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01-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #16
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Here's a poll of what some members shoot in: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/digital-processing-software-printing/8760...reference.html. And another relating application to file format: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/36610-what-format-...level-you.html

Then if you want to get specific on the type of RAW format, here's yet another poll: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/72842-raw-shooting...ormat-dng.html

01-06-2011, 11:22 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by mblanc Quote
I am also interested to know peoples thoughts on whether the benefits outweigh the added time spent converting formats. Thanks
It depends.

In case you want to keep your photographs in color and do no or only minor tonal or color corrections, shooting RAW would be a big waste of time. JPEG would do just fine. If you are editing make sure to keep original JPEGs -- each open/edit/save/exit cycle degrades JPEGs quality. BTW, I know professional wedding photographers who shoot only JPEGs. No complaints from customers.

However, if you want to do extensive tonal or color corrections, color to black and white conversion, or edit in Photoshop and do masking and compositing, dodging and burning, and other techniques that are usually applied over and over again, layer by layer until you get the result you want, shooting RAW makes perfect sense and, I would say, is necessary.

In this case RAW allows for converting to 16 bit formats (like PSD or TIFF) that can be edited without exposing JPEG 8x8 compression artifacts, without loosing smooth tonal transitions by overstretching 8-bit files, and without loss of quality by saving and reopening working files multiple times.

To summarize (my workflows with LR and PS):

Minor or no tonal or color corrections:
JPEG

Extensive tonal or color corrections, noise removal, some effects:
RAW -> Lightroom -> JPEG

Extensive advanced editing using multiple layers:
RAW -> Lightroom -> 16-bit PSD -> Photoshop -> JPEG

As you can see, more you want to do longer the process is.

Also notice that JPEG is always the end product in the examples, but it does not need to be. If the intent is to send final result to a high quality printer or to a publisher, 8-bit or 16-bit PSD or TIFF may be required. The good thing is, you can always go back to Lightroom or Photoshop, open original working file and export to any format you wish, with required bit depth or color space.
01-06-2011, 08:44 PM   #18
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OK, let's go through this again: All digicams shoot RAW. Many automagically transform their RAW data into JPG or TIF or other formats as finished images, according to settings in their little CPU brains. The RAW data is like an unprocessed film negative. You can let the camera 'develop' that for you, or you can control the development by doing your own RAW processing. RAW files contain much more data than do JPG or TIF or other files. Lots of that data is discarded (shitcanned) when producing the finished image. RAW processing lets you use that data in various ways.

For some users, the JPG emitted by a camera is just fine. But others of us take the opportunity to fine-tune or even radically change the images. I've processed some pictures in dozens of different ways, none more or less 'real' than any others. Remember: What you think you see, and what your eyes see, and what the camera sees, and what is actually there (if anything), ain't the same. RAW processing gives you more control over the images you make. Like any PP, it lets you produce the image you want, not the image that some engineers think you should want.
01-07-2011, 11:52 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
jpeg is a compact format and supports 8 bits per color channel. Plus, there is some potential degradation each time you save the file so it is good to have an "original" jpeg that NEVER gets re-saved.

Raw (dng) and Tiff formats contain far more data about the image and can handle more 12, or 14 bit color channels though they may be saved as 16-bit.
QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Yeah, see the existing thread mentioned above. Don't need another one going.

You can also look in the software/processing forum as people talk about the subject as well.
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Except that that thread was started with the intention of "low mouthing" raw shooting.
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
True but that didn't last long so it ends as a good argument for RAW
QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Not really. It was started as a complaint about an attitude towards raw...not raw, in general.
I have tagged a lot of posts in this response because they all relate to the post mentioned which I started.

Yes, to some extent it was sarcastic, but it is also a perception that I have been getting lately with respect to any discussion on images. the first statement is if you are not shooting RAW you should be, and to a certain extent, raw is the answer to everything including understanding what you are doing with your camera.


In my simple perspective, you can shoot what ever you wish to shoot. THere are arguments for both formats.


here is my perspective.

I have tried both, and personally prefer JPEG, because it allows more images, faster write times to the camera memory card, more shots before the buffer is full, and in most situations my shots need no adjustment other than cropping.

I have shot RAW, and many RAW processors can be set to import the photo with your present JPEG settings as the default. The point is, if you are happy with the JPEG settings, you simply import all the shots that way, hence there is no real difference yet.

Where RAW starts to make a difference is if you make mistakes, the most common being White Balance. It is easier to adjust the RAW image to the correct White Balance than to fix the wrong JPEG with reduced data set. This does not mean it can;t be done, it is just harder to get perfect from something that is way wrong in the base image.

Minor contrast, brightness, and sharpening can be done in either, as can noise reduction, and in fact many photo editors will only do noise reduction and sharpening on 8 bit color images anyway, so before you apply these features, you have to convert down. THis means order of work flow is important. Exposure and color MUST be done first, then convert down to 8 bit for sharpening, etc.

I think the biggest issue for people new to photography in the digital age is that they lack the expeinence in photography in general. These people tend to shoot raw

Coming from film, where you had films balanced for daylight, tungston, and films with reputations for being warm (kodachrome) and cold (Ektachrome) or high contrast (slides in general) and low contrast (Print film in general) it is much eaier to shoot in JPEG because the experience of film is directly translated to the JPEG settings. You change contrast saturation white balance etc as you would have changed films in your film camera, or carried two or more bodies for the different films.

To me, even if you shoot raw, youo should work to get your JPEG settings correct, and exposure correct only because if nothing else, you have a very good starting point for importing the RAW images, and this will cut your work flow directly/

What I do is shoot JPEG with the RAW button set to RAW-DNG format, this ensures anything can read the RAW file if I elect to take one, and I use this button only when I am either not sure of what I want, or the image opportunity is a once in a life time event. There the RAW files are insurance.

the other point is to note is that when shooting RAW you always save the corrected file to an intermediate format, either TIFF or JPEG, but you never alter the origonal. Lightroom I believe only safes an image setting file, that is like an alterations menu, which applies these settings to the image when you open it. In JPEG you can get loss of quality with repetitive opening and saving, butonly if you continually save back to the origonal file name or reprocess a copy that has always been worked on. This can easily be managed by adding a prefix or suffix to edited images to differentiate them from origonals. I NEVER alter an origonal file. This is again work flow dicipline.

With respect to losses, aside from color depth, maximum quality JPEGs do very little compression. It is only the low quality JPRGs that begin to take on a blocky appearance from grouping pixels with uniform illumination or color as further compression. If you avoid these the loss of quality is minimal until you look at a pixel by pixel comparison


Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 01-07-2011 at 11:59 AM.
01-07-2011, 12:25 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ivan Glisin Quote
It depends.
Minor or no tonal or color corrections:
JPEG

Extensive tonal or color corrections, noise removal, some effects:
RAW -> Lightroom -> JPEG
no argument here
QuoteQuote:
Extensive advanced editing using multiple layers:
RAW -> Lightroom -> 16-bit PSD -> Photoshop -> JPEG
big argument here, there is no reason you cant work with layers from either RAW or JPEG. At least in my photo editor.
01-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
OK, let's go through this again: All digicams shoot RAW. Many automagically transform their RAW data into JPG or TIF or other formats as finished images, according to settings in their little CPU brains. The RAW data is like an unprocessed film negative. You can let the camera 'develop' that for you, or you can control the development by doing your own RAW processing. RAW files contain much more data than do JPG or TIF or other files. Lots of that data is discarded (shitcanned) when producing the finished image. RAW processing lets you use that data in various ways.

For some users, the JPG emitted by a camera is just fine. But others of us take the opportunity to fine-tune or even radically change the images. I've processed some pictures in dozens of different ways, none more or less 'real' than any others. Remember: What you think you see, and what your eyes see, and what the camera sees, and what is actually there (if anything), ain't the same. RAW processing gives you more control over the images you make. Like any PP, it lets you produce the image you want, not the image that some engineers think you should want.
Just as long as no one misleads the OP and says it is impossible to edit JPEGS, and that is where some misunderstanding comes in. WHether intentional or not, many times people are misled into thinking that if you shoot jpeg there is nothing you can do, and that is plain wrong. Every function you can do in RAW you can do in JPEG also. The diference is that you are starting from an intermediate step as opposed to the beginning, and some times, that intermediate step was too big (specifically when doing disaster recovery to save an image)
01-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #22
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I shot jpeg for years but within the last 6 months I switched exclusively to RAW format. It's much easier to do PP on Raw files and you can always save a copy as jpeg if needed. The one thing about RAW that can be a pain is when you want to grap a few quick files to stick on a USB key and if you forget to reformat them you probably won't be able to view them in too many places, same goes if you want to upload pics from your memory card on someone elses pc that doesn't have a file converter. All in all RAW is definitely the way to go.
01-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
big argument here, there is no reason you cant work with layers from either RAW or JPEG. At least in my photo editor.
You right are of course. However, I was not specific enough. By "advanced" editing with multiple layers I assume extensive use of filter layers and various blending modes to produce special effects. In that case 8-bits are usually not enough and will likely result in loss of smooth tonal transitions.

01-07-2011, 04:05 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

. . . it is also a perception that I have been getting lately with respect to any discussion on images. the first statement is if you are not shooting RAW you should be, and to a certain extent, raw is the answer to everything including understanding what you are doing with your camera.


In my simple perspective, you can shoot what ever you wish to shoot. THere are arguments for both formats.

I could have quoted the whole post, and the subsequent answers that Lowell has given, and then repeated them as my own opinion from 6 years of shooting Pentax DSLRs.

I'm primarily a birder, and have just started seriously shooting mainly Jumping Spiders in Macro. Though by no means a top tier shooter, I do pretty well, and use PP pretty extensively.

Long story short, with some tweaking to the jpeg settings in-camera, I can usually get very close to the base RAW file as a start for PP. Exposure has to be close to right on to give you a good file to work with, and you can't make gross mistakes in WB, but there's quite a bit to work with in PP from a higher quality jpeg from any of the Pentax bodies, especially with the 14 MP Samsung and 16MP Sony sensors.

Every time I get a new body, I try RAW, and end up going back to jpegs. I have no bone to pick with RAW shooters, admit that the RAW file can be processed to a significantly greater degree, and couldn't care less what other people choose to do with the images that they take. My suggestion is to shoot both and make your own decision.

There have been countless times that I've entered into discussions on this subject and have heard all the arguments. I've given RAW an honest shot numerous times with a number of different bodies and RAW processors, and would rather shoot jpeg. YMMV, but decide for yourself using your eyes rather than the idea that more data has to be better. . .

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01-07-2011, 04:53 PM   #25
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Truly, the cost in time and effort to shoot and convert from RAW is inconsequential.

So even if you nail your exposure perfectly every time (I, uh, don't...) you might as well shoot RAW because at next to zero cost (1) it gives you more flexibility down the line if you want to tweak the photo any of about a million ways, and (2) if in a moment of inattention you blow the exposure on an otherwise million-dollar photo you may not have lost that million dollars after all.

It's not a matter of religion. Just personal preference.
01-08-2011, 03:43 AM   #26
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And I'll bring up a point I mentioned in a related thread: Many more image formats exist than just JPG and RAW (DNG or PEF). Some of these (like PEF) are proprietary formats for specific devices or warez; others (like CMYK) support broad ranges of applications. Many amateur shooters will never need any format but JPG for displaying images, and that's just fine. Others of us NEED (or want) to produce / use images in other forms: BMP, CLP, GIF, PCD, PNG, TGA, TIF, and on and on... and those are just still raster image formats, exclusive of vector, meta, video, and animation types.

Your dSLR is more than just a snapshooting device. It a tool that can be used for many different imaging tasks. How an image is to be consumed determines what image formats you'll need / use. Some applications can tolerate absolutely NO loss of image data.

Even my oldest 1mpx Sony P&S could produce JPG, TIF, GIF and AVI files -- I mostly shot JPG but TIF was necessary if moving to other formats was critical. And in-camera GIF animations are fun! Now I shoot RAW on my K20D and develop the images in PentaxPhotoLab3, which only outputs JPG and TIF files. For goint to other formats, TIF is the intermediate step. If you need color separations, animations, Photo-CD's, detailed image analysis, any number of different applications, RAW is just the start, and JPG may be irrelevant.

It's a big universe out there, people. Don't box yourselves in. Experiment with your image editors. See what all you can make of those pix you snap.

Last edited by RioRico; 01-08-2011 at 03:58 AM.
01-08-2011, 08:07 AM   #27
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Rio,

Other formats have been mentioned in various posts. I specifically mentioned tiff. Some higher in cameras do tiff "in camera" and there are a couple of Pentax bodies that do.

All raw formats are proprietary to some degree, dng is cornered by Adobe.
01-08-2011, 08:20 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by mblanc Quote
HAnyway - I understand that raw allows more control of the final image than jpg, but I was wondering how may folks out there shoot raw vs jpg, and I am also interested to know peoples thoughts on whether the benefits outweigh the added time spent converting formats. Thanks
I shoot raw and use lightroom for processing.

The drawbacks are pretty minor to me, larger size is insignificant compared to the cost of massive storage, filling up the cameras buffer faster is irrelevant to me (I haven't used burst mode in years), and added processing time is minimal if you want it to be. I have a basic, general purpose preset that gets applied to everything I import into lightroom. I'll adjust the white balance and make (usually very minor) adjustments to the exposure/brightness/black level sliders to groups of photos taken under the same lighting conditions in one fell swoop, and I'll hit an appropriate sharpening/noise preset I've made. Total time for most photos is probably a few seconds, given that you can apply the adjustments to groups of similar pictures. I will spend more time on anything I really like.

To me, the white balance adjustments alone justify shooting raw. In mixed lighting situations (think indoors with a combination of fluorescent, tungsten, and some natural light from a window), the ability to quickly fine tune it to a reasonable compromise on a large monitor without any quality loss is golden. For controlled lighting situations (when I have flashes set up), I often know the white balance I'd like my camera to be set at and it's generally easier to do this in a raw converter (I have a k100d so can't input a kelvin value directly).

Another benefit of raw that's often forgotten about- most converters will automatically repair any hot or stuck pixels. I think I had a few green pixels that turned up even at low isos, and more creeping in as I raised it. I started shooting raw exclusively shortly after getting my camera, so I haven't seen them in years. Out of sight, out of mind

Try shooting jpeg for a few weeks, then try shooting raw for a few weeks to get some first hand experience with both. It's worth some experimenting at the start to find out what workflow is best for you, and probably worth revisiting this question again after you've gained several months worth of digital experience. Do take some time to adjust the in camera settings for jpegs though, as the defaults may not be to your liking.
01-08-2011, 10:15 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Other formats have been mentioned in various posts.
And I'm saying that MANY other formats exist, and that it's worth exploring those to see what can be done with them. This isn't just a RAW vs JPG vs TIF world. Our box isn't that small. An analogy would be, what camera should you buy, Nikon or Canon? And the answer is, there are other alternatives. Like Pentax.

QuoteQuote:
Some higher in cameras do tiff "in camera" and there are a couple of Pentax bodies that do.
And I mentioned that some old P&S's do also. They take their time about it, though.

QuoteQuote:
All raw formats are proprietary to some degree, dng is cornered by Adobe.
And I never said otherwise. In fact, ALL common formats are proprietary AFAIK -- even freewares (like PNG) have copyright holders. PNG was developed because UniSYs started making noise about collecting royalties on its patented GIF format. But forget licensing and legalities. The point I made is that some formats are designed for SPECIFIC devices and software -- many cameras generate DNG's but only Pentaxes spew PEF's. And other formats (including DNG and CMYK and JPG et al) have broad application beyond one brand of device.

More image formats exist than just RAWs, JPGs, TIFs. More camera brands exist than just Canon, Nikon, Sony. There is more to photography than snapshooting and pr0n. The universe is much larger than the little conceptual boxes we rattle around in. Instead of asking EITHER/OR? ask WHAT ELSE?
01-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Rio,

Other formats have been mentioned in various posts. I specifically mentioned tiff. Some higher in cameras do tiff "in camera" and there are a couple of Pentax bodies that do.

All raw formats are proprietary to some degree, dng is cornered by Adobe.
While DNG was developed and is "owned" by Adobe, they have made it available for free to any developer or camera manufacturer who wants it. From their website, under the Patent License page:

Grant of Rights
Subject to the terms below and solely to permit the reading and writing of image files that comply with the DNG Specification, Adobe hereby grants all individuals and organizations the worldwide, royalty-free, non-transferable, non-exclusive right under all Essential Claims to make, have made, use, sell, import and distribute Compliant Implementations.


So, DNG is technically proprietary, but there is little fear on the part of developers that they will be asked to pay royalties in the future.
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