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12-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I often set my camera to save the RAW (DNG) + JPG (at only 2 megapixels). A 2 megapixel JPG is fine for posting to the web but the RAW gets used for my best images. RAW supports better adjustment before printing and can salvage a poorly exposed image.
I'm pretty new to this but I too found that setting very useful. It's a win-win since it also saves me from the hassle of resizing JPEGs for upload, especially while traveling. And with a 32GB memory card I still get around 1500 shots before it fills up.

12-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #32
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I never considered saving the JPG as smaller - honestly I'd never assumed it was possible, don't know why. I'll have to try that and see how it works for me.
12-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Shoot 1-1.5 stop underexposed and bring both back to normal exposure and you'll see the difference in the color, tonality, and noise.
Yep. I use JPG for casual photos, and they look fine as long as they're exposed more or less the way you want the finished product to look. But for serious shots and tricky lighting situations with lots of shadows, RAW is the way to go. It's amazing the amount of exposure correction & tinkering you can do with RAW without degradation of the image.

To me, the big difference between JPG & RAW isn't how the photo looks coming straight out of the camera, but how much latitude you have in your post processing.
12-08-2012, 02:28 PM   #34
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JPGs are fine most of the time. However when you need the extra processing room that RAW provides, you really really need it. Say you got your money shot, but its not exposed right and the camera didn't do the white balance correctly. RAW is much more likely to produce a usable image after editing than jpeg. Jpeg is fine for small edits, but any time you need to crank on the image to make it right the extra DR and bit depth of RAW can't be beat.

12-09-2012, 08:25 AM   #35
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Kr with Raw + Jpeg. As you can see, my flash didn't quite reach far enough. Glad I shot at ISO2000 so I still got the shot.

All processing was as close to identical as I could make it. The white balance was corrected based on the robe. Other steps included noise removal, fill light, clarity, and curves.

Original exposure


Processed from the Jpec


Process from Raw


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12-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #36
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I've gone back to *ist DS images when I got Photoshop CS5. That includes better noise reduction in its RAW converter. The better NR improved the images greatly, and I could do it in the first processing steps.

What drove me to RAW in the first place was white balance. I rarely even think about white balance when shooting, even when it's a good idea. I just fix it in processing.

The older technology of the DS means it's harder to see problems in advance, so the extra information in a RAW file can save you. There's not a lot of settings to customize JPG conversion, no high-ISO NR, the metering is conservative and less accurate, etc. The reviews when it was new didn't like its conversion engine much. The DS PEF files aren't even that big in current terms - it was a bigger issue when I was using my one 1Gb card, 89 shots at once. Upgrade the firmware and use an 8Gb card, I think it's 760 shots. The DS isn't going to win any speed contests in burst shooting or saving files, even in JPG. One issue is that DNG files are uncompressed and therefore larger than PEFs.
12-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
One issue is that DNG files are uncompressed and therefore larger than PEFs.
From what I've read the K-7 and later compress DNG as well.
12-12-2012, 05:07 PM   #38
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The topic at hand is really just an example of user preference. When I had the K10d, I rarely saw a huge advantage to RAW even though I shot it mostly exclusively. I felt like I was getting what I could get with the JPG at best and the performance of the camera didn't really get me much more on images that weren't shot correctly to begin with. Some of that may have been using less than stellar RAW software, so I don't know.

The benefit to RAW really came up on a recent trip where the JPGs I was seeing on the screen of my K5 (recalling that when you shoot RAW the image you see is still a JPG) looked like I was significantly over and under-exposing images such that I ended up bracketing my exposures thinking I was going to have to learn HDR to get anything. Well, most of the time the images turned out to be just fine in processing. The RAW file was still capturing the full dynamic range. Of course, I could have dialed different settings in the camera for the JPG, but I was shooting RAW.

The other main advantage I've had with RAW is in white balance. I've forgotten to change white balance or have had the white balance set wrong on my own fault. On one trip, the white balance was such that all my blue skies were gray. I don't think I would have ever been able to salvage color for those with JPGs as I assume that once something is gray in JPG, it's there (I'm not sharp on that theory though). Never-the-less, shooting RAW saved me as I was able to get the white balance adjusted to what I needed.

12-12-2012, 05:08 PM   #39
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Raw now saves me from shooting too many images and makes me worry less about details out in the field besides composition.
12-12-2012, 11:50 PM   #40
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It seems to me shooting in RAW or jpg is two fundamentally different ways of thinking of exposure.

With Raw you are exposing for maximum editable data
while
With jpg you are exposing for an actual final visual image.

RAW is a more abstract way of thinking of exposure while jpg exposure is more intuitive and visual. This has a big effect on workflow. With jpg workflow is front ended while with RAW it is back ended.

RAW is ideal for me. I tend to shot say a hundred shots and look for those 5 or 10 keepers when I get home. Then lavish a lot of time and work getting them just right at the back end of the workflow. I like this ability to take my time and really think about what is the ideal image and not be pressured by these considerations out in the field.

Capture as much data as possible and worry about what to do with it later and at your leisure.

Last edited by wildman; 12-13-2012 at 12:17 AM.
12-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
It seems to me shooting in RAW or jpg is two fundamentally different ways of thinking of exposure.

With Raw you are exposing for maximum editable data
while
With jpg you are exposing for an actual final visual image.

RAW is a more abstract way of thinking of exposure while jpg exposure is more intuitive and visual. This has a big effect on workflow. With jpg workflow is front ended while with RAW it is back ended.

RAW is ideal for me. I tend to shot say a hundred shots and look for those 5 or 10 keepers when I get home. Then lavish a lot of time and work getting them just right at the back end of the workflow. I like this ability to take my time and really think about what is the ideal image and not be pressured by these considerations out in the field.

Capture as much data as possible and worry about what to do with it later and at your leisure.
Your observations have hit the nail on the head... RAW in essence steps us back into the film age a bit in that we get as much data as we can and don't worry about the results until we are back in our dark room or RAW processor (to keep from trademark infringement ).

The only problems I have as a RAW shooter is I am still heavily using bad habits from the instant gratification associated with earlier P&S jpg imaging before I could afford a dSLR. I think this is an issue many of us face, at least those of us that aren't coming from a professional background or even using more rational reasoning for shooting jpg. For example, I tend to go for the most perfect looking jpg in the sense that I base my shooting and associated reshooting of a scene on the image I see on the LCD after a shot even though the side of me that understands raw photography can see at times that the histogram is adequate.

Some of this also goes with the fear and disdain towards the post-processing process although the increasingly better and more intuitive control provided by software such as LR is making me enjoy and appreciate the post-processing stage much more. I definitely hope I can get to a stage like you are at where I can focus on the composition and the keepers based on that composition with less concern or worry over what I see on the screen at the moment. I think I'd save a lot more time in my photography while out and about and probably get more variety out of my shot rather than 100's of photos that often consist of a lot of exposure bracketed sequences.
12-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #42
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I would just echo that there is a lot more detail that you can pull out of a RAW image than out of jpeg, although it helps to have a camera with a more modern sensor. From the kx onward, Pentax cameras have more dynamic range than is visible in your intial jpeg file. Unfortunately, a lot of the data is thrown away when you shoot jpeg and if you bring up the shadows, what you get is more noise than real detail. At the same time, in the RAW file, on my K5, I can bump shadows four stops in post (if shot at iso 80) without having a lot of noise. This is allows for one image "pseudo HDR" photos.
12-20-2012, 06:01 AM   #43
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I'm pretty new to modern digital but this thread exemplifies my love/hate relationship with post-processing. They might not have more 'punch' but I prefer the 'before' shots to the 'after' of every example in this thread. Its interesting someone said the advent of RAW is like a throwback to the film days, because I feel like its quite the opposite. With RAW you can take a dozen shots not worrying about exposure (even intentionally under-exposing), white balance, or even flare and composition given the power of the software available now and the megapixel wiggle room we have to play with.

You didn't have anything like those controls in a darkroom and it was still essential you got the perfectly (or near as) exposed and composed shot. I appreciate the power of PP and if darkroom magic was your passion its great to be able to do that and more in the comfort of your own home. And the ability to 'rescue' an amazing shot relatively simply is a fantastic thing for photography I'd never besmirch.

But for me personally I like taking time out in the field to get it right, not spending forever (partly because I'm so new to PP) tinkering in front of a computer screen. But at the same time I understand the rationale that you don't want to be head down fiddling with your white balance on a tiny screen when you can do it far more efficiently and superiorly at home.

I shoot in RAW+ (although can't bring myself to shoot smaller jpegs even though it would make sense) for that reason, and why I also love the K-30's option to delete RAW in camera but keep the jpeg or vice versa. As I'll keep the RAW's only of my best shots or ones that need a little fixing whilst keep jpegs for the standard shots.

Now a little off topic (but also a RAW/Jpg comparison):

QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
I haven't found a JPEG setting in my Pentax camera (K-30) that can accurately output a photo of a dozen red roses. They all tend to appear orange to some degree. By contrast, I can get beautiful and accurate color of the roses via the RAW image. Nothing revealing here... the question of reds in Pentax's JPEG engine has been discussed many times. Most other shots -- the JPEGs look fine.
I'm brand new to Pentax (got my k-30 yesterday!) and pretty darn new to DSLR but this is the first I'd heard of such colour issues, to save me another enjoyable morning lost reading through the forum could you elaborate?

Maybe it's only dark reds because I went out yesterday and snapped this shot, the first is RAW unprocessed and the 2nd is the in camera Jpg ('natural' custom image, not a fan of the default 'bright' so far).

Maybe its just my crappy laptop monitor but the reds don't look that different to me and certainly not orange, the jpeg is a little more saturated and some detail is lost in the shadows but there's not a lot in it is there?
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12-20-2012, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jay-K Quote
I'm pretty new to modern digital but this thread exemplifies my love/hate relationship with post-processing. They might not have more 'punch' but I prefer the 'before' shots to the 'after' of every example in this thread. Its interesting someone said the advent of RAW is like a throwback to the film days, because I feel like its quite the opposite. With RAW you can take a dozen shots not worrying about exposure (even intentionally under-exposing), white balance, or even flare and composition given the power of the software available now and the megapixel wiggle room we have to play with.

You didn't have anything like those controls in a darkroom and it was still essential you got the perfectly (or near as) exposed and composed shot. I appreciate the power of PP and if darkroom magic was your passion its great to be able to do that and more in the comfort of your own home. And the ability to 'rescue' an amazing shot relatively simply is a fantastic thing for photography I'd never besmirch.

But for me personally I like taking time out in the field to get it right, not spending forever (partly because I'm so new to PP) tinkering in front of a computer screen. But at the same time I understand the rationale that you don't want to be head down fiddling with your white balance on a tiny screen when you can do it far more efficiently and superiorly at home.

I shoot in RAW+ (although can't bring myself to shoot smaller jpegs even though it would make sense) for that reason, and why I also love the K-30's option to delete RAW in camera but keep the jpeg or vice versa. As I'll keep the RAW's only of my best shots or ones that need a little fixing whilst keep jpegs for the standard shots.

Now a little off topic (but also a RAW/Jpg comparison):



I'm brand new to Pentax (got my k-30 yesterday!) and pretty darn new to DSLR but this is the first I'd heard of such colour issues, to save me another enjoyable morning lost reading through the forum could you elaborate?

Maybe it's only dark reds because I went out yesterday and snapped this shot, the first is RAW unprocessed and the 2nd is the in camera Jpg ('natural' custom image, not a fan of the default 'bright' so far).

Maybe its just my crappy laptop monitor but the reds don't look that different to me and certainly not orange, the jpeg is a little more saturated and some detail is lost in the shadows but there's not a lot in it is there?
Maybe it was the lens for whomever said that? maybe they had white balance wrong or off?

I do know that Reds can be difficult, but I'm not sure that it comes down to RAW vs. JPG. The sensors have twice as many Red sensors as they do the Blue and Green sensors. As a result, the sensors are a bit more sensitive to red... so I suppose a JPG could blow the red channel out a little easier whereas you could recover with a RAW file. I find that red channel is difficult anyway, but it often comes about in terms of losing detail in the reds not really a color cast or shift. Your JPG exemplifies exactly the type of problem I have with reds in that you don't have as much detail as your RAW example, but that could be overcome in settings anyway. Heck, I often have issues and I only deal with RAW. It can get tricky sometimes to get the results you show for your RAW from a RAW file.
12-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jay-K Quote
Its interesting someone said the advent of RAW is like a throwback to the film days, because I feel like its quite the opposite. With RAW you can take a dozen shots not worrying about exposure (even intentionally under-exposing), white balance, or even flare and composition given the power of the software available now and the megapixel wiggle room we have to play with.
Everything you mention can be done in a darkroom too and much more. Do you really think those disposable cameras got the exposure right every time? Negative film is very forgiving on exposure, in some cases even more forgiving than digital. White balance was also corrected in the darkroom, some flare could be fixed and you could easily get an 8x10 print out of 35mm film even with cropping.

The ability was there, it just wasn't always easy to do, not like tweaking a couple sliders. People like Ansel Adams worked magic in the darkroom, if he couldn't have done all of that we probably wouldn't even know his name today because without the processing, most of his shots wouldn't have had nearly the same impact.
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