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01-03-2018, 02:12 PM   #1
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RAW+ vs. RAW vs. JPEG

I asked this question on the Facebook K-1 forum and got what I consider to be "guess answers." So here goes.

If you shoot in RAW, then decide to go into RAW development to produce a JPEG will that JPEG have the same quality as if you shoot in RAW+ to begin with?

Using the JPEG produced by the RAW development, will Digital Filters produce the same quality as if you had worked on the JPEG image produced by RAW+ ?

Shooting in JPEG only. Will these images be the same quality as if you had used RAW (only) and RAW development or RAW+ ?

Really questioning why I am shooting in RAW+. Should I just shoot in either RAW or JPEG?


StrasburgBarry

01-03-2018, 02:23 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Yes is the answer to your first set of questions.

Why shoot RAW+ ? Or just RAW or JPEG ? : If you want to process an image and produce the best results you should do it on your computer, not the camera, and use a raw file to start with.

If you want to shoot a lot of images and only use a few best ones to process further, but also want to keep all of the images you shoot then use RAW+. If you dont want to process any then use JPEG. If you are an experienced photographer and will process your images to produce just a few exceptional ones then use raw.
01-03-2018, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #3
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RAW files allow wider latitude when tweaking in post because it's "non-destructive" editing. RAW files also will generate a much larger and better image files that you will need for making larger prints.

Sounds like you might be new to RAW editing. Take the time to learn all about RAW processing using your favorite RAW editor. Then practice, practice, practice.

After you become proficient at RAW image processing, you'll never want to go back to shooting jpg images again.
01-03-2018, 02:27 PM   #4
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I shoot in Raw+ on my K3 II

The Raw files go to card 2 and the JPEG files go to card 1, the Flucard is in Card 1. Sometimes i don't care that much about the images, or they come out good, or i want to share them via facebook quick. I pull the jpeg's i want from the Flu, share them and call it a day. The RAW's are there as a backup.
Other times i want the RAW file, and then the JPEG becomes a backup.

best of both worlds for me. Easy shareability, and i also have the workable file if i need/want it.

01-03-2018, 02:29 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Hi Barry,

I believe so, yes. I'm pretty sure that the in camera RAW development code is the same as that used to produce JPG without saving as RAW. Certainly when I have play with this the results seem very similar if not identical.

The only reasons that I can think of to shoot RAW + JPG (I don't - I just shoot RAW):
* If you want to use the JPGs straight out of the camera as a convenience (perhaps giving them to a customer on own card etc) without doing RAW processing on a PC (or RAW development on camera).
* You are transitioning from JPG to RAW and want to compare results. I did this initially but I actually came to the conclusion that its not a good idea to constantly compare development to JPG as you spend all the time trying to make the RAW file look like the JPG when you should be focusing on getting an image you like the look of. My results actually improved once I dropped the JPG altogether.
01-03-2018, 02:50 PM   #6
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I like to process in-camera, so thanks for all the above answers. I switched to LR in December 2013 and hardly ever use it. I am an old school style photographer (started in 1959) and usually know how my photo will turn out, before I take it, as in pre-visualization. When I had a PC I also had a bootleg version of PS which I really liked. Couldn't use it when we switched to a Mac in Feb. 2014. Appreciate any and all comments. Thanks!
01-03-2018, 02:50 PM   #7
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If you made the same choices as the JPG in camera processing does (and it must process the image, even if using only JPG) there would not be an advantage.

But you can make so many different choices using raw and processing it, that there is a huge advantage. In many work flows the final image is a JPG, but the final image would be essentially identical to the image left finally as a TIFF, or whatever (but not at all the same if you started with a JPG).

Just saw your concluding post about staying with JPG--maybe if image strorage is not a big deal--saving in RAW+ allows you to save images for a day when it may be useful. Also I gather it may be possible to get older PS versions w/o cost. I have seen this stated. (BTW I use CS2 and CS6 on a Mac, and CS6 is much improved as regards processing the raw file.)


Last edited by dms; 01-03-2018 at 02:59 PM.
01-03-2018, 03:05 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
Really questioning why I am shooting in RAW+. Should I just shoot in either RAW or JPEG
It’s a setting for optimum work flow.

1) what are you doing with your images? Printing BIG? Submitting for professional publication? Sharing 1024 wide images by web / email?

2) what post processing are you willing to do? Do you have a signature post processing technique?

I shoot Raw+

Why?

I like to play with / develop my landscape photos by pushing pulling and adjusting white balance. In fact it was operator error resulting in a days worth of photos shot in the wrong white balance that convinced me RAW was worth the extra file size. Recovering jpg files from wrong white balance can be difficult to say the least.

I regularly share the jpg file using Image Sync app and my phone. The jpg save settings are for files 2048 pixels long side. The smaller file is desirable for faster transfer and smaller storage requirements. Quality wise in this situation “good enough” is all I need.

Further to that I regularly shoot events where I print directly to 4x6 - extra jpg pixels are just unnecessary.

So to sum up: ‘better’ is not necessarily a suitable criteria as it does not capture what your needs may be.
01-03-2018, 03:17 PM   #9
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RAW usually looks better to me, even just loading it into a processing program with the default settings. A RAW file also has significantly more data to represent the image than the JPEG does, and no lossy compression, so I recommend some usage of RAW in your process, if that is important to you. (You can reprocess photos on your camera, if that's what you are already doing, into a TIFF from a RAW, so you can get the advantage of a lossless image without using an external program for adjustments.)
01-03-2018, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Yes is the answer to your first set of questions.

Why shoot RAW+ ? Or just RAW or JPEG ? : If you want to process an image and produce the best results you should do it on your computer, not the camera, and use a raw file to start with.

If you want to shoot a lot of images and only use a few best ones to process further, but also want to keep all of the images you shoot then use RAW+. If you dont want to process any then use JPEG. If you are an experienced photographer and will process your images to produce just a few exceptional ones then use raw.
I was afraid to take RAW pictures only, I didn't feel like I could properly work with RAW files, but that has changed and I only shoot RAW now. Why? Because the forum members never made it sound complicated. That is one thing I really appreciate about the forum members here, they encourage rather than discourage.
01-04-2018, 03:52 AM - 2 Likes   #11
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Thanks for your answers. I am now back to shooting RAW+. Given the fact that I DO like to do post-process in-camera, Magdalena Weinheimer of the Facebook "Pentax K-1" group showed me the difference between creating a processed JPEG from a RAW image vs. creating it from another JPEG. I will ALWAYS modify an image through RAW Development now (never did before). If anyone is not sure how to do this and to differentiate between the two methods, please let me know and I will walk you through it. I'm now a much happier photographer.
01-05-2018, 11:51 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by StrasburgBarry Quote
I asked this question on the Facebook K-1 forum and got what I consider to be "guess answers." So here goes.

If you shoot in RAW, then decide to go into RAW development to produce a JPEG will that JPEG have the same quality as if you shoot in RAW+ to begin with?

Using the JPEG produced by the RAW development, will Digital Filters produce the same quality as if you had worked on the JPEG image produced by RAW+ ?

Shooting in JPEG only. Will these images be the same quality as if you had used RAW (only) and RAW development or RAW+ ?

Really questioning why I am shooting in RAW+. Should I just shoot in either RAW or JPEG?


StrasburgBarry
1. JPEG images produced by the camera will not be necessarily be of the same quality as JPEG processed from RAW images on your computer.
Your K-1 is essentially a mini computer with a sensor and a lens attached. It has some limited image processing algorithms in comparison to professional image processing applications like for example Darktable and RawTherapee that I use on my Linux computer for post processing.You have more control over your images using your computer rather than trusting your camera embedded algorithms.

2. JPEG images certainly will be of lower quality than RAW images. RAW+ setting in your camera means that it will process RAW into JPEG images and store both. Using RAW+ slows down your camera considerably when you are taking multiple shots, because it has to process images and write them on both cards.

3. I don't know why would you shoot in RAW+ unless you are working in the field and immediately printing your resulting JPEG images right from the camera in large formats. I cannot find any good use cases for storing 36MP JPEGs. It is hard to share, email or post them online due to their size and you are loosing image quality every time you are editing or resizing them. Why not to use only RAW DNG images as a standard to work with. You can process your initial 36MP RAW DNG image into 5MP JPEG or PNG image without any quality loss to email it or to post it online. If you need to print your image, you can crop or resize your RAW DNG file and process it into desired size and format JPEG or PNG file. And you will always have original unmodified RAW DNG images on your computer for any future editing and processing. Your RAW DNG (Digital NeGative) images is like an original film negative in analog photography. You could print paper photos in different formats and sizes using the same film negative.
01-07-2018, 01:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tax Quote
I cannot find any good use cases for storing 36MP JPEGs.
In my experience you'll never have really large JPEGs due to the loss of data when the camera creates the JPEG file. My JPEGS are normally around 10-20 mb but it really depends on the content of the picture, i.e. how much data can be omitted without much impact to the viewed image. Still, 10-20 mb JPEGs are also inconvenient for forwarding, sharing, uploading, etc.

Last edited by dave2k; 01-07-2018 at 05:19 PM.
01-07-2018, 08:08 PM   #14
tax
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave2k Quote
In my experience you'll never have really large JPEGs due to the loss of data when the camera creates the JPEG file. My JPEGS are normally around 10-20 mb but it really depends on the content of the picture, i.e. how much data can be omitted without much impact to the viewed image. Still, 10-20 mb JPEGs are also inconvenient for forwarding, sharing, uploading, etc.
That is why I store on my computer only RAW DNG files and then create JPEGs based on what I need to do with them, share via email, post them on a site or print.
01-08-2018, 03:20 AM - 2 Likes   #15
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I don't mean to be rude but IMO shooting jpegs with a 36Mp FF camera is kind of pointless simply because engaging into such an expensive system (camera body, lenses and such) entails that one is after professional results, which means that the files have to be developed after shooting. Hence shooting RAW.
If one is OK with the quality of the SOOC jpegs files that's one thing, but I think in that case the K1 is kind of an overkill...there's many cameras out there that can deliver considerable jpeg results for a fraction of the K1's cost.
If going with the K1 is the first step to learning the whole system (shooting and editing) then starting to shoot RAW is the first step in the right direction.
I myself fall into the category of those who shoot thousands of pics in RAW to select the best ones afterwards and polish/refine them to their best in Lightroom/Photoshop, thus I don't find any use for Jpegs; neither for backup as their limited tweaking possibility in post is rather useless. I shoot RAW on both cards, that's my backup.
The only way I can see myself using Jpegs is sharing them on social networks (which I seldom do), for which mobile phones are easier and straightforward...and to be honest, the latest models can take pretty darn good images if used the right way (and besides, latest iPhones and Android devices can shoot RAW too...).

Best

L.
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