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04-10-2011, 01:54 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
...If you shoot RAW you can take advantage of advances in RAW converters. There is a lot of attention given to sensor improvements, but I think the biggest gains have come from RAW processors like Lightroom and DxO.

There is also the issue of differences in JPEG engines across all brands of cameras...
I second these two points. My DS started with a poor JPEG engine, which almost immediately convinced me to shoot PEFs. Now, I can revisit those images with a better RAW converter.

QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
This is a very good point - if I were to hedge my bets then RAW is the way to go -
kind of future proofs one's pictures.

However in reality - although in theory this might be true -
any camera has only a limited lifetime
and to do conversions correctly the camera has to be supported - and in many cases understood (eg: Pentax's Highlight Correction was not understood by some and did produce grossly underexposed shots with difficult to correct color casts) -
this leads to speculation whether improvements in RAW processing can actually apply specifically to one's camera - forever?
You can lose at both ends - unsupported because it's too new, dropped when it's old. The manufacturer's file formats are also much more likely to lose support at some point. JPEGs might have support for decades. Although it's hard to imagine it going away forever, no file format can really be counted on.)

04-11-2011, 12:04 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
You can lose at both ends - unsupported because it's too new, dropped when it's old. The manufacturer's file formats are also much more likely to lose support at some point.
I don't think Adobe have ever removed support for a RAW format. No idea about other software but it strikes me as an unlikely thing to do.
04-11-2011, 12:18 AM   #18
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I think I'll leave this thread alone
04-11-2011, 04:46 AM   #19
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I haven't seen Adobe drop support for any of the cameras Pentax has made so far, they just add new ones to their list.

As for RAW versus Jpeg, a lot depends on what you are used to and what you own. Pentax jpegs in the past have been pretty poor and so I took to shooting RAW from my K100 days. Flash forward to now and even though I probably could get as good results for 90+ percent of my photos shooting just jpegs, it is easier for me to process them, view them, etc in my RAW converter (Adobe's ACR). Particularly with high iso photos, I find I can get quite a bit more out of them processing them myself than I could get with straight camera jpegs.

With memory as cheap as it is I have contemplated RAW+ as an option. The only thing is that it seems like it actually takes more time to try to compare photos, since I open them in two different places, to see if the jpeg is adequate or if I need to process the RAW file.

04-11-2011, 05:24 AM   #20
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I didn't see anyone mention the main reason I use RAW unless there is a pressing reason not to (usually speed). The 12 BIT resolution allows me to salvage dark areas of the images that would be black in a JPEG. I expose for the brightest spots not saturating thus the darkest areas may appear black. With RAW there are still several levels of gray scale in the "black" and with PSP 12 I can expand the bottom end without saturating the top. I improved many a photo that way. With 8 NIT JPEG Black in the preview is indeed black.
04-11-2011, 05:42 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by frattofoto Quote
I started to shoot RAW about 4 months ago. At first I shot RAW at night and indoors. Than I bought 4, 16 gig memory cards. Now I shot jpeg and Raw. I don’t always have the time to process RAW file so I have jpeg. For my daughter sport I usually shoot jpeg only. (outdoor sports) Last week I was playing with the setting and the last photo I shot was under the muted color setting. Today I went to the beach for the day. I did set my camera to RAW & jpep. I took 588 shots. The jpeg’s look like crap! I never change the jpeg color settings. Thank God for RAW! I will shoot RAW from now on!
while I doubt that anyone will deny that saving from a big mistake is the single largest factor in selecting raw over jpeg, care to post a shot to see the disaster. JPEG is not as bad as you think.
04-11-2011, 05:45 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
I didn't see anyone mention the main reason I use RAW unless there is a pressing reason not to (usually speed). The 12 BIT resolution allows me to salvage dark areas of the images that would be black in a JPEG. I expose for the brightest spots not saturating thus the darkest areas may appear black. With RAW there are still several levels of gray scale in the "black" and with PSP 12 I can expand the bottom end without saturating the top. I improved many a photo that way. With 8 NIT JPEG Black in the preview is indeed black.
the K7 with shadow detail preservation solves this problem, so you can still shoot jpegs.

The whole point about raw is expressed in one word in your post. "salvage"

That is the one area that RAW excells, and while I don't deny it., I generally try to avoid salvage work
04-11-2011, 06:22 AM   #23
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An old, but still valid discussion. IMHO both approaches are fine and both have advantages as well as disadvantages. In my K110D and K100D-Super days my main argument to shoot RAW was the resolution advantage. On those 6Mp sensors, the difference was quite easy to spot. With the K20D, the in-camera JPEG already packs a mighty punch and I suspect the K7 and K5 to be even (a lot) better in that regard.

The biggest arguments for me to shoot RAW+ are that I can always use the JPEG if I feel so inclined and want to post the results online or share with others where pure quality isn't the biggest issue.

RAW still has an advantage which is not easily ignored: the clipping and posterizing that result of cramming the image into 8-bits inside the camera with its limited processor power and memory/speed requirements.

Have a look at the below flower macro where especially the red is posterized to the point of becoming noticable in a print and even on-screen. With RAW processing (even in batch, as I did here), clipped channels can be unclipped or protected during processing and finer nuances of colors remain visible.

For completeness, I show the crop where posterization occurs versus its counterpart developed from RAW, as well as both the original in-camera JPEG and the processed RAW. Processing was with DCRAW and ImageMagick, but with a custom-built K20D color profile made with a Colorchecker Passport kit.



The original JPEG:


The converted RAW:


04-11-2011, 12:33 PM   #24
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RAW is time consuming. It takes a lot of experience and a good sense of detail to really get the most out of it. The average user is not going to be able to produce better images than the in camera JPEGs most of the time.

Casual users are better off with RAW.
Lots of "Pro's" (sports/media) are better off with JPEGs.

Only shoot RAW if:
1. Archiving.
2. Really challenging light.
3. Working on the edge of what your equipment is capable of?
4. Fine Art when you plan on a significant amount of manipulation.
5. You really know how to process RAW files and you have fast equipment that can handled 500 14-bit DNG files without belching smoke.
6. You are a control freak who is not making a living at Photography.

I shoot DNG 90% of the time, but If I had more faith in Pentax's JPEG engine I would shoot JPEG more. I find that 800 ISO is the max for Pentax K-7 in camera processing. From 800 ISO on I know I can get better results in LR3.x. ISO 100-800 is very good. With a K-5 I might be comfortable shoot 1600 ISO JPEG.... I have not tried it yet.
04-11-2011, 01:01 PM   #25
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Here's a decent comparison of trying to push/pull RAW vs JPEG and what it does to colors and detail:

RAW vs JPEG Side by Side Comparison
04-11-2011, 01:18 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
the K7 with shadow detail preservation solves this problem, so you can still shoot jpegs.

The whole point about raw is expressed in one word in your post. "salvage"

That is the one area that RAW excells, and while I don't deny it., I generally try to avoid salvage work
First I did this, then I tried to do other things to make the JPEG as salvageable as possible with regards to shadow and highlights, and obviously in the end, I ended up just shooting RAW.

Not for everyone, of course.

Sometimes I just shoot reference, documentary, event, or sports snaps. I shot RAW+ and then RAW sometimes and JPEG other times, but it was significantly harder on my workflow. It was much easier just to have one import preset for RAW files where I usually don't do any processing for the aforementioned.

It would be nice if Lightroom let me apply no preset (or a different preset) to JPEGs on import.
04-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
I only shoot RAW...

BUT, i may end up shooting RAW+ in the future if i manage to get my hands on an iPad2 Quick image checking on the fly with that in your backpack, and it'd be best to see it in JPEG on the iPad2...
"Checking the JPEG" just to see if it looks o.k. on an IPAD? Huh? Doesn't that just sound like a waste of time? Why would you want to stop, insert card into IPAD, or whatever, and check the jpeg for quality? Why not just continue shooting RAW and see the actual results/Process when you get home? Just sounds more sensible to me.
04-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #28
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RAW to me is not all that time consuming. Perhaps it is because I don't come out with thousands of images after my shoots. Even weddings give me between 500-700 images, which I am more than happy to convert from RAW as it improves my results significantly. Using ACR is a joy - it actually streamlines my processing nicely, but of course there is the added time in adjusting the sliders to my liking, but that's what I like about RAW - total control over image processing, right from the start.

Then the big job comes with PP in Photoshop or related software - that's where a lot of my time is consumed...
04-22-2011, 02:49 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by outsider Quote
"Checking the JPEG" just to see if it looks o.k. on an IPAD? Huh? Doesn't that just sound like a waste of time? Why would you want to stop, insert card into IPAD, or whatever, and check the jpeg for quality? Why not just continue shooting RAW and see the actual results/Process when you get home? Just sounds more sensible to me.
Well, if you use a eye-fi card you can have it transmit wirelessly to your iPad (almost) instantly for review/previews so its not really that time consuming, and you get a far better view than your 3" LCD on the back of the camera.


As for trying not to get into this topic again.. I'll just post this link.. again..
http://www.adorama.com/alc/article/RAW-vs-JPEG-AdoramaTV
04-22-2011, 05:32 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
Here's a decent comparison of trying to push/pull RAW vs JPEG and what it does to colors and detail:

RAW vs JPEG Side by Side Comparison
I think the guy needs to get his image sequence in order. He refers to his overexposed shots in Example #3 as underexposed, and vice versa in Example #4. Furthermore, some of those images are rather bad examples. Neither jpeg or raw is going to help this kid.

What really disturbs me about this jpeg vs. raw debate, is the chosen phrasing: "Why you should shoot jpeg", "Why you should shoot in raw", etc. All these blogs serve up opinions as if they are the latest gift to mankind. Fortunately there are enough level headed posts and articles, that explain the "benefits" and "drawbacks", but in the end it turns into a "choice" by the individual photographer.
That's all that really matters.

Last edited by Catalana; 04-22-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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