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11-15-2008, 11:59 PM   #1
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RAW + JPEG with JPEG on One Star quality

I've come to the conclusion that I like PEF (lossless compression) better than DNG (no compression) and RAW + JPEG is handy to have as well.

Unfortunately, JPEG with the highest quality (four stars) is almost as big as the PEF RAW file.

Question 1) if I'm doing all post processing with RAW, why do I need a four star JPEG with as much data as the RAW file? All I want is a quick email or web friendly file in case no postprocessing is conducted.

Questino 2) if no post processing is applied, the JPEG one star appears very close to the JPEG four star and RAW file under very close crop. I assume this would not be the case if I were to edit the one star JPEG.

Hypothesis: if you want RAW + JPEG and all the JPEG would serve as is a convenient file that you would not edit, then set the JPEG to one star. This would provide more room for pictures, speed up performance on camera and on computer. Why would anyone want a 12 MB JPEG file?

After all, in PS, when I save for web, I can use the JPG format, produce a file 5% of the size and allow for the very high zoom side by side comparison. I can't tell the difference.

Please agree/disagree/comment. In particular, if the unedited RAW, JPEG **** and JPEG * all look alike, would they also print the same?

11-16-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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I have to confess that I have never understood the reason for taking both to begin with. I'm sure it must be useful to some folks, but I've never had a situation where it would have been even remotely useful or even just nifty.
11-16-2008, 01:35 AM   #3
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Indeed, I'm not sure why people would take RAW and JPEGs at the same time =S.
I think it might be useful if you're travelling and you want to give some pictures to a friend who doesnt have PS or pentax lab (ie cannot open PEFs). I read in a mag that sports photographers or journalists shoot in JPEG as they need to upload it quickly for their article, maybe they keep the raw file to make wallpapers for the fans or somethin.
I guess which one you use would depend on the situation (I do enjoy the raw button on the k20d )
11-16-2008, 02:33 AM   #4
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I shoot jpgs most of the time. Occasionly I'll think 'gee that might make a nice print' so press the RAW button and take RAW + JPEG. I've never actually used any of them (the RAWs) though!

11-16-2008, 03:24 AM   #5
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IMHO, shooting JPEG only is a sin. It's like comparing mp3s to cds, and raw is not just an image but a lot more, and a four star jpeg will NEVER i repeat NEVER contain the same amount of data that the raw file has. If you shoot jpeg this data is lost forever, but if you use raw you can make jpegs of the raw file forever without losing one bit of data. Jpeg is like a polaroid, RAW is a digital negative.
11-16-2008, 04:14 AM   #6
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Admittedly, I am an idiot when it comes to RAW, but if you shoot in RAW, don't you eventually have to make it a JPEG if you are going to send it to a print lab or let anyone but us see it?
11-16-2008, 05:13 AM   #7
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Well as per said, the RAW file is your like your photo negative so all the detail is retained no matter how many times you open the image in photoshop to edit it. A jpeg however does not have all the data/detail captured by the camera and also each time you save it after editing it, the quality will degrade.
11-16-2008, 05:35 AM   #8
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Thats why i shoot RAW+ nowadays,usually im happy with the jpegs but every now and then its nice to have something to fall back on.The only issue really is storage.

11-16-2008, 06:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by craig1024 Quote
Admittedly, I am an idiot when it comes to RAW, but if you shoot in RAW, don't you eventually have to make it a JPEG if you are going to send it to a print lab or let anyone but us see it?
Well, no. You could send a tiff file to be printed. You would then have the option of LZW compression to reduce the file size, and there would be no artifacting; LZW is a lossless compression. Each time a jpeg is saved some data is lost, not so with a tiff. As for sending it to a friend's email or web image, you could save it as a png or bmp, but I'm not sure about compression in those file formats.

I recall reading that when Photoshop CS3 came out that the jpeg engine had been reworked so that repetitive saves didn't have the same impact on quality that they once had, but I always figured that saving a compressed tiff was a safer option. I like the way Lightroom keeps the raw file unfettered, making all its changes in the sidecar file thus access to the original file is always available.
11-16-2008, 08:04 AM   #10
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Good Idea!

laissezfaire,
Regarding your original question--I think what you propose makes a lot of sense. Using RAW + JPEG at the 1-star setting lets you capture "all" the data "in the RAW," PLUS a smallish, convenient JPEG for web-posting, emailing etc. that doesn't take PP software to open. I've been using R+J with JPEG at the 3-star setting, which really really is wasting card space and probably slows things down. After all, I'm only going to do serious PP on the RAW file.

Thanks for pointing this out!
11-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #11
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I always shoot in raw, maximise (quality, size, whatever) the image in PP. I can then make as many jpegs as I want, in which quality I need or want without drama.

Lets remember, that even pro quality memory cards are cheap, when you consider the amount spent on your equipment or the value of the images your taking. Hard drives on computers also don't now break the bank, like in the old days, so get big fast ones, lots of 'em.

What does or does not use the most space type questions, should really not come into it, just bang in another card and get the job done.

In terms of time constraints, the actual time to convert raw to jpeg is next to nothing with modern batch processing that most PP software allows. I get a moments peace, to get a decent coffee while this is going on, then fire the jpegs down the wire.

Therefore IMHO there is no need to shoot both at the same time, but I guess, as always, it's each to their own and what works for you.
11-16-2008, 02:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by craig1024 Quote
Admittedly, I am an idiot when it comes to RAW, but if you shoot in RAW, don't you eventually have to make it a JPEG if you are going to send it to a print lab or let anyone but us see it?
Generally, yes. But if you shoot RAW and use modern RAW processing software, you can just tweak the files that need tweaking - no need to save anything, as the software remembers the settings you used for each file - and then run a quick batch conversion on the files you feel the need to have JPEG's of. My main reason to generate JPEH is for on-screen viewing, so I only bother to generate JPEG's at a sufficient resolution and quality for that purpose. Takes all of a couple of seconds of my time and a couple of minutes of computer time to run this batch job to generate JPEG's from the pictures I want them for on a whole card full of images. So the extra work required is practically non-existent, and you save tons of room on your memory card and don't end up with a bunch of unnecessary JPEG files for images you don't need JPEG versions of.

Another advantage of *not* relying on the in-camera JPEG is that it doesn't penalize you for spending an extra few second tweaking the image (perhaps by simply copying the settings from another file) - if you have an in-camera JPEG, you're more likely to settle for that rather than bothering tweaking your RAW file and then having to go out of your to generate a new conversion. If the batch conversion of the files you need JPEG of is a regular part of your workflow, you don't think of it as an extra step you can avoided if the in-camera JPEG is "close enough".

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 11-16-2008 at 02:28 PM.
11-16-2008, 03:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by per Quote
IMHO, shooting JPEG only is a sin. It's like comparing mp3s to cds, and raw is not just an image but a lot more, and a four star jpeg will NEVER i repeat NEVER contain the same amount of data that the raw file has. If you shoot jpeg this data is lost forever, but if you use raw you can make jpegs of the raw file forever without losing one bit of data. Jpeg is like a polaroid, RAW is a digital negative.

As someone else pointed out, pro sports photographers only shoot JPEG, so it depends on the application.

Just to be clear, I'm asking how best to set the "plus" part of RAW + JPEG. I either shoot RAW (PEF) only OR RAW (PEF) plus JPEG. I used to set JPEG at **** quality which is nearly the same file size as PEF, but I am advocating setting it at * quality as a modest sized, convenient file for web or print upload if no adjustments are made in PP.

If adjustments are required, then you throw away the JPEG and work with the RAW file.
11-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Therefore IMHO there is no need to shoot both at the same time, but I guess, as always, it's each to their own and what works for you.
you wouldn't know that around here!
11-17-2008, 06:49 AM   #15
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There's no real point in using RAW+JPG with the JPG at * quality, because such a JPG is already included in the RAW file !

It can be extracted with a variety of EXIF reading tools. I use exiftool (ExifTool by Phil Harvey) on Linux. There was a thread about this recently, I'm sure someone else can provide a link to more Windows- and/or Mac-friendly applications.
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