So I tried raw today...

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by CMan, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    And I thought you might like to hear my thoughts on the matter. Lord knows everybody else has contributed their opinion.

    I shot some images in RAW+JPEG, and I noticed a few things comparing the two right away.

    1)The RAW image was much sharper straight out of the camera than the JPEG.
    2)The RAW image had considerably more noise than the JPEG.

    The JPEG's looked very soft straight out of the camera next to the RAW; but in five seconds, you could adjust the sharpness of the JPEG in Photoshop and be able to tell no difference in that area.

    You can't, however, get rid of noise, and the RAW seemed to have quite a bit of that. Being able to adjust the WB was a handy feature, but none of the pictures I took really benefited from having that option available.

    So, in conclusion, I believe I'll just keep on shooting JPEG. It is slightly softer before post processing, true, but there is just too much noise in the RAW files to make me a believer.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    It's probably something in your workflow. A RAW image shouldn't necessarily be more noisy just because it's a RAW. There should be an option in the RAW conversion software for noise...try that.
     
  3. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Raw doesn't cause noise. If anything, a raw image should have less noise because no compression has been applied to it, nor any sharpening. It is definitely something in your workflow. What software are you using to convert, and what settings? If it's coming out that much sharper, you have a default sharpening setting in your raw program that is bumping up the sharpness, and probably any noticeable noise as well.
     
  4. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    I'd heard someone talk about noise problems with RAW, so I thought that just might be the norm.

    Guess I was misinformed. I'm using the software that came with the XTI, Digital Photo Professional. I'll take a look here...
     
  5. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Evidently, the default is to set the sharpness at 3; so I decreased that to 0 and it helped quite a bit.

    The RAW still appears to be a little bit sharper, which is something I prefer.

    Thanks for your help; I think I might be more open to shooting with RAW now. It didn't take but a minute after I'd corrected the sharpness settings to start missing the tools available when I switched to editing a JPEG file. :)
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    I've always shot RAW...on and off...depending on how important the image were or what not...but since I started using a good RAW program...I haven't gone back to JPEG.

    Try RAW Shooter Essentials...it's a great program.
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I shoot RAW only. It allows me to think less about my camera when I shoot and more about my subject. I don't know about any other Nikon body, but I know that the D70 has 2 layers of AA. One is hardware, the other is software. The Jpeg gets the software AND hardware AA so they are blurred even more than they already would be through comrpession. With the NEF's, you have an option to do the software AA later, or just keep the rediculously sharp image. I've only applied the software AA to one NEF becuase of some really nasty moire that i got.
     
  8. ksmattfish

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

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    Raw is just showing you what your camera captures without much modification. Jpeg is the same, but image processing software built into the camera modifies the image before you see it. The noise was there in the jpeg too, but the in-camera noise reduction software took care of it. Raw will only produce better results if the combination of your post-processing skills and external editing software are at a higher level than the in-camera image processing software. It isn't surprising that your initial results are disappointing, but keep practicing and learning post-processing techniques, and eventually you probably will be able to do a better job than your camera.

    Then again, if you are happy shooting jpegs, there's nothing wrong with that. In my opinion it takes more skill with exposure to get a jpeg right than a raw file right. Raw files don't suffer much when under or over exposure by a stop or so is fixed in post-processing. I find I need to get jpegs exposed right within 1/2 a stop, or the image quality suffers with too much post-processing exposure manipulation.
     
  9. blueskyimages

    blueskyimages TPF Noob!

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    I agree with ksmattfish plus you have to know that shooting RAW expect way bigger files and a long times for post processing in your PC. I think it is only worth to shoot RAW if you are a pro photographer and want to sell your photos.
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    i just bought an 80gb Wolverine flashpac to add to my 4 x 1gb CF cards.
    it means i can shoot a lot more RAW now. On my 5D i can only get around 50 images per 1gb card so the flashpac is invaluable to me now.

    however i don't shoot exclusivelyt RAW - i always include a small jpeg so that in Windows on my pc, once the images are downloaded i can view thumbnails. Windows doesn't normally see RAW files to give a thumbnail view so the small jpeg gives that feature so i know which RAW image is which
     
  11. ksmattfish

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

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    I determine raw or jpeg this way...

    1) Do I need the files pretty much ready to go straight out of the camera?
    yes = jpeg, no = either

    2) Do I want to do post-processing work?
    yes = raw, no = jpeg

    3) Do I need more exposure latitude?
    yes = raw, no = either

    None of my decisions are based on raw vs. jpeg quality; once I go to print the differences are usually undetectable. It's all about whether I want to do the post-processing, or have the camera do most of it. I like post-processing (even family snaps), so I usually shoot raw.
     
  12. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Raw is a tough work flow for me. Generally I use it as a safety net. Comes in handy if the colour temp is tricky or I need a super high res image. With jpeg's I can keep my time in photoshop at a minimum. This allows for more shooting and printing. I think Matt said it best when he compared raw to negatives and jpeg's to transparencies.
     

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