RAW-NEF VS. JPG. some questions

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by random2, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. random2

    random2 TPF Noob!

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    I read aout Raw and how the pixels are one for one vs a jpg 1/16.. If I'm wrong then sorry.. anyways, I took some raw pics, I thought to edit the raw version then try to convert it to jpg later. Come to find out photoshop does not open a NEF file for editing. Is there a way around that? Also I have read that Raw pics are better for editing. TRUE or FALSE? Finally whats the big deal, why not just use jpg files?
     
  2. mostly sunny

    mostly sunny TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I just asked the same question.. Find my post.. Lots of good sound advice!
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Both RAW and JPEG map pixels directly. The resolution doesn't change between them. The rest of what you wrote is true though.

    Photoshop requires the Adobe CamerRAW plugin downloadable from the Adobe website for many versions of photoshop. If you have a very new camera you may need a very new ACR plugin which may mean you need the latest photoshop. Anyway try find the latest ACR that works for your version of photoshop and you will probably be all good.

    RAW pics are better for editing since the JPEG is only 8bit, whereas RAW has the bit-depth of the sensor. This extra data makes the image look no different, however it is very welcome if you start editing since it takes much of the estimation and guesswork out of image editing algorithms. Editing should always be done in the highest bitdepth possible.

    Ultimately that IS the big deal. You want to pull the best out of your camera then RAW is where it's at. With JPEG you're limited to what the camera manufacturer thinks your images should look like. With RAW you can customise everything about the conversion from the sensor to the image with far less quality loss, things such as white balance, colour profiles, tone curves, the works.

    Also don't be surprised if the Adobe CameraRAW files look different in tone and colour to the camera JPEGs. Each manufacturer has their own idea of what "accurate" colour is, and in Adobe's case the AdobeStandard profile tries to match all cameras to one generic looking state. Some people like it specifically for that reason, some people hate it. If you are after the same colour and tonal reproduction as your JPEGs then you can either play around with the RAW settings, or use the camera's software like Nikon CaptureNX.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Up until few months ago, I was JPGer 100%. Editing wasn't much of pain in the @$$ at least for what I needed and I was pretty happy. When switched to RAW, the major issue I had was processing, as Garbz mentioned. Finally, after trying few raw converters options, dxo, CaptureOne, Acdsee, capturenx, adobe camera raw, I'm very happy with Nikon's own Capture NX. I get what I see on LCD but better THOUGH it takes a bit more time to process raws then it took jpgs. The biggest difference I noticed is capture's raw converter puts out sharper/crispier IQ. It would also help if your monitor is calibrated when you're working with RAWs, but that's up to you :)
    Most colleagues, wedding photogs, of mine shoot only jpgs, send work to LAB and have the lab processed. Results are fine no complaints. For printing your basic 4x6, 8x10, 16x20, jpgs EVEN from 6megapix camera are more then enough (got 16x20 from my wedding which was shot with D70 - nice and sharp). Few others shoot raw+jpg and only play with raws if exposure is off. As you'll learn, every one has their own preference and there is no right or wrong way of working as long as you're happy with your results.

    Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  5. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    Shoot jpeg for your first year, don't even think about using raw. Learn how to use the camera and get good pictures.
    Now after a year consider going to raw, it is a big pain in the butt and you probably don't need it unless you are a professional and need the ability to save overexposed photos above what Lightroom can do with a jpeg.
    99 out of 100 people can't tell the difference between a finished jpeg photo and a finished raw photo.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let me get this straight, you're saying only use JPEG because it's a pain to use RAW, but then you're talking about Lightroom?

    The only difference between JPEG and RAW when using Lightroom is that the white balance slider is actually useful when shooting RAW. The files are treated the same way. Anyone who thinks RAWs are a pain needs to optimise their workflow, because quite frankly if it takes more effort to put a RAW file to print from your camera, then you're doing it wrong.

    I do agree though. Someone who first picks up a camera has many more things to worry about than their workflow :)
     
  7. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Garbz, I'll disagree with you (I think) on some aspects of LR... when I went RAW, processing took me forever b/c what I need was what I saw on LCD only better which is what I wanted/needed in my print. And unless I setup a profile in LR I wouldn't get that. For me, a Nikon guy, I found my remedy with Capture NX2 - it read the camera and gave me an output. More and More, I find how little, close to non, I need to adjust before converting it (my goal is to become Steve Sint like - 95% accuracy).
    I went raw b/c I was shooting a venue where I was forewarned that lighting will be weird and I wasn't allowed my room/strobe lights (just w/e I had on camera). My first processing of about 500 images took me probably 5mins per image. Luckily today, I got my speed back, under 45sec (not even) per well exposed image; LR was under 30seconds in JPGs.
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    RAW file + Lightroom is the bomb.

    I only shoot RAW and Lightroom does 95% of my editing. I do a few tweaks in CNX and finish any web stuff in Elements (soon to be CS4, if my son gets his student ID next year, since he screwed himself this past year.... :lmao:).
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is the battle of understanding I try to fight all the time with people who are thinking about switching to Lightroom. The defaults are different from the camera manufacturer, but they are also customisable. Dedicate 1 or 2 hours to setting up Lightroom and the workflow will be identical for JPEGs and RAWs. A lot of the people who switched to CaptureNX did so because of the results which I think is wrong, as the tools are just the means to an endless number of possible ends. People just don't have the patients to learn to setup the tool.

    Then even if you ultimately do like the JPEGs better there's always the option to shoot RAW+JPEG on every camera I have seen. I tell you if I ever see someone recommend shooting JPEG because of the size vs quality tradeoff against RAW, and then at the same time recommend someone get a 4GB card instead of an 8GB so they "lose less images when the card dies", I will hunt them down. :gun:
     
  10. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    New shooters should shoot Jpeg for every reason, there is NO reason they need to be shooting Raw.
    Every step of the process is slower and more complicated shooting raw, and the benefit is nonexistant for a new shooter, none.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I could not disagree more. With the right tools, it is a breeze.
     
  12. Shockey

    Shockey TPF Noob!

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    No worries Kundalini, that is why threads like this always end up being 12 pages long. Lots of people disagree.
     

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