Shooting Raw as a Matter of Fact

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by benjikan, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. benjikan

    benjikan TPF Noob!

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    I would strongly suggest that all of you who have the capacity to shoot in RAW do so. The latitude potential for future requirements are such that you can always go back to the original files and tweak them using the newest software available, which in the future may be capable of extracting even more of the nuances that our software is capable of doing today. JPEG is like analogue tape. The more you open and adjust the more the degradation.

    Just a bit of advice that I feel is crucial for all of your future file manipulation.

    Ben
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely. I shoot RAW 99.9% of the time, I have to.

    JPEGs just have so much compression and so little information compared to a RAW file that to me, it makes no sense to shoot JPEG, unless I need the buffer cleared fast, which isn't all that often. I don't know about the pentax RAW files, but my NEF's from my Nikon are worlds crisper than any JPEG because of all the color enhancements, Noise reduction, and Anti-aliasing that hasn't been done. There are times when i've been working with short DOF and high ISO's, that there's no real sharp focus point when shooting JPEG. Shooting the exact same shot as a NEF, it's glaringly obvious. That's how much the JPEGs are blurred on Nikons!!!

    but even if they weren't blurred, I'd still shoot RAW for the sheer flexibility. When you shoot RAW, you don't have to think as much. You don't need to worry about WB, if the exposure is a little blown it's ok, you don't' have to worry about what color modes you're in, it's all good!

    Like i said before, the only advantage there is to JPEG is smaller files so you can clear your buffer faster and fit more pictures on your memory card(s).
     
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Since turning digital only the first test with the camera was jpeg, I've shot raw ever since without problem apart from a slower workflow, I now use a raw processing script to automate the initial workflow and it all works like a charm. H
     
  4. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    As a 99% JPEG-only shooter, I agree with your assessments of RAW (believe it or not!). You certainly have better opportunities to re-apply JPEG parameters like sharpness, WB, contrast, etc., without worrying about those things at the time of the shoot.

    Don't, however, fall into the "professionals only shoot RAW" mindset. It's the final results that matter, not the format you shoot. I only shoot JPEG for events due to file size limitations of RAW. I only get 40 images per CF card using RAW, but 120 using JPEG. And I'm perfectly satisfied with my JPEGs the camera makes due to my extensive testing and rigorous exposure methods.

    Also realize that RAW is not a format for the ages. Both Canon and Nikon have released newer versions of their raw processing software that will NOT work with older RAW formats. It's very possible that in the future you upgrade your RAW software and discover that older images you took cannot be processed! RAW, despite its advantages, is proprietary in format and apparently works for but a time with your software. It will benefit you that you ASK before you accept a software upgrade if the current NEF or CR2 files will continue to be available to you after the upgrade. For this reason you should process your RAW files ASAP and produce as good a JPEG as you can...JPEG is forever, RAW is not.
     
  5. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    You don't have to have file degradation when editing JPEG. I have completely lossless file editing with my JPEGs. The way to do it (for several good reasons) is to open your JPEG in your photo editor, and immediately convert it (by saving it) to a lossless format such as a .PSD file. Edit from then on as a .PSD file and you'll have no compression loss whatsoever. Only when you're done editing do you save it to a new file as a JPEG. This accomplishes another thing - it updates the thumbnail image of the JPEG to reflect the latest editing. You've undoubtedly discovered that the JPEG thumbnail is only "set" at file creation time, not each time you save it.

    I hope this clears the name of JPEGs as far as editing losses go.

     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Buy more CF cards. I've said it on this forum before, but.......Memory is cheap, but Memories are priceless.
     
  7. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    It's not a question of money. It's two factors...frequency of changing CF cards, and how many pictures you want to trust to a single card the size of a postage stamp. I will put no more than 100 or so images on one card because should that card get corrupted, damaged or lost I'm not out 1/2 my wedding images. I also need a goodly number of images per card because sure as shootin', just when I need to change another CF card something important is happening.

     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    What would you do with film then? 36 shots and then you gotta change, or even worse if you are shooting MF. 15, or even 10 shots then you gotta change! If you can only fit 40 raw images on a card, then why are you worried about putting more than 100 images on a card, and honestly, it takes far less time to change a CF card than it does to change film.
     
  9. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    JPEG is a lossy compression. Every time you save to it you lose information. There is no such thing as a JPEG without file degradation. Your edits may be lossless, in that the total information is unchanged in the PSD file,but the final image suffers from two passes through the JPEG converter. And your final results will include losses to your edits.

    Out of the same camera there is no way that you can blow up the image to anywhere close to the same size you could if you shot in RAW after two JPEG passes.

    Hence DNG.

    And Adobe's Camera Raw still works with just about anything you throw at it.

    Most people who shoot in RAW don't keep the files in RAW.

    My work flow is something like this:

    1. Shoot in RAW
    2. Move to RAW processing folder
    3. Rename files, apply metadata, sort/rate photos
    4. batch convert to DNG move to DNG processing folder
    5. Apply various raw format edits and effects (basic contrast, etc.)
    6. pick out only very best photos for further work in Photoshop batch everything else to TIFF
    6.5 photoshop the ones that will most benefit and convert to TIFF
    7. put everything in final resting place folder


    Sorry, that's just silly.

    Cards are solid state devices. They have very low variance around their MTBF. Track your usage and toss the cards before they get close to failure and you will never have any problems. Or, at least the chances of having a problem will be the same as the chances of having multiple cards fail at the same time.
     
  10. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    Film is dead and not a good comparison. I shoot close to 1,000 images per wedding and could not tolerate a card change, roll film change or processing costs for a roll every 36 photos or so. I'd have to adjust my shooting style (and my wedding albums style, too). I need to take advantage of digital's superior image capture capability, which means more photos than film would allow. The two media aren't comparable since I don't use film anymore.

     
  11. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    Not every camera shoots DNG, only Leicas do at this time. It's a coin toss whether or not a format OTHER than JPEG will prove viable. Remember others have tried and died (JPEG2000, Kodak's pix format, etc.). JPEG seems to be so well entrenched that I seriously doubt another format will supercede it. If you argue that DNG is an interim, editing and storage format, I'd argue that .PSD files do the same.

    As for RAW files making better or larger enlargements than JPEG, I have some flawless 20x30s to show you made from JPEGs. Regardless of the format, an 8MP camera only supplies less than 15% of the data necessary for a 20x30 print. Enlargement size and a good print has more to do with your printer's RIP than your camera's pixel count. Shooting RAW doesn't add a single pixel more to your image unless you interpolate. Your 8MP JPEG camera doesn't become a 10MP RAW camera.

    As for the JPEG processor being run twice, you're correct. My Canon does a fantastic job, sorry you're not satisfied with yours. The dedicated JPEG converter in my camera is OK with me, and the difference between it and RAW is negligable. If you want to adopt the issues and overhead with RAW for a 3% difference, go ahead.

    If you'll note my subsequent post, I think it foolish to trust, say, 250 images per CF card regardless of the MTBF. If the devices were so reliable we wouldn't need recovery software. It can be something as simple as accidental format/erasure; loss or corrosion. 40 images is too low for me (too much changing), and over 100 or so is too high (too much risk for such a small device). It's not silly, it's a good tradeoff for my shooting style...




     
  12. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    Why even argue about it? Ben stated a suggestion, and I can see debating the merits of the suggestion A BIT, but, as always when this subject is brought up, it is evolving into a religious war complete with dogma, superstition, and misdirection. JPG vs. Raw. Mac vs. PC. Cannon vs. Nikon. Who CARES if the other guy agrees with you or not?
     

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