Use Raw?


TPF Noob!
Sep 21, 2004
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I was wondering if its necessary to shoot and work with with raw images. Canon includes software with the camera to manipulate images in raw format. The jpg images look perfect to me, can I just use Photoshop to edit them, or is it a good idea to preserve the quality of the raw image?
If the jpg is just fine stick with it. Deppending on what Canon Camera you have. Some have a choice of Raw+JPG when you take a shot. Of course it takes more time and memory space on the card. But you would have you jpg for easy clean up. And RAW if you have a master piece on your hands. :)
It's not necessary to shoot with RAW. It is however much more advisable, especially if you plan to edit the image (and let's face it, when are you not going to do that?). I don't have a DSLR myself but I've seen people who do working with RAW and specialist conversion software (as opposed to standard Canon software) and the results were noticeably better than JPEGs from the same camera. My advice would be stick with jpeg for shots where preserving quality is not too important (i.e. purely functional photos e.g. for insurance) , or when you really need to work quicker, but otherwise use RAW.
People often refer to RAW as a digital negative. Storing photos in RAW you get it just how it came from the camera without any of the post processing the camera is doing before saving it in JPEG format.

Of course if it looks fine to you then that is what counts most, but as I learn more about both Photography and digital image processing I like knowing that I have the RAWs available to me.

The only time RAW has been an issue is if I am at someones house and want to offload some shots that I had just taken, but for that circumstance I can set my camera to take RAW and JPEG together. I still have the RAW pics available and I have the portable JPEGs for quick viewing and printing.
Work in raw. There will be a steep but short learning curve as you figure out which extra steps you will have to take. You will find that it is worth it.
yeah another RAW shooter here. After using my 20D for about 6 months on jpg i wasnt entirley happy. Shooting raw and editing it with adobe photoshop CS2 has made my DSL-R experience much better!
I shoot RAW, because I can have a lossless Tiff file.
For snapshots, I shoot large jpg files. For things that I know I'll want to frame, use for portfolio or that has dicey lighting, I shoot raw. The dynamic range of digital isn't that great so shooting in Raw can give you that little extra help when your lighting is mixed and harsh.
bigfatbadger said:
I don't shoot in RAW, because I don't like being chained to the computer editing them for ages afterwards.

hmmm. it shouldn't take that long I dont think. I can edit (correct color, contrast, brightness, etc.) and convert a RAW photo in under a minute...You don't have to edit every single one, just the keepers.

I always shoot RAW for portraits and my more 'serious' stuff. If I'm taking snapshots or shots that I know I won't need the latitude of RAW, I shoot JPEG.
Shoot jpeg if you want your images pretty much ready to go out of the camera. Shoot raw if you like the control afforded by post-processing.
You guys can see the difference between the raw and jpg image? Sorry Im a total newbie and the jpgs look great. You can visually see the difference or it's better for making adjustments to the image?
buckenmeyer said:
You guys can see the difference between the raw and jpg image? Sorry Im a total newbie and the jpgs look great. You can visually see the difference or it's better for making adjustments to the image?

I don't think there is a difference in quality except that the RAW image hasn't been processed in any by the camera prior to writing to memory card. You won't be able to print a larger image and get better results.
I very rarely use RAW because I think the jpegs are pretty good out of my camera - if i did use RAW I'd end up editing it to look almost like the jpeg straight from the cam - so I let the cam process it and save it. I can still edit afterwards but not to the same extent as I could with RAW.
I've had jpegs overexposed by 1 1/3 stops and managed to rescue it and print it at 30inches by 10inches.
What about RAW processing software?

A little of topic, but again another deciding factor when using RAW.

What do people recommend?

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