This is my first post here and I am a newcomer to the world of photography..

I am looking to purchase a new camera... My first with a view to creating more than just the occasional photo at a family function or holiday... I don't want to spend too much money as I don't have a great deal to waste if I find that I have no talent whatsoever!!!.

So with that in mind I have, in the region of, 100 ($200) and would like some advice on a couple of cameras I have in mind or others' reccommendations. The three cameras that immediately stood out were all from Fujifilm:.

S5600 - 95S5700 - 104S5800 - 119.

Being a newbie to all this and not having a great deal of knowledge about the benefits of RAW Vs JPEG, would it be worth going for the S5800 which is a 8Mp camera which does not have RAW capabilities, or going for the S5600 which is a 5Mp camera which DOES have RAW capabilities....

I do have Photoshop CS2 which I will be using for some image manipulation too which could be taken into consideration..

My head hurts with all this technical jargon so I shall go for a lie down and await further advice... Which would be greatly appreciated..

Comments (7)

Well RAW are much bigger files and are probabally best suited for those that only take a photo so they can post priocess it..

J pegs can be processed but usually I limitit to a bit of coulour/shade correctionPersdonally I dont thing RAW is an overly usufull function on a point and shoot..

Comment #1

Theres no such thing as RAW vs JPEG..

An image starts with a capture. You point the camera, press the shutter, and youve taken a capture. That capture is the RAW file. The best way to think of RAW is as the starting point for any image that will ever be created from that particular capture..

The best way to think of a JPEG that has been generated by the camera is as the very first attempt at creating an image from the RAW file..

The cameras attempt is based on preset amounts of sharpness, contrast, etc. The camera does a pretty good job. However, the camera cant possibly adjust it's settings in a way that would better suit the content of the capture...but a human can..

When you work from RAW you apply the same types of processing that the camera does, except that its all under your control. Also, since you do it on a computer, the processes you use are more powerful and produce better results than the processes that the camera applies. This allows you to (potentially) create a better final image than the camera...if you know what youre doing. But with a little practice anyone can get the hang of working RAW images...

Comment #2

Understanding Digital RAW.

Press the Shutter Release in your camera, What Happens?.

1) Light strikes the CCD.

Light strikes the CCD when the shutter release is pressed. Raw data is produced by the CCD. (This CCD takes the place of film in the old film cameras)This RAW data from the CCD is not yet stored..

2) A RAW data file is produced:.

If the Camera if set to RAW, then a raw data file is produced and stored in the camera on the memory card. This file may contain the camera settings (ie: White Balance, Sharpening, Color Mode, Saturation, etc.) but these parameter settings have not been applied to the raw data file. They are stored in the file for reference only and called Metadata. Changing these camera settings will not affect the raw data in the file. The amount of light falling on the sensor will change the raw data and therefore the shutter speed, aperture, ISO and lens filters will effect the raw data. This raw data file is a proprietary file type which is different for different manufacturers.

Jpg file produced in camera:.

If the Camera is set to jpg, then the computer in the camera uses the camera settings, of White Balance, Sharpening, Color Mode, Saturation, etc. to produce a jpg file on the fly, from the raw data. This takes place right when the shutter release is pressed. The camera has it's own RAW data conversion program, just not as versatile as the programs discussed in the next paragraph, below. Once the jpg file is produced in the camera, changing any in camera settings will only affect new pictures taken. The conversion from RAW to jpg can not be redone, as it can with the raw conversion programs discussed below..

3) Transfer the RAW file to computer for processing:.

Once the raw data file is transferred into your computer you can perform post processing (PP) of the RAW data and then save it into another image format (tiff, jpg, etc), by using Nikon Capture NX (CNX) or Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), or any other raw conversion program. The conversion parameters you use in these programs can be changed and the conversion of the raw data performed as many times as you like. The raw file is not changed. Only the processing parameters are changed and saved. The initial set of conversion parameters are called the default set, and affect your initial screen preview of the image. The RAW data must initially be converted, in order to view it on the screen.

These programs instead, offer many more complex parameter changes and adjustments that are not available in the camera. The repeated processing ability and extensive parameter changes are only two of the advantages of these raw conversion programs like CNX and ACR..

Transfer jpg file to computer for editing and processing..

If you selected a jpg file in camera, then you will transfer this jpg file to your computer for editing, not for RAW data processing which has already been done in the camera. You will use editing/organizational programs such as Photoshop (PS) , Lightroom (LR), Bridge, (Capture NX also has some editing ability), etc. Each of these programs offers a different set of features and objectives. Some are more editing oriented, others more organizational, and some overlap in features. Some of these programs also accept files directly from the raw conversion programs. But these programs are not to be confused with the raw conversion programs themselves.

(Note: as stated some programs like Capture NX may do both RAW conversion and some other editing features.).

Some advantages in using raw data files.

1) RAW data is normally in 10, 12 or even 14 bit depth, where the converted jpeg file in the camera is 8bit..

2) Raw conversion programs offer many more and more detailed complex adjustments, than available in the camera RAW conversion programs..

3) Conversions which can be applied to RAW data, can not be applied as successfully to RGB image data files such as Tiff, jpeg, etc. You have more control over raw data resulting in better processing results..

4) Raw data conversion parameters can be changed and then applied again to the same raw data. If we are not satisfied with our results, we can just tweak the parameters and convert once again..

5) Raw data conversion parameters can be applied in an optimized order to yield the best PP results..

6) The raw data in RAW data files is not altered. The conversion parameters are being changed and stored with the file (or in an associated file), but the raw data is left unchanged..

Some disadvantages in using raw data files.

1) Raw data files are 2-6 times larger than the corresponding jpeg files..

2) Post processing takes some extra time. How much really depends on your demands and criteria. Most raw conversion programs offer batch processing to speed things up when applying the same conversion parameters to multiple images..

SeeThom's Quick & Dirty Guide to RAW

See alsoThe Advantages and Disadvantages Explained.


SeeUnderstanding Digital RAW)

Comment #3

I've asked some of these questions before. Somehow I seem to be too blond or too old. That's why I'll ask it again..

(I definitely want to keep the filesize as they are shooting Jpeg (around 6/7 or 8 MB for me). Most important is NOT a decrease after PP to maybe less than 1 MB..

I'm considering bying CaptureOne4 or Silkypix as a RAW developer (I'm shooting Olympus E-3 and these two seem to hold the colors from this camera best)..

- I probably will shoot RAW (maybe + Jpeg Large Super High Quality at the same time).

- I open the RAW file in one of the mentioned progs. Work on it (maybe white balance/contrast/etc)- save as TIFF 16 bit.

- Open the TIFF 16 bit in Paint Shop Pro (do not know if Paint Shop will open these files??). Work on this pic a bit more (maybe cropping/sharpening/etcetc).- After as either Tiff 8 bit OR Jpeg (large high quality)Questions:.

-Will/can the endresult be a poor sized Jpeg (maybe 1 MB or less)?? I really do NOT want that.-(if so) can I keep files at least a couple of MB's large (5 or more)?.

I do realize that any further PP on the Jpeg file will decrease it's size (and therefore I will not work on the outcome (Jpeg) anymore later on).- Could I take the 16bit or 8bit Tiffs to any printshop for printing?.

- If I do NOT plan to work on the files again....why not save as HQ Jpegs all the time (I do not see any degradation in IQ and I will always have the original RAW's right?)..

My E-3 allows for splendid Jpegs....I just keep finding myself working on these files/fiddling..

I HATE to see those 6 or 7 MB's files shrink to something like 654KB.Looking for a way to avoid this.Thanks for your help!..

Comment #4

Raw vs Jpeg.

Raw vs Jpeg with photo comparisonsLuminous Landscape



Bill,Jr'I kind of like the Earth, it's where I keep all my Stuff.'Website; Lake Wylie, SC..

Comment #5

Hi Mick, I guess you are from the UK, you used 's instead of $..

I too am from the UK and I too am a beginner. Well, a late developer really at 50 yrs of age. Hey is that a joke? 'late developer'. You have come to the right place for advise as I started here and return here everyday to pick up tips, reviews, advise e.t.c..

Firstly having Photoshop is a great start. I'm about to splash out on Elements. And Like you I was wondering about RAW when I bought my camera. I wanted RAW specifically because I wanted control over the final photo. When you first shoot RAW and compare it directly to a Jpeg you see the difference straight away. The Jpeg looks a lot more colourful and a lot more 'finished'.

The RAW I believe is a true reflection of what was in front of you when you took the photo. This matters to me because although I post process my photos I do it to try and capture the exact moment I took the photo. You get that with a Jpeg but it looks somewhat embelished. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Jpeg only, but it is nice to have the RAW capability as well..

If you get the current edition of 'Practical Photography' in the UK you will find lots of info on RAW as it has quite a good special guide this month..


Comment #6

Hi Mick.

Think of Raw and Jpeg like this:.

You are in a cake decorating contest and you have a choice between one bowl of frosting that will only cover a 1/4 inch on top the cake to sculpt with....thats the JEPG version..

The other choice has enough frosting to cover 2 inches on top the cake for you to sculpt and play with......thats the RAW version..

Which cake do you think will have the best shot at creating the look you want?'The moment you think your great is the moment you quit learning.'

Comment #7

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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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