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Joe the Photog 06-02-2009 05:21 PM

A Warning About Shooting RAW
 
Quote:

If you're shooting action, raw doesn't work. You'll fill an 8 gig card faster than you can imagine.

I never shoot raw. Why would I? Raw is a waste of time and space, and doesn't look any better than JPG even when you can open the files.

This is a quote from Ken Rockwell. It can be found on an enlightening piece about RAW at http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/raw.htm where he also states

Quote:

-- If you just bought a new camera, you won't be able to open the files until you update your computer's software.

-- That means you may not be able to open your files today with your new camera if you didn't shoot JPG!

-- If you use Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw, you just might have to buy the newest version of Photoshop, since Adobe doesn't update older versions to read the files from new cameras.
And that's just in the first five paragraphs. Any thouhts?

JRMDC 06-02-2009 05:30 PM

Well, we have done the raw/jpg debate here several times, so I will ignore that.

Regarding the new camera issue, he is correct. If I were to, for example, upgrade my 20D to a 40D or 50D I would not be able to process raw files, as PSE3 cannot be updated to support those cameras. The latest ACR updates do not work with older PS/PSE versions. I would have to get new software, upgrade to PSE7, whatever, or install the Canon DPP software (so yes I could nonetheless access my new raw files "today" but just not with my current software).

Wizzo 06-02-2009 05:34 PM

The comments on updating Photoshop or Elements are valid if you have the latest model camera and an old version of the software, but you can still use Canon's DPP to convert the RAW files to TIFF (without loss) or JPG and open them in Photoshop afterwards.

The bit about filling up memory cards is irrelevent - cards are cheap. I just bought a new 4Gb CF (Sandisk Ultra III) for less than £20. With a Canon 40D shooting RAW I can still fit around 300 RAW files on one 4Gb card - whats the problem ?

Is RAW better than JPG ? Its subjective and many people still shoot good JPG's, but I think so. There is WAY more detail hiding in the shadows and highlights of a RAW file than the JPG equivalent which can be revealed with careful post processing work.

John Craft 06-02-2009 05:54 PM

Ken Rockwell is very opinionated, his web site is very useful (especially to getting acquainted to the digital world), and he's even right every once in a while, too.

Quote:

If you're shooting action, raw doesn't work. You'll fill an 8 gig card faster than you can imagine.
Ken is correct: everyone, everywhere, shoots at exactly the same rate, only has one 8GB memory card, and has no way to download those images to storage.

Oh, wait: that I have never ever filled up a 4GB card shooting RAW + JPEG, much less an 8GB card, in a single day. Let me revise:

This is patently, transparently ridiculous.



Quote:

I never shoot raw. Why would I? Raw is a waste of time and space, and doesn't look any better than JPG even when you can open the files.
o⋅pin⋅ion /əˈpɪnyən/ –noun

1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

Or, as a friend likes to say, "I may not always be right, but I'm always CERTAIN."

If you're a deadline photographer, or you think you have mastered in-camera settings, JPEG might be preferable. For the type of photography I do, having the luxury of doing the RAW-to-JPEG conversion on a monitor, and perhaps several times, is far preferable to me.


Quote:

Quote:

If you just bought a new camera, you won't be able to open the files until you update your computer's software.
-- That means you may not be able to open your files today with your new camera if you didn't shoot JPG!

-- If you use Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw, you just might have to buy the newest version of Photoshop, since Adobe doesn't update older versions to read the files from new cameras.
The comment is confusing. Adobe Camera Raw is updated regularly to incorporate new camera RAW formats, but it is available as a free download.

It is true that, when a new version of PSE comes out, Adobe stops updating camera raw for the previous version. But an upgrade to PSE 7 is about $75, which can be factored into the cost of the new camera.[/quote]

Ken has learned what a lot of talk radio and cable news "personalities" know: being an opinionated @$$#0!e drives ratings (page views). Keep this in mind when reading his site.

lock4244 06-02-2009 05:58 PM

I shoot RAW/JPEG simultaneously, always have. Raw for the "lurking details" that might matter someday, Jpeg for viewing on my PC and, yes, a majority of my RP shots are edited from the Jpeg. I suppose the idea behind shooting Raw is the same as having a working smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher at my home... I don't plan of having a fire, but it's nice to know they're there and working. I don't necessarily need the detail of Raw files right now, but I very well may someday. Storage (CF, HD, and DVD-R) is cheap.

John Ryan 06-02-2009 06:02 PM

Ken Rockwell is, for the most part, a total idiot who will say anything reactionary just to drive traffic to his website. Are any <i>serious</i> photographers going to stop shooting RAW just because this clown is running his mouth about it? I don't think so.

bigbassloyd 06-02-2009 06:08 PM

Great! I take the time to learn RAW editing, and just as I begin to shoot only RAW, I find out the end is near... :D

Loyd L.

odie 06-02-2009 07:55 PM

Why anyone would NOT shoot RAW if available is beyond me. Even if you don't need to have that kind of control over your photos all the time, its pretty darn nice when you do have to use it. I guess if you were the worlds greatest photographer, and were able to shoot a perfect picture right out of the camera, then awesome...don't use RAW. I, for one, am nowhere near perfect and will continue to exploit all the tools that are available to me.

Ween 06-02-2009 08:10 PM

Rockwell does say this:

Quote:

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.
If I'm shooting alot of stuff that I don't care about ever processing (like documentary shots of my personal belongings to put in the safety deposit box or vacation shots), I shoot JPG. Otherwise, for trains, it's RAW. For one, I never take that many shots. For another, I enjoy post-processing and having absolute control...

travsirocz 06-02-2009 08:47 PM

I started shooting just jpg and then started shooting raw. I really hate going back to process any of my just jpg stuff. I enjoy the camera raw interface for making my intial adjustments along with highlight and shadow recover if needed. As Ween said, random shots of unimportant things is shot in jpg only most times. One day shooting only jpeg is going to catch up to you. Like when an UFO or Bigfoot comes into your view and jpeg just didn't capture enough to prove what you saw or even a day fishing with some of you when you get that big one on camera with blown out highlights.

NYSubway18 06-02-2009 09:15 PM

Afraid I have to completely disagree with Ken. Why anyone would shoot anything but RAW if you have the ability to do so is beyond me. The power I now have with my RAW images coupled with the processing ability of Aperture I just can't imagine ever going back. I find it so disappointing and downright frustrating to go back and edit anything I shot prior to getting my Canon 40D which was the last time I shot anything but RAW. There are many more reasons, but just the ability to pull back blown out highlights and bring detail out in shadows are more than enough for me.

TheRoadForeman 06-02-2009 09:38 PM

How long have I been telling some of you guys that he is a loon.......? A long time!

WKUrailfan 06-02-2009 09:43 PM

Rockwell is a Joke.

Freericks 06-02-2009 10:13 PM

I keep my camera set to shoot both. That way the shots that just need a touch of sharpening and a drop more contrast, I work from the JPEG. The shots that I need to really play with getting the colors right or finding details in blown out areas, I work with the RAW file.

I then store both on my drives so that if I ever have a need to go back, I have them there.

JimThias 06-02-2009 11:05 PM

Quote:

Raw is a waste of time and space, and doesn't look any better than JPG even when you can open the files.
This sentence is a bit confusing to me. What does the bold part mean and what does it have to do with the first part of the sentence (before the "even")?

So, what about when you can't open the files? Does RAW look better then and is not a waste of time and space?

Freericks 06-02-2009 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 91144)
This sentence is a bit confusing to me. What does the bold part mean and what does it have to do with the first part of the sentence (before the "even")?

So, what about when you can't open the files? Does RAW look better then and is not a waste of time and space?

That's correct.

Also, Katy Perry MP3s are better when you can't play them.

KevinM 06-02-2009 11:44 PM

I've been a JPEG shooter for years and recently started shooting RAW+JPEG basic. While I would not say that I'm overwhelmed by the advantages, I do notice some. The shadow detail has been mentioned. The ability to make bigger adjustments to exposure than were ever possible and the some ability to recover blown highlights are also a plus. I also think I have a more cropping latitude while still retaining good image quality.

With regard to format compatibility, I have PSE 6, which didn't speak D90. Fortunately, that version of PSE is new enough that it is compatible with the latest ACR download....so I did that, and PSE is working fine for me.

On the downside, it is true that the supply of memory cards that I thought was more than adequate for even the longest trips no longer is. I'm more conservative about using my camera's burst mode. Those 10-12 MB NEF files also eat up hard drive and back-up drive space a lot faster. And the TIFFs....28 flipping MB per file! Yikes!

I think on balance, the safety net you get with RAW is probably the deciding factor.

BarrySr 06-03-2009 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Ryan (Post 91116)
Ken Rockwell is, for the most part, a total idiot who will say anything reactionary just to drive traffic to his website. Are any serious photographers going to stop shooting RAW just because this clown is running his mouth about it? I don't think so.

I'm certainly the hell not. Shoot RAW only, convert to TIFF, etc., etc. Have PSE7 with no issues, love DPP, etc.

No problems here, either in the field or off, period.

BarrySr 06-03-2009 12:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias (Post 91144)
This sentence is a bit confusing to me. What does the bold part mean and what does it have to do with the first part of the sentence (before the "even")?

So, what about when you can't open the files? Does RAW look better then and is not a waste of time and space?

[laughing at KW] :lol: :lol: :lol:

Another great catch, JT.

"Words mean things." So true, so true.

jnohallman 06-03-2009 01:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freericks (Post 91146)
Also, Katy Perry MP3s are better when you can't play them.

:lol::lol::lol:

That's epic!

Jon

John Craft 06-03-2009 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Freericks (Post 91146)
Katy Perry MP3s are better when you can't play them.

Have you heard her latest? "I shot in RAW and I liked it?"





Edited to add: oh, my, this is hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imgQf0evv10

Katy Perry: "I've been waiting for you, Obi-Jill. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master."

Obi-Jill: "Only a master of evil, Darth Katy."

JimThias 06-03-2009 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Craft (Post 91176)
Have you heard her latest? "I shot in RAW and I liked it?"


http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y17...es/rimshot.gif

ssw9662 06-03-2009 02:07 PM

I just shoot RAW+JPEG and store the RAW files on my external hard drive after I finish processing them. That way it saves space and I still have the RAW files around if I need them. The only somewhat valid argument Rockwell has here is the amount of space RAW takes up on a camera's memory card, but even that shouldn't be a concern unless you're out on a multi day trip.

Wizzo 06-03-2009 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssw9662 (Post 91187)
I just shoot RAW+JPEG and store the RAW files on my external hard drive after I finish processing them. That way it saves space and I still have the RAW files around if I need them.

Until your external hard drive fails :sad: and it will - given enough time

Always store your vital data on at least 2 devices. They will let you down eventually, but you would have to be really unlucky to have both fail at the same time.

ssw9662 06-03-2009 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wizzo (Post 91189)
Until your external hard drive fails :sad: and it will - given enough time

Always store your vital data on at least 2 devices. They will let you down eventually, but you would have to be really unlucky to have both fail at the same time.

You're right about that--in fact a second backup XHD is high up on the things I need to invest in soon (and a third may be a possibility sometime down the line). I'm placing my bets on not having them all fail at once, which hopefully wouldn't happen.

trainboysd40 06-03-2009 02:44 PM

Here's my story of misery and woe: I lost everything because I lost two hard drives in the space of a week. Or, almost everything. I had a third external backup that I forgot about because it's almost never on. Still lost everything from September to January though =(

John Craft 06-03-2009 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trainboysd40 (Post 91192)
Here's my story of misery and woe: I lost everything because I lost two hard drives in the space of a week. Or, almost everything. I had a third external backup that I forgot about because it's almost never on. Still lost everything from September to January though =(

They're not lost:

http://gillware.com/

Quote:

Hard Drive Data Recovery Services

Only $378.99 US for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

We also service Macintosh, Linux, Unix, and other operating systems, as well as RAID recoveries, invasive recoveries, and other systems at an increased price. See our online quote page for details.

Joey Bowman 06-03-2009 03:43 PM

The one thing that always gets overlooked in every thread about RAW is that it gives you the chance to keep your large file from NEVER being a JPG. JPGs are lossy file formats that everytime they are opened and saved are compressed more and more.

I shoot in RAW, Convert to TIFF (8-bit) and then make a JPG copy if I want to put it on the internet.

I have noticed a distinct increase in print quality since using this method.


Also, most camera manufacteurs provide a RAW conversion software with the camera, so unless you are determined to use ACR (adobe camera RAW), then the excuse that you need a new version of photoshop is not really valid.

I shoot in RAW, use Canon ZoomBrowser EX RAW processing to make adjustments in white balance, exposure, and anything else needed that that software can do. Save as a TIFF, and anything (if) anything else is done in Photoshop.

Joe the Photog 06-03-2009 04:18 PM

It's kinda like sayiong that since negatives take up so much space, you should just toss them. More room, less hassel, right?

Wizzo 06-03-2009 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe the Photog (Post 91198)
It's kinda like sayiong that since negatives take up so much space, you should just toss them. More room, less hassel, right?

You are SOOOOOO right Joe - if I'd have thrown away my negs from the 80's and 90's I wouldn't have have half the shots on this site that I do - and when I started storing them in the early 80's it was way before the Internet was mainstream and PC's as we know them today weren't even available, let alone affordable slide/neg scanners

lock4244 06-03-2009 04:55 PM

I suppose I'm the only one that burns the RAW's on a DVD-R to as a back-up to my back-up?

JRMDC 06-03-2009 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lock4244 (Post 91200)
I suppose I'm the only one that burns the RAW's on a DVD-R to as a back-up to my back-up?

Not the only one. I use two externals plus DVD.

Now, I am certainly not good at keeping up with my burning and "externaling," and in fact this thread coincides with a relatively free evening and I will be doing my backup tasks tonight. :)

Wizzo 06-03-2009 05:00 PM

I copy an image of my hard drive to an identical spare in the PC that is normally offline about once a week and copy any updated data files to an external hard drive at the end of a session.

I could mirror the drives, the SATA controller on my PC supports that but it would involve re-installing Windows and all the apps from scratch and I can't be bothered with that right now.

Joey Bowman 06-03-2009 09:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lock4244 (Post 91200)
I suppose I'm the only one that burns the RAW's on a DVD-R to as a back-up to my back-up?

All paid work I do I keep copies of everything, before the photos are even touched they are backed up onto DVDs and external hard drives.

If its something that I am just doing for fun, I only keep what I like, throw away the bad stuff.

TheRoadForeman 06-03-2009 10:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey Bowman (Post 91204)
All paid work I do I keep copies of everything, before the photos are even touched they are backed up onto DVDs and external hard drives.

If its something that I am just doing for fun, I only keep what I like, throw away the bad stuff.

Same for me with the paying customers. I only keep the best of my personal collections as well. Too bad that only yields me about 1 in 10, LOL! I'm sure that I'm not the only one tho!

Watain 06-03-2009 10:44 PM

I use RAW for trains and trains only, I found in my own experience that images of food(in dull commercial kitchen light), cars, nature animals, potraits and family photos that it was useless and space wasting. Especially in indoor light, I could never get the color temperature right. Once I started shooting trains in raw though, I never looked back... I found Rockwell's website good for product reviews, but never for tips or techniques..

Joe the Photog 06-03-2009 11:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Watain (Post 91207)
I found in my own experience that images of food(in dull commercial kitchen light), cars, nature animals, potraits and family photos that it was useless and space wasting. Especially in indoor light, I could never get the color temperature right.

I swear it sounds like you're arguing for shooting this stuff in RAW, not against. Personally, I shoot everything in RAW, including when I let y kids shoot a picture of me and my wife. I manually set the exposure, then let them focus in and shoot. It's usuallly a little dark, but I've got it in RAW, so I can muck around with it.

Watain 06-04-2009 01:53 AM

Could just be the difference in camera brands, not sure. But for other things besides trains, I have never been able to get the colors right. Sometimes in outdoor light I will shoot in raw, but since train images require a certain amount of tweaking I always shoot raw.

I shot this in JPEG Fine, nothing touched in photoshop except resizing. Looks like I forgot to even level it.:shock: Unfortunately this image quality is from Myspace compression.

http://c4.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/i...7ebeeb13f3.jpg


This on the other hand was shot in RAW, processed then saved to a TIFF and finished in PS CS2 and saved to a JPEG. This image was also originally underexposed, RAW helped save it.

[photoid=274812]

While this was shot in JPEG. Quality is so much better in the RAW version.

[photoid=261043]

My point is that I have found no reason to use RAW in anything for personal use, especially if I am going to put it on Myspace where it kills the image quality and sharpness anyway..

Freericks 06-04-2009 02:46 AM

Shoot RAW and JPEG - edit the JPEG if the camera got it perfect, edit the RAW if the camera missed.

Save all original images on an external harddrive and two backup external hard drives.

Save the RAWs only to DVD (two copies)

Keep one backup external and one DVD at my office.

Edited files are then saved on two external drives and two backup drives, and on three DVDs (one DVD and one backup drive stays at my office).

Paranoia, thy name is Freericks

(Although an audio engineer once told me that nothing digital exists unless it exists in three places... which I've come to accept as gospel.)

Joe the Photog 06-04-2009 03:40 AM

Charles;

Are you suggesting that all of us send our RAW images to your office on DVD for safekeeping?

;)


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