D300: Raw vs JPEG?


TPF Noob!
Jan 9, 2005
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I'm immensely enjoying my D300, which I find much more intuitive than my beloved D70, but there's probably even more to learn about the D300 than there was with the D70.

My more immediate question concerns the advantages of shooting in "raw" mode as opposed to JPEG (which I normally do).

I understand that raw is the "native" resolution of the sensor (please correct me if I'm mistaken) and that I'll have more opportunity to "retouch" an image (also, something I really don't do) but ultimately I'm creating a JPEG image for printing (I usually send out for this).

So. Plainly: Am I "losing" picture quality by shooting in the highest JPEG format?
Am I "losing" picture quality by shooting in the highest JPEG format?
Yes, JPG is compressed and you can learn to see this compression. Having once shot a very lucky picture in JPG, I now always shoot RAW. With a couple of 2 gig cards it is not a problem. JPG is still fine for many uses.

EDIT: I also like some of the processing options exclusive to RAW. Let the opinions fly!

Apparently many people on this forum live and die by RAW. They will also hate me for Ken's links, but IMHO they explain the issue in thorough detail with proper analysis and justifications.

Personally i shoot 99% in normal JPG. Here is why (i actually retested it on my camera and came to same conclusions):

When I do my PJ work I only shoot jpeg fine because all my photo must be ready for ftp upload to the internet to send to different news medias. THough I do agree with Kenrockwell statements also.
I see JPG and RAW as two tools in the same toolbox. One is more convenient the other more control.

A studio fashion photographer that is interested in absolute control over the final image will be best served by RAW. A journalist that must get the images out to clients in a quick ready to go fasion will most likely shoot JPG.

I personally shoot 75% RAW and 25% JPG depending... if I'm just snapshooting friends and family etc... JPG. Otherwise RAW.

I've read that site...

* Memory is cheap... read/write times are fast. I'm used to film so even the smallest of cards still hold more than 24/36 shots.
* I personally have seen examples of big differences in the final outcome of images shot with RAW and JPG. There is a lot more control.... If your workflow takes you to the same results as shooting JPG to begin with, then your workflow is not leveraging the advantages of the RAW file and you should be shooting JPG to anyways.
* He makes it sound like the RAW workflow is a big hassle. I can process 100s of photos in one shot using Capture 1 LE if you know the proper techniques.
* Data lost from JPG processing can never be retrieved.
* RAW file format was never intended to be a universal format to be sent to a client. Treat it as an unfinished intermediate image. I don't know anyone who archives in RAW.. Usually TIFF but definitely not in JPG (unless it is just snapshots).
Well Uncle Ken is always heavily opinonated isnt he? I like to read his page for alot of laughs. He makes RAW sound like Satan himself. Like Usayit says it depends on what you are shooting. If you are shooting something important you can always use RAW+Jpeg. For a fun night out or, just a family gathering I shoot Jpeg fine. And I love how he makes the statement RAWs will rot. :lol:
lol :mrgreen:
What program do y'all use to process RAW images?
Even when I had little to no experience, I did not see KR's words as gospel. He often likes to state his opinions as fact, and that always makes me chuckle. Anything, and I do mean anything, I read from him I take with a HUGE grain of salt.

What program do y'all use to process RAW images?

Photoshop CS3.
My camera has a raw+ mode, so I can shoot in Raw and JPEG, however I don't think its anygood for multi shooting. I dont' have enough information to prove whether Raw is better than JPEG, I like to take both, then I get home and its quicker to mess around and edit the photos, and find what you like. If you really really like an image, then you can use the Raw image.

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