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What are your reasons to shoot RAW over JPEG.

 
Old 12-22-2010, 07:29 PM
  #21  
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Hey, I understand that you're playing the devil's advocate. That's OK. But we are giving you the reasons why RAW is better at it seems you just don't want to hear them. Or you don't see them, which is fine as well.

I am wondering how good you monitor is. If someone has a pro camera, top glass, develops in RAW, and displays the result on a cheap, non color corrected monitor, the effect is similar to someone buying high-end audio and playing the music over crappy speakers.

Just to clarify some points:

Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
Tails, The naked eye cannot see the comression loss. It is as you said you have to see it in the histogram.
Compression loss is seen as pixels clumping together and loss of very fine detail. With a point-and-shoot, I can see this. With a good DSLR set to its high quality JPEG setting, I can't.
About the histogram: this is about the JPEG file having limited 'room' to work with, 8 bits per channel. If you edit the file, you may not see the difference per se, but my point was that the histogram will show you that you have in fact lost quality.

Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
Secondly it is true that WB and Temp may not be set in Raw but even with JPG I can change all that in Lightroom.
No you can't. You can alter the colors in a JPEG, but that's not the same as setting the correct white balance for a picture in RAW. But someone already said that.

Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
Lastly you never answered why you shoot which format! LOL!!
I think I did. I shoot JPEGs for non-artistic photos or when the quality isn't so important to me. JPEGs are much smaller in file size and it's easier to share them. (marginally easier, because clicking Export in Lightroom is pretty easy...)
I shoot RAW when I want to edit the photo. Mostly landscape shots or when the lighting is very difficult. I agree with the point that another poster made: '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.'

Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
During these 3 + years I have heard over and over again how much better RAW is than JPEG. The only reason to I have so far come up with is the clumping/loss of pixels during the in camera compression, which is the gradient banding issue I mention in the original post.
Gradient banding, as I udnerstand it, has nothing to do with compression. Banding is a type of noise and is highly camera-dependent. It occurs when the camera reads data from the sensor. So it can be apparent in RAW as well.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:43 AM
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Leaving technicalities aside....

Bottom line is I shoot RAW because I want the best possible shot I can get regardless of the outcome, even if I can see it or not. I'm not going to hike several miles out to some waterfall or to some geological formation or to some mountain top to NOT come away with the best possible shot just because a RAW file is a couple more megabytes than a JPG and requires a couple more minutes to process. Am I going to come away with a shot I want to put on my wall at 20x30? Probably not, but why in the world would I want to limit myself in the digital darkroom for the sake of a couple megabytes and minutes, and if I do walk away with a shot I want to put on the wall and had shot it in JPG, everytime I would look at it I would wish I had shot that in RAW because the quality of the image would be better, if only by a little.

Also I don't know how much experience you have shooting landscape at sunrise or sunset but RAW captures the extreme dynamic range at those times better than JPG. Perhaps the reason you see little if any difference between editting a JPG and a RAW is because you're shooting low contrast scenes that don't take advantage of that aspect of RAW. I prefer to try to get it right in camera as much as possible and even when I shoot at the sun and stack split ND filters I sometimes still lose details somewhere. RAW allows me to keep as much detail as possible throughout the entire scene without having to resort to HDR or complicated hand blending.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DJSJK50 View Post
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.
Thanks. The very last sentence..about those who are not as good at photography but their photoshop skills make up for it...man I hate that! LOL!!!

My photoshop skills are not good at all and the problem comes from my lack of inspiration as to what I want to do with the shot. Hence why I like to get it right in the camera so to speak because I see it in my eye/camera and really jjst want to do as litle as possible to it. I have a friend who loves editing and is a guru at photoshop. I never will be and don't want to be either.

Thanks for the chat. I do appreciate what people say and read all the posts.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:43 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Tails View Post
Hey, I understand that you're playing the devil's advocate. That's OK. But we are giving you the reasons why RAW is better at it seems you just don't want to hear them. Or you don't see them, which is fine as well.

I am wondering how good you monitor is. If someone has a pro camera, top glass, develops in RAW, and displays the result on a cheap, non color corrected monitor, the effect is similar to someone buying high-end audio and playing the music over crappy speakers.
You assume way too much. I get it..your a techie...you like that tech data. I don't. It's not the end all as it seems you think it is. You feel RAW is better due to the technical aspects of it...well sorry but that is simply wrong to believe that.

There is no reason for you to make the first statement about me. I have said as much in past post. It seem you chose not to either read my whole post or not believe what I am saying. I believe you and I are done.

I never asked why RAW is better, if it really is, I asked why YOU shoot raw and mostly you spouted data at me Dude! I have read every word of every post and tried to do what you and others have said. A few of the things said can be done to a JPG. One has said yes but it isn't the same....I see it as yes it is.

Since your a techie I guess you do need to know what my momitor is. It's a Samsung Synchmaster P2450. I'm not a techie so I don't know any other tech data about it.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by woody_k View Post
... So I have asked them what benefits do I get to shoot raw over JPEG....
Why not ask why shoot .jpg over RAW?

1. The camera shoots faster in .jpg.

2. I can fit more images on the storage media.

3. Windows (and probably any other OS you can think of) has built-in tools for viewing and manipulating .jpg files. In fact, as least with older versions of windows, there were no tools for thumbnails unless you went to the extra effort to download them, and those were camera-specific tools.

4. Yes, after-market software provides those tools, but I have far too many very important documents that I've lost to after-market software obsolescence because of using similar tools in the past. So, now anything that is important is stored in widely-available formats and not proprietary formats created by after-market software. My photos are too important to give to the vagaries of some camera manufacture/after-market manufacturer and their decisions to discontinue supporting a format 5, 10, 50 years down the line.

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Old 12-23-2010, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tetten View Post
Leaving technicalities aside....

Bottom line is I shoot RAW because I want the best possible shot I can get regardless of the outcome, even if I can see it or not. I'm not going to hike several miles out to some waterfall or to some geological formation or to some mountain top to NOT come away with the best possible shot just because a RAW file is a couple more megabytes than a JPG and requires a couple more minutes to process. Am I going to come away with a shot I want to put on my wall at 20x30? Probably not, but why in the world would I want to limit myself in the digital darkroom for the sake of a couple megabytes and minutes, and if I do walk away with a shot I want to put on the wall and had shot it in JPG, everytime I would look at it I would wish I had shot that in RAW because the quality of the image would be better, if only by a little.

Also I don't know how much experience you have shooting landscape at sunrise or sunset but RAW captures the extreme dynamic range at those times better than JPG. Perhaps the reason you see little if any difference between editting a JPG and a RAW is because you're shooting low contrast scenes that don't take advantage of that aspect of RAW. I prefer to try to get it right in camera as much as possible and even when I shoot at the sun and stack split ND filters I sometimes still lose details somewhere. RAW allows me to keep as much detail as possible throughout the entire scene without having to resort to HDR or complicated hand blending.
Yeah I don't shoot sunrises or sunsets. I've seen way too many and honestly they all start looking the same. I shoot mainly nothing but landscapes but that isn;t my passion as it is for a good friend of mine. My favorite subjects are long timed exposures at night ( I don't get to get out as much as I would like though) and people. The night shooting is why I really started this thead.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:53 PM
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I've met a couple wedding photogs who shoot in .jpg just for the boost in FPS.

Personally I do it as a hobby and not for primary source of income. You can find some great examples over at POTN.

I shoot RAW over .jpg because it allows for more tweaking in post. Yes you can adjust the saturation and exposure and everything else you mentioned with a .jpeg in LR but with RAW you can recover more.

For EXAMPLE, say the foreground in your picture was underexposed by 3 stops while your sky was perfectly exposed. With a jpeg you might be able to boost the exposure there a stop or two without it starting to look very grainy and bad. With the same image in raw you might be able to recover 3 or 4 stops before it starts looking wonky. The numbers are a pure example before someone jumps on that and decides to be super technical. I do nearly all my shooting in the mountains so besides smack dab middle of the day the foreground or background is way over/under exposed and short of shooting with filters attached to my camera all day there really isn't a better way to fix it then in post as the dynamic range of one photo can be fairly large.

Will your images turn out great in jpeg? ya of course they have the potential but looking back at all the places I've been in the past I enjoy looking at me photos and having them look the best they can be.

If I had NO intention of processing my photos on the computer after I took them then I would simply shoot jpeg as you get a higher FPS and much smaller file sizes. It all depends on what your end goal is in my opinion.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:03 PM
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Really interesting discussion. Honestly, I did not read every word of every post - but here is the deal for me:

With JPG, some data is lost forever. With raw all the data captured can be moved to the computer if you want to make different changes to the image than was done by the camera during the conversion to jpg.

Because of this simple principle, I shoot in raw+jpg. If I like the jpg, then fine. If I can do better working with the raw (and the image is worth the effort) then I will use the raw.

Memory is dirt cheap. Why throw the raw away when it may have important value?
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:46 PM
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I shoot raw because:
1. I love the hobby
2. I paid a lot for my equipment, L glass, pro bodies, lightroom, colormonky, etc. Why not maximize the potential.
3. Technology is ever evolving, the extra data captured could be very useful if I ever want to edit that photo in lightroom 7 someday.
4. Memory is cheap.
5. Most importantly. I'm not a pro and sometimes I mess up the exposure or am unsure of the white balance and RAW has allowed me to save many neat shots that wouldn't have survived the pixel pushing in jpg.

To each their own.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:52 PM
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There is a great article in the november2011 issue of outdoor photographer with examples showing the superior detail of raw.

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