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07/16/2006 05:16:53 PM · #1
I recently stumbled onto this site when I went searching for ways at taking better photographs. I noticed when reviewing the winners of the various challenges that most eveyone says they shoot raw, make their edits in photoshop then convert to jpeg. Why is that when most cameras will record in jpeg? I am sure this question has been asked before but there was too many posts for me to go through. I would appreciate any information. I really enjoy looking at everyones photographs and hope to become just as good as everyone else. Thank you.
07/16/2006 05:29:27 PM · #2
Try this paper.

Both RAW and JPG/TIFF camps have reasonable arguments, so it depends what you need vs. what the options give you. Personally, if I was in a hurry for web/paper publications then I would probably shoot JPG but as I am not I shoot RAW to get possibly better images and give me some wiggle room.

I would have a machine powerful enough to deal with the RAW conversion anyway (due to other stuff I do) but RAW files are certainly larger and come at a cost (more storage, cards, and some argue time).

Message edited by author 2006-07-16 17:31:45.
07/16/2006 05:29:37 PM · #3
It just gives you more freedom. For example, with RAW you don't need to worry at about white balance - you just set tune it in post-production. RAW also gives you more exposure latitude than is possible with JPEG. E.g. less chance of the sky being owerblown if you want to maintain detail in shadow areas. In addition the raw2jpeg converter in your camera may not be as sophicasted as the ones you can get for your computer (due to the massively more available processing power with your computer than your camera) - this helps to maintain the highest image quality possible. Many cameras also oversharpen the JPEG files which can look quite ugly - in particular if you are shooting in low light at high-ISO.
07/16/2006 05:36:24 PM · #4
Read THIS, this too and This.
07/16/2006 05:39:30 PM · #5
For me it makes the biggest difference in indoor shooting and evening/night shooting. White balance is a pain shooting indoor with a mix of flourescent, natural, and tungsten lighting.

When you shoot jpeg, your camera pretty much decides your basic settings (within your setting guidelines) - white balance, contrast, sharpness. The only thing you can do is tweak the end result. With RAW, you create the end result. The control over white balance, contrast and sharpness might make a difference between a good picture and a great picture.

Analogy - you can bake a cake with a betty crocker mix or you can make one from scratch. There is nothing wrong with the betty crocker cake and often that's all you need. Some people prefer the hands on of baking from scratch. They control how much of everything they put in for a cake made exactly how they want it. Close enough, yes?

Hope that helps...
07/16/2006 06:27:58 PM · #6
I am glad my camera lets me do both - at the same time.

I don't keep originals of absolutely every photo I take (*shock horror gasp*, I know), only of the ones that matter. For something special, I work with the RAW and keep an original.

For just a typical outing, I do this:

- shoot both RAW and jpg
- look through the jpg's to sort and delete
- work on the jpg keepers. At this point, I use the RAW files for all the ones that need extra help (e.g. due to white balance or exposure problems).
- keep the RAW of the best shots plus all the worked jpg's, then delete what's left.
- back up the keepers onto CD or DVD
07/16/2006 06:34:10 PM · #7
Originally posted by dahkota:

For me it makes the biggest difference in indoor shooting and evening/night shooting. White balance is a pain shooting indoor with a mix of flourescent, natural, and tungsten lighting.


...high contrasting type shoots if you don't have the right filter you have a + or - 3 stops leeway when editing into a HDR image.
07/16/2006 08:49:25 PM · #8
The bottom line is this: when you shoot jpg, you give your camera instructions on how you want the image rendered (white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc) and that's what you get. The "computer" in the camera does that basic post-processing for you. That becomes your "base" image, the one you have that you can work with in photoshop.

When you shoot RAW, the camera does NO post-processing; it delivers the raw data to you, and you use your own computer, not the camera's, to do the post-processing. It's substantially more flexible; it leaves you with many more options in the end.

For casual shooting in normal conditions (family snapshots, for example) it really doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference. But for serious work, it's good to keep your options open by having a RAW base file available to go back to.

Robt.
07/16/2006 09:27:54 PM · #9
At the moment I only shoot in jpeg, mainly because until recently quite a bit of the RAW software I looked at did not support files from my model of camera. Now though, I'm thinking I should try RAW, but I wonder how much extra time is spent is dialling in white balance, contrast etc etc in PP. So, what do you guys who shoot RAW think?

Q.
07/16/2006 09:30:20 PM · #10
A lot of time in RAW I'm only adjusting the tone curve. I hardly ever touch the white balance.

Adjusting white balance will depend on the shooting situation though. I shoot mostly in natural light so it's not a problem.
07/16/2006 10:48:08 PM · #11
I shoot RAW, but most of the time I batch convert to JPEG. Howeverm I do have freedom to fix things I might have missed if I were shooting JPG only.

That freedom in P is why I shoot RAW.
07/16/2006 10:58:47 PM · #12
Originally posted by Qiki:

At the moment I only shoot in jpeg, mainly because until recently quite a bit of the RAW software I looked at did not support files from my model of camera. Now though, I'm thinking I should try RAW, but I wonder how much extra time is spent is dialling in white balance, contrast etc etc in PP. So, what do you guys who shoot RAW think?

Q.


WB, Contrast, shadows, exposure, brights, in RAW. Depending on the image, anywhere from 3 seconds to 10 minutes as I play. Since they are done in RAW conversion, I don't have to do it again in PSCS. But, the RAW image stays the same so I can convert it a dozen ways, including overlays to increase dynamic range (as Bear mentioned). Fine tuning is done in PS. It doesn't take more time, it just takes different time. I rarely ever batch convert as I haven't had a need to.
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