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Thread: Should I always shoot in "RAW" mode?

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    Default Should I always shoot in "RAW" mode?

    I was just wondering how the masters at beyond.ca approach the files they set their camera to.

    Over the last couple weeks I have done my best to educate myself a lot more and practice too! This is helping out a great deal and I am actually happy with a couple shots I have done lately.

    On to the topic: I think shooting in RAW mode is excellent because of the work that can be done afterward with software. This completely helps me in learning to tackle some of the basics like saturation, contrast and colour. It allows me to see the effects the settings will have on a shot.

    Drawback is I only get 212 pics on my card in RAW.
    Somebody gonna getta hurt real bad..

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    I shoot RAW+JPG-L for my paid work almost all the time, and JPG-L for my casual stuff. ALWAYS SHOOT max size!

    I dont always use every RAW file, however if you want to screw around with your photos after it can be beneficial and it's nice to have should you need to print very large format. I've found that with my Canon DSLR's the quality of the jpegs untouched off the camera is supreme to begin with, however the ability to take full advantage of the uncompressed image in PhotoShop is a big plus.

    Mind you I always have 12GB of CF cards and a Laptop to dump onto so storage woes arn't an issue.
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    I rarely shoot raw. I'm used to processing jpgs, but RAW is easier to correct for a poor white balance setting that was used while shooting. WB correction is done with Adobe PS.
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    I tend to shoot both depending on what I am shooting. Although I have gotten lucky by forgetting that I was shooting RAW and had a previously set white balance. Open in photoshop and the pictures are a puck green colour. Look over to the side and see white balance adjustment sitting on preset. Move drop down menu to auto and the picture turned out. ThatIs why I tend to shoot raw but sometimes I just don't feel like having to post process, and thats when I shoot jpg.

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    My wife does ALL of her professional shooting in RAW and does all of her RAW processing and digital workflow using CaptureOne Pro software. She NEVER shoots in JPEG.

    Shooting RAW allows you the ability to properly modify your images at a pure RGB level prior to converting them to TIFF. Another issue with shooting JPEG is you loose a fair bit of colour and detail in the conversion alone. RAW allows for a much higher depth of colour and detail.

    The only time that shooting in JPEG is worthwhile is if you need some crappy copies of what you are attempting to shoot. Or if you are shooting snapshots at the bar and you could careless about how good they look.

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    Originally posted by sputnik
    The only time that shooting in JPEG is worthwhile is if you need some crappy copies of what you are attempting to shoot. Or if you are shooting snapshots at the bar and you could careless about how good they look.
    You've just insulted every person who posted in this thread by calling their jpegs crap. A good shot is a good shot regardless if you shot RAW or JPEG. RAW just allows you more lattitude for correction (white balance, exposure etc) or creativity, but also takes more time and effort to process.

    This guy (Lars Johnsson) shoots some of the most amazing portraits I've seen, and he shoots almost exclusively in jpeg. No post processing.

    Course, since they're not RAW conversions, they must be crappy snapshots.

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    Originally posted by lint
    You've just insulted every person who posted in this thread by calling their jpegs crap. A good shot is a good shot regardless if you shot RAW or JPEG. RAW just allows you more lattitude for correction (white balance, exposure etc) or creativity, but also takes more time and effort to process.
    Sorry if I offended you. But 8bit colour < 48 bit colour plain and simple

    Heres the pros and cons breakdown.

    JPEG advantages

    - Small file sizes
    - Rapid writing to disk
    - Minimal image processing needed
    - Reduced time transfering files from camera to computer

    JPEG Disadvantages

    - Files contain far less information (8 bit, as opposed to 36 bit, 42 bit or 48bit for raw files)
    - Settings are determined largely at the time of shooting (can be changed later but there will be substantial quality loss)
    - File compression reduces quality (lossy file format)

    Raw advantages

    - Files contain all of the information captured by the camera, normally resulting in much higher quality
    - 'Digital negative' can be kept for future manipulation (changes are saved into a different file format)

    Raw disadvantages

    - Files are larger and need more storage space
    - Image processing takes far longer and needs both a fast computer and specialised software

    You can shoot all of the JPEG you want. However if you plan on trying to sell an 8-bit JPEG to any well respected design firm they will probably not be too pleased. JPEG are decent "web" or "proof" quality.

    Originally posted by lint
    This guy (Lars Johnsson) shoots some of the most amazing portraits I've seen, and he shoots almost exclusively in jpeg. No post processing.

    Course, since they're not RAW conversions, they must be crappy snapshots.
    How do you know that he shoots in JPEG and not in RAW?

    IMO I dont find his portraits all that amazing. I've seen better. His lighting on the "Fashion Show" shoots is pretty weak.

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    Originally posted by sputnik


    Sorry if I offended you. But 8bit colour &lt; 48 bit colour plain and simple

    Heres the pros and cons breakdown.

    JPEG advantages

    - Small file sizes
    - Rapid writing to disk
    - Minimal image processing needed
    - Reduced time transfering files from camera to computer

    JPEG Disadvantages

    - Files contain far less information (8 bit, as opposed to 36 bit, 42 bit or 48bit for raw files)
    - Settings are determined largely at the time of shooting (can be changed later but there will be substantial quality loss)
    - File compression reduces quality (lossy file format)

    Raw advantages

    - Files contain all of the information captured by the camera, normally resulting in much higher quality
    - 'Digital negative' can be kept for future manipulation (changes are saved into a different file format)

    Raw disadvantages

    - Files are larger and need more storage space
    - Image processing takes far longer and needs both a fast computer and specialised software

    You can shoot all of the JPEG you want. However if you plan on trying to sell an 8-bit JPEG to any well respected design firm they will probably not be too pleased. JPEG are decent &quot;web&quot; or &quot;proof&quot; quality.



    How do you know that he shoots in JPEG and not in RAW?

    IMO I dont find his portraits all that amazing. I've seen better. His lighting on the &quot;Fashion Show&quot; shoots is pretty weak.
    I know he shoots JPEG because he was asked in a post on FM about it. And I knew you'd think it was crap because he doesn't shoot RAW.

    Thanks for the run down, but I'm well aware of the differences between RAW and JPEG. My point is that just because a photo is taken in JPEG does not make it crap. Just like taking a photo in RAW doesn't make it gold. Correction, just because your WIFE shoots exclusively in RAW doesn't make it gold.

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    Can the new DSLR's write a raw image to the card just as fast as a JPEG? Can you shoot just as fast in RAW as you can in JPEG?

    I'm just wondering because with DSLR's you would likely have many situations where you take alot of pics fast and I was curious if this is an issue.

    My question was derived from my experience with a Nikon Coolpix 8800, where it took literally 30 seconds (an eternity when your sitting there watching it) to write the 32MB RAW file to the card.

    I really want to get a DSLR but need the cash for other things right now. I think I will wait and pick up a Canon 40D in Feburary when they are supposed to be released.

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    Um .. the answer should be .. Yes .. godod to take RAW + Jpeg ..

    But .. I dont .. lol .. since I dont PS pic anyway ... ( learning .. but .. only know how to auto level ! )
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    Originally posted by Mitsu3000gt
    Can the new DSLR's write a raw image to the card just as fast as a JPEG? Can you shoot just as fast in RAW as you can in JPEG?

    I'm just wondering because with DSLR's you would likely have many situations where you take alot of pics fast and I was curious if this is an issue.

    My question was derived from my experience with a Nikon Coolpix 8800, where it took literally 30 seconds (an eternity when your sitting there watching it) to write the 32MB RAW file to the card.

    I really want to get a DSLR but need the cash for other things right now. I think I will wait and pick up a Canon 40D in Feburary when they are supposed to be released.
    You can't take as many continuous shots in RAW as you can in JPEG, but the burst rate is the same. 11 shots vs 39 shots for the 30D:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos30d/page11.asp

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    Oh ok, is that because the camera's memory is full? I'm guessing it has to put it into memory before it can write it to the card, and the memory would fill up faster with raw than jepeg?

    Thanks.

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    Well .. depends what kind of picture you want ..

    Like my 1D, it can do 1/16000 shutter .. ~ 9fps .. however, just ~4.5MP .. it is the camera to use to sports and speed ... not for portrait .. probably won't need much adjustment on the pic ..

    However, if for a 5D .. ~ 13MP .. but SLOW 3fps speed .. it is not a camera for sports, but for wedding, portrait etc .. then you may want to keep shooting RAW .. in order to do more adjustment after ...

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    Originally posted by Mitsu3000gt
    Oh ok, is that because the camera's memory is full? I'm guessing it has to put it into memory before it can write it to the card, and the memory would fill up faster with raw than jepeg?

    Thanks.
    yup. it's called Buffer RAM

    for shits and giggles, I shoot in jpg-L in my 1 gig card and Raw on my 4 gig card. Depends what I have with me.

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    Cool thanks. Just something I was curious about.

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    Originally posted by lint
    And I knew you'd think it was crap because he doesn't shoot RAW.
    Thats not true at all. Nice assumption though.

    However I will admit to being more observant when looking through his portfolio.

    Its alright that you like it. I just dont find his work "amazing". Sorry for offending you again.

    If you want more crits on his work take a look at the "Bangkok Faces" shoots. You will notice that everyone has a very blue cast on their faces. This could easily be corrected with RAW processing. Skin tones are a dead giveaway when colour is off.
    Last edited by sputnik; 10-25-2006 at 11:33 AM.

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    I'm interested in this whole discussion too, the camera I'm looking at doesn't have a custom white balence setting - only presets and few of them .. would it be wise to shoot in raw so I can edit the pictures afterwards easier? Like, would shooting in raw make the pictures look better after a mild touch up as opposed to JPG?


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    By the way, I think you need to DL the latest plugin from Adobe if you're trying to open a RAW file w/ PS. At least if you shoot with Canon.

    If I printed a lot of large photos I'd shoot raw more. Even photos I have published are just JPG but 3000x2000px +.

    Objectively RAW is of course better then Jpg, but it's not practical for me and many others right now.

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    I use RAW when I think I'll need to do a lot of adjustment later (ie using multiple lights in the dead of night), other than that JPEG is perfectly acceptable. I rarely need to adjust WB or exposure, I prefer to get that right when I take the shot.

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    Originally posted by sputnik


    Thats not true at all. Nice assumption though.

    However I will admit to being more observant when looking through his portfolio.

    Its alright that you like it. I just dont find his work &quot;amazing&quot;. Sorry for offending you again.

    If you want more crits on his work take a look at the &quot;Bangkok Faces&quot; shoots. You will notice that everyone has a very blue cast on their faces. This could easily be corrected with RAW processing. Skin tones are a dead giveaway when colour is off.
    You can still easily correct colour and tone in PS without shooting in RAW. Its just a little bit easier to do in RAW but can still be done to the jpg format pictures.

    BerserkerCatSplat has a point, if you konw how to use your camera half decently its easier to get the settings correct when you are shooting as opposed to when you open the shot in PS. Its easier to see what the colours are when you see them as opposed to editing for them later when you forget the actual tones and hues.

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