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02-14-2009, 05:47 PM   #1
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RAW or jpeg?

Do you shoot your pictures in RAW or jpeg? My computer pictures program (Windows photo Gallery) will not recognize pics shot in RAW so I am forced to use the program that came with my camera. Do you use that program too? I don't have Photoshop because I can't afford it. I am a bit confused as to when to use RAW and how to do any post editing. I hope my questions are clear.

02-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #2
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i shoot RAW, and i use Picasa to manage my photos
02-14-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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I have a possible solution for you. Shoot Raw, put your images on the computer and open them in Pentax photo browser. Create a file on your computer to accept converted images and use Pentax Photo lab to convert the images to a TIFF file in the new folder.
TIFF's are big files (on a K20D they are around 80Mb from a Raw PEF) but they are lossless files unlike Jpegs. So they are well suited to editing and keeping the original quality.

Then go to www.paint.net and download the software there free. This program has many of the features of Photoshop and if you visit the forums there, you can get tutorials and free plugins with even more features. Quite a nice package. Just edit the TIFF's there.

You might also want to read the following:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-processing-articles/40647-some-expla...-benifits.html
02-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leana Quote
Do you shoot your pictures in RAW or jpeg? My computer pictures program (Windows photo Gallery) will not recognize pics shot in RAW so I am forced to use the program that came with my camera. Do you use that program too? I don't have Photoshop because I can't afford it. I am a bit confused as to when to use RAW and how to do any post editing. I hope my questions are clear.
If you want something similar for viewing photos, you can download Windows Live Photo Gallery, and install the Pentax RAW Codec from here:

Software Downloads : Support & Service : PENTAX

It says Vista only, but it actually installs fine on XP SP3. With that installed, Windows Live Photo Gallery will be abe to display the Pentax RAW files.

However, it isn't terribly fast...

02-14-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
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Hi Leana
I shoot jpeg for a few reasons..................
I'm just getting back into photography after FAR too many years absence. I need to re-learn many things. I also want to know what the camera and I are capable of. I don't mind making mistakes.
Also, I'm not a big fan of post-production such as Photoshop etc. I agree that there IS a time and place for it, but like I said before, I would rather learn by my own screw-ups.
The only PP I use is the basics offered to me by Windows Picture Manager (contrast, bright, etc).
Either I got the shot, or I didn't.
Purist? Maybe, but I hope it will make me a better photographer.

IMHO
02-15-2009, 12:48 AM   #6
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I highly recommend RAW. You can always make JPGs out of RAW, but you can not make RAWs out of a JPG.

I really think you are missing out on the total package if you do not shoot RAW. at this level of photography, RAW is a must--IMO.

You can also download Faststone 3.7 for free here: FastStone Image Viewer - Powerful and Intuitive Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter I use it to convert my Raws--it is simple and quick and effective. It is Freeware!!!

Best Regards,

Ernest

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 02-15-2009 at 11:34 AM. Reason: spelling
02-15-2009, 01:13 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I highly recommend RAW. You can always make JPGs out of RAW, but you can not make RAWs out of a JPG.

I really think you are missing out on the total package if you do not shoot RAW. at this level of photography, RAW is a must--IMO.

You can also download Faststone 3.7 for free here: FastStone Image Viewer - Powerful and Intuitive Photo Viewer, Editor and Batch Converter I use it to convert my Raws--it is simple and quick and affective. It is Freeware!!!

Best Regards,

Ernest
I will second what Jewelltrail said. That is first class advice.
You have not told us what camera you have but with my K10D I can set it up to shoot both RAW and JPEG for each shot. You may not want to do that all the time but it is a good way to start. Best of both worlds.

You could also try another free RAW processor - Raw Therapee
V2.4 release candidate released
Process your RAW files with it and then save as TIFF or JPEG.
02-15-2009, 02:02 AM   #8
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The benefits of shooting in RAW are questionable. It all depends on the camera you have, the lens, the sensor, ISO, the lighting conditions and the software used to convert RAW to JPG.

In 99% of cases, shooting to JPG is just fine and a lot less trouble. I have tried it shooting to RAW myself and while the resulting photos are different and I have a bit more control over the process, I cannot really say they are better. I suppose it is highly subjective and I myself am for JPG because it gives me more time to focus on other things than just getting the best exposition. So, unless you enjoy spending time converting RAW to JPG, just use JPG.

RAW time will come when sensors get better and the difference becomes noticeable.

BTW if you are looking for a powerful free software for image editing compatible with Photoshop plug-ins, try Edit pictures with RealWorld Paint.COM image editor

02-15-2009, 07:09 AM   #9
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But me in with rayallen and Jewelltrail. Vlasta, I don't want to welcome a member here with a direct challenge but I have to disagree with "benefits of shooting RAWs are questionable". There is one advantage in that if your computer is old and slow, RAW files will push it to it's limiits. Other than that, a RAW file is still the better method of recording the image. Much more data (bigger file sizes), better dynamic range (shadow detail), better exposure latitude and white balance control. Jpegs are fine in many respects but if you want big enlargements or want to do a lot of edits to a particular shot, A RAW file is the way to go.

I only use a Jpeg for printing and as the final stage in an edited photo. Shots are processed in Lightroom or PS and then the final version is saved to Jpeg. Since Jpegs are lossless files, there is a difference in the end result if even a small amount of editing is done.

Plus no matter what software you use, Jpeg conversion isn't a big issue. For the OP who has only the Pentax software. I would download the files to the browser, go to photo lab and set things like sharpness, contrast NR and any other basics they want. Then batch convert the files to a folder and go to bed. Everything is there waiting to view the next day and the RAW's remain untouched if other things need to be done to a particular file.

There's no downside.
02-23-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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I sometimes screw up WB when in AutoWB (my K100D doesn't like tunsten light!). Shooting RAW? No problem, with just one slider, you can correct it. Off course you can do it with a Jpeg but, sometimes, it isn't easy...
Even if you screw up exposure, there's a bigger chance you can recover the picture if you are shooting RAW.
So, if your card is big enough, shoot RAW.
02-23-2009, 12:19 PM   #11
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Thank you for the great information everyone!
02-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #12
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Leana, i bought my K100DS almost a year ago and it was my first ever SLR. The last few months I have been shooting exclusively in RAW. When I first had my camera I was shooting with the high quality JPEGs. This helped me while I learned the basics of taking photos and during this time I was doing little to no post processing. After a while I learned that PP is a part of the photographic experience and that shooting RAW is the way to go if I want to have access to the full potential of the images stored away into the camera. There are a couple programs out there that are free as Peter pointed out that will get you started in terms of RAW processing.
02-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #13
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Leana, I allways think of it as shooting with a polaroid camera (JPEG) versus develloping your own film in a darkroom (RAW). Shooting RAW and develloping it in one or another PP program for me is just part of my photography hobby. Oh yes, I started shooting JPEG, but within one week I started making pictures in RAW and it is just what I like. It's much more versatile...
02-23-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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If you are using Vista, you may be in luck.

Look Here: Understanding picture file types - Windows Vista Help

It appears that if you have kept your Vista updated, Photo Gallery will recognize RAW files. The problem you may have is which type of RAW you are using. Try using the Adobe version instead of Pentax's.
02-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vlasta Quote
In 99% of cases, shooting to JPG is just fine and a lot less trouble.
Shooting JPEG is only less trouble if you don't have software that makes shooting RAW as easy as or easier than shooting JPEG. I began shooting RAW primarily because I found it was *easier* than dealing with JPEG and the need to have to make a copy of a file every time I edited to avoid overwriting the original. I then became aware just how more more flexibility there is in RAW if you need to adjust exposure, curves, or white balance. You *can* do these things in JPEG, but the results are *much* noticeably better with RAW if you'r doing anything other than very small adjustments.

QuoteQuote:
So, unless you enjoy spending time converting RAW to JPG, just use JPG.
With the right software, you don't *have* to convert RAW to JPEG - you just leave your images RAW. Sure, you might ant to generate smaller versions to post online, but you have to do that if you shoot JPEG too.
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