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Dazza
04-02-09, 19:44
With me being new at photography i just wanted to know should i save my files in RAW or JPEG on my camera, also is there a big difference because i have noticed RAW being a large file size.

yelvertoft
04-02-09, 20:42
I used to be a die-hard, strict jpeg only evangelist, couldn't be bothered with messing about with raw processing.

Then, I had a conversion. I discovered that the raw processing package that came bundled with my camera could, in a couple of mouse clicks, import all the (raw) files from my card and process them just as though I'd been shooting as in-camera jpegs. I ended up with jpeg files just as though I'd been shooting them in camera, but now, I also had the raw files.

So what? you may ask. With the raw files as backups, I could take those shots that really deserved a bit more care and attention in post-processing, working on the few "good 'uns" from raw. The snapshots were fine as jpegs.

Even if you don't intend doing any serious post-processing right now, I recommend you switch to raw format so you can go back to those files later on should you ever get to that stage in your photography. There's a few vintage pictures I have that I'm kicking myself for now, because I used to shoot only in jpeg and don't have the raw to go back to.

You can always convert a raw to a jpeg, you can't go back the other way.

So, shoot raw, use the software that came bundled with your camera to do quick and dirty jpeg conversions, just as though you'd been shooting in-camera jpegs, keep hold of the raw files for the future.

Duncan

andy153
04-02-09, 21:04
For me it depends whether I am shooting full frame or half frame, FX or DX. In the D3 I shoot large jpegs optimised in camera for quality. In the D300 or D2X I shoot both RAW & JPEG and do what Duncan does.

miketoll
04-02-09, 21:18
The basic point is RAW files allow for greater processing as they contain more information and things like colour balance are not set and there is more scope for rescuing blown highlights etc. More versatility and more detail. The downside is bigger files as they are not compressed and you have to spend more time working on a given image.

Derekb
05-02-09, 00:09
The D3 allows me to shoot both to separate cards, so I do. It is also very reassuring having what is basically a negative available for the odd time I get things wrong in camera.

The other benefit of course is that I can do multiple exposures of the same RAW file when I need to show all the dynamic range, like the Bolton Abbey B&W pic posted recently - theres no way you could get that wide a tonal range in a jpeg.

Gidders
05-02-09, 00:44
... I discovered that the raw processing package that came bundled with my camera could, in a couple of mouse clicks, import all the (raw) files from my card and process them just as though I'd been shooting as in-camera jpegs. I ended up with jpeg files just as though I'd been shooting them in camera, but now, I also had the raw files....


With Lightroom, you don't even need to convert to jpg - just import & Lightroom with display the images - then just tweak the ones that you want to and export those to jpg for sharing

You can always convert a raw to a jpeg, you can't go back the other way.

So, shoot raw, use the software that came bundled with your camera to do quick and dirty jpeg conversions, just as though you'd been shooting in-camera jpegs, keep hold of the raw files for the future.


Hear hear

robski
05-02-09, 01:23
RAW is not the panacea for all your images problems. Its main benefits over Jpeg are up to 2 stops exposure correction and better colour balance correction. If the Highlights or Shadows are clipped (blown) in the RAW file then you are stuffed anyway. Many make the claim that the RAW file has more detail than say the Fine Jpeg version. I am not convince that this is the case with all cameras. If you scan back through the threads you will find a long thread on the topic. The thread was more of an investigation than people giving their second hand opinions. From what I recall there was a marked difference between Jpeg and RAW image quality on Don Hoey's Nikon. Whereas I found very small differences on my Canon. Further investigation also showed that some of the RAW formats did use a lossy compression.

Like Duncan I was not convinced of the merits of RAW in the early days. Often the original Jpeg version was miles better than my RAW processing. If I used the software supplied with the camera it did not look much different from the Jpeg version. If I used Photoshops RAW Converter the results were poor in my opinion. So after this experience I tended to reserve RAW processing for the tricky shots.

Recently I have started to used Light Room for my RAW Conversion and I now feel back in control of the image processing. I shoot both RAW and Jpeg if I have enough room on my memory cards for the day. If the Jpeg looks good then I will use that. For heavier processing I then use the RAW file.

If your PC is powerful enough and you have plenty of storage on the harddisk and memory card I suggest that you shoot both RAW and Jpeg. I think much depends on if you find a RAW converter that gives you the control you want. If you make a bad job of the RAW you still have the Jpeg which maybe good enough.

Some folk tend to shoot Jpeg only if they are shooting at high frame rates. Say 6 to 10 frames a second for action photography. It will take less RAW images to fill the cameras image buffer than Jpeg images. Thereby limiting the number of shots in the burst. e.g 6 RAW shots compared to 15 Jpeg. This is where fast memory cards are required so that the image buffer can be written to the card quickly to be ready for another burst of images. With the advances in technology the image buffer sizes have increased along with memory card write speeds.

nobby
05-02-09, 16:06
I must admit that I shot in JPEG mode with my Fuji S9600 because I found that the transfer on the RAW setting was far too slow. At the beginning of last year I bought the Nikon D80 and let me say the rest is history I always shoot in RAW now when using my Nikon's, as others have found there is so much versatility with RAW with no degradation which is found with JPEG!

Dazza
05-02-09, 17:51
Nice information guys thnx - what software do you use with the RAW files?
The software i have is photoshop and ViewNX i got with the Nikon Camera,
which shall i use to convert to jpeg?

Don Hoey
05-02-09, 18:09
...........The thread was more of an investigation than people giving their second hand opinions. From what I recall there was a marked difference between Jpeg and RAW image quality on Don Hoey's Nikon. Whereas I found very small differences on my Canon. Further investigation also showed that some of the RAW formats did use a lossy compression.



Memory lane there Rob.
I have just re-read it. Had a bit of a chuckle as to how far I have progressed in the digital world in three years. Wallet took a bit of a hit but no regrets. :D
An opportunity to thank my mentor Foxy, and others here who have been a great help. :)
Link to the thread in question
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/showthread.php?t=662

Don

Don Hoey
05-02-09, 18:34
Nice information guys thnx - what software do you use with the RAW files?
The software i have is photoshop and ViewNX i got with the Nikon Camera,
which shall i use to convert to jpeg?

If you can run to it then without a doubt get Nikon NX2.
Here is a link to download a 60day free trial.
http://nikonimglib.com/cnx2/index_en_eur.html#os-windows
If you use a Mac then click the link left hand side half way down the page.

What can NX do for you. A link to the NX tutorials
http://www.capturenx.com/en/index.html

Also there are a couple of threads on NX in the Darkroom Forum.

Don

PS : Another useful link re NX
http://www.nx101.com/index.html

yelvertoft
05-02-09, 21:08
Nice information guys thnx - what software do you use with the RAW files?
The software i have is photoshop and ViewNX i got with the Nikon Camera,
which shall i use to convert to jpeg?

If you get the plug-in for Photoshop called Adobe Camera Raw, it will give you a user friendly raw conversion capability. Which specific version of the plug in you need will depend on which version of Photoshop you are using. A quick google for "adobe camera raw" and clicking on the answers from adobe.com should get you to the right area afte a bit of hunting around Adobe's site.

Personally, I prefer Phase One's Capture One for raw processing, but that's only just my personal preference, and the fact it does some cool things for mono film simulation, which is one of my pet hobbies.

The basic ViewNX you got with the camera should get you started and allow you to see what you can do with a raw file without getting bogged down to begin with. Once you've got the hang of things, then NX2 as recommended by Don really does seem to be the thing for Nikon users.

Duncan

postcardcv
05-02-09, 21:24
I started off shooting jpg only as I was slightly concerned about RAW processing and worried that I'd never get the handg of it, I was also not convinced of the benefits of shoting RAW. However I was nagged by someone to give it a go so I did... and I'm very glad that I did. The processing control that you get with RAW files is lovely and in tests I found that a RAW files converted to a jpg gives a better image out of my camera than a straight jpg. As for the processing time, I can honestly say that I can process a batch of RAW files at least as (if not more) swiftly than a batch of jpgs. I don't see any point in shooting RAW & jpg in camera, if you need the jpg you can convert on the pc so why waste space on the memory card.

yelvertoft
05-02-09, 21:39
I don't see any point in shooting RAW & jpg in camera, if you need the jpg you can convert on the pc so why waste space on the memory card.

Yay! Someone else who can't see the point of raw+jpeg, I thought it was only me. The only time I can think it would be useful would be for a wedding photographer who needs to get a set of proofs rushed to the bride before she leaves the reception or another "must have NOW" user need, press 'tog perhaps? Otherwise, I struggle to understand the need for shooting dual format.

nobby
05-02-09, 22:06
Nice information guys thnx - what software do you use with the RAW files?
The software i have is photoshop and ViewNX i got with the Nikon Camera,
which shall i use to convert to jpeg?I use Lightroom and CS3 Extended:)

robski
05-02-09, 22:45
I don't see any point in shooting RAW & jpg in camera, if you need the jpg you can convert on the pc so why waste space on the memory card.

I agree with you if you are confident in processing RAW. To start with I think it best to do both then you have a reference to compare your RAW processing effort against.

I do both mainly because of my ancient PC (Built from folks throwouts) takes an age to open RAW files compared to Jpeg. The Jpegs give me the chance to quickly sort the wheat from the chaff. As I've not had a payrise in the last 8 years upgrading the PC is the least of my worries.

If I did RAW only I would only gain about 20% extra space of memory space. I managed 225 RAW + Jpeg shots on a 4Gb card the other day.

gordon g
05-02-09, 23:34
Yay! Someone else who can't see the point of raw+jpeg, I thought it was only me. The only time I can think it would be useful would be for a wedding photographer who needs to get a set of proofs rushed to the bride before she leaves the reception or another "must have NOW" user need, press 'tog perhaps? Otherwise, I struggle to understand the need for shooting dual format.

I'm another one Duncan.
When I first went digital, a little over 2 years ago now, I used Phase one software, and thought it was great until Lightroom came along. But now, I am firmly hooked on Lightroom. As mentioned above, there is no need to convert from raw at all now, unless for a specific purpose such as web use, and that can be done in a few clicks.
Regarding jpeg only capture - there are advantages - speed in camera and on download, more images per card being the main ones I can think of. But I would have to be absolutely sure I'd nailed it in camera, and got the colour space I needed for the end product, and correct resolution, pixel dimensions etc. Overall, RAW gives you control over all these variables, and some wriggle room on exposure and curves without compromising image quality. (I should add that it depends on what your end product is - I print up to 18" by 12", so things like compression artifacts, posterisation of colours, loss of edge detail etc would be big problems for me.)

Gidders
06-02-09, 08:36
I'm another RAW only - even if I want to show a client the shots right away all I do is load them into Lightroom and up pops a preview off all the images with some light preset shrpening, noise reduction based on ISO etc - you can set the default conversion to you own taste & save to be camera specific.

To understand ACR trt "Real Wold Camera RAW" by Bruce Frazer/Jeff Schewe - great book

robski
06-02-09, 10:23
all I do is load them into Lightroom and up pops a preview off all the images

Absolute Luxury :rolleyes: Sounds like I'll have to bite the bullet and find a few faster bits for the old PC.

Takes about 25 seconds for 1 to preview on my old dog.

Derekb
06-02-09, 14:35
Yay! Someone else who can't see the point of raw+jpeg, I thought it was only me. The only time I can think it would be useful would be for a wedding photographer who needs to get a set of proofs rushed to the bride before she leaves the reception or another "must have NOW" user need, press 'tog perhaps? Otherwise, I struggle to understand the need for shooting dual format.

How about you're out at an event, along with other 'togs. It's a race (and kudos) to be the first to get the results and some pictures online. I take my laptop, with mobile broadband dongle. The desktop software I use allows me to drag and drop the jpegs (but not the RAW files) into the upload box, re sizes them for me automatically and off they go, they can be on the site in minutes of capture.

If this is a high volume event, then I'll only shoot jpegs, but I really like shooting both as I can use the jpegs immediately and play around with the RAW's later if I need to. Just my preference and I know a few other sports 'togs who do this.