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What are your reasons to shoot RAW over JPEG.

 
Old 12-22-2010, 12:04 PM
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In one of my photoshop cs classes the teacher one stated... If you have to ask why shoot in raw then don't bother asking. Unless you are going to manipulate the photo in a program like photoshop cs, don't worry about it.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:06 PM
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Most people can not see it, because they only print to a web page. Or they print at a consumer lab nothing bigger than, maybe 11x14.

1) raw retains all information, and that information can be changed.

2) When new software comes out, that 2 year old raw file can take advantage of the new technology in the software. JPG is in cement.

When you change the white balance on a jpg file, your adding something over the original, not changing the condition of the bits like in the raw file. You don't see the difference because you probably are shooting in "normal conditions" lamp light, out doors and so on. But add florescent light to ambient light (mixed light condition), and that jpg will get strange color shifts. Add mercury lights (like at basketball games) and you will never fix that jpg. Unless your setting white balance for every light condition your shooting in.

Raw has 2 stops of correction in exposure, depending on brand, even more. JPGS don't have any range of exposure correction, your just making the pixels lighter or darker. In lightroom (PS ARC or what have you), changing the exposure on a jpg is like using the brightness slider, your not making a real correction to exposure.

You can also change the colorspace in raw, but not in jpg. Set your camera to the largest colorspace when shooting raw, and in lightroom/photoshop you can change it properly. Can't even do that with jpg.

The two stops correction means there are details that can be retrieved in the highlights. There are no abilities to retrieve highlight information in a jpg. So, if your shooting jpg and blow the highlights, oh well.

You should know this, since you have been shooting since highschool and your now 52. It is the same principles as shooting chrome. However, chrome is more like jpg, with that same problem that one can blow a highlights with only a 1/3rd stop mess up in metering. That is probably why you would not have shot chrome over negatives, as negatives had a greater range. You can make a 1 stop mistake with negs, and still recover from it in processing.

A lot of the valid reason given, you're just dismissing. Which is ok, if your happy with your results, then your happy. I am not trying to convince you one way or another. Perceived results and actual capabilities are two different things.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
In the end it's about control for me.

This is a common theme for shooting Raw but what control can you get with a RAW file that Lightroom and Photoshop can't give you?

As far as bulk processing....I prefer not to do that because the light on one photo is probably not the same on another and if you bulkm process them you have to ga back and re-edit those that were not the same. For example you adjust the batch at a +12 in brightness and some come out too bright for the photo....you have to start over. The only way to do that is to batch them for an area and time. The bride getting ready won't be the same light as the bride during or after the ceremony.
If the in-camera sharpness is set to +5 when it is converted to jpg and I decide later I want it to +2, it is lost unless I shot RAW. White balance, contrast, etc. Yes, you can change some of these back in PS but I'd rather start "blank" and go from there. Sometimes I change my mind. I prefer to retain control over the settings until I am at the computer and processing.


As far as bulk, yes, do not bulk before, during and after the ceremony. If you do 20 exposures of one sitting with the same settings, decide to change up the lighting or color, much easier with RAW. This is very common at weddings, portrait shoots, etc. If it is one or two exposures and they are different, there is no reason to batch. Taking 50 exposures with similar lighting of a bride and trying to adjust the white balance of each one separately doesn't make any sense. I've done that more than a few times. The bride wants hair this way, then that way, the flower here, the flower there, looking this way, looking that way, hands here, hands there - none of this really involves exposures different enough to warrant individual processing. One of the reasons I don't do weddings any longer -
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 07BLUEJK View Post
In one of my photoshop cs classes the teacher one stated... If you have to ask why shoot in raw then don't bother asking. Unless you are going to manipulate the photo in a program like photoshop cs, don't worry about it.
I recently read a published pro say if you can't get it right in the camera you should shoot RAW.

We can go back and forth but that's not the issue...I'm not asking why I should shoot RAW. What advantage does RAW give you over JPEG.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DJSJK50 View Post
Most people can not see it, because they only print to a web page. Or they print at a consumer lab nothing bigger than, maybe 11x14.

1) raw retains all information, and that information can be changed.

2) When new software comes out, that 2 year old raw file can take advantage of the new technology in the software. JPG is in cement.

When you change the white balance on a jpg file, your adding something over the original, not changing the condition of the bits like in the raw file. You don't see the difference because you probably are shooting in "normal conditions" lamp light, out doors and so on. But add florescent light to ambient light (mixed light condition), and that jpg will get strange color shifts. Add mercury lights (like at basketball games) and you will never fix that jpg. Unless your setting white balance for every light condition your shooting in.

Raw has 2 stops of correction in exposure, depending on brand, even more. JPGS don't have any range of exposure correction, your just making the pixels lighter or darker. In lightroom (PS ARC or what have you), changing the exposure on a jpg is like using the brightness slider, your not making a real correction to exposure.

You can also change the colorspace in raw, but not in jpg. Set your camera to the largest colorspace when shooting raw, and in lightroom/photoshop you can change it properly. Can't even do that with jpg.

The two stops correction means there are details that can be retrieved in the highlights. There are no abilities to retrieve highlight information in a jpg. So, if your shooting jpg and blow the highlights, oh well.

You should know this, since you have been shooting since highschool and your now 52. It is the same principles as shooting chrome. However, chrome is more like jpg, with that same problem that one can blow a highlights with only a 1/3rd stop mess up in metering. That is probably why you would not have shot chrome over negatives, as negatives had a greater range. You can make a 1 stop mistake with negs, and still recover from it in processing.

A lot of the valid reason given, you're just dismissing. Which is ok, if your happy with your results, then your happy. I am not trying to convince you one way or another. Perceived results and actual capabilities are two different things.
In all fairness all you have said here is tech data...some of which I disagree with but for the sake of argument I will say all is true. For example you mention colorspace. O.k. you can't do that with a JPG...what advantage does that give you over the JPEG.

It's true I am in no way a photoshop guru. I admit it. And I am not summarily dismissing them. All most have said is what you can and can't do but it you're not telling me why it's better other than that's what you like.

Oh and it hasn't been since Highschool...it's Jr high and again I will admit I didn't always take it seriously but at the same time one post from someone does seem to talk down to me and that I don't care for.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shon View Post
If the in-camera sharpness is set to +5 when it is converted to jpg and I decide later I want it to +2, it is lost unless I shot RAW. White balance, contrast, etc. Yes, you can change some of these back in PS but I'd rather start "blank" and go from there. Sometimes I change my mind. I prefer to retain control over the settings until I am at the computer and processing.


As far as bulk, yes, do not bulk before, during and after the ceremony. If you do 20 exposures of one sitting with the same settings, decide to change up the lighting or color, much easier with RAW. This is very common at weddings, portrait shoots, etc. If it is one or two exposures and they are different, there is no reason to batch. Taking 50 exposures with similar lighting of a bride and trying to adjust the white balance of each one separately doesn't make any sense. I've done that more than a few times. The bride wants hair this way, then that way, the flower here, the flower there, looking this way, looking that way, hands here, hands there - none of this really involves exposures different enough to warrant individual processing. One of the reasons I don't do weddings any longer -
The sharpness you mention makes sense. I can see that as an advantage somewhat. Why I do see that as an advantage is I don't like photoshops sharp mask at all.I don't care for what it does to an image sometimes.

I will never shoot weddings. I was a cop for 23+ years and if some bride went bridezilla on me I'd deck her.

I do appreciate your discussions.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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The saying is... if you can't get it right in the camera, you can't fix it in software, no matter the format. The pro you quoted is only half right, raw can only fix some types of technical errors. If one blows the highlights (+2 or more over exposed) in raw, software will not save it.

As to colorspace; colorspace has a wider gammut.... which means better gradient, which means better enlarged prints.

The technical reason why raw is better are the reason why raw is better. If your going to post to flicker (for example), and print less than 8x10, don't sweat the details, shoot jpg.

In simpler terms, it is the difference between 35mm negatives and 4x6 negatives; the bigger the negative, the more information is recorded. The more information a negative has (or file in this case), the more one can do with the image. Raw has more information than JPG. What is the more... that is up to your vision because after the technical is all said and done, it is now art.

JPG, your are limited by the static capture. Your presentation is cast in stone. Raw, your only limited by your imagination.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DJSJK50 View Post
The saying is... if you can't get it right in the camera, you can't fix it in software, no matter the format. The pro you quoted is only half right, raw can only fix some types of technical errors. If one blows the highlights (+2 or more over exposed) in raw, software will not save it.

As to colorspace; colorspace has a wider gammut.... which means better gradient, which means better enlarged prints.

The technical reason why raw is better are the reason why raw is better. If your going to post to flicker (for example), and print less than 8x10, don't sweat the details, shoot jpg.

In simpler terms, it is the difference between 35mm negatives and 4x6 negatives; the bigger the negative, the more information is recorded. The more information a negative has (or file in this case), the more one can do with the image. Raw has more information than JPG. What is the more... that is up to your vision because after the technical is all said and done, it is now art.

JPG, your are limited by the static capture. Your presentation is cast in stone. Raw, your only limited by your imagination.
You are right...software won't save it but neither will the RAW fike if it isn't captured correctly. I threw the magazine away that had the quote. He is a Las Vegas based high end Glamour guy who said it and shoot JPG.

I just don't post to Flickr. I had printed a 20 x 30 of my grandkids for my Daughter's Christmas present. Shot in JPG and look great I doubt anyone could say if it were shot in RAW or JPG. What you are saying is JPG has print size limitations. I respectfully disagree with that. I say this because you can find JPG shot by pros blown up to larger than poster size with no pixelation. Conversely walk into a Victoria Secret store and look at the photos on the wall and then walk closer to the. Huge pixelation. Those photographers I am sure shoot RAW with the best equipment available. These reason maybe better to shoot RAW but they are not totally definative.

I understand what you are saying about 35mm vs 4x6 negative. But are you saying the because RAW files are 4X larger than JPG it's better? I understand it's larger due to the information it holds. The technical data is what you are saying makes RAW better. I need to ask. Have you ever opened RAW and a JPG in Lightroom and seen that the adjustment are the same? I have and I know what another poster has said that changing exposure in Lightroom is just really brightening. But then it should look the same if I just if I just changed the brightness slider...but it doesn't. I did it about an hour ago after I read his post. So the technical data isn't really helping me in the practical sense.

May I ask when was the last time you blew something up larger than say a 20 X30? My guess is not to often. So lets say it's 5 times a year...you shoot 10,000 frames a year for those 5 possible chances that you might have to blow something up larger than an 11X14. Wedding Photographers packages don't include anything larger that an 11 X 14. When you go to print it anyway don't you convert it to JPG? LOL!! I know that doesn't matter. Coverting a RAW image in photoshop to a JPg doesn't hurtb the quality of the photo. I hoping to lighten the mood a bit.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:02 PM
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Look guys please don't take this discussion as seriously as some of you are. The bottom line was posted by the 1st person who replied...just go have fun and shoot. This discussion will not change one iota of anything in life. Honestly I am not summarily dismissing any reasons.

I am playing a bit of the devils advocate on this technical data for a reason. Tech data doesn't make it better. That's like saying a Canon 5D can shoot better shots because it's technically better the a 40D or my D700 is better than my D80. The technical is a part of what makes it better but as a stand alone reason it's worthless. The fact that a Millers hammer has a less sharp of a curve than a claw hammer...does that make it a better hammer. Technically no...practicality yes in many usages.

Practicality....There have been some valid reasons posted. But the practicality how much of a difference does it make? Is it discernable to the eye? Maybe if as most of you have said printed above an 8X10 or 11X14. I've an 11 X 14 done both ways but I do admit I haven't done anything larger in a test.

Let me ask this is it any easier to adjust an RAW? I havent found that to be true but I will again admit I haven't done as many as most of you.

Lastly some of the reason posted I have tried to do today with a JPG. The poster said it wasn't possible yet Photoshop allowed me to do it. Before you all get all over me let me qualify that statment. It may have allowed me to do that procedure but is it the same as RAW or in other words will it look the same? That I haven't checked out yet. Before you say maybe I should before asking another stupid question (that's a joke guys) what if I did and said my results showed no difference. Would you guys go try it and see for yourself? (devils advocate)

Maybe you guys have, Have you tried it lately though? Software does get better.

So please don't get frustrated with me. I use to work around lawyers. I can take a stand on any issue and make it confusing and argue the other side...Ive learned from the best. Jeez that's how they get the crooks off.

Ken
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Old 12-22-2010, 06:57 PM
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JPG print size. Well, no, I am not saying that jpg has a print size limit. The information within it does have a limit, which will have an affect on print size, and then that has some qualifications.

It is possible to go large with JPG, as long as the manipulations are kept to a minimal. A pro can shoot JPG fine, and if they got the exposure right in camera, then all will be fine. You already pointed it out. I work in raw, and when I go to print, I make it a high quality jpg. Once it is jpg form, that file will not get manipulated again. If I want to make changes, I go back to the raw or PDS. In fact, that jpg file will not last long on my computer, once printed that file is not needed. I use lightroom and photoshop. Regenerating the file for printing is all to easy within lightroom. So, the jpg life span is short. I never store what I can generate.

The Vitoria secret, example, it is processed like that, to have the grain (noise in digital terms). That is part of the style, the art that I referred to. I do that a lot, take a crystal clear image and add grain. Adding grain is part of the subject at times.

When I print, the smallest I print is 16x20 or 16x24. Last time I printed a 20x30, last week, 5 of them. I have printed up to 4'x4' (now that was a one time thing). I also have done wedding, and those were 8x10 max with a few 11x14 or 16x24. I don't do weddings anymore, for probably the same reason as you.

About opining raw/jpg, yes I have open both, worked on both. If the image I envisioning is something I want and is important, I will shoot raw. If I am shooting a party at my house or something, I shoot jpg fine. I am going for snap shots and not an image destine to be art. Can some of those snap shots be something that turns out to be something important and I want to make it a 20x30? Sure, but I would take that original jpg and convert it to a TIFF and work on it as a PDS.

The information contained in a raw file allows greater manipulation than the information contain in a jpg fine file. That is the point, the degree of manipulation the information can support.

I know a lot f pro's that shoot jpg fine (Scott Kelby shoot jpg and raw). They have set their bodies to produce the type of image they are targeting. For example, I have a bank set to produce velvia type images when I am going to shoot jpg. Also, I have 30+ years experience so, I know how to expose an image when I am shooting jpg. I not trying to brag here, just setting up an example and using me as that example. I expect that when I shoot that snap shoot, it is done and I have done all the right moves to get it right in camera. If I didn't, I trash it, so I always take more than one shot. When it hits lightroom, it maybe cropped, might adjust the tone curve, but that is about it.

When I shoot landscapes, it will always be in raw. That way, I decide later how and what it will be. And I don't have to worry that I don't have the information to support what ever vision I may come up with later. My view is, I have a vision of what that image is going to be before I shoot it. I work at getting it right in camera. After all, it is more fun going places and creating/setting up the image than working on a computer all day.

However, there maybe an image within that image, this is where raw is important. I find a second vision within that original image. I may look and see that it will make a great black and white. These variations is where the extra information comes into play.

When one crops, one is really enlarging a section of the image. Or more precisely, a section of information. The 4x6 neg, has more information per mm than a 35mm neg. This comes into play on how large (based on subject) one can go. A 35mm can make a 16x20, no problem. The 4x6 can make a better 16x20. A 35mm gets doggy at 20x30, but the 4x6 has no problems going 20x30 and beyond.

The jpg vs raw is the same concept. Can a trained eye see it, yes. Do you know John shaw, nature/wildlife photog? He made a billboard from a 35mm slide. Did the world see a great billboard image, yes. Did John Shaw see the imperfections of his shot on the billboard, yes.

I know that a lot of pro instructors will say get the shot in raw and then let software take over the details. That is one way to think of photography, and a lot of wedding photographers live by that concept.

But I can also point to pro wedding photographers that do it right the first time, and still shoot raw. There was this one guy in CA that charged at a minimum $10k. You did not have a choice of packages. He did not provide an album or gave you size options. It was all done in black and white, printed as 11x14 and mounted on foam core and placed in a box. The price changed based on how long someone hired him. He shot in raw, because he did not want lack of information stifle his creativity when he went to preset his images.

There are many reason to shoot raw, and there are reason to shoot jpg. If you are happy and you are getting the results your looking for, then your set.

There are too many people that promote jpg fine and software to make great images. That is the issue or problem (controversy if you will). This is all to common, ford vs Chevy, Nikon vs canon, raw vs jpg. There are a lot of people that are way better at photoshop than I am. But they are not so hot at photography, but their PS skills makes up for that.
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