-page thread started about "Raw vs Jpeg", there are 3 threads started by people asking the same question but not bothering to actually look and see the other threads. Every time I see a post like this I have to shake my head and say to myself "Really?".

    For crying out loud, here are some links to previous discussions for you:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...oto-gallery/149158-why-wouldnt-i-use-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/145548-raw-vs-jpeg.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/138893-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ry/145683-raw-vs-jpeg-question-newb-dslr.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/144677-there-really-point-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/general-shop-talk/142251-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...orum-photo-gallery/141464-raw-mode-whats.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/141150-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...another-shooting-raw-vs-jpeg-thread-help.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/147535-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ery/150469-trying-learn-working-raw-help.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...orum-photo-gallery/65060-jpeg-vs-raw-nef.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...allery/153389-i-just-discovered-raw-mode.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/136926-raw-question.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ery/150640-quick-question-about-raw-jpeg.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...w-do-i-get-higher-resolution-out-my-pics.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/138893-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/138218-why-raw-so-great.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...photo-gallery/136367-really-confused-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-you-should-shooting-raw-story-wired-com.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/134237-why-shoot-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/132133-raw-first-time.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/133027-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/133027-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-photo-gallery/131888-another-raw-thread.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-photo-gallery/131730-question-about-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/131799-what-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...photo-gallery/131325-those-who-shoot-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/130524-raw-files.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/graphics-programs-photo-gallery/128975-raw-questions.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/128817-raw-vs-jpg-should-i-start-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/129875-bit-depth.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/127789-jpeg-image-quality.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/digital-discussion-q/129247-another-raw-jpeg-question.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...y/128878-ive-got-100-raw-photos-now-what.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...oto-gallery/127095-one-more-raw-question.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...ry/127492-nikon-d40-nef-vs-jpeg-settings.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/beyond-basics/124567-help-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/photography-beginners-forum-photo-gallery/124051-raw-images.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/122838-shooting-raw.html

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...-forum-photo-gallery/120588-raw-question.html

    This is a very small taste of what's been discussed already. A very small portion of it all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  5. kirkg

    kirkg TPF Noob!

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    I did search "raw" in threads and the first few pages did not reveal any helpful discussions. Yes, I could have gone back further, but thought I could get a quicker, more insightful answer by posting a question.

    Afterall, this is the beginners section and I would only expect those looking to help others respond to my post with some patience.

    Thanks for the warm welcome and the links anyway......
     
  6. ksmattfish

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

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    All digital cameras shoot raw. If the camera is set to jpeg the raw data is processed with in-camera software, and a jpeg image file is created. If the camera is set to raw the raw data is not processed. This allows processing using as much of the original capture/exposure data as possible with out-of-the-camera software. There are many options for out-of-the-camera software, and some of them are much more sophisticated than what is included in-camera. Whether this is an advantage or not depends on the photographer and the situation.

    I keep my cameras set on raw because I like processing with Adobe software much better than with the Canon software that came with/in my digital cameras. The added precision of Photoshop is an advantage to me in my situation. Another photographer in a different situation might find it unnecessarily complicated and time consuming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  8. 37fleetwood

    37fleetwood TPF Noob!

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    Maybe you shouldn't try to be so helpful, you're not too good at it :er:
    I do however appreciate your help in finding the links!
     
  9. ksmattfish

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

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    Has there really ever been more than a dozen or so different internet photo forum questions and posts anyway? Every single one of my 6800+ posts here fall under one of the following topics:

    Jpeg vs. Raw
    Nikon vs. Canon
    Leica is so cool
    Lomo is so cool
    Film vs. Digital
    Look at my photos
    What should I buy?
    technique/process/gear vs art
    off topic
    Ken Rockwell, Gary Fong, Ctein, Michael Reichmann, Joe Buissink, etc... is a nut/genius

    Heck, I couldn't even come up with 12. ;)

    EDIT #1: Maybe spam is #11

    EDIT #2: #12: "I'm shooting my first wedding tomorrow...."
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  10. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    You forgot 'What is HDR' :p
     
  11. kirkg

    kirkg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks fish - one of the best explanations I've read. I don't think I'll be doing any editing for some time, so jpeg should work for me.

    Mike - looks like a good link that I'll have to take a closer look at tonight.
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    And you forgot "I'm shooting a wedding in XX days, what should I do?"
     

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