To RAW or not to RAW?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by M, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. M

    BJ in Texas Guest

    || While this is one guy's opinion, I find it refreshing, and
    || even if you don't agree
    || w/ Ken Rockwell you can't discount his practical photo
    || experience. As Ken says, if you have to ask, you should be
    || shooting JPEG.

    Definitely has opinions.. :)

    "It is better to light just one little candle than to curse the
    darkness. If everyone lit just one little candle, the EPA would
    outlaw candles, the Congress would tax hell out of candles, and
    the commodities market would speculate the price of wax to $85
    per ounce."
    BJ in Texas, Oct 5, 2005
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  2. M

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    I always shoot RAW, and the total number of times either of those things
    has happened to me is zero. I guess if your camera is really slow, it
    could be a factor.

    A better question would be, what if it was a great shot, but all you end
    up with is a crappy in-camera JPEG with bad color and lousy dynamic range?
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 5, 2005
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  3. Absolutely! There is no such thing as a 16-bit (or 12-bit) JPEG. Maybe
    a new JPEG standard, but not the current.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, Oct 5, 2005
  4. It all depends on if your shooting requires you to push the limits of
    the camera's frame buffer. If you do sports shooting it's unquestionably a
    limit if you have to wait for the buffer to clear, and unless the camera
    body is a 1D series, it can happen.

    David Geesaman, Oct 5, 2005
  5. And bias. But it seems to come up short on some of the facts

    Disappointing for somebody with that much experience...
    Floyd Davidson, Oct 5, 2005
  6. M

    no_name Guest

    Definately too small.

    For that camera, you should have a minimum of 2 1GB cards; and that's
    just for shooting jpegs.

    4 would be better, and multiple larger 2GB or 4GB cards would be more

    With the Pentax *istD, I carry 2-2GB and 4-1GB cards. And I keep a 512MB
    & a 256MB card around just for transfering images between computers.

    All of my computers are equipped with some kind of card reader that
    allows me to transfer images from card to computer or computer to card
    without hooking up the camera.
    no_name, Oct 5, 2005
  7. M

    Eugene Guest

    Actually I would think one should be even more descriminating when using
    a machine gun ;-)
    Eugene, Oct 5, 2005
  8. M

    Eugene Guest

    I was really just posing a hyperthetical question. It actually hasn't
    happened with my 20D either. My camera isn't slow, but my cards are.
    Eugene, Oct 5, 2005
  9. Discrimination and an understanding of the sport goes a long way. I
    used to shoot football and basketball in college with a Crown Graphic
    and a YashicaMat.
    Randall Ainsworth, Oct 6, 2005
  10. M

    JPS Guest

    In message <041020051933147569%>,
    JPS, Oct 6, 2005
  11. M

    JPS Guest

    In message <43442916$0$273$>,
    Actually, for display purposes, an 8-bit JPEG of highest quality has
    more potential dynamic range than a 12-bit linear RAW file. It is
    simply excessive compression and attempts to squelch shadow noise in the
    transfer curve and with noise-removal that ruins the shadows of JPEGs.
    JPS, Oct 6, 2005
  12. M

    JPS Guest

    In message <9hT0f.105662$>,
    That's not necessarily true. A person could not know the issues, but
    still desire the flexibility of RAW.
    JPS, Oct 6, 2005
  13. What was I thinking? Just hold down that button for as long as you
    can...surely there will be something good in there. Why not just buy a
    movie camera?
    Randall Ainsworth, Oct 6, 2005
  14. I have to say I find it all a bit of a waste of time....

    I never go above 8x10 and I can not for the life of me discern the
    difference between the two...
    Steve Franklin, Oct 6, 2005
  15. I just framed an 10"x15" image that I took on my D70 and it is
    unbearably sharp! I didn't crop the image beyond fitting it to the
    print size (I didn't attempt digital zoom). In all honesty, I am not
    sure that I am willing to pay for any MP upgrades unless I can get
    double the resolution or more.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, Oct 6, 2005
  16. Potential dynamic range is worthless. The fact is that an 8-bit
    JPEG will *not* have the dynamic range of a 12 bit linear RAW
    file. But, for display purposes... they will almost certainly
    be just about the same anyway, so as long as the "for display
    purposes" qualifier is there, they really aren't much different.
    True enough. Another point though is probably just as
    significant, and that is the lossy nature of
    decompression/compression cycles, each of which significantly
    degrades an image. To be technically pedantic, JPEG should
    *never* be used for archiving. It should only be used for a
    final product that is displayed.

    That is because each and every time a JPEG is decompressed (for
    example loaded into an image editor) and then again compressed
    (modified in any way and then written back to a file from an
    image editor) it suffers significant data loss and generation of

    That is not tone levels or dynamic range (which will also be
    lost if any adjustments to them are attempted in the editor).
    It is the result of 8x8 pixel block quantization of the image
    for compression. The only manipulation which does not affect
    that would be flipping or rotating the image (for example from
    landscape to portrait). Cropping, digital zooms, filters,
    etc. etc. all change the quantization levels and result in
    artifacts that degrade the image.

    Hence image manipulation should always *begin* with a lossless
    format (RAW, PPM, TIFF, etc.) and only *end* with a JPEG file.
    That is perfectly acceptable for generation in the camera, if
    the images are directly printed from the downloaded JPEG files
    and are never decompressed and save again.
    Floyd Davidson, Oct 6, 2005
  17. M

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Well, the point is that simply "8 bit vs. 12 bit" isn't the thing.
    In-camera JPEGs clip off a lot of dynamic range in their attempt to
    make the images "look good", but unfortunately, how to make an image
    look good varies from one to the next.

    The difference between shooting RAW and shooting JPEG isn't "8 bit vs.
    12 bit" or "lossy compression vs. lossless". It's where and how the
    image is generated from the sensor data. When you shoot JPEG, the
    camera does it; when you shoot RAW, you can control the process. It's
    the difference between doing your own film processing and just bringing
    the roll to the 1-hour lab and living with what they give you.
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 6, 2005
  18. Yep! I totally agree with that.

    Great analogy too. Some people like to send their film out for
    processing, some people like to do darkroom work. Same thing...
    Floyd Davidson, Oct 7, 2005
  19. M

    JPS Guest

    In message <434523b6$>,
    You sound like someone who says they don't see what all the buzz is,
    about City X, after spending an hour in its airport waiting for a
    connecting flight.
    JPS, Oct 7, 2005
  20. M

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]
    Hmm ... a couple of questions:

    1) Was it because the CF card was full? (In which case the
    obvious approach is larger CF cards.)

    2) Was it because the camera was busy writing its buffer to the CF
    card? If so -- what was the speed of the CF card? A faster one
    (e.g. 80x) will allow the camera to write the buffer more
    quickly than a slower card will allow. If the CF card has *no*
    speed marking, I think that we can assume that it is not enough
    faster than the 1X speed range for it to be worth advertising.
    My typical shots (where speed matters, at least) will be
    neighborhood kids interacting with each other and mostly ignoring me.
    Not a full burst mode, but a lot of shots fairly close together in time.

    DoN. Nichols, Oct 7, 2005
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