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06-21-2016, 01:38 PM   #1
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RAW file size settings and trade-offs

Hi All,

I've done a bunch of searches here on the forum but can't find exactly what I'm after, so if there is a link to a thread please provide the link if you can.

My dilemma is that I went to download about 700 pictures that were taken in RAW large format and ran out of space on one of my drives. I used LR 5.7 to select the files to copy them over to the drive.

I still want to shoot RAW (to be able to apply post processing, etc.), not jpg, so what are the trade-offs in the RAW settings, other than a reduced file size:
  • smaller picture, i.e. pixel dimension?
  • less detail, but the same size pictures, in pixels?
And, is there a point where selecting a higher rez jpg setting would offset the benefits of shooting a small size RAW file?


Thanks Gang!
Newfie

06-21-2016, 02:54 PM   #2
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Does the K-3 offer reduced RAW sizes? My K10D only shoots RAW at full resolution (10mp), while jpgs can be set to 2, 6 or 10 mp. (Sorry to answer your question with a question ). Regardless, RAW offers so much more flexibility during processing. I rarely use jpg anymore unless it's just a casual setting - family snaps in good light, etc.
06-21-2016, 03:01 PM   #3
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Are you sure you're not just assuming falsely that the JPEG Fine/Regular/etc settings have analogues in Raw? The only option I've seen with Raw files is the ability to do 12 vs 14 bit on some cameras. Other than that Raw is just a sensor dump so it's unlikely that you can shoot in smaller Raw. As for 12 vs 14 bit; there is some difference in certain editing conditions.

I suggest just buying a new hard drive or external hard drive. Space is cheap these days and well worth the time saved from having to worry about space.
06-21-2016, 03:18 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Jpegs have far smaller amounts of data and the data is compressed in a lossy manner. Every time you edit a jpeg and Save, the overall image quality is reduced. If you open a jpeg, paint just one pixel, save again, do this a couple times and the file size will increase and the image quality will decrease.
Raw allows non-destructive editing. So you can always "reset" back to exactly what the camera captured. And it contains a lot more information, which allows you to do a lot more PP, like adding contrast, brightness. It also doesn't have a problem with WB - you can change WB without any loss of quality. Not so with jpeg.
Basically, jpeg has only advantages of file size being smaller, and the format being easy to view and share. Raw is not yet a photo, it is merely raw data, and it has to be processed and exported in a photo file (png, jpeg, gif - jpeg is probably best)
In-camera you can choose things like Quality and amount of Megapixels, but I'm fairly certain these only affect jpeg. Not raw dng or png files.
The 12bit vs 14bit thing would apply to raw files (jpegs are generally even lower) and is your only way to reduce file size of raw files.
I would recommend you start using LR differently. Do not use the "copy as dng" option, but rather use the other import option that only loads files from their current location. Next, you need to get a new hard drive, internal or external (hopefully USB3), and make folders. You copy the files into those folders manually from your camera. Then you import them into LR without making copies. This will also make backups easy.
Yes, file size is annoying, but there is not much we can do about it other than buy bigger hard drives. At least hard drives have bigger and bigger capacities at fairly affordable prices.

06-21-2016, 03:46 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newfie Quote
taken in RAW large format
My understanding is that a RAW file will always be at whatever the image sensor base resolution is, such as 10MP for a K10D, 16MP for a K-5, 24MP for a K-3, or 36MP for a K-1. The reason is that these files have every piece of information recorded from every pixel, and will be on average maybe 10 times the file size of a jpg of the same resolution. If your camera has lots of pixels (don't they all these days?) and you have 700 RAW pictures, you are going to need a considerable amount of storage space indeed.

Where are you downloading them from? What is the storage capacity of that device? Could you consider using a 64GB or larger thumb drive as the target storage device?

Regarding the difference of jpg vs. RAW, here's a chart I ran across that shows how RAW files have much finer tone resolution than jpgs:

RAW files can also capture much finer gradations between colors. Bottom line, they give you much better images, at the trade-off of needing a lot of space to store all that image info. No free lunch.
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06-21-2016, 04:36 PM   #6
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Once solution you can do right now is to apply PP to the raw, export them as jpeg (high quality may size, and maybe a smaller size with compression for sharing/email) and then keep the jpegs, but delete the raws. This would free up your disk space for the time being. And make sure you delete any that don't make it - my first filter when i get home is deleting photos that are misfocused or oddly framed, shaken, whatever.
06-21-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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I think the real answer here is to get more disk storage. Add another drive if you can (internal or external) or backup and then replace your current drive if you must.

Even if you chose to shoot JPG, you are only another shoot or two before you hit the same storage issue.
06-21-2016, 08:27 PM   #8
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I'd say get a portable Hard Drive. You can get at least a 2TB Portable Hard Drive for less than $100 bucks nowadays.

06-22-2016, 11:40 AM   #9
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Thank you Everyone!

Doh! ... there is only RAW mode. No wonder I couldn't find out the different RAW settings ...


And yes, it's time to add more drives.


Take care,
Newfie

---------- Post added 06-22-16 at 11:43 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Jpegs have far smaller amounts of data and the data is compressed in a lossy manner. Every time you edit a jpeg and Save, the overall image quality is reduced. If you open a jpeg, paint just one pixel, save again, do this a couple times and the file size will increase and the image quality will decrease.
Raw allows non-destructive editing. So you can always "reset" back to exactly what the camera captured. And it contains a lot more information, which allows you to do a lot more PP, like adding contrast, brightness. It also doesn't have a problem with WB - you can change WB without any loss of quality. Not so with jpeg.
Basically, jpeg has only advantages of file size being smaller, and the format being easy to view and share. Raw is not yet a photo, it is merely raw data, and it has to be processed and exported in a photo file (png, jpeg, gif - jpeg is probably best)
In-camera you can choose things like Quality and amount of Megapixels, but I'm fairly certain these only affect jpeg. Not raw dng or png files.
The 12bit vs 14bit thing would apply to raw files (jpegs are generally even lower) and is your only way to reduce file size of raw files.
I would recommend you start using LR differently. Do not use the "copy as dng" option, but rather use the other import option that only loads files from their current location. Next, you need to get a new hard drive, internal or external (hopefully USB3), and make folders. You copy the files into those folders manually from your camera. Then you import them into LR without making copies. This will also make backups easy.
Yes, file size is annoying, but there is not much we can do about it other than buy bigger hard drives. At least hard drives have bigger and bigger capacities at fairly affordable prices.

Thanks Na Horuk,
But why not let LR copy them from the card? My thinking is that it's easy to preview them on the SD card (using my PC) and then decide which ones to copy over to my folders. Thanks for your input!
06-22-2016, 02:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newfie Quote
But why not let LR copy them from the card? My thinking is that it's easy to preview them on the SD card (using my PC) and then decide which ones to copy over to my folders. Thanks for your input!
My LR (older version) would copy the dng files into a location where I didn't want them. I prefer to have control over where files are. I'm not sure, maybe it is possible to change this anyway.
The other problem is that I think it would remove some things from the original dng. LR doesn't just copy the exact file, instead it takes the raw data from it and puts it into a newly created dng. And I think the new dng is missing some Pentax-specific things, like the Pentax Embedded color profile. I may be mixing some things up, though. LR just has so many options, and the newer versions are slightly different from the older ones.
06-22-2016, 02:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newfie Quote
Hi All,

I've done a bunch of searches here on the forum but can't find exactly what I'm after, so if there is a link to a thread please provide the link if you can.

My dilemma is that I went to download about 700 pictures that were taken in RAW large format and ran out of space on one of my drives. I used LR 5.7 to select the files to copy them over to the drive.

I still want to shoot RAW (to be able to apply post processing, etc.), not jpg, so what are the trade-offs in the RAW settings, other than a reduced file size:
  • smaller picture, i.e. pixel dimension?
  • less detail, but the same size pictures, in pixels?
And, is there a point where selecting a higher rez jpg setting would offset the benefits of shooting a small size RAW file?


Thanks Gang!
Newfie
Get a 2 terrabyte portable hard drive. They are cheap ($100 or so).


Better yet get two so you can have a backup copy.
06-23-2016, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
My LR (older version) would copy the dng files into a location where I didn't want them. I prefer to have control over where files are. I'm not sure, maybe it is possible to change this anyway.
The other problem is that I think it would remove some things from the original dng. LR doesn't just copy the exact file, instead it takes the raw data from it and puts it into a newly created dng. And I think the new dng is missing some Pentax-specific things, like the Pentax Embedded color profile. I may be mixing some things up, though. LR just has so many options, and the newer versions are slightly different from the older ones.
Lr will put the files copied off the card wherever YOU want to put them, in folders named per your choice.

And no, it isn't removing something from the DNGs taken by the camera. You can use the embedded profile from a K-3II, or one of the other Pentax ones like Camera Vivid, or Adobe Standard, or one you create yourself with say a ColorChecker Passport.
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