RAW? Huh what's that?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ArtByQJ, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. ArtByQJ

    ArtByQJ TPF Noob!

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    Hi

    What's this RAW thing I hear you all speaking of ? I shoot in JPEG with the L thingy on my camera. But I hear the people speaking of RAW. Do tell!


     
  2. robolepa

    robolepa TPF Noob!

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    Most digital cameras process and compress the pictures you take immediately after capturing the image. This can be helpful, as it keeps the file sizes low (using JPEG compression) and takes care of color correction, including white-balance, tint, and exposure, so you don't have to. However, some people, such as professional photographers, prefer to have more control over how each image is processed. Therefore, many high-end cameras have the ability to shoot in RAW mode. This mode does not compress the images at all and leaves them completely unprocessed.
    Because Camera RAW files are uncompressed, they take up more space than typical JPEG images. In fact, RAW files often require 2 to 3 times more space for each image captured. So, you'll want to have an extra-large memory card in your camera if you plan on shooting in RAW mode. But since RAW photos are not compressed, you maintain the full quality of each image. This can make a noticeable difference when printing images, especially for large prints.
    Camera RAW files are also unprocessed, meaning all the photo processing is done on the computer. It is like taking a film negative to a dark room to be developed. The RAW file is the negative and the computer serves as the dark room. With a RAW file, you have complete control over the temperature adjustments (for white-balance), tint, hue, and exposure. However, since Camera RAW files are not typical images, most image-viewing programs will not open them. Therefore, most camera companies include Camera RAW editing software with their high-end cameras. These programs allow you to open RAW files, do the necessary processing, and save them in common image formats such as bitmap, TIFF, and JPEG.
    While shooting in Camera RAW mode offers a lot of control over your photos, it takes additional software and extra time to open and edit each picture you take. For most casual photography, using the camera's built-in processing is the most suitable option.
     
  3. robolepa

    robolepa TPF Noob!

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    The previous post was from techterms.com.
     
  4. ArtByQJ

    ArtByQJ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I don't know what I'm editing :-/ . I do have the RAW software that came with the camera (Canon T2i). I have an 8GB memory card. I am thinking if I am doing RAW I should upgrade to 32. I'm normally shooting 800-1000 photos at a time.
     
  5. QuadTap

    QuadTap TPF Noob!

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    you will probably need 16gb or more to shoot that much... make sure you get a fast enough card usually class 6 or higher.

    youtube is your friend... Raw V's Jpeg - YouTube
     
  6. ArtByQJ

    ArtByQJ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Quad I'll check that out!
     
  7. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you're shooting up to 1000 shots in a single session, there's no way you're going to edit all that. Unless, your shutter button gets stuck and you're shootings bursts of shots of the same subject. Either way, shooting in RAW is part of a workflow where you intend to post-process the result to achieve some goal that you can't get in camera. So the flow would be: concept, then putting together the set (lights, props, background), taking the shots (vary focus, exposure, angle, etc), download to your PC/MAC and pick out the best candidates, then work on the post-processing to bring out the concept you had initially.

    Maybe I'm totally missing what you are trying to do with your photography...

    Edit: Had a look at your photos - they are very good for someone who just started. You've got some difficult lighting situations in the night series that you handled well. Raw would allow you to post-process the images to extract the maximum amount of detail and to compensate for some artifacts that your equipment adds to the image (I'm thinking anti-aliasing, some types of lens distortion). Raw also helps in making corrections such as white-balance, much easier to do in a non-destructive manner. It depends - if you are happy with the processing choices the camera makes for you (in making the jpeg), and you don[t intend to go back and edit the images, then you don't need RAW. If you say "Oh, there's detail that's almost blown out and there are chunks of image that are too dark", then you may be able to improve the images with post-processing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  8. jowensphoto

    jowensphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, I'm curious to know why you are shooting so many at one time too. Not saying that your incorrect in doing so, just wondering why.
     
  9. o hey tyler

    o hey tyler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you talking 800-1000 shots every time you take your camera out? Or every time you dump your memory card?

    800-1000 shots is unnecessary to take in a single shoot... Unless you're shooting a wedding or a long event.
     
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  10. Fred Berg

    Fred Berg Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    800 to 1,000 photos at a time is staggering. I sometimes shoot a roll of 35 mm X36 exposures in one go and find myself wondering afterwards if I gave each shot enough thought!
     
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  11. jowensphoto

    jowensphoto Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    And welcome, fellow Virginian!
     
  12. analog.universe

    analog.universe TPF Noob!

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    800-1000 every time sounds like a lot, but I can think of a few situations where I've hit that mark. Threw most of them out afterwards, but I knew that when I was taking them. If you're shooting moving subjects, and using high speed burst because you don't know when the best moment will be, it can happen.

    I've also shot 3,000 in an afternoon doing timelapse...

    All depends on what you do
     

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