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RAW vs. JPEG


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Poll: How do you like your pictures? (79 member(s) have cast votes)

What format do you shoot in?

  1. RAW (40 votes [50.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.63%

  2. JPEG (19 votes [24.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.05%

  3. RAW + JPEG (20 votes [25.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.32%

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#1
Swad

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Just thought I'd take a little poll to see how many of you shoot in JPEG and RAW (or both). Please vote and explain why you use what you do!

#2
John the Geek

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RAW all the way. At 8.5MB per image, a lot of post production is needed to filter out the best shots to keep, but I have captured a lot of nice shots that I would not have saved if I had shot in JPEG. Ultimatly I save them as high quality JPEG, but initially it's all RAW for the versatility of it.

=)

#3
asstastic

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Jpeg, cause my camera doesn't support anything else. if i could i'd shoot raw or switch to film. it doesn't make sense to sacrifice fidelity in the early stages of a photo

#4
munky

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I can't shoot RAW per se, but my camera will do uncompressed TIFF, which I guess is similar. However, its so slow as to be totally unusable, so I don't see much point. I would really like to move to a new cam which supports RAW, if only to see what all the fuss is about ;)

#5
lambsporriegetta

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Many people understand audio terms better than digital imaging.......

RAW files are to jpegs what 24bit uncompressed audio is to mp3s.
The potential in them is well worth the wait and the memory usage.
care is needed to prepare them well though, oh and good software.

don't give up on the old neg film yet though, there is more potential in there than any non-pro digital camera and given the care needed to prep a raw file well, you could spend your time scanning the image on a decent scanner that costs half the price of a decent digital slr and gives you quality files twice the size.

#6
cyrana

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I have a high-end Panasonic camera with a 2GB card, so I only shoot in RAW. I answered RAW+JPG though, since it saves a copy in JPG as well each time I do a RAW shot.

I just think that pictures taken in RAW look better than even the 'best' JPG option. You need Adobe Camera Raw or something similar, however. (not tried Apple's latest app)

If I had a 512MB or smaller card I think I'd just do JPG, though. Each shot I take uses like 17MB of space.

#7
quattro

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I can't shoot RAW per se, but my camera will do uncompressed TIFF, which I guess is similar.


No, it isn't right because of three (main) reasons.
1) RAW files takes much lower space than TIFF ones, and RAW shooting is faster than JPEG
2) In RAW files color depth is 12 to 14 bit (well, in some TIFF files too) while in JPEG color depth is only 8 bits per channel
and 3) Main advantage of RAW. Color interpolation is done by CPU in computer which is much more powerful then image processor in camera. Result is highier detail and microcontrast.

Many people understand audio terms better than digital imaging.......

RAW files are to jpegs what 24bit uncompressed audio is to mp3s.
The potential in them is well worth the wait and the memory usage.
care is needed to prepare them well though, oh and good software.

Not only "Color resolution". Main advantage as i said above in 3) is a color interpolation done by CPU. CCD (or CMOS) sensor in almost all digital cameras is black-and-white sensor, and has R-G-B filter on top of it. So, only 25% of pixels is sensitive to red component light, 25% to blue and 50% to green. All other information is gained through color interpolation from neghbour pixels. And RAW conversion software uses much more sophisticated algorithms than even possible in any digital camera.

#8
munky

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RAW shooting is faster than JPEG


I think you'll find many cameras where this is not the case. Fuji 9000 springs to mind...

#9
fireshark

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RAW is larger than JPEG, how do you expec it to be faster

#10
vince29

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Well, JPEG is written faster after a post-treatment (filters, colour adjustment, compression) which is not applied with RAW images.
Thus, if your camera is really fast in writing files, the RAW will be "faster" as image filtering is allways time consuming, even with specialized processors.
However, with a slow memory card, JPEG, being much smaller than a raw, will be faster. It all depends on the camera being used.

#11
phi

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RAW is not an Image Format its RAW-Camera-Data. Thats the main difference.
The Algorithms of the used Software (e.g. Adobe Camera RAW, Aperture, Apple QUARTZ ...) make the picture out of this data.

For me the main advantages are:
- Correction of Exposure in post-processing
- Higher bit-depth 12-15bit (depending on camera) resulting in "real" 16bit pictures in Photoshop (higher dynamic range with e.g. ToneMapping from Photomatix)
- More compact than TIFF (10,5MB RAW, 16MB TIFF)
- All Filters (Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness ...) are applied by the Software (e.g. Photoshop) and not by the cameras DSPs (with time-optimized algorithms), 3GHz vs. 200MHz, they are not always bad but not so customizable like Photoshop

If you have the option of shooting in RAW and you archive your photos, then take RAW!

#12
munky

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update: now I have moved to a digital SLR (Pentax *ist DL2) i'm shooting exclusively in RAW, then converting to Adobe DNG before import to Aperture.

#13
phi

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update: now I have moved to a digital SLR (Pentax *ist DL2) i'm shooting exclusively in RAW, then converting to Adobe DNG before import to Aperture.



Why do you convert to DNG and where is the advantage?

#14
munky

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i convert to DNG for two main reasons:

1) long-term archival - i trust adobe's open standard more than pentax's proprietry one
2) aperture doesnt yet support the DL2's raw format.

:)

#15
phi

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i convert to DNG for two main reasons:

1) long-term archival - i trust adobe's open standard more than pentax's proprietry one
2) aperture doesnt yet support the DL2's raw format.

:)


Ahh, OK

I'm using an Olympus E-1. Aperture is supporting the RAW-Format, but the quality is not perfect. I get micro-artifacts in the red colour spectrum with it. Adobe RAW fixed it since PS2.

Never mind, I don't use Aperture. It has a confusing GUI and with this Library file it's absolutely not suitable for archiving.

What for do you use it munky?

#16
fireshark

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phi - it is too an image format, just in uncompressed form, most like three separate 16-bit grayscale bitmaps...

#17
munky

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Never mind, I don't use Aperture. It has a confusing GUI and with this Library file it's absolutely not suitable for archiving.

What for do you use it munky?


I was following news and info on Aperture from way before it was released, so I knew a LOT about its GUI and how it worked before it even was released, so I personally dont find it confusing at all.

The 'library file' as you mention is not in fact a file - its an OS X package, or - as us traditionalists prefer to call it - a directory. Right click the Aperture Library and choose 'Show Package Contents' and you'll see its just a big directory of stuff, including the original, unmodified, RAW files.

I use Aperture to quickly and easily organise, prioritise, fix up and choose the best pictures from each shoot. I then export each shoot to iPhoto for presentation on the web or via Front Row. Thus I guess i'm not really using Aperture as a repository, but more as a tool; a step in the process. For example, I dont really use ratings in Aperture (and dont use keywords at all - I leave that for iPhoto). My ratings system is basically: reject (dont include, i dont even want to see em), no rating (good enough not to be rejected but otherwise uninteresting) and 1 star - include in export to iPhoto.

I think a combination of Aperture and Adobe DNG is suitable for long-term archival purposes. I know that I can get all my unmodified DNG files back out of Aperture (either by doing an export within the program, or just Spotlighting all DNG files in the package) any time I like. DNG is a publically available open standard, so I trust it more than I trust the undocumented Pentax RAW format.

PS: For what its worth, I installed the windows Lightroom beta on my work PC (a capable enough beast - p4 3Ghz, 1Gb RAM) and it absolutely crawls compared to Aperture. I found its workflow fiddly and annoying, and its versioning system very restricted compared to Aperture. I know what i'll be sticking to...

#18
phi

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@fireshark

RAW: (CCD raw format) The uninterpolated data collected directly from the image sensor before processing.

For me an Imagefile is already processed and is showable by some kind of codec which decodes the already processed information. RAW is not processed, so the imagequality and appearance is controlled by post-processing software, witch makes an imagefile of raw data. But this discussion might be too academic. Finally you get an uncompressed picture.


I think I understand what you are doing with Aperture, munky. My problem is, that this library file or directory (i knew that this is a directory) stores data in its own way. I store my files like /Volumes/.../DIGITAL_RAW/2006/August/"Shooting Title". For some years now. That are some 100GB (In one library file??). After shooting I watch the standard quality JPEGs and then erase them. Then I continue with photoshop and make 300dpi psds and store them in same way. And that are then the finally stored files witch can be shown in Front Row or Preview or espesially as presentation in keynote. So if i need the max out of a photo, e.g. for large format print, I take the archived raw and get interpolated 20MP pictures. Thats the only purpose of RAW archiving for me. For every other things I do with photos is the 300dpi psd enough. In PPC times is used Adobe Brige for sorting and organizing, but with the intels it's too slow. Aperture is quite slow too with my not really slow machines.

I tried Lightroom on Mac. I think this software has a bigger potential than Aperture in the moment. The full feature list is in a dynamic development with lots of photographers and users. Aperture had an closed development with only some guys. So Aperture implemented the workflow of very few people, which is for example not compatible with mine and of many others I know. Adobe (I hate Adobe but I must use their soft) asks the potential users how they work and what they need. A big plus is the linking of directorys. The speed was great on my old Centrino PentiumM 1.5GHz, i never tried it later, awaiting more features.

In case of Aperture I hope, that the Shake guys will do it again and make a complete rework of the GUI, and processing engine.

Its only my opinion....

#19
McSkywalker

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A high quality jpeg is always good enough for web design and print, as long as it doesn't have any noticeable traces of compression, period.

#20
-jordn-

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im concidering buying a Lieca D-Lux 2 digital SLR to begin shooting in RAW. the camera is so damn hard to find!!! may have to go with the Panasonic DMC LX1... same spec, newho.





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