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01-08-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
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Pentax K100DS, RAW or JPEG?

I still don't really get the difference between RAW and JPEG on the K100DS, whats really better to shoot on? I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my pictures, so which one is really suitable?


01-08-2012, 01:10 AM   #2
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At your stage, you might like to simplify your workflow by shooting in JPEG mode.
Eliminates a significant step in the computer processing work of your images. Later on, when you get the hang of things and you want to take your post-processing to the next level, you might want to switch to shooting in RAW.
01-08-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Depends on the editing that you do. If it's simple crop / resize, you can stick to jpeg. If you often adjust white balance, exposure etc to get the best out of the photo, raw might be better.

I shoot RAW + JPEG (you don't have that option, I think) and mostly use the jpegs from the camera.
01-08-2012, 03:56 AM   #4
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It might depend largely on your photos' subject matter (for example, close-up nature photography versus landscape photography) and sometimes on how large the photo will be displayed.

Mike Moats, an award-winning close-up photographer of nature, has addressed this topic in workshops and in his blog at (Scroll down to his Jan. 2 entry.) He achieves superb results. He makes beautiful, sizable prints for sale at art shows, using JPEG. Much of his processing is done with Nik Software products, which are plug-ins to such software as Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Aperture, and Lightroom.

I have never used RAW. I don't argue that everyone should only use JPEG. But I am not primarily a landscape photographer, I never make huge prints, and I sometimes shoot many exposures of the same subject.

Best wishes.

01-08-2012, 05:09 AM   #5

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QuoteOriginally posted by LegOverHead Quote
I still don't really get the difference between RAW and JPEG on the K100DS, whats really better to shoot on? I use Adobe Lightroom to edit my pictures, so which one is really suitable?

Big difference is that the JPEGs will reflect the in-camera settings you've set up, especially filters, sharpening, etc whereas the RAW will not.

I think of RAW as 'raw', i.e. unprocessed, straight out the camera and needs something doing to it in LR, etc to get what you want, vs. JPEG which is pre-processed giving you what the camera is set up to produce, a mixture of manufacturers settings + your settings.

Or, another way to look at it is to compare it to film - RAW would be the negatives which you then process and develop as you want, vs. JPEG which would be the pack of processed 'snaps' you get handed to you at the film lab.

If the JPEGs give you want you want, great, don't worry about RAW.

Last edited by JohnX; 01-08-2012 at 05:51 AM.
01-08-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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THe difference in principle is very simple. All digital cameras - every single one of them - shoots nothing but RAW, all the time, no exceptions. and no computer is printer is capable of displaying or printing a RAW file without converting it to something like JPEG. So the only question is whether you let the camera convert to JPEG for you, or whether you let the software on your computer do it. The advantage of the latter is that it gives you more control over the process should you wish to exercise it. If you don't choose to exercise that control, then your computer software will convert the file to JOEG using some sort of default settings, just like your camera will. The reaults will be neither better nor worse, just different, just like if you handed a pile of ingredients to two different chefs and asked them to both prepare the same dish from them. So etimes you might happen to prefer the results from one, other times tou might happen to prefer the results from the other.

Btw, the computer doesn't have to actually create a JPEG file to display your RAW image, programs like lightroom do the conversion internally and will display the image for you without actually creating a separate JOEG file, so it's *as if* it was displaying the RAW image itself. But it's still converting it to something like JPEG internally, either using default settina or the settings you choose.

So RAW is "better" only if you want to excercise control over the conversipn process. If you choose to just use the defaults, then there is no particular advantage to RAW. Either way, you are just ending up with a JPEG converted using default settings. You can of course edit that JPEG and get reaults similar to what you might have obttained had you obtained by controlling the conversion process, but in some cases, you can get *better* reaults by doing it at the conversipn stage rather than afterwards. But perhaps not by enough to matter to you.
01-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Everything is said I believe.
You already have the software so the real question is do you want to edit your photos our not?
If yes then use raw, it is easiest to edit and give you the most freedom.
If not then use jpg and get a finish product out of the camera.
If you don't know or are in a though situation shoot in both.
01-08-2012, 03:01 PM   #8
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There is essentially no extra work involved between editing a jpg and a raw file. If you do not edit jpgs, you probably should. Many people don't even bother to make the horizon level. There are normally more control options with raw software.

01-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the clarification, I decided to shoot in RAW since I do edit most of my pictures all with Adobe Lightroom! I used to edit JPEG in lightroom, time to test out RAW.
01-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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With my K100DS, I have never shot RAW too but I mostly tweak my jpegs via Photoshop.
I have the jpeg as my base so I have a reference as to how it should look as processed by the camera and if the shot is already good then I don't even bother to tamper with it.
Most of the time though I do tweak the jpegs in Photoshop which I have quite gotten a hang of.
If I probably was going to print something large, then I would go for RAW but I have never had any need for it so far that jpegs tweaked in Photoshop suffice.
Good luck on your new endeavor, give us feedback if shooting RAW worked better for you.
01-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #11

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I have a DS, so our in camera settings are pretty similar. I shoot Raw for 2 reasons. 1 - White balance adjustments are easier (My kids do theater and sometimes the stage lighting does not look good from the camera). 2 - Exposure adjustments - There are several free post processing programs that let you adjust the dynamic range and overall exposure levels (+/- 3 stops). Blown highlights in JPEG are always blown highlights. Not always true in Raw.

01-09-2012, 11:59 AM   #12
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Here is a simple take on this subject. As was stated, RAW is like the negative, ready to make a print, you can do do a lot in SW to massage the raw file. When I finish with the RAW file, I do not save to JPG, I save to TIFF. As JPG compresses the file, every time you open it up and resave it (even to just remove a piece of dust you missed), the file gets compressed again. It is easy to make a 15MB file become about 750K just by opening and saving it about 3 or 4 times! TIFF does not compress the file, so you never get this data loss. You WILL however turn a 15mb RAW file into a 45mb TIFF file! No big deal as computer memory is cheap and expandable! I only convert from TIFF to JPG when sending files to others for upload (like the Pentax Forum site).

That said, I save in the camera both RAW and JPG at the same time. Why? So I can ID the images easily. The PC does not know how to deal with RAW files, so it cannot display the thumbnails. By shooting in JPG and RAW, I see the associated files and can ID the RAW images I want to work on! Also, if you are not doing serious work (e.g., the kid's b'day party) then you can save time by just taking the "snap shot" jpg images and passing them on to the family. Just remember, by saving both, you cut the images you can save in half. On my K7, an 8MB card goes from about 400 high res images to 200 RAW and JPG images. I have multiple cards. No sense running out of "film"!

Be well,

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