RAW vs. JPG

dostagamom

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I have been really enjoying my Nikon D40 and have taken some pretty good shots of my children. A very good friend of mine wants me to take some pictures of her children this weekend for Christmas Cards. I was wondering if it would be better to shoot in RAW or JPG? I have Adobe Photoshop Elements and will be doing a little post processing. She really likes the selective coloring thing (yea...I know there are some people who really do not like that at all) so I will be adjusting the levels a bit.
Thank you in advance for all of your help.
:D
 

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I have been really enjoying my Nikon D40 and have taken some pretty good shots of my children. A very good friend of mine wants me to take some pictures of her children this weekend for Christmas Cards. I was wondering if it would be better to shoot in RAW or JPG? I have Adobe Photoshop Elements and will be doing a little post processing. She really likes the selective coloring thing (yea...I know there are some people who really do not like that at all) so I will be adjusting the levels a bit.
Thank you in advance for all of your help.
:D

IMO, it is always better to shoot in RAW, that will give you the most options on post processing. I do not know anything about the Nikon D40 (being a Canon user myself). I know that with my Canon 30D I have the option to shoot RAW and JPEG at the same time; so each shot is 2 shots, one being a RAW file and one being a JPEG, I am not sure if you have that option.
 

Big Mike

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This has been asked many times before. RAW is superior to JPEG for many reasons, but it involves a little more post processing work. I'm not certain that Elements will open your RAW files...the older versions didn't. You may need to download the latest version of 'Adobe Camera RAW' for your version of Elements....or use the software that came with your camera to convert the RAW file into a TIFF or JPEG, then use Elements.


Article - Why RAW?

Pop Photo Article (click on the image for more info)

Understanding RAW
 

bullshark

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I say shoot raw. I have a d80 and as stated above it allows me to shoot raw and jpegs. Download CaptureNX to work with your raw photos though. It does a MUCH better job with RAW. RAW is great, it doubles your flexibility with editing and correcting botched/under/overexposed photos. You have complete control over white balance, exposure comp, color, light, noise, sharpness masking and everything else.. Really great..
 

Snyder

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I only shoot raw in very few circumstances, my supervisor alwas said "who do you think is the better photographer a person who shoots raw or a person who gets it right the first time using jpeg." But when your processing a 100+ photo time wise a jpeg is much better.
 

JerryPH

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Do a search on the net and on this board... you will find several conversastions on this and many reasons why to shoot only in RAW.
 

BAB

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I only shoot raw in very few circumstances, my supervisor alwas said "who do you think is the better photographer a person who shoots raw or a person who gets it right the first time using jpeg." But when your processing a 100+ photo time wise a jpeg is much better.

What a stupid comment. Yes, shooting in Jpeg requires the photographer to be spot on to get good images and shooting in RAW gives the photographer the flexibility to make corrections after the fact. But let's not forget the fact, that with Jpeg, there is compression involved. A good photographer shooting in RAW will still do everything possible to shoot spot on or get it right in the camera and minimize the post production work needed. Shooting in RAW is still the best way to work if the images are important to the photographer.
 

JerryPH

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I agree, that comment does tend to be a little arrogant and points to an obvious deficiency in the person's understanding of what RAW is and does.
 

Big Mike

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The point of using RAW is not to have a great leeway for mistakes (although that is a perk). The point is that you should use the best/highest format through your workflow, in order to get the best end product.

RAW processing can often add to the workflow...but there are tools and methods to speed things up...especially when dealing with a large number of files.
 

stubbsk

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Raw is way faster to process in bulk. I used to work in a studio and 100 raw files would open up in seconds compared to minutes for the same amount of jpegs. You can also apply pp to many images at the same time and export them all at the same time.

However I'm not sure how this all ties in with Elements.
 

Greatwhite

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I started to shoot RAW this past summer, and love it...no, not to 'cover my mistakes', after 30yrs of film, I am fairly competent in my photography.

What it does is let me see all the 'data' as in, no compression, has much, MUCH more data in the pixels, compared to .jpg...

Remember, each time you edit a .jpg, you lose some of the image...every crop, tweek, shift, etc...

I am enjoying my RAW....it is THAT good.
 
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dostagamom

dostagamom

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After converting it to the TIFF file can I save the image into a JPEG format after all post processing?
 

Big Mike

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After converting it to the TIFF file can I save the image into a JPEG format after all post processing?
Yes.
It's best to keep the image in a 'lossless' format like TIFF or PSD (photoshop) when you are working on it...especially if you are saving during the process.

Once you are done editing and you want to send the files for printing or put them on a disc for someone...you can easily save them as JPEG files.
 

Tayfun

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Shooting Raw will not only give flexibility to the photographer also you will have what your sensor saw. If you use Jpeg, your camera's processor works on the raw file and build the jpeg file for you. Here you must trust to your camera's capabilities. If you use raw file Photoshop or another program will convert the file to jpeg. Generally it is said that photoshop is more succesful than the cameras, so you will get sharper images.
 

soylentgreen

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I only shoot raw in very few circumstances, my supervisor alwas said "who do you think is the better photographer a person who shoots raw or a person who gets it right the first time using jpeg." But when your processing a 100+ photo time wise a jpeg is much better.

I may have had a Billy Madison moment. I just became dumber for having read that statement. Ask your supervisor if he knows the difference between RAW, TIFF and JPEGs. I rather have 14-16 bits of data to work with than say the 4 that JPEGS provide. I only shoot RAW and use minimal post-processing if any. JPEGs files are small and fast to work with for a reason. They are meant for web-publishing (a whopping 72dpi or less) or small print (4x6, 8x10, 11x14) Any more than that and you can see the degredation in image quality. You can always convert RAW to other formats, but not vice-versa. RAW files are in essence the digital "negatives" from which all post work can be done from.

An added note, I work with a fellow photographer that is in the NPS program (Nikon Professional Service) that only shoots JPEGs. Brags to me about it. Yadda, yadda, yadda my work still comes out good. Whatever. Until his photos were set up in a gallery against other NPS shooters and the disparity was glaring between image quality. What suffers most is tonal gradation and contrast. Contrast can be easily rectified in PS, but have fun with tonal gradation.
 

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