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05-02-2011, 11:24 PM   #1
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RAW vs RAW+

I'm a new owner of a Pentax K-r, and up until now have been shooting in JPEG, with the rare exception (using the green button) of shooting in RAW+. I've been told that I should be looking to shoot in RAW (or RAW+) as this captures a lot more information and allows for a lot more post-processing options especially if the image is under or over exposed.

Question: What are the advantages of shooting in RAW+?

From my understanding RAW+ is basically a RAW image with a JPEG image preview embedded in it. My guess would be that the JPEG image is used for previews? However, I experimented with shooting in just RAW, and I can still preview these images on my camera, and also on Apple's Aperture, and the previews don't appear to take any longer to display than the photos I took in RAW+.

Am I missing something? Am I just lucky that my computer (and editing program) can read the Pentax RAW format so the RAW+ makes no difference to me?

Thanks!

05-03-2011, 12:27 AM   #2
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RAW+ will deliver two files: a JPEG file with the JPEG settings that you selected and the RAW file.

The JPEG file is small, eay to see/view on computer, easy to transfer/share.

The RAW file is the full data set. It is the best source to PP your shots. But it takes more file space.

Personally, I shoot mostly in JPEG. I found the right settings and I do later minimum PP in computer. When I want to get a special shot and/or foresee the needs for major PP, I select RAW+.

PS: I have a PC and use PDCU for photo editing.

Hope that the comment will help.
05-03-2011, 01:31 AM   #3
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since you enter to dslr world (i assume) you should investigate what and why for raw.
I wont detail, there are too may topics about raw, you should look at them.

Simply, it is a negative to be processed in the lab (computer for digital), like the analog films.
when you shoot jpeg, this process done inside the machine, with the algorithms provided
by manufacurer.
But when you shoot in raw, you are free to tab and convert with your preferences.
05-03-2011, 01:36 AM   #4
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Akanarya: Yes, am aware of the difference between JPEG and RAW, although have not yet experienced first hand the difference between PP in JPEG and RAW as I've only taken a handful of RAW photos vs > 1000 JPEGs with the K-r.

So basically since I can view the RAW files just as easily as I can view the JPEG files, there is no advantage for me to shoot in RAW+ unless I'm applying the in-camera filters?

05-03-2011, 01:58 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by demuire Quote
So basically since I can view the RAW files just as easily as I can view the JPEG files, there is no advantage for me to shoot in RAW+ unless I'm applying the in-camera filters?
RAW+ produces 2 completely separate files. The JPEG is not embedded in the RAW at all (RAWs have their own separate built in preview image). They are exactly the same files that would be produced if you were in plain JPEG and RAW shooting modes.

The advantage of RAW+ is that you have a JPEG for immediate use. You can pull the image straight from the camera, open it in any image viewing software, send it in an email, post it on the internet, etc. RAW files cannot be viewed in generic image software, sent out, or posted. They can only be opened in specialized RAW processing software, and thus necessarily must be processed before they can be used. If you decide the JPEG you got is not good enough, you still have the RAW of the same image to work with.

Of course, given that you can develop select RAWs (including filters) right in camera, it hardly seems worth it, unless you want to distribute an entire day's worth of shooting immediately. I always shoot just plain RAW mode.

Last edited by Cannikin; 05-03-2011 at 02:06 AM.
05-03-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by demuire Quote
So basically since I can view the RAW files just as easily as I can view the JPEG files, there is no advantage for me to shoot in RAW+ unless I'm applying the in-camera filters?
Short answer: yes. RAW+JPEG mode is primarily for people who don't have software that can work with RAW as easily as JPEG. Or if you need to quickly deliver JPEG's and can't wait for the software to generate conversions.
05-03-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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I do shoot RAW+, and I use DNG as the raw format. I think of it kind of like having an extra backup just in case, but also for the occasions when the DNG is not readable by software. As for the file size advantage, as sensor sizes increase even JPG's are getting huge. With my K-7 the JPG size is approaching what my old K100D PEF files were! I'm starting to think of either reducing the JPG quality or shooting only RAW to avoid having to switch memory cards as often.

Slightly OT, I've noticed that some of the in-camera features can only be applied to JPG files. This, I'm sure, is tied to processor capabilities. Why then, if you shoot RAW+ are these not applied to the companion JPG?
05-03-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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Can't see a use for RAW+. It takes perhaps a minute to "extract" the embedded jpgs from an entire card using the Pentax software for quick comparison purposes in a jpg editor. Actual batch conversion may take several minutes. Certainly it can be done while you're making a cup of coffee.

Any image will benefit from some PP even if it is only leveling the horizon (if you have misaligned finders like me) or minor cropping. Any extra work, such as exposure or contrast is normally a small percentage of the total time involved, especially if you consider naming the file, moving it, archiving, etc. Why skimp on a few seconds?

05-03-2011, 10:45 AM   #9
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I shoot RAW+ (PEF) on my K10D, most of the time. The only drawback that I can see is that it takes more space on the memory card. On my camera, the RAW file is about 13MB, while the JPEG is approx. 3MB. But, memory cards are dirt cheap these days, even the good ones.

I use mostly 4GB cards, so I can get approx. 256 RAW+ images on one card. That's more than I usually shoot in one session, and I have several cards, so, if I do fill one, its easy to switch to another. I don't like larger cards, because I'm afraid to lose a thousand images at once, due to a failed, lost or stolen memory card. OTOH, I've never had (knock wood) a memory card failure, so perhaps I'm overly cautious.

The jpeg that is embedded in the RAW file is a low quality, low resolution image. It is not nearly as good as the seperate jpeg file created by the camera, if you choose high quality, high resolution images.

I do this because, often the jpeg is good enough, especially for casual work. I always have the RAW file, if I need it for more extensive editting.
05-03-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
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The downside from my perspective is that you now have twice as many images to manage. Unless your software is "smart" about this. For instance, if you choose to delete an image after downloading to your computer, is your software smart enough to delete both copies? Or if you add keywords or a caption to one - does it know to do the other? If so, then indeed, there's no downside other than space. Otherwise, that's a pretty big penalty to pay in terms of management headaches just to save the few minutes it might take to batch generate JPEG if/when necessary.
05-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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I shoot RAW+ exclusively. Why for normal shooting? Honestly Im not sure since with LR3 working with RAW is a breeze

For macro's though? Yes its needed entirely. For my stacked macro photographs I need to get an idea which frames work well with each other so I pull together some jpegs and throw them in combine zm (which only works with jpegs btw). If they work well I remember which ones I use, pick a frame and edit it in RAW. Than I copy the settings and batch edit the rest, convert to Jpeg, and throw them in combine ZM

Done
05-04-2011, 06:47 AM   #12
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OK, here's a very special advantage, only applicable if you're using an iPad with its Camera Adapter to transfer your pictures to the iPad, e.g. while on the road:

With RAW+, the transfer can easily be twice as fast (measured with iPad2), with each picture taking about 2 seconds to be copied. The reason behind this is that (rather slow) iPad needs to extract preview pictures and other data from the images, and it can do that much faster from a JPG than from a RAW file.

Together with an app such as PhotoSmith, this can be a pretty neat combination on the road.
05-04-2011, 07:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by demuire Quote

From my understanding RAW+ is basically a RAW image with a JPEG image preview embedded in it. My guess would be that the JPEG image is used for previews? However, I experimented with shooting in just RAW, and I can still preview these images on my camera, and also on Apple's Aperture, and the previews don't appear to take any longer to display than the photos I took in RAW+.

Am I missing something? Am I just lucky that my computer (and editing program) can read the Pentax RAW format so the RAW+ makes no difference to me?
Not exactly correct.....RAW+ saves TWO images, a standard RAW (or DNG if you prefer) and a *separate* JPEG image. In addition to the two separate images, the JPEG can be at a different resolution than the RAW (RAW is always full resolution).

Advantages? Well, as an example, the way I was using this feature for a while on my K20D was that I'd shoot a RAW/DNG for use in Lightroom and then have it shoot/save a 2megapixel JPEG at the same time using RAW+...the idea was that I'd have the "lo-rez" JPEG to quickly upload to a web gallery to show clients the results of the shoot while I edit the DNG images in LR for final presentation. I abandoned this some months ago because, despite my cautioning them that the 2mp JPEG was NOT to be judged for final color but strictly for content/composition, customers inevitably couldn't make that disconnect....that and the file management was problematic. Nowadays I don't show ANYTHING until I've at least done some basic editing to the DNG at which point I simply export a small JPEG or create a web gallery in Lightroom.

To each his own.

Terry
05-04-2011, 07:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by demuire Quote
I experimented with shooting in just RAW, and I can still preview these images on my camera, and also on Apple's Aperture, and the previews don't appear to take any longer to display than the photos I took in RAW+.
One other point for the OP: If you are importing only RAW images in Aperture (which is the sensible thing to do) the preview speed has to be the same because, as others have pointed out, the RAW file is separate from the associated JPG. If you're using OS X Leopard you can see the difference in the Finder - just select each file and hit the space bar. I think you'll see the JPG files open noticeably quicker.
05-04-2011, 09:24 PM   #15
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Cool, thanks for all that info I'm going to try shooting in pure RAW for a bit and see how I travel, now to decide if I should be shooting in PEF or DNG, I think there's a few threads on here with that discussion for me to read!
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