Serene Life

by garik

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219

The Value of RAW: I think you may be misunderstanding the value of RAW. In the grand scheme of things, from seeing a scene with your eye to printing it, the best you get is what the printer you printed with is capable of, and that tends to be considerably less than what you see, or your camera or your computer is capable of representing. The value of RAW ...


79

Here's a concrete example of the advantages of shooting raw from a recent wedding. I always shoot raw+jpeg and use the jpegs to quickly sort through the photos afterwards. Here's a jpeg of the first dance that would have gone straight in the bin, except for the fact that I had very few shots of the first dance due to some very difficult conditions: I ...


33

RAW: Pros: Great color More post-processing options Cons: Large File size More storage needed Slower capture time More complicated workflow for processing JPEG: Pros: Fast capture (so higher burst speed) Simplified viewing/sharing Cons: Finalized (editing degrades the image more) Smaller range of color/contrast options.


33

I expect pro-RAW answers will dominate here, so I'll offer a pro-JPEG view. I was shooting RAW from the start when I started using digital cameras. However, after a few years, when looking into my workflow, I realize that I very rarely use what RAW offers (post exposure white balance changes, exposure corrections and so on). My typical adjustments to the ...


30

I was a beginner at the time, took this picture of a very nice sunset. I was pretty disapointed by the picture... Once I learned how to properly use Lightroom, I was able to get most of the details back from the original RAW file to get it to what I was really seeing in real life.


29

I will add my own input. Doing this specifically isn't the reason to shoot RAW, it's just the primary reason why shooting RAW gives you fundamentally more headroom to work with when pushing pixels around. I took this shot at a show a mate of mine was playing at (in this actual band). 1/60th ISO 1600 f/2.8 on a Canon 50D with EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 lens. Here is ...


20

jrista pretty much summed up the whole difference, but just to clarify on the point of RAW headroom: JPEG is 8 bits, meaning 256 discrete levels per channel (RGB) which creates quite a wide range of color (16,777,216 discrete colors to be exact), but that pales in comparison to what RAW can potentially offer. The actual number of bits that a dSLR sensor ...


18

Let's consider the image captured by the sensor (RAW) as calibrated and neutral. The equation is the following to generate a color balanced JPEG is: JPEG = RAW * T where T is the color balance transformation Normally to apply a different color balance to a JPEG, you would need to apply the inverse of as-shot transformation to the JPEG (to restore the ...


17

I capture everything both raw and jpeg, it gives you the best of both worlds. Take this original jpeg: Normally you would probably junk this shot, its totally overexposed. Correcting it in photoshop is not going to give you more detail: Contrast this with the RAW shot, which was underexposed 1 and a half stops during post: You get significantly ...


16

The biggest upside for RAW is color depth. Most RAW formats capture color information in 12 bit format. This means that color intensities can vary from 0 to 4095. In contrast JPG can only capture 8 bit in color depth (0 to 255). Therefore a RAW file can be tweaked much more extensively without the whites being washed out. The only two downsides I can think ...


14

I always consider a RAW file like a traditional negative -- The biggest benefit of shooting in RAW is the ability to tweak things like white balance and exposure with greater accuracy and ease back when you're "developing" them. However, shooting in RAW consumes memory card space faster, and some cameras perform faster when shooting in JPEG


12

Yes, the evidence that this is a fact is that RAW images are used to make the JPEGs. It isn't possible for a JPEG to have a wider range than a RAW image because the RAW image is the actual sensor data from which the JPEG is made. A JPEG is the processed image produced by the camera taking its best guess at how the image should be processed. It discards ...


11

One nice feature of some cameras is the ability to save both raw and jpeg. This gives you almost all of the advantages of both (you have the option of post processing or not depending on your requirements), at the cost of even worse filesize than raw alone (but not that much more if you're already shooting raw). Memory cards are cheap, and this might be a ...


11

Great technical answers so far. Here's a simple analogy that may not be exactly right but anyway: A RAW file is like an film negative. You can work with it in a darkroom (Lightroom) and print it (JPG). A JPG is like a print. Once printed, there isn't much you can do.


9

The quick and short answer: All images start as RAW files that must have colour balance applied to them. For jpeg images this transformation is done in the camera using the camera white balance settings. As mentioned above, Lightroom does not have enough information to undo this transformation. Saved RAW files have no transformations applied by the ...


9

Yes there are reasons to shoot RAW, just like there are reasons to not shoot RAW. It comes down to personal preference. What @Steve said is correct, JPEG are images which have been produced in the camera. Development, to use a term from the film days, has already happened. A RAW file needs to be developed by computer or using in-camera conversion (on some ...


9

No. RAW files are certainly capable of being converted into better quality images but that will not improve your photography. There is a huge difference between better photography and higher image-quality and these are largely orthogonal concepts. Think about it, there are great images made famous taken on a film camera of 60 years ago. Its quality of ...


8

RAW certainly gives a lot more after-the-fact flexibility. But, it's generally true that if the exposure is correct and white balance set to match the lighting, that flexibility is less important. If you're happy with the processing options the camera gives (and, especially for higher-level cameras, such options are extensive), RAW isn't really a necessity. ...


7

Here is a picture that I shot at Christmas of my 2 girlies and my nephew. In the original, the image was overexposed and the glare from the window made it hard to look at without being blinded! The first picture is the JPEG and the second is the edited RAW picture. I was able to decrease the exposure and increase the highlight recovery to bring my ...


7

Decastlejau's answer provides some great technical insight for those like myself who love all things technical. For the timid of hart when it comes to mathematics, here is a less complicated answer. With RAW, you have original sensor data, which is generally stored as original red, green, or blue SENSOR readings for each pixel of a digital sensor, as well as ...


7

RAW definitely takes more work. If you want to go straight to Facebook with an album of 50+ photos, you may want to consider using JPG. Using RAW allows you to customize white balance, exposure, etc. This takes more time, but can yield a better photo. If you have the time, this is the route to take. If you are going for the HDR effect, you can ...


7

Neither solution is acceptable in my opinion, especially for something as important as a wedding. Large hard drives are cheap and spare compact flash cards are not terribly expensive, so I would just get more storage and shoot raw. If computer processing power is your limiting factor - that can be a little more expensive. Even so, a decent PC ...


7

Things look different because everything is different and you have done no effort to make them the same. Your DSLR has control over brightness and so does your screen and your friend's, etc. The probability of them being at the same brightness without you doing explicitly so is absolutely zero. A JPEG image and RAW file is different. As a matter, a RAW ...


7

Always shoot RAW if you can. A RAW file is a capture of all the light that hit the sensor photocells at the time of exposure. This allows you to read, interpret and convert that data in any number of ways. A JPEG is just 1 out of 1000+ ways you can interpret that RAW data. Depending on your scene, camera and the sensor, a RAW file will give you anywhere from ...


7

I'd look at this one somewhat differently; you say that you want "lighter and sharper" images, which are actually two different problems. To get lighter images, you need to either get more light into the camera, or change what the camera does with the light. To do the first, you can either have a longer exposure or a wider aperture; to do the second, you ...


7

Of course I don't know. :) However the most common causes for these things are: RAW is "softer" The RAW image isn't 'softer' - JPEG image is doctored in-camera usually with quite aggressive sharpening. Especially on entry-level cameras this sharpening is 'yelling' sometimes and can cause artifacts Besides sharpening, JPEGs usually have in camera some ...


6

Raw vs jpeg is choosing processing software. Raw is not a specific file format like jpeg or tiff or psd. Most manufacturers have their own raw file format. Raw just means the data from the sensor in the most unprocessed form available. If the camera is set to jpeg then the processing is done by the manufacturer's in-camera processing software. If the ...



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