Shooting mode; RAW vs. jpeg

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by NM Rich, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. NM Rich

    NM Rich TPF Noob!

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    WOW, I was monkeying around with the shooting modes on my Nikon D40x. Shooting in the NEF RAW format vs. the jpeg mode sure makes a HUGE difference in file size! The RAW version was almost 11mb and the jpeg version was 2.3mb.

    Does anyone use the RAW mode when shooting and what would be the benefits to that?

    Thanks for any replies!

    Rich
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    This has been discussed ad nauseum. Do a search for varying opinions. In my case, I use RAW/NEF for intended masterpieces but I stick with jpg for snapshots of my grand-daughter.
     
  3. NM Rich

    NM Rich TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your reply!

    I'll explore the search function a little more...
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    There's really no right or wrong answer as far as what to shoot. A lot of it depends on your personal style, then it depends on how much you shoot, what you shoot, and how much post processing you like to do.
     
  5. Craddosk

    Craddosk TPF Noob!

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    If your JPEG is only 2.3mb, your shooting at pretty low quality. If your going to shoot Jpeg, shoot at Fine, Large quality. That way, if you crop, you'll still get good pictures.
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Maybe my reply to this other beginner to the hobby (see here - Post 35) may help you understand why it makes sense to always shoot RAW, no matter the file size...

    Yes I had to invest in a 4GB card when I (finally, took me a long while, too, mind you!!) started to shoot RAW, and I still only get about 450 photos out of that one (when my sister would get ten times as many with her shooting only jpg), but I think it is absolutely worth the while.

    Boy, it took me ages to change the wrong colouring in the photos of the company inauguration when it would have been one little change of settings in the RAW converter, if only at that time I had taken those photos as RAW files...
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The search tool is your friend.
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    That's a rather extreme example though. Yes if you're going to do extreme things then shoot RAW. Yes, if you're shooting an important event and cannot afford to make mistakes, shoot RAW. But for most normal photography and even post-processing JPEG is perfectly fine. It gives you plenty of leeway. You can push exposure by 2+ stops with little to no quality loss, and you can also adjust white balance similarly all while saving a ton of disk and memory card space and processing time.
     
  9. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    iv just bought another SD card for £6.49 thats like 10-12 dollers?....

    Shoot RAW all of the time is my advice. Its ok saying only shoot RAW when you need to.. but thats like having a better lens in your bag than the one your using and saying, only use the good one on special occasions... use it all the time and you will never regret missing an opportunity.
     
  10. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I've shot RAW and JPEG side by side, and have never been able to tell the difference except in the event of technique errors on my part such as blown highlights. I've tested my wife blindly on RAW vs JPEG shots asking her which one looked better after I had spent a good amount of time post-processing both, and the results were random. She couldn't tell. A NICE LENS however, she knows immediately. The sharpness, the contrast, the color, how it picks up every little detail (or flaw) on her face. :blushing: She can tell my nicer lenses from my junkier ones very easily. So I like to shoot with nicer lenses, but I still only shoot in JPEG. Nikon does have nice workable JPEG outputs though, so that's part of it.

    Anyways I'll now bow out. No time for RAW vs JPEG holy wars today.
     
  11. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'm not a pro. In addition to my intended masterpieces (for which I use RAW/NEF), I do take a lot of family snapshots that are just fine out of the camera, except for perhaps some cropping. It makes absolutely no sense to use RAW for the snapshots as the only impact is the requirement to convert each one to jpg for distribution to the family members.

    There is another down-side to RAW. In machine-gun mode (3 fps), I can shoot only six consecutive shots before I have to wait several seconds. The highest quality and size of jpg is only slightly better (eight shots) but the lower quality levels and sizes allow several hundred consecutive shots!

    The better lens doesn't result in any extra work for me.
     
  12. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Better lenses result in less work time for me since great lenses need little PP work. They're already sharp, crisp, clear, and colorful straight off the camera and I don't even really need to touch them. OK now I'm done. :)
     

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