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09-21-2014, 05:45 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I am completely in favor of shooting RAW from the get go. I am also very much in favor of buying a little external drive of some kind and dedicating it to just pictures files. Of course you want to come up with a consistent labeling system for your files/folders.

I would say do all of the above from the get go. Now let me address the 'why' I feel this way.

You will be able to go back later and crop and/or process images in new ways... even stuff from a year or even two, three, five years ago, or however long. You might not know all the bells and whistles for PP now... but later on you might learn something cool and you can apply the new learning to an old photo.

Next, some of my best photos ever were taken when I was pretty new to photography. (I have only been shooting 2 1/2 years as of right now). And lastly, going back through old photos with 'fresh eyes'... from a year, two or whatever ago... it's a learning tool and learning experience. You can more fully track your progress over time and learn stuff from 'back then' that helps you 'right now' be a better photographer.
I completely agree with this. As I said, I wish I had some of my old photos in RAW.

09-21-2014, 06:47 PM - 1 Like   #17
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There are some things that can't be fixed easily in jpg. White balance for example. It depends what you shoot. I take wildlife shots and have used a variety of lenses. I crop all the time, some lenses require white balance adjustments, other times I have high iso and can try to get the best out of what I have. But if the shot is framed the way you want, the white balance and exposure is right, then the jpg out of camera is fine.
09-22-2014, 01:30 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
Would you recommend a beginner to start shooting in RAW just like I'm contemplating?
yes..

lightroom e.g. lets you work on one picture & then synchronize all other from a series. easy enough & worth the effort.
09-22-2014, 02:53 AM - 1 Like   #19
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RAW+.

Look at it this way. With film you have the negative and prints. The negatives are a function of the camera settings at the time the photo was made, but the prints are more a function of the printer settings (ok, plus the quality of the neg). If you don't like the prints you can change the settings and print again, but you can't change the negs.

With digital I equate the RAW image to the negs, and the JPEGs to the prints.


Last edited by JohnX; 09-22-2014 at 06:15 AM.
09-22-2014, 03:06 AM   #20
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I'm a total newbie and I go straight to shoot RAW (+Jpeg), you'll have so much control over your photo with Raw (exposure, highlight, shadow...). Each session I shoot 100-200 photo and I usually choose some photo I want to develop and then get Lightroom & Photoshop ready
Sharpness/Color/Brightness/Contrast is not a problem as you can increase/decrease in Lightroom/Photoshop very easily.
A good composition & light (direction and quality) on the subject is my concern, other factors can be modified in Post Process

Last edited by redcat; 09-22-2014 at 05:35 AM.
09-22-2014, 05:14 AM   #21
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I use DxO and I really like it. Now far I shoot RAW only.
It can correct RAW (distortion, CA, vignetting, noise reduction and sharpness) in two clicks (open RAW - save Jpeg). It has modules not only for Pentax lens (like in-camera conversion) but for third-party lens too (like my beloved Tamron 28-75/2.8).
I also like "natural color, natural tonality" option - finally skin tones and red flowers as they are.
I left Lightroom/Photoshop for heavy editing.
09-22-2014, 09:43 AM   #22
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I recommend RAW+, and LightRoom. As others said, focus on using/learning your camera and use the JPEG files for now. When I started with digital four years ago I only shot JPEG, and did not see the need for RAW. Now I wish I could go back and correct some of that first year of pictures....
09-22-2014, 10:49 AM   #23
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If you shoot RAW, the JPEG is always available with a step or two. Even if you don't set the camera to RAW+JPEG, the camera includes the settings to create the JPEG within the RAW file. It even uses them to create the preview on the camera's screen. You can "develop" a RAW image to create a JPEG, using just the camera controls. Or the Pentax software allows the same thing. I can open my *ist DS RAW files from 2005 and apply custom image filters that weren't even added until 2009. You can make that creation a little easier by setting your basic preferred JPEG settings on the camera now, but that's not necessary - all that can be chosen later.

09-22-2014, 09:17 PM - 1 Like   #24
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Shooting in RAW is a funny thing. On the one hand, you will appreciate all the automatic processing that your camera has to go through to create the JPG files that a lot of people take for granted. However, if you pursue RAW processing and get the hang of it then you will weep when you realize what kind of compromises a camera's generic JPG algorithm makes for simplicity. A camera simply cannot handle every situation imaginable. That's where the image must rely on the photographer before the shutter button is pressed to when a print or final file is produced. Suddenly, those in-camera settings seem a little weak compared to what you can do on a PC. When you understand the horsepower you are commanding with post processing it becomes very hard to be a straight a JPG shooter.
09-22-2014, 09:49 PM   #25
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Does shooting in RAW produce sharper photos than shooting in JPEG?

I thought it just allowed more latitude in exposure and color balance.
09-22-2014, 10:01 PM - 3 Likes   #26
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I was sitting on the BART one day when I met a man fiddling with a DSLR. He was changing out his memory card for a fresh one in preparation for more shooting when he got off the train. Something about him said "pro" to me I don't know why so I asked him if he was. He said "Yes" and we got to talking a little bit. At the time I was shooting with an upscale P&S the only digital I could afford at the time that had the ability to pick iso, aperture, and shutter speed and that had the ability to capture in RAW. It was very early days for me in terms of my photography. I was just learning, had not really thought about going pro as yet. After a bit he asked me if he could see what I had shot that day and I handed over my camera. He'd given me his business card at that point and I figured if he was holding a Nikon DSLR, as much as they cost back then, he probably wasn't going to help himself to my little Fuji. :P

He looked through my shots for that day, grunted, said "Not bad." then looked up and asked me why I was shooting in jpeg when I could be shooting in RAW. He asked me if I knew what the RAW setting was and if I knew what I could do with it. I did. I told him I was trained in Photoshop etc but that I could not really afford to go there because I was limited to using two 256MB memory cards. Bigger cards were just not really affordable for me on my budget. My rent was taking up most of what I made living in the city. He looked at me for a moment, then opened his camera and gave me the fresh card inside, a card that had 4X the capacity of the ones I owned. It cost like $65 at the time, and that was actually the maximum card that my Fuji could take as it happens. He said "There, now you have no excuse not to shoot RAW." He then got up, because the train pulled into the next station and it was his stop, and over his shoulder on the way out he said "You ever want to learn to be a real photographer you call me." He then walked out the door.

I was pretty bemused. I did not quite know what to make of this guy. He was old enough to be my grandfather, just barely, so I didn't think he was just being nice because he was trying to hit on me or something. He'd mentioned his wife of many years and the fact that she was also a photographer. But I just couldn't think he really meant it either. I mean a pro asking me if I wanted to learn? Offering to help me? Just handing me a very expensive memory card just like that? I was like "Okay...." and I put his business card into my bag and for a while I just left it there. I put the big card into my camera and resolved to follow his advice and shoot RAW.

A few weeks passed and I realized that this guy he'd done me a huge favor by pushing me to shoot RAW. It really helped me, opened up possibilities for my photography, started me on the road to becoming a serious and eventually pro photographer. That guy? He became my first teacher, is my mentor still to this day even though we live 6000 plus miles apart. He's the reason I am now teaching some kids and paying it forward, the reason my "hobby" is now my avocation.

YES, shoot RAW. Jpeg has it's uses but you can always make jpegs if you need to and in the meantime the extra data is there if you need it. I can't tell you how many times shooting RAW has saved my arse photographically speaking. It's totally worth doing IMHO and now days with memory being so cheap there's no reason not to unless what you are doing is strictly for web use. You can always scale down and make a jpeg, but if you don't use RAW you can't make as many corrections and sometimes it can really be a valuable thing being able to go there is you need to. Anyway that's why I started shooting RAW and why I firmly advocate it. Shooting RAW most of the time it's just a no brainer decision for me.

Last edited by magkelly; 09-22-2014 at 10:22 PM.
09-22-2014, 10:15 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
Hello,

I'm a complete beginner with a K50 and up to now I have been shooting in JPEG.

I value sharpness in my pictures above everything else. Besides getting a better lens (currently have 18-135mm WR), I read that I could shoot RAW and process my pictures in my PC (lets say with Lightroom) and that the processing power of such program will always be better than what the camera does when shooting JPEG. Questions:

I understand these programs (lightroom or similar) will have lots of sliders to control different properties and settings etc assuming that the user knows, but do they literally have a one-button that automatically processes RAW pictures and gives you what it thinks are the best settings? (similar to what the camera does when it shoots in JPEG)

Would you recommend a beginner to start shooting in RAW just like I'm contemplating? Way I think about it is that the change from JPEG --> RAW must be done at some point, why not now and learn little by little, although I understand the learning curve may be substantial hence my question of the existence of a one-button processing to start off.

Thanks and I welcome any advise.
Yes.

It will require a small investment in good software, however.

And, a good guide.

I believe that Lightroom CS6 and Martin Evening's book is best for a beginner. Later, you may find that other RAW/cataloging software is better for your workflow but until you have the level of experience required to differentiate between such software LR is so well documented I believe it to be the best. Others may disagree but the reason I recommend LR and Martin Evening's book is that it presents a solid, comprehensively documented, combination.

Martin Evening's book really is a requirement. It is a textbook and as such is not necessarily an "easy read" but it is the best LR resource available. If you really want to "learn" in an academic and very real sense there is no other comparable text. Not easy read but worth it. Take it in small bites.

Mr. Evening's book starts out espousing the cataloging aspects of LR but be patient and it will lead you to the RAW processing capabilities you want to learn. I think this is deliberate in that many people think of LR strictly in terms of RAW processing (as I did) but it's cataloging features are not to be underestimated in the slightest.

I thought I was "slogging" through the cataloging section until I got through it, almost forgetting that I bought it for RAW processing. It's cataloging features changed everything for me; as much as it's RAW processing.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 09-22-2014 at 10:42 PM.
09-23-2014, 04:38 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Does shooting in RAW produce sharper photos than shooting in JPEG?

I thought it just allowed more latitude in exposure and color balance.
In general, yes, it possible to create "sharper" or what is perceived to be "sharper" images in RAW because you will have more control over the sharpening algorithm. There's more to it than just a simple + / - slider. Depends on which software package you use. Every program will have its own sharpening algorithm. I'm sure Aperture does it differently than Lightroom but both do it well.

You will also be working with finer data. RAW data will have 2^12 or 2^14 bits per color channel vs the 2^8 bits per channel in JPG. When you increase the "definition" of the picture and work with localized micro-contrast settings your software can pick better a color value. Just imagine two rulers. One is in inches and the other is in half inches. Which will give you better resolution?

However, with all that said, our monitors only support 2^8 bit depths - or so I thought. And, we still output to JPG at the end of the day for the most part unless you save in TIFF. At least the JPG is the last step so you don't decimate data as you are processing it.
09-23-2014, 07:04 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
In general, yes, it possible to create "sharper" or what is perceived to be "sharper" images in RAW because you will have more control over the sharpening algorithm. There's more to it than just a simple + / - slider. Depends on which software package you use. Every program will have its own sharpening algorithm. I'm sure Aperture does it differently than Lightroom but both do it well.

You will also be working with finer data. RAW data will have 2^12 or 2^14 bits per color channel vs the 2^8 bits per channel in JPG. When you increase the "definition" of the picture and work with localized micro-contrast settings your software can pick better a color value. Just imagine two rulers. One is in inches and the other is in half inches. Which will give you better resolution?

However, with all that said, our monitors only support 2^8 bit depths - or so I thought. And, we still output to JPG at the end of the day for the most part unless you save in TIFF. At least the JPG is the last step so you don't decimate data as you are processing it.
Thanks!
09-23-2014, 07:45 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by zx-m Quote
Of course you should shoot RAW. There is nothing to fear and everything to gain. I shot RAW virtually from the very beginning, and have never looked back. Most of my shots require little to no post-production fiddling. The best shots are those that are done well at the point of capture.
I tried processing RAW, when on another forum I was pushed into it. I got so frustrated, that I gave up. So it's not so easy for someone new to RAW to just jump in. I don't have LightRoom, just Photoshop Elements, and a free program FastStone.
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