Raw or Jpeg compression

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by highbred3d, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. highbred3d

    highbred3d TPF Noob!

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    What does everyone like to shoot in? raw or jpeg? I heard that Raw is great for prints that you really want alot of editing control over, or for lower lighting conditions, because you can more easily bring some midtones back? Is that true? Are there other advantages? Thanks!
     
  2. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I shoot mainly JPEG. Those 12 MP RAWs make my computer sputter and my computer is not even a year old... I have shot in RAW many times but I am all about exposing properly in camera and not relying on fixing it afterwards and maybe just need to do minor editing like dodge and burn, contrast or levels boost, and sharpen.

    I do LOVE the control of RAW since I like to tinker with them, but with the amount of photos I shoot per week, I just can't mess with it all the time... I'd love to though...
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    When you set the camera to output JPEG files, the camera has to apply settings to the image (white balance, sharpening etc.) and then it compresses the file, which basically throws out some of the information.

    RAW is all the image information...right out of the camera. The settings have not been permanently locked into the image. You can change the white balance, apply your own level of sharpening etc.

    I've found that RAW files have a lot more flexibility. If you get the exposure wrong, it's much easier to bring it back or to recover the image. I recently went on a trip and shot everything in RAW...I was glad I did, because there were a few shots that would have been garbage in JPEG format.

    When making prints, (or any other time) it makes sense to start with the best possible file.

    That being said, RAW files are big, they take up a lot of storage space. I sometimes shoot in JPEG mode because it gives me more shots on a card and it's quicker in the post process stage.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm
     
  4. highbred3d

    highbred3d TPF Noob!

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    Thanks both of you for the tips, I agree with you JodieO about setting exposure properly in the camera first and foremost, which is still something I need really learn, and how to take advantage of different lighting conditions. I do like to tinker however, and like Big Mike said, the idea of having the control there sounds nice too. Like anything else tho, I guess I should probably just practice setting exposure first, and get that down, before I go to the next step, delending on my needs!

    Does anyone know of any good, cheap plugins? I am still on PS7! So I don't have the cameraRaw built in like CS
     
  5. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    getting the exposure dead-on in camera is cool and something you should aspire to, but in the digital world, you'd be crazy not to shoot in RAW for all the reasons Mike outlined and more! wouldn't you want as much latitude possible for your desired result?
     
  6. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    It's true that RAW is awesome and has many advantages, but if your going to do a model shoot or something and you end up with 100's or even thousands of images, you might want to consder putting a bit more work in the beginning to get the exposuer right, because the workflow for 1000 RAW files would take you days.
     
  7. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    EXACTLY!!!!!!!:mrgreen:

    There is just no way I could shoot all RAW with what I do. And besides, when I work in my studio, I set my white balance, everything is manual - metered with my light meter, and the condition is basically sterile and correct, so the workflow is much quicker just shooting JPEG.

    I'm not saying don't shoot RAW - by all means, if I had 50 hours in each day and my computer didn't sputter on the 12 MP RAWs, I'd be shooting RAW all the time, but it just doesn't make sense for what I do to shoot RAW all the time... I'd be cutting into my profits big time because of the time involved...

    I shot an event recently and had probably around 300 images that I narrowed down to showing the customer 200. If I would have shot in RAW... OMG... my profit would have dwindled down to nothing. Another shoot I did recently was for an author of a book. We totaled around 150, and I had to do a quick edit of all 150, so she could see low res images and chose - TWO, yes TWO for her publisher - I edited those two nicely and sent the publisher the two high res files, but again, if I would have shot in RAW - the time involved... ugh!!

    I love to shoot in RAW and would prefer it, but it doesn't always make sense to do depending on what you are trying to get out of your work/business.

    By the way, I'm not sure what everyone shoots with but I have found my D2X is pretty dead on concerning white balance... I'm very impressed with it.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    That's the hard point with RAW files, the work flow. Although, there is a constant learning curve...people are figuring out better & faster ways all the time. You can automate a lot of the repetitive stuff and you don't have to necessarily edit every file. When you do find the image that you want to use...it's nice to have it in RAW.

    I actually shoot RAW+small JPEG...if I want to put some up on the web in a hurry...then edit the RAW files when I get a chance.

    Part of the argument against RAW includes...just get the exposure right the first time. I don't' have the time to edit hundreds or thousands of RAW files. What ever happened to getting the image right the first time...so you don't have to take 30 snaps of each pose or event?

    I've read of a high end portrait photographer who will only take one or two images for a session...she uses large format....huge pieces of film...like 8x10. However, she makes sure that everything else is 'perfect' before tripping the shutter.

    While this is an extreme example, film photographers still kind of hold to this idea...get not only the exposure right...but also the image (lighting, pose, moment etc.) Digital photography has let this ideal be thrown into the wind...it's easier to snap 300 images and hope that two are acceptable.

    I don't mean to stir the pot (not too much anyway ;) ) but I think it's funny that people (in general) say "get the exposure right, to save editing time" but will take 500 photos in an hour.
     
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  9. JonMikal

    JonMikal TPF Noob!

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    you need to also consider printing. with larger prints i would take a TIFF converted from RAW over a JPEG any day.
     
  10. Corry

    Corry Flirtacious and Bodacious Supporting Member

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    I'm a RAW convert myself...shoot nothing but RAW now. I like being able to adjust the finer details when I want to. Plus, I sometimes mess up the white balance, and this way I can fix it.
     
  11. JodieO

    JodieO TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I totally agree, get the picture right, but how often have you spent a two-hour session with an unruly 2-year-old who wants to do nothing but run from you or try to rip your camera out of your hand? Or how 'bout a brand new infant that as soon as you get "perfection" down, he/she grimaces just as you trip the shutter.... those poor little things, I always have to overshoot because you can't always anticipate the grimaces...

    I'm all for getting the exposure right in camera AND the photo right in camera, but again, it all comes down to your exact situation and what works better for you.

    Again, I fully support RAW as *THE BEST* way to go digital and cover all your bases, but again, you have to see what works best for you...

    Here are two 20x30s I had enlarged from JPEGs out of a D70. It's hard to see here, but the detail in them are INCREDIBLE - I'm talking sharp sharp sharp - they were straight out of camera with a slight increase in contrast (I found the D70 needed that a lot). You should see what comes out of the D2X JPEG - again, sure, I'm all for RAW, but again, different scenarios require different processes.... The event I speak of above was all toddlers! Yes, 300 JPEGs of toddlers running all over the place... ack! I think it is great to optimize your ability to do either - and make a judgement call on what is going to work best for your particular scenario. The thought of messing with RAW with a toddler shoot is just insane... but messing with RAW on a nice nature shoot - you better believe it! ;) but the funny thing is, I get much more money in my pocket shooting JPEG for the toddlers than I do shooting RAW for nature... yep! nuts, but people don't hesitate to drop a thousand or two on a couple hours of my time shooting toddlers (in JPEG at that)! lol! ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Big Mike

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

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    Good points

    I think it's great to hear things like this...Just like everything in life...there is more than one way to get things done. You've found a way to get the job done, that works for you.
     

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