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RAW vs jpeg

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #1620
    JoeBagadonutz
    Participant

    Could someone tell me what the advantages are to shooting in RAW mode. I have Photoshop 7, but I don’t know half of what it does.

    #23073
    millera9
    Participant

    Here’s a pretty good description of the pros and cons of each file type:
    http://digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg

    I shoot everything in RAW (Canon 40D, processed with Apple Aperture 2.0 software). It’s a pain in the ass because it takes up huge amounts of space, but at the same time I am able to improve the shots that I already like. In other words, shooting RAW gives you more opportunities to perfect the image once you have it on your computer, but at the cost of a huge hard-drive and some very powerful software.

    #23074
    Choc-Ful-A
    Participant

    Here’s a pretty good description of the pros and cons of each file type:
    http://digital-photography-school.com/raw-vs-jpeg

    I shoot everything in RAW (Canon 40D, processed with Apple Aperture 2.0 software). It’s a pain in the ass because it takes up huge amounts of space, but at the same time I am able to improve the shots that I already like. In other words, shooting RAW gives you more opportunities to perfect the image once you have it on your computer, but at the cost of a huge hard-drive and some very powerful software.

    I shoot in RAW mode too and agree with the above. Except I’ll add that disk is pretty cheap these days. Also I just batch convert whatever I pull off the camera to 16-bit PNG’s using “ufraw” and GIMP them from there. So I have the RAW files to go back to if I want to, but general just work from the PNG’s. So the overhead is a one-time task of converting the RAW files when I load them to the computer.

    I’m using Linux but I think you can batch convert with “ufraw” on Windows too. It’s free and converts just about any RAW format you’ll get off your camera unless it’s some really obscure/exotic maker.

    #23075
    olavf
    Participant

    That’s a pretty comprehensive article, and sums up why I generally shoot RAW too.

    Some additional notes they didn’t mention (for Windows – haven’t changed the laptop over to linux yet).

    M$ has codecs for most cameras so that the thumbnailer and photoviewer tools work.

    Picasa sucks at processing RAW images, at least on my Canon Raw Files.

    I don’t have Adobe – I use Canon’s Digital Professional tools. Decent for most things though I still do some final editing in GIMP. minor (less than 90-degree) rotations, watermarking, that sort of thing. I’ve played with UFRaw on my Win Box and it seems to work pretty well, but I’m not comfortable enough using it yet.

    Files are big. Really big. My 10MP 40D will create RAW files anywhere between 8-13MB each. For reference, I shot 380 pics on Sunday at a wedding, and that worked out to about 4-1/2 gigs of data.

    #23076
    RcMacStudent
    Participant

    As a side note, the RAW plugin for Photoshop 7 doesn’t support many cameras (list is most of the way down the page here) so your options may be more limited than you think.

    #23077
    Zumaki
    Participant

    jpeg = 1 picture, 1 exposure (what you see is what you get)

    RAW = several pictures, 1 exposure (due to wb adjust, exposure compensation, tonal quality, sharpness/color adjust)

    #23078
    advisorgee
    Participant

    For those of you shooting RAW, do you use your camera’s native format or Adobe’s DNG?

    Are there advantages to using one over the other?

    #23079
    millera9
    Participant

    I use the native Canon format. I’ve never tried anything else so I can’t comment on the pros and cons.

    #23080
    jpatten
    Participant

    I use RAW most times, unless I need fast bursts of shots, then I drop to JPEG and down to med quality level usually to get as much as I can before filling the buffer.

    #23081
    Choc-Ful-A
    Participant

    I pull the RAW images off the camera in NEF format and convert them to 16-bit PNG files before opening them with Gimp, then store them as XCF (Gimp’s native format) if I change anything. I sometimes export them directly from “ufraw” to Gimp and skip the PNG’s. But that takes more time since I have to do that interactively one photo at a time. I usually just run a script to batch convert all the NEF’s to PNG’s at once.

    #23082
    ravnostic
    Participant

    I use a Canon XTi, which in RAW format also saves a jpg (wish it didn’t wastes space.) My cam is 10.2 mpixel, I can get about 2-400 shots with a 4 gig card usually. I have a 1gig card just in case I go overboard (and I often do.) I do my editing with Roxio Photosuite–totally old-school, but it’s easy to use and suites my needs. More simple editing (gamma, balance, etc) I just use Irfanview. And after filling my hard drive, for less than $100 I got a terabyte backup at Frys electronics. I never delete anything, except the ultimate crap like poorly focused images. Edited images I save in RAW and also JPG.

    #23083
    chupathingie
    Participant

    Resurrecting this from the dead… a major thing to keep in mind is that RAW files allow you to interpolate into 16bits/channel, which means that you need software that allows you to edit in 16bit/channel to really take advantage of the additional color precision. GIMP does not support 16 bits/channel. Supposedly it will in the future, and I do wish they’d get on with it, but the options for editing in 16bit at this point seem to be PhotoShop, Cinepaint and Krita. There are many other specialized packages out there that support high bit depth for limited purposes but those are the only 3 I know of for general manipulation/editing. Photoshop=$$, Cinepaint=limited filter set, Krita=why does this crash all the time.

    RAW is a lot more useful than the limited options above suggest though. Underexposed? No problem, usually. Underexposed JPG will leave you with posterized shadows though, since 8bit/channel images only contain 1/256th of the color information of 16bit/channel images.

    So shoot in RAW+JPG if you expect to come back and do any processing later on your images, or plan to use them in panorama or HDR software… it really shows in the finished quality of the image.

    #23084
    kashari
    Participant

    Don’t forget about Capture NX2 – I do 98% of my post processing using it and only go into PS for one of the Nik products or for some occasional cloning.

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