To shoot RAW or not...?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Michael Humle, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Would it really make a difference to photograph in JPEG rather than RAW if I don't plan on doing much editing? I read a reviewer's comment regarding shooting RAW and then converting to JPEG, without any significant editing, during his testing. He claims the images were "not as soft...". He was reviewing the Olympus E-300, which I own.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    When you shoot in JPEG, you are basically tossing out a lot of information. It makes sense that to get the best output, you should start with the best possible source.

    This is an older article...but pretty informative.
    Why RAW?
     
  3. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    Just finished the article. Helped me a great deal, Thanks Big Mike!!!!
     
  4. AluminumStudios

    AluminumStudios TPF Noob!

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    Assuming you don't edit your photos, your camera's sharpening, contrast, saturation, etc., settings will be applied to the image and it will be saved by the JPG engine in your camera ... or you could shoot RAW then save it as JPG from some RAW processing software in which case the settings in that software will be applied to the image and it's JPG engine will save the JPG. Will the quality be different? If you look closely there may be a small difference, you'll have to check for yourself, but if you don't edit the difference may not be worth the time of the extra step.

    I personally always shoot raw so I have the option of editing once I get the photo on my computer screen and really see what it looks like.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I agree. Yes, the camera's software applies some of the same things that we would do...which would save us some time...but it's the choice that's important. If I want to apply just a pinch of sharpening...and a lot of saturation...I'd like to be able to do that myself with photoshop...rather than have the camera do it.
     
  6. LarryBoy

    LarryBoy TPF Noob!

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    Read the article and found it very informative. I got the impression that RAW isn't needed all the time. Does anyone here use highest quality Jpeg for portrait work or is RAW a must? Based on what I took form the article on RAW images, the biggest loss would be in the shadow areas. Often in portraits, the shadows don't hold a lot of detail. So I am wondering if RAW is needed. Also if anyone can suggest the best software for image editing - RAW or jpg. Thanks for your input.

    Larry

    Nikon D80 w/18-135 "kit" lens
     
  7. Michael Humle

    Michael Humle TPF Noob!

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    My ONLY concern about my images is clearity...I shoot knives for sales purposes exclusively. So, is RAW neccessary?
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    if you shoot and then check and have the possibility to shoot the same thing with different settings, then RAW often is not neccessary (thinking of the knifes here).

    If however you shoot something, and you might never ever get the chance to take that special shot again (could be the special smile of your model you just captured once only).. then you will love RAW as you can improve the image much more than as if you had only the JPEG. Especially RAW contains more information in the shadows od your image, so brightening them up is much easier than with jpeg.

    As for software, there is no absolute BEST .. it is again a question of what you feel most comfortable with.

    I personally use Bibble, which is available for Linux, Mac and Microsuck ..
    .. others might prefer Phase one, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, DxO, Breeze Browser (a fairly good one for canon), or whatever camera makers offer.


    Some of them have trial versions on the web.. try them and decide yourself.
     
  9. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    shooting what humble is i'd stick to jpg. since the photography is secondhand work for you shooting raw would just be introducing more to deal with. and your shooting everything studio, theres no guess work, and the final image is going on the web in small images, so no RAW is not necessary.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I shoot hundreds of product photos for the web every week. They are disposable photos - simple product shots. They have no value aside from showing a customer what a product looks like. I shoot them in the lowest res JPEG the camera can handle. Why? They move through Photoshop faster. Everything that is not disposable is shot RAW.
     
  11. droyz2000

    droyz2000 TPF Noob!

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    I think your best bet is to go and take a few pictures in JPEG format and then take the exact same pictures in RAW. You could then compare the pictures. If you can live with the loss of color and other information you could stick with JPEG. At first I thought I could live with JPEG but the colors were just not nice enough for me to stay with it.
     
  12. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    I've compared RAW and JPEG...there really isn't that much noticable difference to my eyes between a fine JPEG and RAW.
     

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