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-   -   Why shoot RAW and JPEG? (http://www.railpictures.net/forums/showthread.php?t=6327)

Joe the Photog 12-18-2007 12:51 PM

Why shoot RAW and JPEG?
 
Well, with the new camera came new software that makes it easier for the computer to "see" RAW files. So I've been shooting JPEGs and RAW and have been working exclusively with the RAW files. I love it. I'm not sure I'm getting all out of the software yet, but it's only been three weeks anyway so I'm not too worried about it yet. Honestly, with the RAW files, I don't have to do much processing at all other than conversion and processing. I've tried to set the camera up where it does most of the work. My goal is not to have to crop shots in post processing, but of course, that's not always possible.

Anyway, the question. WHy do you guys who do it shoot RAW and JPEG? I haven't seen the need and it does free up some space shooting only RAW. Looking at the shots side by side, there is a difference in quality too, although I wonder if that's more a difference on how the computer "sees" the images. But when you work from a RAW file, you eventually save it as a JPEG to upload to the web, so why have two copies of the same file?

By the way, Andrew (2), if I of all people started shooting RAW, you really need to see what it can do for your fantastic photos.


Joe

Joe the Photog 12-18-2007 01:06 PM

On a 1GB card, shooting RAW and JPEG gives me room for 55 shots. Shooting only RAW gives me room for 90 shots.


Joe

Bill 12-18-2007 01:20 PM

For shooting trains, I see no reason to shoot both.
The only situation I personally encountered where I needed both was when I was shooting a wedding & I wanted to set up a quick slideshow of the ceremony during the reception...I was able to quickly export the jpg files into a a slideshow presentation. I would not have been able to do this with RAW files, the conversion would have taken too long.
...of course since I shot RAW, once I got home, I deleted the jpgs & used the RAW files for post-processing.

Good luck...
Bill

JimThias 12-18-2007 02:47 PM

Yeah, Joe, that has never made much sense to me either. Pick one and stick with it. I guess if you don't like to process pictures on your own, let the camera do it. If you like to process your own shots, shoot in RAW. But BOTH? Not only does that take up more space, but it also slows the camera down.

hoydie17 12-18-2007 02:50 PM

I shoot exclusively RAW, however, I know people that insist on shooting both, and it seems mostly to do with web-sharing.

By having a .jpg ready to go off the camera, it saves a few minutes of time just downloading and sending the photo to whoever it needs to go to. Whether a magazine editor or an internet newsgroup. If you try to make a smaller .jpg to share via e-mail or whatever, it can take a few minutes to download, process, and then resample to a .jpg file small enough to send out quickly.

Myself, post processing is at least half of the fun in this hobby, so I don't really mind spending an hour or two after a day of railfanning working on photos, others dread post processing and sampling. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

ken45 12-18-2007 03:41 PM

I shot RAW+JPEG for one trip only. The reason was similar to the one Hoydie gave, in that it was my first time shooting RAW and I just wanted the RAW version of each shot so if I screwed something up, I'd have a better chance at fixing it. While messing around in the software, I noticed a batch process feature, and have shot straight RAW ever since. Then, when I get home, I do a quick batch of small JPEGs in about 5 minutes to see what I have.

EMTRailfan 12-18-2007 06:04 PM

I shoot both because my PC doesn't see the RAW files without using the Nikon software. I mainly do this, because I shoot bursts 100% of the time when shooting a moving train. When it comes time to transfer the shots from cam to PC, I transfer everything, and view the JPEGs to decide which ones get immediately nuked.

JimThias 12-18-2007 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EMTRailfan
I shoot both because my PC doesn't see the RAW files without using the Nikon software. I mainly do this, because I shoot bursts 100% of the time when shooting a moving train.

How much does is slow your camera down to have to save two pics of each shot at a time? Just curious, because I haven't tried it myself on my 350D. The damn thing is slow enough as it is just processing a quick firing of three to four shots in RAW as a train is approaching.

randy 12-18-2007 06:29 PM

Shooting raw is slower, which makes me more thoughtful.

One of the things I've had to unlearn in switching to digital is NOT to over-crop when setting up the shot. One of my film habits was to shoot a very tight shot since I had to send it to lab. Now I can crop in post and get (usually) what I want.

For the net Elements 5 has a very useful menu selection called "save for the web" which makes conversion easy.

"This is too much fun!" he said, remembering banging his head on his desk at 10:00 last night while processing shots from Amboy and Kelso. :lol:

JRMDC 12-18-2007 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by randy
For the net Elements 5 has a very useful menu selection called "save for the web" which makes conversion easy.

I suggest not using Save For The Web because it does not include EXIF info in the file. With that info included, everyone can see what your settings were and, if the shot was good, learn from them, or if the shot was bad, offer better advice on exposure. I always do Save As. It takes only a few seconds longer.

JimThias 12-18-2007 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC
I suggest not using Save For The Web because it does not include EXIF info in the file. With that info included, everyone can see what your setting were and, if the shot was good, learn from it, or if the shot was bad, offer better advice on exposure. I always do Save As. It takes only a few seconds longer.

Not to mention the image quality degrades when using the "save for web" feature (at least in my PS7 it does).

randy 12-18-2007 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC
I suggest not using Save For The Web because it does not include EXIF info in the file. With that info included, everyone can see what your settings were and, if the shot was good, learn from them, or if the shot was bad, offer better advice on exposure. I always do Save As. It takes only a few seconds longer.

Didn't know that! That's one of the other reasons I'm on this site.

Of course if I give away all my secrets then everyone will get as good as I am. :shock: :roll: :lol:

Thanks

UNDPilot 12-18-2007 07:10 PM

On really nice days I usually shoot both, because if I submit any to a magazine, such as trains. I want to be able to send them the RAW image because their editors are much better at post-processing than I am. I just don't have the money to purchase the required software to process RAW files (If there is a cheap way to do this using just PSE with a Nikon D80 I'd love to hear about it, I really don't like the Nikon software). Other than magazines I really see no reason to shoot RAW, and my post-processing knowledge is not up to handling the greater flexibility with RAW formats.

Also I just received some sample shots back from Whitehouse Custom Color using just .jpeg images and those shots look amazing.

JRMDC 12-18-2007 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UNDPilot
I just don't have the money to purchase the required software to process RAW files (If there is a cheap way to do this using just PSE with a Nikon D80 I'd love to hear about it, I really don't like the Nikon software).

I don't understand this. Are you saying you can't use PSE with files from a Nikon D80?

If so, what version of PSE do you have? PSE 3 through 5 can do a D80 with the appropriate update to Camera Raw, the 3.6 version. (I presume that for PSE 6 D80 support is out of the box.) I suggest keeping your software upgraded to the latest Camera Raw version available.

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=3558

Sadly, they no longer do upgrades for my old PSE 3, so when it comes time to upgrade from my 20D, I will need to buy new software also. Happily, I don't need to upgrade the 20D for years and years! :)

hoydie17 12-18-2007 08:20 PM

Strangely enough, Photoshop Elements doesn't seem to have any RAW support out of the box that I can recall. I use PSE 6 on my laptop and Lightroom on my desktop PC.

I had to download the latest version of CameraRAW for both because they don't have Nikon D300 RAW support right out of the box. (The D300 was just too recent for Adobe to have the proper coding changes.)

Photoshop Elements 4 wasn't compatible with CR 4.3 so I had to upgrade to PSE 6 for the laptop. Lightroom simply needed the new 4.3 plug-in and it was good to go.

You'll need to download the latest version of the CameraRAW plug-in for your version of Photoshop Elements, the plug-in is free. If you still can't see the D80 RAW files in your organizer, then you'll need to get a more up to date version of PSE and the applicable CameraRAW plug-in.

JRMDC 12-18-2007 08:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hoydie17
Strangely enough, Photoshop Elements doesn't seem to have any RAW support out of the box that I can recall.

This is a puzzling lead-in to your otherwise clear post. Are you saying that PSE 6 didn't have a copy of Camera Raw in it when you received it? I am 99.9% sure that my PSE 3 did when I bought it. Of course, since then I have downloaded newer versions several times.

hoydie17 12-18-2007 08:33 PM

It was a few years ago when I first bought the D70 that I purchased PSE 3 from a friend who'd moved on to CS. And I had to download CameraRAW and the .DNG plug-in to be able to view the D70's RAW files. And at that time the D70 had been on the market for at least a year or more.

When I started using Gary Knapp's 5D for night photos (D70 is woefully inadequate for high-ISO, 1/200th shutter, low light use) I had to get yet another up-to-date version of CR to view the 5D's .cr2 files for processing.

Strictly based on my experiences I don't believe PSE comes with RAW support out of the box. Though I cannot remember now if PSE6 opened all the D70 RAW files I had when I first installed it. I'm not even sure if I looked to see, as I was focused on seeing my first shots from the D300.

alexramos 12-18-2007 08:35 PM

The only time I shot RAW+JPEG was when I first got my D200 and photoshop's raw editor didn't support new D200 raw files yet. Once they released and update for camera raw I began to shoot only JPEGs.

Take Care,
Alex Ramos

EMTRailfan 12-18-2007 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias
How much does is slow your camera down to have to save two pics of each shot at a time? Just curious, because I haven't tried it myself on my 350D. The damn thing is slow enough as it is just processing a quick firing of three to four shots in RAW as a train is approaching.

My D40 fires off at 2.5/1 sec. It keeps up pretty good unless I get up around 6 or 7 shots in the same sequesnce, then it starts to lug down. I don't usually go with that many shots though. A faster train is usually out of camera by 3 or 4 shots from the center, and you have time to better "place" where you want a slower train. I shoot the burst to usually junk the 1st shot with any camera movement from pressing the trigger. I don't have a remote (yet), so I do this even with my tripod. Thank God for digital :wink: $$$

UNDPilot 12-18-2007 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRMDC
I don't understand this. Are you saying you can't use PSE with files from a Nikon D80?

If so, what version of PSE do you have? PSE 3 through 5 can do a D80 with the appropriate update to Camera Raw, the 3.6 version. (I presume that for PSE 6 D80 support is out of the box.) I suggest keeping your software upgraded to the latest Camera Raw version available.

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=3558


My RAW files would not work in PSE 5 until I updated my Camera Raw to 4.3.something. Thanks for the update tip it all works fine now.

wirailfan 12-19-2007 01:44 AM

I think a lot of people shoot both RAW and JPEG because they're not 100% comfortable with RAW and their ability to do RAW conversions. IMO, once you get to that point, it doesn't make much sense to shoot both.

WembYard 12-19-2007 01:52 AM

I use PSE 5 and it has no problem reading RAW files from the either the Canon 350D or 30D.

With the latter camera, I have it set to take RAW + small jpeg (approx 500kb) - this is only to obtain a means of viewing the image, if it is rubbish then it can be deleted straight away without having to mess about with the RAW file. The 350D can only do RAW + full size jpeg (about 80 pics per 1gb card), which is not a problem as we only normally take the 30D away on extended trips.

John Ryan 12-19-2007 02:49 AM

Uuugghhhhh, this debate again?

I think all you people who only shoot JPEG are a little bit crazy. But more than a few of you seem to get excellent results, so who am I to criticize?

I shoot RAW - and only RAW - because I've done tests that have consistently shown that the RAW will produce a better shot. Better control over fine adjustments to white balance, better handling of chromatic aberration / color fringing, better handling of color noise reduction, better handling of sharpening, better handling of vignetting corrections, yak yak yak. When you shoot that JPEG, you're basically stuck with what you've got. But RAW is the doorway to endless possibilities. I'll honestly tell you that without being able to massage the RAW data, none of these shots would have looked the way they do now. Some of them would have gone straight to the trash, and others would be unpublishable:

[photoid=194811]

[photoid=192867]

[photoid=191765]

[photoid=192229]

[photoid=191152]

[photoid=190083]

[photoid=189503]

[photoid=112969]

[photoid=107400]

We're talking about fixing minor things like color fringing at the corners of an image, to major recovery of shadow detail, to noise suppression, to highlight recovery, to canceling vignetting. I shoot RAW because it gives me the flexibility I need to make the most of an image.

JimThias 12-19-2007 11:32 PM

John, could you explain this "damage" that Stu is referring to with your last photo above?

Quote:

That trikes me as a difficult shot to pull off. Did you use any kind of filter for it, 'cos I imagine that could cause damage to your camera otherwise (assuming you are using a digital SLR)?
And what's so difficult about it? Get the settings right and fire away. :)

John Ryan 12-20-2007 03:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimThias
John, could you explain this "damage" that Stu is referring to with your last photo above?

I think that prolonged exposure to concentrated direct sunlight will fry some part of the sensor in the same manner that directly looking at the sun with binoculars will. But I've never damaged any of my equipment while shooting a glint shot (or similar), so it might be urban legend.


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