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Is jpeg good enough?
I like the features and "feel" of the Sony DSC-H9 and it seems to offer what I need at a good price...but it doesn't support RAW. In downloading the largest images from this site's "samples" pages, and enlarged in Photoshop without resampling and save in TIFF, most 12x16" images come in around 225-250dpi. Since verything comes in jpeg (correct?), look fine at 100% at that size, and print out well at that size, do I really need RAW?Brian..

Comments (17)

You must be torn between H9 (probably due to it's better movie mode) and FZ18. Isn't it?.

H9 perform poorly at higher ISOs (heavy noise reduction and compression obliterating fine details). The lens suffers from purple fringing and corner softness..

FZ18 is better on these parameters and has Raw option too. Raw is particularly helpful as with it one can capture maximum details at higher ISOs and use PC for removing noise effectively..

BLawson wrote:.

I like the features and "feel" of the Sony DSC-H9 and it seems tooffer what I need at a good price...but it doesn't support RAW. Indownloading the largest images from this site's "samples" pages, andenlarged in Photoshop without resampling and save in TIFF, most12x16" images come in around 225-250dpi. Since verything comes injpeg (correct?), look fine at 100% at that size, and print out wellat that size, do I really need RAW?Brian.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #1

I keep it simple.If you want to spend time adjusting your images, shoot raw.If you want to take photos and print'em, jpg's are excellent.Anthony.

Http://cadguru.smugmug.com..

Comment #2

Thee's no reason to leap into raw - or make it a key criterion for camera selection - unless and until you are ready to get into raw processing. Which will be after you have mastered the rest of the photographic art. Or to put it another way, if you can't produce decent photos in jpg format.. .

Sure, there are advantages with raw. But are those advantages commonly noticeable, and of value, if you're making good photos with jpg? Not necessarily..

If you reall like the camera in question, then go for it. Maybe you'll be looking for raw capability in your next camera. But don't think that the absence of raw is going to hold you back in the meantime..

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Comment #3

BLawson wrote:.

Do I really need RAW?.

If you always shoot in conditions when you are in full control of the lighting, then probably no...

Comment #4

Zoltan2 wrote:.

BLawson wrote:.

Do I really need RAW?.

If you always shoot in conditions when you are in full control of thelighting, then probably no..

Hi,.

I have been taking pictures of one sort of the other for nearly 60 years and the fact is that raw has only been available to me for the last 4 or 5 years. IMO, if you have a decent camera, and most of them are brilliant these days, then raw will be needed by most people every once in a while but never, ever, full time. Raw is usefull for very tricky situations and for those that want 105% perfection and are prepared to work for it. The rest of us can manage quite well without it most of the time..

It's something like "spot" metering, a set of 20 "pro" chef's knives or the 6th gear in a car - usefull but not essential. Just by getting the exposure right (mostly by leaving it to the camera), most of the time the people who have to ask this question will be OK without it..

As for complete control of lighting: well, I've never, ever had _complete_ control of anything (thanks to reality) but I've managed, somehow..

Regards, David..

Comment #5

Shooting Raw+JPG is like driving the car with airbags. It can be life saving when you forgot to correct WB, bungled on exposure a bit. Such things can happen once in a while and it is better to have Raw file to fall back upon. You are not going to get WB errors/slight exposure errors so apparant on tiny LCD images and never evr on optical viewfinder..

It is akin to having insurance. It sets you free. It must be made mandatory, more so on P&S cameras. Now "excuse of avoiding large files to save memory" is not much relevant as large memory cards are affordable..

David Hughes wrote:.

It's something like "spot" metering, a set of 20 "pro" chef's knivesor the 6th gear in a car - usefull but not essential. Just by gettingthe exposure right (mostly by leaving it to the camera), most of thetime the people who have to ask this question will be OK without it..

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #6

Ain't it the truth, thanks for a reality check....Brian..

Comment #7

Ajay0612 wrote:.

Shooting Raw+JPG is like driving the car with airbags....

I agree, and it works the other way too, in a way..

My advice to people who ask "should I start shooting raw?" is to start shooting raw-jpg rather than raw exclusively..

Then you can still get results without having to becoma a raw editing expert overnight, and you have continuous comparison / feedback available on "what you would have got if you'd settled for the jpg" vs "what you are getting from the raw" - in other words, an ongoing measure of just how useful raw is to you..

I don't like the idea of people just Stopping shooting jpgs and moving exclusively to raw, because they think thats the next step rather than an additional step..

(I dont know how many people do this, but Im wary of it because it seems to me that some people are seeing raw as a replacement for jpg. Anyway&).

It would be wrong to just assume that every shot is going to be better in raw. I think the approach and learning curve should be: Look at the jpg, process the raw, can you do better? And if you cant maybe next time (a) youll do a better job on the raw processing, or (b) itll be a situation where the raw really is needed (for exposure error, or whatever reason)..

Im a jpg dude, Ive shot raw+jpg a few times now, and one thing Ive learned is - my D80 produces pretty good jpgs : ).

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Comment #8

Ajay0612 wrote:.

Shooting Raw+JPG is like driving the car with airbags....

Hi,.

Well, yes and no..

I have air bags in the cars and don't use them all the time. I hope that they'll never be used but they are there and work automatically. They are not something I switch on and off and inflate myself but an automatic safety device that will work when needed..

Raw is there like the air bags but - this is a great big "but" - it doesn't switch on when needed and stay in the background for the rest of the time by switching back to jpg's. So you have to chose to use raw but the car decides when the air bags are used..

See the subtle difference? My argument is that the photographer has raw and can switch it on when needed, using (gasp) his/her brain to decide. In the same way that I decide where I'll go in the car and what speed I'll do and when to open the door and get out..

Shooting in raw _all the time_ is like driving around with all the air bags fully inflated _all the time_ ... It might be safer for one or two drivers but will be a pita for the rest of us..

Regards, David..

Comment #9

Brian,.

Perhaps these two shots will demonstrate how much you can do when you've got a RAW file to work with..

This first shot is the JPG version - shot upwards through high windows and the bright outdoor lighting completely swamped the dimmer interior..

Quite nice but the brightness range is clearly too wide for the sensor to capture everything .....

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Superimpose two differently-exposed conversions from the simultaneous RAW file, play around with the perspective distortion, crop down to just the interesting part - and the result comes out like this..

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I know which I prefer..

Is it enough to justify replacing an existing camera? Maybe not - but definitely a feature to include in the "must have" category next time!.

Peter.

Peter - on the green island of Ischiahttp://www.pbase.com/isolaverde..

Comment #10

I don't like the idea of people just Stopping shooting jpgs andmoving exclusively to raw, because they think thats the next steprather than an additional step..

This worked for me. First, shooting raw and using standard settings in a company provided raw converter should reproduce what the camera jpg engine does so you don't loose anything but time (which I had since I retired). I immediately gained some value to fix things like exposure, WB, etc. but if you are already skilled, these are not a big deal. At this point, my results were mostly equivalent to "shooting jpg.".

This path did allow me to practice raw processing and final PP on my shots. The amount of improvement over the jpg baseline gradually improved as I climbed the learning curve. After a lot of pictures over some years, my raw shots are almost always better than what I had previously done with jpg. A few are not any better and some are not a lot better but tailoring the processing to the image I see provides a benefit..

My key point is that getting to my current state took a lot of practice and study to get up the full "digital darkroom" learning curve. Going to shooting all raw with effective PP, even if many at the beginning were little changed from jpg, did provide the practice I needed to master doing the best in raw..

The incremental approach to raw, in my experience, may prevent someone from really mastering raw if only because the practice element will not be there.Just another point of view.Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm..

Comment #11

I don't understand why grown people ask this type of question..

Of course they're good enough if they are good enough for you..

A two megapixel phone camera is good enough, if it is good enough for you..

If "good enough" is all you need, then why even broach the subject on a forum? If, however, Jpeg is not always good enough, shooting Raw is one way to get better images than the in-camera Jpegs..

The choice is yours because it is your photography..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #12

I understand what you're saying, but aren't there qualitative standards and hierarchy of quality based on those standards in photograpy? It's hard, as a novice, to accept that in photography that whatever is good enough for you (the photographer) is, by definition, "best.".

Can we make judgments based not on the camera but on camera output? If an 11x14" jpeg image and 11x14 processed RAW image, allow the same printed output, neither is better; if there is an IQ difference, than one is better. Not subjectively better, but actually better. And that's why I'm here and asking for input based on camera experience. If I had the technical answer, I wouldn't ask. I don't have that information to make an informed judgment, so I'm asking help from y'all. Thanks for all the input.Brian..

Comment #13

Hi,.

The word "best" covers a multitude of sins and what's best for me isn't the same as best for you..

I get 32" x 24" out of my cameras in jpg mode: will that do for most people?.

Regards David.

PS As I see it, if the speed limit is 70 mph then anything over 70 mph is too fast. In that situation, how would you define "fast"?..

Comment #14

But the question is about "good enough", not "as good"..

That's two different things. Good enough is a personal choice and lots of people choose a relatively cheap camera that produces Jpegs that are plenty good enough for their needs. What they need is their call, not mine..

My needs are much different. What is good enough for me is considered by many of the people who know me, to be almost obsessive. I also see things about composition and technical quality in images that they don't even perceive. I do events and supply stock agencies. Those things demand certain levels of "good enough" that I must match, or I won't sell anything. So I choose equipment and techniques that make Jpegs good enough only part of the time..

So Good Enough is a completely personal thing, and there is no need to ask anyone else what is good enough for you..

There is no way to say any two prints are "as good as" either. One person's popping colors is another person's oversaturation. One man's too noisy is another man's nice grainy look. Someone will like the warmth of an indoor shot and another will complain about the white balance being way off. Any Jpeg you see will have those decisions all made for you. If you like those choices, those Jpegs will be as good as anything you can do any other way.



So my original rather flippant answer was really what I feel about this question. Only you can decide what is good enough for the purposes you have in mind for your images..

So you are stuck; you will just have to look at a lot of pictures and decide; no one can do it for you..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #15

BLawson wrote:.

If an 11x14" jpeg image and 11x14 processed RAW image, allow thesame printed output, neither is better;.

Hmm. One can drive the Ferrari too at 50Km/Hour. So does that mean it is not capable for higher speed? Understand that Raw has more data (more fine details, more highlight tones) than jpg file. Raw file contain 12 bit of color gradation while JPG contains 8 bit. One can get better output from Raw file if default JPG contain some processing defects (blown out sky, artefacts etc.). e.g.

If it had Raw option than one could definitely have got better output JPG after post processing than default out-of-camera JPG. However for smaller prints, such issues are irrelevant but will jump on you at larger prints (size you mentioned). Got it?.

Currently Canon and Nikon cameras have better in-camera JPG processing than others especially at higher ISOs. So if you don't have time for post processing go for any camera from these brands..

If there is an IQdifference, than one is better. Not subjectively better, butactually better. And that's why I'm here and asking for inputbased on camera experience..

Will you believe others as usch? Some say yes, some no. You have to work a bit harder to filter that out..

If I had the technical answer, Iwouldn't ask. I don't have that information to make an informedjudgment, so I'm asking help from y'all. Thanks for all theinput..

Free help is random in nature. Some will poke fun, some will guide, some misguide, some will give short answer, some large. The real benefit of such forums is that these will give you some food for thought. Conclusion has to be arrived at by you only.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #16

This is getting a bit confusing, and some responses are so off topic that I'm not sure what they mean..

In any case, my position is that in all photographs, as in all things, something cannot be, and not be, at the same time..

Under like conditions of input, output and viewing, in a comparison of a JPEG image and the same image in RAW, one format will/will not produce better printed output than the other. And the same objective standard exists between cameras under like conditions..

Whether you like the image is your business, but that doesn't alter the fact that the objective virtue of an image is not viewer-dependent... one is either better than the other or it is not. By most rational standards, that makes it the best horse in the two horse race..

I want all the jockeys to feel good about themselves and I support their right of subjective opinions about the race they ran, but one horse still wins. And that one is, objectively, better than all others in that comparison... and that was my original question..

Brian..

Comment #17

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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