Old 07-17-2008, 05:32 AM   #1
J Douglas Moore
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Default Do you shoot in the raw??



Just wanted to start some discourse on pros/cons of shooting raw vs jpg.. Any disCUSSion out there??
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:47 AM   #2
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I personally shoot in both. I try to aim more to the RAW side because you have more flexibility but sometimes I get so fed up I revert to JPEG. I do have my camera set to RAW + JPEG in the RAW mode though. That is just my personal preference.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:59 AM   #3
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I kist started shooting in both Large Jpeg and raw.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:07 AM   #4
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I'm a bit of a newbie having shifted from film to digital within the past year. I shoot RAW+jpeg. In reviewing my pix on the computer I definitely get the impression that RAW preserves much more of the detail in segments of the image that are either "blown out" in jpeg, such as overcast skies, or lost in shadow. On the other hand I know there are some very good photogs who are satisfied with jpeg images. But my guess is, based on my limited experience, that a RAW image can save some highlight and shadow detail that could come in useful when post processing an image, especially given adjustments that the Photoshop highlight/shadow tool provides.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Douglas Moore
Do you shoot in the raw??
I can't quite say I've taken this hobby that far, but the thought IS intriguing somewhat. I suppose if I were a woman, engineers and conductors wouldn't mind if I shot in the raw. However, unless they are gay, they MIGHT have a problem seeing me tracked in the raw while pointing a large unit, errr...camera at them.

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Old 07-17-2008, 03:38 PM   #6
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I was reluctant to shoot RAW because I'd heard that it required more work in post processing than JPEG. I started shooting RAW + JPEG last November, and quickly shifted to RAW only, since there's no use filling your memory card with JPEG duplicates of you RAWS when you can batch process your RAWs into small JPEGs when you get home. RAW does preserve more detail, and the added processing on most shots actually only boils down to one extra step of converting the RAW.

Where RAW really presses it's advantage is when you have to do some heavier processing to a photo. I have a couple of my favorite shots that thanks to shooting in RAW I was able to put the finishing touches on, and another that I completely botched, yet by working the RAW file, was able to turn it into a decent photo that I plan to submit to the UP Calender.

Personally, I would recommend to all dslr shooters to shoot in RAW format. It really is worth it.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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I agree with Ken's post above me. I don't know what took me so long to shoot RAW. When I first made the switch, I'd shoot Large JPEG and RAW, but after about two days, I realized there was no reason for me to do this. It just took up valuable card space and then when I'd download the mages to my computer, the JPEGS would just sit there.

I strongly urge ALL serious digital photogs to shoot RAW. You will son wonder why you didn't sooner, Andrew!



I wish I had better post processing software. The Digital Photo Pro is decent, but it's worth about what I paid for it.


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Old 07-17-2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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I shoot RAW. I like having the ability to make the decisions rather than the camera's software...
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimThias
I can't quite say I've taken this hobby that far, but the thought IS intriguing somewhat. I suppose if I were a woman, engineers and conductors wouldn't mind if I shot in the raw. However, unless they are gay, they MIGHT have a problem seeing me tracked in the raw while pointing a large unit, errr...camera at them.

Looks like you will need to practice holding your dSLR with one hand!
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #10
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As for shooting "in the raw," I don't feel like dealing with all the bug bites and thorn stratches in vital areas that would result.

In all seriousness, and I'm sure AB2 will chime in here too, but we are both strict JPEG shooters. Once I got good enough in photography, I bought an SLR and started shooting slides.

Coming from a slide shooter perspective, my philosophy was one or two well-thought-out shots, no mistakes. As I also did not have a good slide scanner at the time, if I blew the exposure on a trip, all those photos would be wasted. That made me learn the ins-and-outs of my camera real fast.

I have brought that mentality over to digital photography. If I don't blow the exposure, then I don't need to do much post-processing. Most of my photos that are posted get a little bit of leveling, a little cropping, maybe a tiny bit of level adjustment, and a shot of unsharp mask.

The point I'm trying to make is that I know my camera and its settings so well that I don't feel the need to shoot in RAW. Nothing that I've heard in these discussions has made me change my mind, so convince me.

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Old 07-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Nothing that I've heard in these discussions has made me change my mind, so convince me.
No one needs to convince you...it's a personal choice. If you're happy with the results, then that's all that matters. I don't necessarily need to use it often, but I like having the flexibility RAW gives me if there is a screw up or the camera bones the white balance (which is does occasionally).
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz
Coming from a slide shooter perspective, my philosophy was one or two well-thought-out shots, no mistakes.

- Chris
Chris, you make an excellent point here............. My brother started his "shooting" in slides and he has often said the same thing......... He would laugh at me as I ran around with my SLR and "ripped off 20 - 30 shots, all while he was setting up for his 1 shot............. We both had good shots, but percentage wise, he was a master.............. But I got more exercise and had alot of fun.... The main argument for RAW that I have seen is that a bad photo may be able to be fixed "at a future date" as technology gets better......... I dont think I will want to archive all the bad photos I am sure to take in the next 5 years. Unless, of course, it is a UFO landing, an Elvis sighting, or.... well, you get the "picture"
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz
The point I'm trying to make is that I know my camera and its settings so well that I don't feel the need to shoot in RAW. Nothing that I've heard in these discussions has made me change my mind, so convince me.
Shooting JPEG is to Poloroid, as RAW is to [insert name of best slide film ever made]. Why anyone would chose not to save their work that way is completely beyond me. Even if you don't take advantage of all of the post processing capabilities you gain by shooting RAW, you should at least save your work in the highest fidelity format that's available.
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Old 07-17-2008, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz
I have brought that mentality over to digital photography. If I don't blow the exposure, then I don't need to do much post-processing. Most of my photos that are posted get a little bit of leveling, a little cropping, maybe a tiny bit of level adjustment, and a shot of unsharp mask.

The point I'm trying to make is that I know my camera and its settings so well that I don't feel the need to shoot in RAW. Nothing that I've heard in these discussions has made me change my mind, so convince me.
Chris;

That sounds a lot like you're saying those of us who do shoot RAW don't know our cameras very well. Speaking for myself, I came over my film SLRs like a lot of us. I shot prints for a while, then shot slides. I still have a slide shooters mentality and I bet a lot of the other guys do, too. I shoot like there's slide film in there, but I realize that with digital cameras, there are things that you can do after releasing the shutter that can help you get the shot the way you saw it when you took it.

It's like drving a four speed maual all through the 70s. Then you get a five speed but you never actual shift into 5th because, afterall, you know your car so well and four gears has worked for you for a long time.



I guess it is possible that you know your camera so well that you're that much above the rest of us thoug and that we have to post process to catch up.


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Old 07-17-2008, 05:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cblaz
The point I'm trying to make is that I know my camera and its settings so well that I don't feel the need to shoot in RAW. Nothing that I've heard in these discussions has made me change my mind, so convince me.
- Chris
This is the biggest misconception about RAW. True, some use RAW as a crutch for poor technique in the field. But the truth is that RAW is just as valuable a tool for images where everything was done right in the field versus those that were not. It's a tool that allows the user to make decisions about how the image should look versus letting the camera. In the end, I trust myself making those decisions vesus the camera's software. And lets face it, there is never a "perfect" exposure. There are always minor improvements that can be made to any image, although these may not be that important to you.

The other point I have made before about RAW is thinking of it as the digital negative. Why wouldn't you want to keep all the information the camera captured about the image for making future jpegs, TIFFs, enlargements, etc? When you shot film, you didn't throw away the negatives just so you could use the prints to make future prints and enlargements, did you? Once the camera has created the JPEG, the information used to create that JPEG is lost forever if not shooting in RAW.

In the end its a personal decision, but I know I can never imagine going back to JPEG-only shooting when I can create the same or better JPEG from the RAW conversion.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottergoose
Why anyone would chose not to save their work that way is completely beyond me. Even if you don't take advantage of all of the post processing capabilities you gain by shooting RAW, you should at least save your work in the highest fidelity format that's available.
Nick, that's a good point that I haven't heard many people mention in these discussions. I never even thought about that, about how RAW is better archivally (as an editor, I should know if that's a word or not, but i'm too lazy to look it up) than JPEGs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Photog
That sounds a lot like you're saying those of us who do shoot RAW don't know our cameras very well...I guess it is possible that you know your camera so well that you're that much above the rest of us thoug and that we have to post process to catch up.
Joe, I guess my post did come off sounding like that a bit, and I apologize. That's not how I meant it. All I'm trying to do is explain my reasoning. A lot of times, when me and AB2 are out, and RAW vs. JPEG comes up, we get badgered with "it's the best thing since sliced bread" and "you're missing out."

Eventually, I will experiment with it (prolly sooner rather than later, since these discussions keep popping up) and I'll most likely realize that I was an idiot for sticking with JPEGs. But, for right now, I like being an idiot and doing a few clicks in post-processing before posting it.

I guess the RAW vs. JPEG debate is becoming the digital equivolent of Kodachrome vs. Fujichrome.

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Old 07-17-2008, 05:36 PM   #17
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Although I'm guilty of often just shooting JPEGs... I keep saying to myself I'm going to go 100% RAW soon.

Scanning my older stuff, I honestly cannot believe I ever shot anything but Kodachrome. Maybe this is the lesson to learn.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:57 PM   #18
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I started shooting in RAW exclusively when I first got my Sony Alpha 100 about 16 months ago.

Recently I got the Sony Alpha 700 12.2 megapixel camera and I can't imagine shooting anything but RAW. I use Photoshop CS3 to post process. RAW takes some additional work, but I really don't mind doing it at all.

I shoot my stock photography stuff in RAW also.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:08 PM   #19
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I shoot JPEG only. Once I learn how to use photoshop, I'll probably switch over to RAW. I'd shoot RAW now, but my camera will only take JPEG basic with it, as opposed to JPEG Fine which I am shooting now. So, when the conversion takes place, it will more than likely be to strictly RAW.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
Although I'm guilty of often just shooting JPEGs... I keep saying to myself I'm going to go 100% RAW soon.

Scanning my older stuff, I honestly cannot believe I ever shot anything but Kodachrome. Maybe this is the lesson to learn.
Are you talking about those B&W's you took of the Civil War??

Seriously, I have just ordered my Canon 40D to repalce my 15 yr old EOS Elan, so ALL views and opinions here are very interesting, often entertaining, but ALWAYS useful. I think I will shoot RAW from the start and just make it my routine to take the extra steps to "work it".
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:31 PM   #21
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My image quality is good (not great because I don't have the best glass).

I can brighten, darken, sharpen, etc. my JPEGs perfectly fine without losing IQ.

I can make a print 40xwhatever.

What difference would shooting in RAW make versus JPEG?

"In RAW you will be getting what your eyes see." Not even the best digital camera in RAW or JPEG can do this so the argument holds no weight.

"RAW is the equivalent of having a negative while a JPEG is like a print." How so? I can open my JPEG file and make changes and save as a different file name. In digital photography any original will be the equivalent of a negative regardless of format.

"You gain more freedom in post processing." Two arguments...a) I got it close in-camera so therefore little or no processing is necessary. b) The processing necessary can be done on the JPEG file and will look exactly like it would in RAW because of personal editing style. (You can't have two people take the same image in different formats and compare because the two people have different tastes. Ex: Silhouettes, some detail? all black? People go either way.)

I know my brother didn't mean to imply that RAW shooters don't know their cameras but most of them set themselves up for this criticism with the comments about post-processing. It's not like a JPEG is a read-only and you can't touch it, its actually easier to open and work on because you don't need to convert and everything else involved. I just shot 1500 photos this past weekend (Thursday-Sunday) all in JPEG. I need to save three different versions of every photo I edit, I don't need to take more time to open the RAW file and then make sure I save it the right way.

If a RAW file could open in PS and/or be the preffered type I would definitely switch but I just see it as a waste of space since I would probably shoot both RAW+L JPEG and usually work with the JPEG.

Okay, I went back and re-read everyones responses and I found another line that didn't make sense to me about making decisions instead of the camera. Even in JPEG I can control what the camera does to the image, if I want less contrast I decrease the contrast, if I want more saturation I increase it, and so on and so on.

Another comment was made about preserving detail in an overcast sky if there is cloud definition. I can do this by increasing the shutter speed or closing the aperture. "Won't the subject be dark?" Yes, it will because thats how the camera functions in those conditions so I will just brigthen it in PS later while keeping the sky evenly exposed. "Well, in RAW you wouldn't need to." Okay, but you will need to add contrast because RAW flattened everything out because the camera needed to find some medium between the subject and sky because it cannot shoot an HDR image straight out of the camera. "Okay so I'll increase the contrast." If you know how post-processing works you will realize that every + of contrast will brighten an overcast sky (meanwhile darkening dark areas). Both images will look similar in terms of the exposure of the sky and how bright the subject is while understanding tastes differ.
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:40 PM   #22
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I can open my JPEG file and make changes and save as a different file name. In digital photography any original will be the equivalent of a negative regardless of format.
And...fail. JPEG is a lossy format; RAW is not. When the camera saves a file in JPEG format, you've lost information. Not so with RAW. Just sayin'...
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
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And...fail. JPEG is a lossy format; RAW is not. When the camera saves a file in JPEG format, you've lost information. Not so with RAW. Just sayin'...
I guess I don't miss that information enough to care. (My attempt to keep this civil.)

As you said, this discussion isn't trying to convince anyone one format is better than the other just about pros and cons as seen by various photogs.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:28 PM   #24
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I guess I don't miss that information enough to care. (My attempt to keep this civil.)
You can take it out on me when you screen my photos...oh, wait, you won't be seeing any until September sometime. Grrrrrrrrr...
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #25
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I guess RAW vs. JPEG is the new Kodachrome vs. Fuji debate!

This debate has been brought up before, and the Killer B's aren't the only ones shooting in JPEG and getting great results. To each his own, and that's the way it should be. But I was just wondering, have either of you (AB2 and CB) actually shot in RAW before and decided JPEG was the way to go, or is your stance the result of JPEG working for you, so no need for change?
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