First I shoot jpeg all the time. I use a pentax *istD dslr. have tried raw and got no improvement in my pics, though before my little jpeg vs raw test I thought that there would be a difference. there wasn't FOR ME. the reason I concluded was that my pics as shot in the field require almost zero processing. the great rpt great rpt great advantage of raw is the amount and type of post processing the picture taker does in the pc.
I am currently pp about 5% of all jpegs I shoot. also, I currently crop in the pc 0% of what I shoot. I do it in the camera, it's called composition..
The two great areas that raw absolutely shine in is when you have no time to properly set up the shot. the other is when the lighting is so odd or undetermined that you have no idea what it is and you have to rely on pp to give you the proper color and white balance adjustments. a possible third necessity for post-processing would be that if the camera or scene has something that you have to correct for on virtually every picture..
In other words, it all depends on the quality of pictures you are delivering to the pc. if you consistedly shoot pics and they are such that the pc is used for sorting storage and printing, like me, then you can go to the convieniece of jpeg..
But, if you find yourself adjusting correcting or fixing the iso, exposure, white balance, color, and cropping THEN you should be using raw. only you know your photographic abilities and what type of pics you are taking. for this reason, the decision to shoot raw or jpegs is yours alone based on your needs..
For me jpegs work, BUT that might not work for others. raw for others could be the way to go..
The ONLY rpt only rpt only time the shot is a jpeg is when it is brought to the computer. it is either discarded or changed(i tend to have small tweaks) on the pc in some way, then it "save as" a tiff. the jpeg is never "save" or "save as" a jpeg ever. the original jpeg is stored in a jpeg folder that is a holdall.this keeps the as shot quality intact..
With a raw file you have to convert the file to jpeg or tiff to use it for any other purpose. you cannot print a raw file, for example. with jpegs they can be used immediately as soon as they are downloaded into the pc. as far.
As batch processing is concerned, yes it speeds up the raw conversion process, but it eliminates one of the advantages of the raw process. this is the individual care and effort an individual raw pic gets when it is not batch processed. the individual raw file gets the maxium care it needs to give it's best picture. with batch processing this is gone, you are not achieving the max from each shot. and this is the reason you are shooting raw in the first place. to me if you are batch processing, you might as well go with jpeg.yes, I have pe3 and cs2 and can use both..
My view. gary..
Raw processing software normally defaults to the same settings that the camera applied when producing the jpegs: colour balance, saturation, contrast, sharpening, noise reduction, etc. So it isn't surprising that the raw and jpegs initially look very similar. It sounds as if the raw processor has applied slightly less saturation..
The importance of raw lies in the ability to process the data differently on the computer. Read the links that Mike has posted..
If you camera came with very basic raw processing software you might need to get something better to take full advantage of raw. If you have a Canon, Canon DPP is very good.Chris R..
That's a lot to take in, I read te first article and thought yes, I'll go with Raw, read the second and thought I'd stick with jpeg.........
At my level it looks like jpeg may be the way to go, but I think I will have a further play changing the white balance settings to see if I can get some pictures with distinct differences..
Thankyou for the info - plentiful!.
A camera jpeg is created with your base settings like shutter, aperture, etc. included, but it also applies the sharpening, contrast, saturation, etc and wraps this up for you in a nice jpeg package, ready to use..
Shooting raw allows YOU to decide or change how much sharpening, contrast, saturation, etc to apply to the image. It also allows you to adjust White Balance, and really, any other in-camera settings, within certian limits..
Another big factor is the raw software you are using... I use Nikon Capture NX for my Nikon raw files because NX can read my in-camera settings accurately and applies them - I can change them if I like or leave them. Other software programs are not able to read the Nikon in-camera raw data, so they use camera profiles which provide a starting point from which to start editing. But your sharpening, saturation, contrast and other in-camera settings are not applied in those programs because they can't read those settings. So in that case, yes, the jpegs may look better than the raw files because the jpeg has all the in-camera settings applied, and the raw image does not because the software can't read them..
So, using the program that supports your camera raw files, your raw files should look at least as good as the jpegs, if not better, since jpegs only use 8 bit color, while the raw files use 12 bit color..
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A lot to take in....
Chris mentioned Canon DPP which appears not to support the G9, so with limited software I think I may well have to stick with jpegs............
So I've had a quick play and taken similar pictures in raw and jpegand to me they look the same except that perhaps the colour are everso slightly more rich in the jpegs..
What do I do now?? Am I missing something??.
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. (see Understanding Digital RAW).
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 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 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. You can use the same parameters that were set in the camera if you like, but then you end up with the same jpg file that the camera would have produced. These programs instead, offer many more complex parameter changes and adjustments that are not available in the camera.
Transfer jpg file to computer for editing and processing..
If you selected a jpg file in camera, then you will transfer this 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, Lightroom, 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 or 12 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 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) 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 RAWhttp://www.bythom.com/qadraw.htm.
See alsoThe Advantages and Disadvantages Explained.
This may be less important in better DSLRs but my Fuji S6500 has a tone curve that sets the contrast too high and while this is OK for most shots, it's bad for bright and shadowy shots. Also, this camera uses some agressive noise reduction at mid to high ISO..
So there are two reasons already for shooting raw with THAT camera. Whether I can get a bit extra dynamic range out of the camera or not I'm not sure but I am sure that I can get a better picture (in contrasty situations) by careful adjustment of the parameters in the RAW converter..