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09-06-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
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RAW vs JPEG - Needless Controversy

The K-5, II & IIs produce excellent JPEGs straight out from the camera. So much so I am hard pressed for matching this JPEG output by converting RAW into JPEG using PS CS6.
So I don't see why so much emphasis is given by our so called Pro Photographers to shoot RAW. Yes I do shoot RAW at times, but just as an insurance against bad lighting situations and that odd very difficult shoot like a seascape at dawn or dusk.

The K-5s hold terrific dynamic range, so that I am able to recover from a dark & dank badly under exposed JPEG photo quite easily.
Sensor technology and the cameras photo engine have become so advanced that we should put this controversy - RAW vs JPEG - to rest, forever.
Maybe our Pros have created too much hype around this RAW stuff - for the bragging element, our a superior air.

And anyway you can't change the following in RAW:-
Shutter speed: the duration of the exposure is fixed the moment you press the shutter – you can’t change that later!
Lens aperture: lens aperture and depth of field are also fixed at the moment the shot is taken
Zoom setting: you can crop your pictures later, but you can’t alter the physical zoom setting you chose on the lens
Focus distance: the focus point is another optical property that can’t be changed later. Like shutter speed and aperture, this is the ‘analogue’ part of photography – the ‘digital’ part comes later.
ISO: the ISO is applied using electronic amplification before the raw image is created – surprisingly, this is not a raw option either so it’s something else you have to get right when you shoot.
Others:a few more very technical point.

Thanks for reading.
Regards.

09-06-2013, 09:18 AM   #2
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There is no controversy.
09-06-2013, 09:20 AM - 1 Like   #3
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The raw file contains raw pixel data rather than an interpolated/demosaiced photo like a JPEG. This means that the raw processor may be able to do a better job of interpolating the file (decoding the bayer pattern) than the camera. There is no single best way of doing this, so some might enjoy the flexibility when it comes to artifact removal. The photo will most likely look slightly different (especially around edges and file details) when developed using two different raw converters.

QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
The K-5s hold terrific dynamic range, so that I am able to recover from a dark & dank badly under exposed JPEG photo quite easily.
Yes, but that dynamic range is discretized into 8-bit values per channel (24 bits total) in JPEG versus 14 bits in RAW (42 bits total). So RAW has the potential to represent 2^18 times more colors (that works out to 260k times more colors). 0 in jpeg (i.e. complete darkness) might be represented more precisely in a raw file, and it usually is. I've had JPEGs that looked almost completely black turn into perfectly good night shots after +3 stops in ACR, whereas the JPEG simply had too much noise.

My stance is that raw mode gives you endlessly more control, as it should. However, out-of-camera JPEG files will usually end up better color-wise unless you apply a profile to the raw file or spend a while adjusting the sliders (away from the raw processor's default presets). Thus, the main trade-off is time spent during post. That's why I use RAW+: you've got the JPEG as a starting point and a color reference, and if that isn't enough to work with, then the RAW file can be used to recover extra detail.

Adam
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09-06-2013, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I prefer shooting RAW since I can correct WB. Memory is so cheap nowadays so saving space is no longer my concern.

By the way, some people prefer shooting JPEG, other prefer RAW; never a controversy. Calling people who prefer shooting RAW bragging or superior air is insulting and useless in conversation.

Regards,

Peter

09-06-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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I've found many software processing to completly restore the color tones applied in the body jpeg, so I take the alternate stance : why would I not shoot raw? It gives me all the previously stated advantages, plus access to a non damaged version of the picture captured by the snapshot.

There is no hype in pro circles or whatnot, and no more bragging and superior air than into people which proclaims ultimate jpeg shooting superiority.
09-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #6
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I bet I have an intentional shot done in raw+ where I could make a believer out of you.
09-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
discretized...
Oooh!
09-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
And anyway you can't change the following in RAW:- Shutter speed: the duration of the exposure is fixed the moment you press the shutter – you can’t change that later! Lens aperture: lens aperture and depth of field are also fixed at the moment the shot is taken Zoom setting: you can crop your pictures later, but you can’t alter the physical zoom setting you chose on the lens Focus distance: the focus point is another optical property that can’t be changed later. Like shutter speed and aperture, this is the ‘analogue’ part of photography – the ‘digital’ part comes later. ISO: the ISO is applied using electronic amplification before the raw image is created – surprisingly, this is not a raw option either so it’s something else you have to get right when you shoot.
Hi
These are all basic photography skills; they are considerations before format choice. Therefore they have no relevance in choosing which format is used or ought to be used.

Greetings

09-06-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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This is an ancient argument. I will agree that for snap shots, you might as well shoot jpegs. But if you plan to do more post processing to enhance detail, bring up exposures, etc there is just a lot more to work with in a RAW file. I do find that often a single K5 RAW file is enough for a landscape, whereas prior I would have no choice, but to use HDR techniques to enhance shadowed areas.
09-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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I think you have some missconceptions, perhaps this will help:

QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
And anyway you can't change the following in RAW:-
Shutter speed: the duration of the exposure is fixed the moment you press the shutter – you can’t change that later!
Lens aperture: lens aperture and depth of field are also fixed at the moment the shot is taken
Well, you can´t change Tv and Av values in Jpeg either! Those are THE values one must decide on the camera and lens respectively.
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Zoom setting: you can crop your pictures later, but you can’t alter the physical zoom setting you chose on the lens
Actually, cropping an image gives the same result as using optical zoom. The difference is in that you loose resolution with the former method...
What you can´t change is perspective, by moving closer or further from your subject.
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
Focus distance: the focus point is another optical property that can’t be changed later.
With modern software, you can correct missfocused shots nowadays... I think it applies equally for Jpegs or RAW files.
QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
SO: the ISO is applied using electronic amplification before the raw image is created – surprisingly, this is not a raw option either so it’s something else you have to get right when you shoot.
Take into account that the K.5 uses analog amplification for ISO values 100 through 1600. After that, ISO is achieved by digital amplification.
09-06-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
The K-5, II & IIs produce excellent JPEGs straight out from the camera.
True

QuoteQuote:
So much so I am hard pressed for matching this JPEG output by converting RAW into JPEG using PS CS6.
Logic would say that either you are right or you are not using PS CS6 correctly to obtain maximum results or you should use a more competent raw converter. I'm guessing the middle option is true.

QuoteQuote:
Sensor technology and the cameras photo engine have become so advanced that we should put this controversy - RAW vs JPEG - to rest, forever.
Maybe our Pros have created too much hype around this RAW stuff - for the bragging element, our a superior air.
There IS no controversy: a jpeg is, at best, a compromise. The raw holds better detail, tonality and dynamic range - always, no exceptions known. Jpeg is an excellent compromise and with the K-5, quite OK for a lot of shots. Do NOT confuse that by saying it comes anywhere near a raw converted by someone who knows what he is doing.

Best compromise I found is to shoot raw+ and use the jpegs when I'm a bit lazy or when shooting family pics.
09-06-2013, 02:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
There IS no controversy
That's what I wrote in post #2 :-) No one is going to convince the OP otherwise.
09-06-2013, 03:04 PM   #13
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I shoot RAW+JPEG most times, so no controversy for me. If I need to shoot a bit faster, I'll switch just to RAW.

What's interesting about RAW is if you re-visit your images after a few upgrades of your RAW processing tools, and maybe a newer computer, suddenly extra detail and life can pop out of the RAW images, noise reduction works better etc. With JPG's the cake is already baked, with little scope to re-bake it.
09-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #14
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No controversy?! Hah! Everyone knows that raw users and jpeg users each meet in secret to say rude things about the other camp and plot a takeover of PF.

Seriously, it's not a controversy--it's a choice.
09-06-2013, 11:28 PM   #15
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I am honored by the feed back and thank all the wonderful Pentaxians here. I know some of you are sore at me, but with folded hands I beg your pardon. This is what lead me to start this thread. Do note I am not a Pro and do not make a living from Photography. I am a lover of good photographic gear, and enjoy the actual photography sessions when time, weather and my arthritis allows me:

" I was fed up sitting on my computer wasting productive time converting RAW into JPEGs. And 3/4 the time, JPEGs straight from the camera was
actually much better than my converted RAW. Then I started shooting RAW+ (RAW + JPEG) and finding my 8 & 16 GB cards were getting exhausted very soon. I was also running out of storage space on my Laptop, External HDs, the Cloud (very expensive).
Actually I am left scratching my head. It is now sore".

Note: above comments in inverted commas extracted from my recent post to ipentax google groups.
A recent street shot attached. K-5 + Sigma 10-20 - Lanterns on sale by a street vendor. Reduced from the original 15 GB JPEG.
Had hell of a time with WB due to the blue tarp as roof. Over sharpened in PS CS5 to bring out the sheen and magic from the
colorful glass. Any more and the genie would have come out.

Last edited by nanhi; 12-17-2013 at 06:49 AM.
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