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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:19 PM
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DaniMarie DaniMarie is offline
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RAW or JPEG?

I want to know which mode is better to shoot in. I've tried to google some information about it and ask a few friends, but I've gotten different answers so I'm still clueless as to which mode I should shoot in.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

I'm sure there are as many answers to this as there are photographers. I personally shoot everything in RAW only because I have more control over the image. Others don't like the extra work on each image but to me that is part of the fun. I guess the best thing for you to do is try it both ways and see what works best for you.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

Most advanced cameras will let you shoot both, a raw and a jpeg image. I shoot both, and a lot of times the jpeg is fine for what the image will be used for but there have been times when the jpeg could not be used and having the raw file was a image saver because of the extra data it has to work with. Like Bill said, try both and determine which works best for you.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

Many cameras take away the pain of choosing, like Bill said, and let you shoot both. The benefit is the immediate satisfaction of having a JPEG, and still retaining the ability to work with the raw, unaltered data later. The newest cameras even allow you to put 2 cards in and save RAW to one and JPEG to another.

Keep in mind that every time you save a jpg--even one you've not altered--the image gets compressed. The compression scheme involves looking at each pixel and determining how close it is in color to the surrounding pixels. If they're within a given tolerance, it makes all those pixels the same color, throwing away information. Every time you throw away information, you degrade your image.

If all you want to do is accept the maufacturer's defaults for saturation, sharpness, color balance, etc., and to show your shots quickly, by all means JPEG. If you really want to have the greatest control over processing your shots--not just the first time, but several iterations later--shoot RAW.

Personally, the only time I shoot JPEG is when I think I may take more pictures than I have memory card capacity for. With 2 8 GB cards and a 2 GB backup, that's not often!
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Old June 15th, 2011, 06:20 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

lots of good advice here,, it kind of depends alot on you and what you want to do,,
understand that a RAW file is a larger file, it contains alot more information then a jpeg file, therefore its much more versatile, information can be recovered in a RAW file that you may not be able to recover in a jpeg file, personally I shoot strictly RAW because I want that flexibility, I want to decide what colors, detail , light and shadows are in an image, I dont have to worry about white balance as I can adjust in Camera Raw, but if you are a shooter who is not that specific and you want to just post snap shot type images then a jpeg will suffice,, but for me I want to have the ability to manipulate my images and get the most out of them rather then letting the camera do what IT thinks is best
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Old June 15th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

Never shoot RAW unless you have a lot of time to be farting around or you are required to do so.

I am shooting a wedding in 2 weeks and will under no circumstances torment myself by shooting some 2000 photos in RAW

On the other hand Arizona Highways Magazine requires RAW "Digital images must be captured using RAW," http://www.arizonahighways.com/DigitalGuidelines.pdf

Why not shoot Raw all the time?
"WHICH SHOULD YOU SHOOT?

If you have to ask then just shoot JPG.

This is pretty simple and I'll get into way too much detail later.

If you shoot hundreds or thousands of images in a day shoot JPG and don't worry. The quality is the same for almost all intents and purposes as raw, and the raw files would take gigabytes or tens of gigabytes and resultant hours to download, convert, catalog and burn to backup CDs. In fact, if you shoot this much then JPG can give better quality since attempting to shoot this much raw will constipate your workflow and you could miss making some images entirely as your cards fill up. You'd always be running out of memory cards or time waiting for the access light to stop blinking.

If you love to tweak your images one-by one and shoot less than about a hundred shots at a time than raw could be for you. In fact, if you prefer the look you can get from raw (it may be different from JPG in some cases depending on software) you can let your computer batch process images and save the results as JPGs, too. I almost never shoot anything in raw, and when I do I never see any difference for all the effort I wasted anyway. (I can see differences if I blow things up to 100% or bigger on my computer, but not in prints.)

That's about all there is to it. It's sad that some people actually get so excited by all this that they put up hate sites like one that used to be here. It's sad because I completely agree with Petteri's Pontifications. I think he moved that hate page here. One's preference for JPG or raw depends on what you're trying to do. Each format has no absolute goodness; it's all in how appropriate they are to your particular work at hand. Everyone's needs vary and I just happen to prefer JPG.

With that said, here's more in my "usual opinionated, cranky style." If you understand the basics above you can safely skip it."
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm
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Old June 15th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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DaniMarie DaniMarie is offline
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

Thank you all for all this information! Let's see if I understand everything right

It sounds like those that take pictures in RAW are doing some editing...what programs are you guys using? And you're just messing with contrast and colors? I never thought of doing any of that with my pictures like that, but I haven't tried either. My boyfriend has Photoshop CS5 so I have access to that whenever I want.

To the comment "I almost never shoot anything in raw, and when I do I never see any difference for all the effort I wasted anyway. (I can see differences if I blow things up to 100% or bigger on my computer, but not in prints.)" .... what if you have a large print to hang on the wall? Is there still no difference?
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Old June 15th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post

It sounds like those that take pictures in RAW are doing some editing...what programs are you guys using? And you're just messing with contrast and colors? I never thought of doing any of that with my pictures like that, but I haven't tried either. My boyfriend has Photoshop CS5 so I have access to that whenever I want.
editing is essential IMO, I edit every image that I post, the degree of editing certainly depends alot on the image itself and what it needs, yes, contrast, yes, color, but also shadow and highlights need attention, as does sharpening, as does eliminating objects, with a RAW file I can have a under exposed image and still recover information, I do alot of early morning beach work and sometimes the rocks are very dark and underexposed, I can recover information from those rocks that I may not be able to do with a jpeg image,, now sobolik makes a point that yes with RAW files you have an extra step in processing ( Adobe Camera Raw) and if you are shooting 2000 images you may decide to shoot in jpeg for time saving benefits, but for me I will not go to the beach and shoot jpeg's
if you have access to CS5 you have all you need, I use CS3 and that works fine for me
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:33 PM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

I shoot RAW almost all the time. I do shoot jpg on occassion, but for the most part, I shoot RAW. RAW images capture all of the data, giving you a wider range of tonality. When you shoot a picture with your camera, it starts out in RAW and then converts it to jpg by clipping highlights and shadows and then compressing the data, thus losing information. Now, that may or may not matter in most instances, but when you're shooting landscape shots where detail is critical, leaving that decision to your camera's computer just doesn't work for me.

I can ALWAYS get better results with my edits than I will from a jpg image and it's not because I'm "fixing" them. I'm simply applying the same adjustments that the camera makes except that I'm controlling exactly how much to apply or not apply. If I'm really lazy, I can just allow the auto settings of the software do the same thing that the camera does in auto and STILL have the ability to fine tune them.

But, shooting RAW isn't for everyone. First, it does take a bit of time to learn how to edit your shots. Once learned, however, it's a fast process. It's not like you spend hours minutely and painstakingly tweaking. Sure, there are some images you might do that with, but for the most part there are some very basic steps one takes that become routine and can be done quickly and efficiently.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with shooting JPG either. It has its place and, as long as you're happy with the results the camera is giving you, go for it.

My advice is to try both and see what works best for you. What works for me may not work well for you, at all. I know plenty of professional photographers, some shoot RAW and some shoot JPG (and I know MANY wedding photographers that shoot a log of images that still shoot RAW).

My personal feeling is that if you're going to take the time to do something, why not take the time to do it the best you can?
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Old June 16th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Re: RAW or JPEG?

When I'm photographing a "sporting" event I use only jpeg it writes to the card faster. Fooling with both at one point I found RAW to be a bit to time consuming for the end edit results. I do the same for the standard family photo/snapshots and I'm happy as these images are very seldom used for large prints. It really is a personal preference and what you are looking for.

Jerry
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