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2013 - RAW Vs. Jpeg?  
User currently onlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 881 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4143 times:

I realise the RAW vs JPEG debate has been done to death. However I wonder, with today's modern SLRs, if the in-camera JPEG engines are now so good as to make RAW redundant? With my EOS 5D MkIII, I have real trouble processing a RAW file in Lightroom to even get to the same standard as a high quality JPEG.

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10335 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4133 times:

I don't really know, to be honest, but I'd still keep shooting RAW for times like when I forget to set the correct white balance (which actually happens to me quite often    ).


How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4131 times:

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
However I wonder, with today's modern SLRs, if the in-camera JPEG engines are now so good as to make RAW redundant?

Nope. Especially when the white balance is out and when shooting in high ISO.

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
With my EOS 5D MkIII, I have real trouble processing a RAW file in Lightroom to even get to the same standard as a high quality JPEG.

It takes practice.. I suggest possibly changing your workflow? Do you shoot pictures in JPEG+RAW so you can do a straight comparison between your edits? Mind showing them here?



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlinewaketurbulence From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1297 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4129 times:

I shoot RAW for at least 2 reasons. We don't know what technology is coming in the future that will make old RAW files even better than can be made now. Plus, why throw away all that data and let the camera make permanent decisions?

I use LR and PS for editing. What is your workflow like? Why don't you think you can edit a RAW file to the same standard as a JPEG?
-Matt



Jetwash Images - Feel the Heat!!!
User currently onlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4123 times:

Quoting waketurbulence (Reply 3):
What is your workflow like

The word "workflow" implies a certain predetermined clarity of action which really doesn't exist.  . I look at the photo, and fiddle with some sliders - usually "vibrance", "sharpness" and "noise".


User currently onlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Do you shoot pictures in JPEG+RAW

Yes

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Mind showing them here?

Not at all; I'd be flattered.

My effort at converting from RAW in LR5:



And the camera's unadjusted JPEG:


I like the camera's better.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4111 times:

Quoting gasman (Reply 4):
I look at the photo, and fiddle with some sliders - usually "vibrance", "sharpness" and "noise".

Take time to change the shadows, highlights, blacks and whites. That's where the extra contrast comes in which could be missing from images. Don't overdo the sharpness or noise reduction either.. Take a look at what your predefined picture settings are when using JPEG.

Quoting gasman (Reply 5):

Right. First up I see some lens correction going on.. That itself can sometimes soften the picture dramatically. You need to correct for white balance - your version's far too warm. Take the eyedropper tool on LR and click it onto the middle of the white star. Then you'll need to make a few adjustments in terms of brightness/contrast.. Bring the exposure and/or highlights down a bit in order to bring out the ground (concrete) and minimise the slight blowout on top of the fuselage.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 768 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4046 times:

In theory, a RAW image can always produce a better image than an out of the camera jpg. BUT you need to learn how to make it better, Pushing a few sliders around ain't gonna do it. In particular you need to understand how to manage color and curve adjustment.

If you don't have the time or inclination to really learn RAW processing, then you are probably better sticking with in camera processing. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that - some, quite reasonably would rather spend more time behind a viewfinder than a computer screen.

An out of camera jpg will always beat an incorrectly processed RAW.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineSNATH From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3247 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3987 times:

The answer is in the first four digits of the thread title: "2013"

- it's 2013 and raw has won
- it's 2013 and storage is dirt cheap, so the "raw files take up too much space" argument is a non-issue

In other words, why do we still talk about this?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Nope. Especially when the white balance is out and when shooting in high ISO.

Exactly the two main reasons why everyone should shoot raw.

Quoting waketurbulence (Reply 3):
We don't know what technology is coming in the future that will make old RAW files even better than can be made now. Plus, why throw away all that data and let the camera make permanent decisions?

And an excellent additional argument.

Quoting gasman (Reply 5):
I like the camera's better.

I'm on my uncalibrated laptop monitor but, FWIW, I like LR's version better. I find that it has more punch.

Tony



Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2648 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3976 times:

I find a combination of both works for me. For night shots, difficult light, high ISO, dark or otherwise tricky lighting (like if an aircraft is coming towards you and there's little clouds everywhere leading to the plane going from sun to shade and back rapidly, which messes up the exposure) I use RAW. If it is a nice sunny day and the sun is behind me, I use JPEG. I also use JPEG for a lot of cases where I need to shoot a long continuous burst of images (like panning, and really low shutters for helicopters or props). It's not like I can't delete the garbage blurry ones, the problem I have is the buffer on my camera fills up halfway through the sequence. I'd rather have a JPEG than no photo at all because of a full buffer. And yes, I do have a "fast" card, but the 5D2 RAW files are quite heavy.

I have no set workflow when processing RAW, sometimes I mess with the sliders, sometimes I just run it through the converter and do the rest of the adjustment with the photoshop functions.


User currently offlineviv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3920 times:

RAW gives more scope to make adjustments.

It also gives more scope to ruin a photo.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently onlinegasman From New Zealand, joined Mar 2004, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3914 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 7):

If you don't have the time or inclination to really learn RAW processing, then you are probably better sticking with in camera processing. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that - some, quite reasonably would rather spend more time behind a viewfinder than a computer screen.

An out of camera jpg will always beat an incorrectly processed RAW

I think you've hit the nail on the head. And as colour and curves aren't a feature of Lightroom, maybe I should just stick to JPEG.


User currently offlineRCoulter From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

Quoting gasman (Reply 11):
colour and curves aren't a feature of Lightroom

Actually, they are. Curves is actually a great feature in Lightroom and you have massive control of colour in the program from calibration, saturation and vibrance and more.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4858 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3860 times:
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I think the point has already been made, but I don't see why anyone wouldn't shoot RAW for everything. Better to have all the data you can possibly have, I say. The only reason for shooting Jpeg that I say "ok yeah I can see that", is sports shooters shooting at 12 frames a second while needing all the burst and write speed they can get. But for everything else, why not shoot RAW?

And at least for Canon and their Digital Photo Professional software (I'm not familiar enough with Nikon), the RAW turns out exactly as set in the camera meaning RAW and Jpeg opened with that software will be identical out of the camera. You'll just have one extra step to convert the RAW to Jpeg.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinedendrobatid From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1689 posts, RR: 62
Reply 14, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3799 times:
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I am with Silver1SWA on this. I use DPP too and shoot RAW all of the time. I have far lesser cameras than Gasman (5D mk1 and 40D), and a very high proprtion of the images I take neither need nor get any RAW adjustment but it is worth taking RAW to help those that do benefit from some. It is also worth understanding what adjustments RAW can do rather than just tweaking here and there and hoping for the best.

I do not know or use Lightroom but your camera came with DPP, a RAW processing programme designed by Canon, for Canon (and who knows Canon better than Canon?)

Gasman, you have one of the best cameras out there but simply shooting JPG is like buying a Ferrari and driving with the handbrake on a little - you will still get there but not as well as you might!

Mick Bajcar


User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

Quoting gasman (Thread starter):
However I wonder, with today's modern SLRs, if the in-camera JPEG engines are now so good as to make RAW redundant?

The raw has 2 to 3 stops of more highlight/shadow details that the jpg doesn't have, if you want to extract that you need to shoot raw.
If you just want to shoot planes, you don't need raw unless you want to fix some settings you messed up.

Quoting dendrobatid (Reply 14):
you have one of the best cameras out there but simply shooting JPG is like buying a Ferrari and driving with the handbrake on a little - you will still get there but not as well as you might!

  


User currently offlinetim79 From UK - England, joined May 2010, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3613 times:

Quoting dendrobatid (Reply 14):
Gasman, you have one of the best cameras out there but simply shooting JPG is like buying a Ferrari and driving with the handbrake on a little - you will still get there but not as well as you might!

I fully agree Mick! Having had my 5D3 for the last 4-5 months now, I can still see the difference (even at resized screen-resolution) between JPG and RAW. I'm still running CS5 (though have had a play with PS CC-64) but I have got DPP installed and use it occasionally for exporting images to CS5.

Gasman: I'd definitely say it's worth sticking with RAW on your 5D3, for all the reasons everyone above has said! You'll be pleasantly surprised  

Tim


User currently offlinen797mx From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3587 times:

I've given up on shooting RAW. When I learned that you can open JPEG's as RAW in Photoshop I just gave up on RAW. My 550D shoots faster and holds more. I find no need to shoot RAW anymore.   


Clear skies and strong tail winds.
User currently offlinestevemchey From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

Quoting n797mx (Reply 17):
I've given up on shooting RAW. When I learned that you can open JPEG's as RAW in Photoshop I just gave up on RAW. My 550D shoots faster and holds more. I find no need to shoot RAW anymore.

Opening a JPEG as RAW in PS is not the same as shooting in RAW. A JPEG does not have the same amount of detail information and therefore you can never recover what you have lost... even when you open it as a RAW file.


User currently offlinesovietjet From Bulgaria, joined Mar 2003, 2648 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3539 times:

Quoting trvyyz (Reply 15):
The raw has 2 to 3 stops of more highlight/shadow details that the jpg doesn't have, if you want to extract that you need to shoot raw.

This is why I use RAW on days with bad weather or tricky lighting. When it's a sunny day and you are in a good position with the sun behind you RAW has no advantage to me at all since the post processing needed is very minimal.


User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3494 times:

Quoting n797mx (Reply 17):
I've given up on shooting RAW. When I learned that you can open JPEG's as RAW in Photoshop I just gave up on RAW. My 550D shoots faster and holds more. I find no need to shoot RAW anymore.  

You don't get it? Imagine, the sensor is a bag catching tennis balls. The sensor can catch say 10 balls, the jpg can pick a max of 7 balls and discard the other 3 balls, if you have raw you get the full 10 balls and later you can take all information, pick and choose what to discard while creating jpg out of raw. In jpg camera assumes and throws out information as it feels like (similar to the metering where the camera decides to underexpose the subject in a white background).
You won't see this is needed for most of the shots on this site, but for nonav and extreme conditions for Aviation photography it will make a difference.

[Edited 2013-08-03 14:20:14]

User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 768 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

First let me say that I always shoot RAW for many of there reasons already stated and also quite enjoy post processing.

But, let's not forget that the end product in both cases is (for a.net anyway) a .jpg. A .jpg produced from RAW is in no technical sense any different from the .jpg produced in camera.

Both are a subset of the original data.The only difference is that in one case the camera decides what to throw away, in the other case you chose. If you LIKE what the camera produces then there is no need for RAW.

One reason I shoot RAW is that I find it easier to post-process than fiddle around with camera settings - and I can defer a lot of the decision making until later. But others may find working with the camera preferable.

The one insurmountable problem with jpg is that you can't change your mind, or try different approaches to the image - so ultimately that's the real trade off for the possibly greater convenience of shooting jpg.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineTonyholt777 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

Quoting ckw (Reply 21):
But, let's not forget that the end product in both cases is (for a.net anyway) a .jpg. A .jpg produced from RAW is in no technical sense any different from the .jpg produced in camera.

Fully agree Colin

Many photojournalist shoot in-camera jpg's covering events that have to be on editors desks asap - yeah there's a lot of experience going into those 'in camera' settings at point of capture.

If you have also shot in RAW then you still hold the 'Negative' with all its detail for you to use as you see fit, either there and then or later.

Either way its your call based on what works for you.

Cheers Tony


User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5743 posts, RR: 44
Reply 23, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3385 times:
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Quoting ckw (Reply 21):
with jpg is that you can't change your mind, or try different approaches to the image

Post Processing for one use, i.e. uploading to Anet requires a certain process , PP for a large format art print will require a vastly different workflow and treatment.

Your in camera processing may meet your needs now and in the future ... or it may not.

Just make your decision based on informed advice, if the cam makes the call then you are stuck with it!



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineepten From Macedonia, joined Sep 2007, 185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

For many, many years my stance in the RAW vs JPEG debate was "shoot at maximum size JPEG. If a photo is so wrong that it can only be corrected if RAW, then the photo is too wrong to begin with".

But now I know better. Now I shoot smaller JPEG-s, not maximum size.

I compared max size JPEG from my camera (3000+ pix wide) reduced in Photoshop to 1000+ pixels with small 1000+ JPEG right from the camera. I couldn't find a difference. Yes, couple of my accepted photos here were shot like that.


25 stealthz : I'm glad that works for you and I have to admit when I had the need to shoot many hundreds of snaps that were intended as 4x6 giveaways I reduced the
26 vikkyvik : Just hope that someone doesn't want to buy one of your photos to print!
27 stevemchey : As others have said, if it works for you, that's great. My reason to shoot RAW at all times can be narrowed down to one example: My most viewed image
28 Post contains images Silver1SWA : Sums it up perfectly. As explained above, there are advantages to shooting in RAW that have nothing to do with being able to recover a bad photo.
29 Tonyholt777 : Sorry to be blunt - Are you referring to uploads to A.Net then? Or maybe family snaps? Outside of that your logic is 'plane' daft, BTW its not about
30 epten : I am referring to uploads to a.net. JPEG also lets you do that. Of course, with RAW the possibilities are considerably greater. But for minor, subtle
31 Silver1SWA : I'm guessing you only shoot to upload to airliners.net?
32 stevemchey : And what I, and several others are saying is: Sometimes you don't have enough time to think about technique, or get a second chance to get it right.
33 epten : Apart from my private collection - yes. I don't shoot to print later. All my photos are intended to be viewed on computer screen, a.net included. I t
34 Silver1SWA : There's nothing more frustrating than having to turn down a request/sale because the original file can't be used to fulfill the request.
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