Does Shooting in RAW Matter Given My Workflow?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JoeW, Dec 9, 2018.

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  1. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Let me explain: I'm not asking generally (or if for you) shooting in RAW is a good thing. I've always been an advocate of shooting in RAW (and I almost always do--except when I'm shooting stuff for my church and they don't want good photos, just snapshots they can use for sermons or church newsletters or the website--so how fast I can get them edits matters most).

    Any rate, what I am asking is this: I shot an event for my church (in jpeg) then a day later went to shoot some stuff on my own. I stupidly forgot to switch back to RAW (because it's usually a default setting for me). I was initially disgusted with myself--now I've got an SD card full of jpeg files--bah! But then I got to thinking.

    My usually workflow is: shoot in RAW, identify files I want to edit, import them to Affinity Photo, "Develop" the photo (which in AP means take the RAW file and make edits--which almost never involve any serious work on white balance--I try to get that right with the shot rather than post-production). I'm always doing some sharpening (b/c it's shot in a RAW format), some cropping to alter the composition a bit, some healing brush to eliminate a few distractions (damn power line and how the hell did that coke can get in the foreground), maybe some filter affects (adding grain or removing haze, etc.), usually a little with shadow or highlights, usually a little around color, occasionally playing with DoF settings, then exporting as a Jpeg.

    But I got to thinking--what editing am I doing that needs to be done in RAW? If I shot in jpeg I'd lost a lot of more sophisticated editing options and white balance stuff but I'm rarely doing that. And if I shot in jpeg, it would save the time of "Developing" (ie: reading the RAW file) and also having to sharpen every RAW file.

    Thoughts? I'd welcome advice. Because right now if because of my principles (RAW is best for everything I shoot) I'm significantly adding time to my workflow.


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One of the main benefits in my mind, of shooting in raw is the ease and accuracy with which you can adjust white balance. If that doesn't matter, it may not be a big deal for you. Why not shoot RAW+JPG; you can then discard whichever you don't need, and you don't have to worry about forgetting to adjust a setting.
     
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  3. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    If your ultimate aim is to sell images, then you should be shooting raw. Some clients will want to purchase a raw file, or request an edit to an image you took that needs the data depth raw files have.
     
  4. DarkShadow

    DarkShadow Birdographer Supporting Member

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    Shoot raw and jpeg easy solution pick one or the other done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  5. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Shoot both raw and jpeg, sorted.......
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Barring the white balance, which Tired already mentioned, a lot of the time you might not need all that a RAW file offers. Same as you often wont' need everything your photo editing software can do. If you shoot good and the light isn't too challenging then a lot of photos are fairly easy to edit using quite simple tools.

    But there's always potential. With a RAW you give yourself full potential for that time when the last great shot of the day is in difficult lighting or when you need to push and pull the shadows and bright areas more so than normal. If you always shoot in JPEG then you've got to remember to change into RAW before taking those kind of photo, which means you must both think of it in the moment and have time to make the change - which honestly you often won't as you also might not even realise you need a RAW until you get back to the computer.

    So many times its easier to leave teh camera in RAW and have the maximum potential.


    Many times I see people shooting in JPEG and they are pros is when they are shooting an event, like sports, and the photos are needed by editors/clients in that very moment. Ergo where there is no time at all for any proper editing, or the use is editorial and there are rules on what can and can't be done anyway. So in those conditions JPEG gives speed and, with a smaller size, faster transfer speeds (eg email or uploading to online servers/website).
     
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  7. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If jpeg gives you enough editing options for what you do, then shoot jpeg If not, then shoot raw. If you are conflicted about it, shoot both jpeg+raw.
     
  8. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for all the comments folks. I have 3 bodies: D600, D4, and D800. So 2 of them have different card slots (and thus require 2 different card readers). The SD card will go in to my laptop easily enough. But the CF and XQD cards each use different readers. So shooting RAW and Jpeg is more of a hassle for me (unless it's my D600--two SD slots).

    If the primary value of shooting in RAW is going to be white balance or managing extreme lighting situations, then most of my indoor shooting can be done Jpeg I think. Anyway, I'm still pondering this. Thanks for the input.
     
  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Shoot RAW+JPG to the same card.
     
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think it depends quite a bit on the type of photos being made. One time I shot an on-location, studio-flash-lighted session, and did the first hour or so in JPEG-only! Oh....I was upset with myself when I discovered that about halfway through the shoot. But you know what? I've been trying to get things right in-camera for years, and the SOOC JPEG images were quite good, and I had plenty of editing leeway. I had shot everything with what happened to be a good white balance setting, and exposures were pretty generous. Somehow, I had gotten the D3x slid off of RAW+JPEG to JPEG-only. But...it worked out okay.

    On the other hand, if you shoot in tricky lighting conditions, where you might need to lift the shadows up a lot, or monkey around a lot with the highlights, or if the white balance is critical and might need to be re-set quite substantially, a raw image is really so,so much better.

    As far as RAW+JPEG...I now have the D610 and the D800...the 610 has dual SD slots, the D800 shoots to SD and Compact Flash. Why shoot in raw?

    See this page, and click around a bit...pretty diverse bunch of "looks" that would be easily applied to a Nikon NEF file.

    Nikon Picture Control Editor
     
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  11. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ah...got it.
     
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  12. JoeU

    JoeU TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I'm interested in your ‘final’ decision here. One aspect of Raw format that I haven't seen mentioned here is that it has a very wide color gamut. I readily admit to being ancolor snob. But if you can make jpeg only work for you, that's awesome in terms of both time-saving and storage.
     
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