reignite the debate, to raw or not to raw

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Don, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. Don

    Don Guest

    I know that this has been debated ad naseum but once again into the fray.
    Since purchasing my 20D I have taken all my shots in RAW. The files are all
    about 7 - 8 mg and I back up to two hard drives and one external hard drive
    (Maxtor and love it). The camera is used primarily in Ap priority mode and
    from an exposure/colour temp perspective doesn't often make to many mistakes
    with me driving. Hence very little appears to be gained from RAW mode. I
    am now considering moving to JPG and based on my conversion practices to
    date, I will not appear to loose much control over my images as they don't
    generally need much fixing when going from RAW to JPG. Ok, there must be a
    downside, lets hear it.

    Don, Nov 18, 2005
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  2. Don

    Pete D Guest

    No downside at all, horses for courses really, under ideal conditions jpg
    may well do what you want, when the conditions are difficult then shoot in
    RAW so you can extract the last bit of useable info.
    Pete D, Nov 18, 2005
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  3. Well, for one, you'll fit twice as many shots on a card, and you'll be
    able to click off even more shots per moment. If you're curious, shoot RAW
    + Large JPG and copy off just the JPGs. Then see if you even refer to the
    As a sports shooter, for me JPG is the only way to go. I'm not saying
    to just pray-n-spray, but speed is a major advantage when you can't
    manipulate the scene.

    David Geesaman, Nov 18, 2005
  4. Don

    AustinMN Guest

    AustinMN, Nov 18, 2005
  5. Don

    Guest Guest

    Just curious: what did/do you use to process your raw files? And why did
    pick that program?
    Guest, Nov 18, 2005
  6. Don

    Paul Furman Guest

    Yes, this is the way to answer the question for oneself. I find I can
    almost always get better results from the RAW if I'm willing to spend
    the time. I'm not always willing though.
    Paul Furman, Nov 18, 2005
  7. Don

    wilt Guest

    I have shot professionally, but todayI primarily shoot like most other
    amateurs...vacation, family, etc. I honestly can stated that in the 4
    years I have had a digital camera with RAW capabilities, I never used
    RAW to its full potential until just recently! My point... many/most
    people shooting digital will NEVER need the advantages of RAW! I have
    found, in the past, that my non-professional needs generally were met
    well enough, simply by using Photoshop LE to edit JPEGs. But...
    Last month I attended a wedding as a guest, andI brought my Canon
    20D to get photos that could be passed on to bride's parents (our
    friends). In shooting many weddings on film in the past, I would rely
    largely upon the pro lab to color balance, etc. and use the latitude
    inherent to color negative film to help get all my exposures, even in
    some marginal conditions. But digital is more unforgiving, like
    slides...unless you shoot RAW use RAW editors! I was able to perfectly
    color balance even difficult mixed lighting shots, and I was able to
    salvage shots underexposed simply because I didn't wait long enough for
    the in-camera flash to recycle. (Yeah, shooting professionally with a
    pro-level flash that uses a power pack and recycles in < 1 sec, puts
    some really bad habits into you, like shooting before your in-camera
    flash has had what seems half a lifetime to recycle!).
    I can say, even after that recent wedding, that MOST shots I have
    taken with my 20D I probably would never process in RAW -- simply
    because I was not intending to SELL the photos or enlarge them to very
    large sizes! This recent wedding (even though unpaid) deserved the
    time to process RAW to extract the most from each shot simply because I
    wanted to provide the absolute highest quality to my friends. But most
    people looking at your photos on a computer monitor probably would
    never truly appreciate the extra level of effort you put into working
    RAW files!
    So it comes down to how YOU wish to use your photos, and whether
    you think you will exploit the advantages of RAW...or if Photoshop'ing
    JPEGS meets all your needs! I currently use RawShooter Premium 2006
    and Paint Shop Pro 10 and can recommend both highly.

    wilt, Nov 18, 2005
  8. In my experience, if you don't need to do much to the picture, then
    you might as well be shooting JPG. But I have found that if I want to
    tweak brightness or saturation or anything more than a tiny bit, it
    tends to bring out all the artifacts in the JPG. Make no mistake, with
    JPG you are losing information. Whether that matters or not depends on
    whether you need that information later.
    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner, Nov 18, 2005
  9. Don

    C J Southern Guest

    If you run your CR2's through the adobe DNG converter, you can knock these
    down to about 1/2 that size using lossless compression - know that they're
    in an "industry standard" format, and do away with XMP files to boot!
    The advantage of RAW that I like is that the initial adjustments can be made
    whilst the gamma is still at 1.0 (ie linear) - giving you more "headroom"
    for adjustments in certain tonal ranges before it starts to show. Personal
    choice at the end of the day - in my experience, if you use Adobe Bridge for
    your sorting and initial selects than it's really no more difficult to work
    in RAW - and you'll know that you've got the best opportunity to capture the
    best quality data. And if your shots don't require any adjustment then you
    can always get ACR to batch convert to JPG for you whilst you go watch a
    rerun of Bewitched.
    C J Southern, Nov 18, 2005
  10. Using ACR with RAW lets me use a very large color space and go to
    16bit tiffs for submission to Alamy and produce the very finest images
    possible. I also shoot everything in Manual mode as I want complete
    control of the image process.

    I think jpg is at best a very weak compromise and of course you lose
    data with.


    "There has always been war. War is raging throughout the world
    at the present moment. And there is little reason to believe
    that war will cease to exist in the future. As man has become
    increasingly civilized, his means of destroying his fellow man
    have become ever more efficient, cruel and devastating.
    Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior which
    has existed throughout history by means of photography?
    The proportions of that notion seem ridiculously out of balance.
    Yet, that very idea has motivated me.

    James Nachtwey
    War Photographer
    John A. Stovall, Nov 19, 2005
  11. Don

    Don Guest

    I have Raw shooter professional as well as Breezbrowser Pro along with
    Canon's DPP (which I don't like). I tend to use Breezbrowser but have only
    just started to play with RSP. Don't know which I will stay with. One of
    the respondents to the post has indicated that shooting in raw and then
    converting to DNG for space saving may be the way to go. Comments on that
    proposal welcome as always.


    Don from Down Under
    Don, Nov 19, 2005
  12. Don

    Paul J Gans Guest

    Amen. I agree fully. It all depends on what you shoot
    and how you will be using the results.

    And there is no single answer even for a single photographer.

    You could have gone out the next day and done some shots for
    a web page illustration where 800x600 pixels would be overkill.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Nov 20, 2005
  13. Don

    ian lincoln Guest

    Fortunately the 20D shoots raw and large jpeg simultaneously. I have shot
    raw this way for a wedding and for a formal portrait shoot. Just in case
    really. I currently get the raw looking as good as the digic II adjusted
    jpeg. Damn fine in camera system that. I select the neutral not the
    overcooked setting that is standard on the eos 300D that i also own.

    Should i ever get more proficient in using raw then i can go back to RAW
    shots i've taken. For sport i will stick to jpeg for a faster shooting
    speed and more continous images 23 versus six.
    ian lincoln, Nov 21, 2005
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