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the advantage of RAW
Hello.

Can you tell me please the advantage of cameras that support RAW.

I mean, is it just an advantage for more rapid editing of the images, or there is a quality advantage as well?.

Thanks..

Comments (49)

RAW ability gives you ability of working with uncompressed file: changing white balance, playing with shadows/highlights BEFORE producing compressed result - JPG..

Same manipulations with JPG in image editing programs are ending with stronger artifacts in image detail..

RAW quality depend on particular camera/manufacturer and are not equal.RAW produced by DSLR camera is less noisy the RAW by PS camera.Full Frame DSLR is ultimate winner over APS DSLR and PS camera in image detail..

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

When a camera produces a JPEG it does, in effect. process a RAW file for you..

Unfortunately you cannot access the RAW file when the camera does this, so you cannot access the original data. That data is richer and unrefined..

The JPEG produces by the camera has had many things done to it. This includes applying a tone curve, sharpening, contrast, saturation and noise reduction. These are irreversible. In addition the RAW data contains detailed tonal information ( more levels ) and the JPEG contains only 256 per channel ( R, G and B ). Finally JPEG is a lossy compression system, which means there may be JPEG artifacts as well. These artifacts are also irreversible..

RAW files have no noise reduction applied. This means you often have to apply noise reduction yourself. This is actually an advantage as third party software tools, like NeatImage and Noise Ninja, offer you more control over the process and can be refined to balance noise removal and detail retention..

You can certainly live without RAW, however it does offer an extra edge in processing files which can make the difference between a keeper and a lost shot. At least in my opinion..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #2

RAW is so much better than JPEG that I would only use RAW. JPEG is a compressed file. RAW contains all the info from the sensor. Not only would it give you better image quality, but also much more control and flexibility in adjusting WB, DR, noise, brightness/contrast, etc..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #3

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..

Comment #4

Would like to comment in a dialog form:.

- my pics as shot in the field require almost zero processing..

- Different people have different goals for PP. If your goal is to get the picture to look like you saw it when you were taking it, then your PP would be dedicated to optimization: getting WB right, getting DR right, getting brightness, contrast, saturation and colors right. This is exactly where RAW has a huge advantage. A JPEG straight out of the camera can't possibly look as good as a properly processed RAW file.- good enough to stand on there own without any pp..

- I prefer excellent to good enough. And a picture will look miles better even after most basic PP...

Comment #5

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Would like to comment in a dialog form:.

- my pics as shot in the field require almost zero processing..

Commenting on your hypothetical dialog:.

The statement normally only means "I dont care to bother with them, or I dont know how to do anything"..

RAW is fantastic, because the 12 bits has a little range to make things possible, and the great RAW tools have the versatility to do it so well and so easily...

Comment #6

W333 wrote:.

Can you tell me please the advantage of cameras that support RAW.

RAW file has more data, which is extremely useful to have under certain conditions requiring extreme PP. e.g. High Contrast scenes (requiring lifting of shadows), Low light scenes (requiring High ISO shooting. JPGs will have less data due to noise-reduction.), low contrast scenes (foggy, hazy outdoors requiring heavy contrast/sharpness adjustments)..

IMHO, about 40% landscape scenes fall into above categories. Not many portraits/ action scenes though fall into above categories..

I mean, is it just an advantage for more rapid editing of the images,or there is a quality advantage as well?.

Quality advantage, yes. Especially under the condition as above.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #7

Thanks for supporting me - "The statement normally only means "I dont care to bother with them, or I dont know how to do anything". Second that! But you see, it could be an attitude, too: I've met a couple of photographers who say that for them no postprocessing is a matter of principle! Weird? Their logic is as follows:1) The image "as is" is "true";.

2) PP is "distorting the truth" - making it look (unnaturaly) better than it really is;.

3) If you're a good photographer, you're supposed to produce "good enough" pictures without PP..

I think this is ridiculous, of course. But the representatives of this "school of thought" are quite obstinate and insist on their point of view even when I show them how 10 seconds of optimization can make any image not only better looking, but also more "true to life"..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #8

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Secondthat! But you see, it could be an attitude, too: I've met a coupleof photographers who say that for them no postprocessing is a matterof principle! Weird? Their logic is as follows:1) The image "as is" is "true";.

Not exactly. The image as "seen" is true. We don't see blown out highlights or grainy shadows. Neither we see bent verticals, or blurred objects/narrow depth of field. Lens, camera, PP, printer all CAN distort truth..

2) PP is "distorting the truth" - making it look (unnaturaly) betterthan it really is;.

As above. Only the person's intention will distort the truth. Either by use of camera only, or with PP. Both can be used to represent the truth too..

3) If you're a good photographer, you're supposed to produce "goodenough" pictures without PP..

What kind of photographer? If you are a photographer, you ought to realise your vision in print as truthfully as you know it to be. Means don't matter.Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #9

Read thishttp://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1035&message=15864420.

'Nuff Said!Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #10

In these forums I constantly read I shoot raw and love it. when I get my pic to the pc it is so easy to adjust the exposure and white balance and etc..

My question is- why was the pic shot incorrectly in the first place? if it is shot correct then the need for easy correction is simply something that does not exist. I go into the field expecting, and demanding of myself, that my shots will be all correctly exposed. if ANY are not then I know I did not put the care and technique neccessary in the effort of shooting them. and that is not acceptable to me..

I spent 32yrs shooting color slides. with slides you are allowed virtually no exposure errors; what you shoot is what you get, and there is no pp to save anything. if the shot is bad it goes into waste basket and your money with it. therefore as I shot over the yrs I got better and better with exposure, now it is an EXTREMELY RARE pic that has anything wrong with exposure. this is the reason that I do not need or want the ease of raw processing; I simply do not need it.as for jpeg vs raw difference,you might be interested in this; which I posted a while back..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257.

I fully realize that there is a lot people who have only shot with digital cameras and have no film yrs behind them. this makes a big difference. they are going in to the picture taking knowing there is a method to correct their mistakes; I never had this, if the exposure was wrong it stayed wrong and the slide was pitched..

You guys should have read my above reply more carefully. I did not say that raw was bad. I simply do not need it to get a quality pic. and there are 3 instances where I would be shooting raw and named them..

And there are a lot people who enjoy use pp programs and using the pc on their pic. I do not. I have worked, till retirement, since 1978 with data processing and computors. for recreation, I do not need or want more unless I have to...

Comment #11

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

I've met a coupleof photographers who say that for them no postprocessing is a matterof principle! Weird? Their logic is as follows:1) The image "as is" is "true";2) PP is "distorting the truth" - making it look (unnaturaly) betterthan it really is;3) If you're a good photographer, you're supposed to produce "goodenough" pictures without PP.I think this is ridiculous, of course..

I think it is ridiculous too, artificial concepts of righteousness. There is no truth. Is adding a fill flash to the scene truth? Is tight framing to exclude showing the garbage can or light pole truth? Is even waiting 6 hours until sunset truth?.

It is all relative of course. Extremes of adding false evidence could be wrong in a criminal sense. But the photographer should want to create the best picture, this is all the truth that exists. We are only debating tools..

Those that want to do it only in the least sufficient way deserve what they get...

Comment #12

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

Thanks for supporting me - "The statement normally only means "I dontcare to bother with them, or I dont know how to do anything". Secondthat! But you see, it could be an attitude, too: I've met a coupleof photographers who say that for them no postprocessing is a matterof principle! Weird? Their logic is as follows:1) The image "as is" is "true";.

Yep. What's funny is that attitude really shows an ignorance of the technology. The camera interpreted the RAW data to form the jpeg using a series of adjustable variables. Any adjustment in these variable could alter what the camera produces as "true.".

I don't understand why anyone bothers to get anything other than the exposure right in the camera, as all other variables can be adjusted better and faster in post processing. Of course I actually understand the technology so I don't subscribe to the false belief that what is in the camera is somehow magical..

Personally I think it's just an excuse to justify a lack of knowledge about post processing. It's classic human psychology - sour grapes...

Comment #13

Did you correct white balance 'in camera' when you shot film?.

No, you did it while post processing..

Why should it be different with digital?.

Correcting white balance in camera doesn't mean your a better photographer, it just means doing it the hard, time-consuming way (and jpeg was supposed to be more convenient)..

Comment #14

I didn't correct any white balance in pp. the reason was that I shot slides, and with those you could not realisticly do any pp including white balance..

I said I shot slides. I am so glad you read my reply before you posted...

Comment #15

Ajay0612 wrote:.

RAW file has more data, which is extremely useful to have undercertain conditions requiring extreme PP. e.g. High Contrast scenes(requiring lifting of shadows), Low light scenes (requiring High ISOshooting. JPGs will have less data due to noise-reduction.), lowcontrast scenes (foggy, hazy outdoors requiring heavycontrast/sharpness adjustments).IMHO, about 40% landscape scenes fall into above categories. Not manyportraits/ action scenes though fall into above categories..

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

Absolutely! No matter what you do with the camera, when you have high contrast, you need to decide where you are optimizing exposure. The human eye can differentiate, what the lens cannot. So, frequently you either lose highlight or shadow when the camera converts to JPG. In RAW you have a better chance of recovering these areas. In fact, to get the best possible photo you may need multiple exposures and layer these. I would much rather be working in RAW with the optimal information available than in a lossey compressed file...

Comment #16

Answering Gary:.

- my question is- why was the pic shot incorrectly in the first place?.

- It was not. But for example with mixed lighting you wouldn't trust the camera to adjust WB, just because you are smarter than the chip in it. Same goes for highlight/shadow balance, selective color correction, etc..

- if it is shot correct then the need for easy correction is simply something that does not exist..

- Not true. Forget about mistakes. RAW file contains information which YOU reveal in PP. Like good developing and printing, if you wish..

- my shots will be all correctly exposed... going in to the picture taking knowing there is a method to correct their mistakes;.

- You are always 100% perfect, no doubt. It's not about correcting mistakes, though, it's about realizing the huge potential hidden in that file.- I simply do not need it to get a quality pic..

- This is something I could never understand: you have an instrument in your hands allowing you to get better quality, yet you go for worse? Why?.

- there are a lot people who enjoy use pp programs and using the pc on their pic.- Because "digital darkroom" is an important part of the whole creative process.- for recreation, I do not need or want more unless I have to.- For me photography is not just recreation, but a profession and a passion..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #17

You seem unnecessarily perturbed. Gary did say this in his post:.

"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."..

Comment #18

That's not what I'm hearing, sorry. What I'm hearing sounds more like: "I shot color slides, so I'm superior to you" and "I agree to have cr*&^py JPEGS because I just can't be bothered to use what I've got in my hands properly"..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #19

MICHAEL_61 wrote:.

That's not what I'm hearing, sorry. What I'm hearing sounds morelike: "I shot color slides, so I'm superior to you" and "I agree tohave cr*&^py JPEGS because I just can't be bothered to use what I'vegot in my hands properly"..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/.

I still think you are taking too much offense. Due to his experience, his ability to nail exposure would be superior to many others. Superior in technique, period. Besides artistic manipulation,which he already conceded to, correction of exposure might be one of the main reasons to use raw. But if someone rarely has exposure problems, raw may be overkill. Saying jpegs are crappy is extreme and inaccurate. Being able to tweak a photo within an inch of it's life doesn't mean the original was horrible...

Comment #20

- correction of exposure might be one of the main reasons to use raw..

- The main reason is to reveal the full potential of a high-quality image file, not correction.- But if someone rarely has exposure problems, raw may be overkill.- Why settle for less? People even hack pocket cameras to get RAW out of them.- Saying jpegs are crappy is extreme and inaccurate..

- JPEG is a compressed file. If you compare the size of a TIFF resulting from RAW, you'd see that it's much larger than JPEG. That difference in size contains all the information (quality), which you're loosing otherwise..

- Being able to tweak a photo within an inch of it's life doesn't mean the original was horrible.- Not horrible - but not nearly as good as it could be and should be..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #21

Thank you..

For me jpegs work because of my background in shooting slides for 32yrs. that experience made me shooti accurately or watch my money go into the waste basket. that has carried over to my digital shots. I can shoot jpeg and make it work because of the 32yrs I shot slides and I had to be accurate with those. other people NOW do not have 3 decades of film picturetaking behind them. for them jpegs donot work and cannot easily be made to work.



We are all differnt in our backgrounds in photography. a great many people got ito photography in a real way when digital cameras came out. prior to that they may have shot at christmas or like occasions and vacations. that will give them a point of view that is totally different from mine. people now know that pp and photoshop waits for them at home. when I took slides the question was what is pp and photoshop?..

Comment #22

GaryDeM wrote:.

Thank you..

For me jpegs work because of my background in shooting slides for32yrs. that experience made me shooti accurately or watch my money gointo the waste basket. that has carried over to my digital shots. ican shoot jpeg and make it work because of the 32yrs I shot slidesand I had to be accurate with those. other people NOW do not have 3decades of film picturetaking behind them. for them jpegs donot workand cannot easily be made to work.

A great manypeople got ito photography in a real way when digital cameras cameout. prior to that they may have shot at christmas or like occasionsand vacations. that will give them a point of view that is totallydifferent from mine. people now know that pp and photoshop waits forthem at home. when I took slides the question was what is pp andphotoshop?.

I shot film for 20 years and I find that in digital photography using RAW I can improve the highlights and shadows above what camera conversion to JPG does. In the camera conversion and subsequent loss of data, these areas are the first to go. However, it really depends on the type of photography and what you are doing with the output that determines if the additional processing steps add value to the image...

Comment #23

I use RAW mostly for high contrast shots where I need to extract that little bit of extra information in the shadows that would be lost in a JPEG. But, usually this is because my camera has a tone curve (for JPEG) that in too contrasty and noise reduction(at high ISO) that is too agressive..

You are not quite correct. You can do almost everything post processing a JPEG except for getting the full dynamic range and having full control over noise..

Cheers..

Comment #24

Comments-.

Using raw I can improve the highlights and shadows..

This is presisely what I will not do. I want want the highlights(but they are not blown anyway) I am speaking of shadows many people who see the 2 pic inthe thread below say that is the nice thing about raw. the dark areas under the car and in the garage can be opened up. absolutely not. the reason is that standing there taking the pics I could not see myself into those areas. I do not want my pics in anyway better than my eyes can see; I am doing pics for the accurate memories, not making scenes that I did not see in the first place.

But I do not, I want the accuracy. the only reason I would adjust the shadows would be if I could see them better than the camera did..

You might be interested in this; which I posted a while back. the mode was raw/tiff/jpeg and jpeg/tiff/jpeg. the camera jpegs were donbe as described below without focus magic(i didnot have it then). the raw went through acr 3.7. then auto level contrast and sharpen same as the jpeg..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257.

My processing is as follows(not necessarily is all parts done). download jpegs via card reader, open in pe6(usually, could be cs2), use noise ninja, focus magic, auto levels(already preset to scott kelby's specs), auto contrast, auto sharpen. use save as to save as a tiff. the original jpegs go into a jpeg hold all folder, so that they are available later if ever needed. any future work is done from the tiff..

For panoramas I use PTGui PRO. for hdr I was using cs2, but have recently changed to Dynamic-Photo HDR which I like better. it seems to deliver a better aligned sharper image. all output in panorama or hdr is a tiff, though itdoes make for some big file sizes...

Comment #25

Comments-.

Using raw I can improve the highlights and shadows.this is presisely what I will not do. I want want the highlights(butthey are not blown anyway) I am speaking of shadows many people whosee the 2 pic inthe thread below say that is the nice thing aboutraw. the dark areas under the car and in the garage can be openedup. absolutely not. the reason is that standing there taking the picsi could not see myself into those areas. I do not want my pics inanyway better than my eyes can see;.

Funny you say that because the average human eye can see a range of highlights, shadows, and colors significantly better than a camera & lens. When you compare the human eye, which can interpret in 3D and from what I have read at ~324 megapixels, to the best camera, I do not understand how a camera, even at RAW, can save images better than the human eye..

Also which camera? Can a 6 megapixel capture what the hum eye does? Or is it an 8 or 12 or 20 megapixel camera? Or a 4x5 camera? And with which lens does the camera out-perform the human eye? Also which color format for the camera? If a camera can exceed the human eye, why do we spend thousands of dollars for better cameras, with better sensors, and better lenses to capture light and provide us with a photo. I hope you can see where I am going with this. With the best equipment available, I doubt you can take a photo that exceeds the dynamic range of our eyes...

Comment #26

GaryDeM wrote:.

Using raw I can improve the highlights and shadows..

This is presisely what I will not do. I want want the highlights(butthey are not blown anyway) I am speaking of shadows many people whosee the 2 pic inthe thread below say that is the nice thing aboutraw. the dark areas under the car and in the garage can be openedup. absolutely not. the reason is that standing there taking the picsi could not see myself into those areas. I do not want my pics inanyway better than my eyes can see; I am doing pics for the accuratememories, not making scenes that I did not see in the first place..

Do you see bent verticals? Do you see blurred background while doing portraits, or shooting action? And do you see WB adjusting scenes under Tungston Lamps? Do you see zoomed images? Do you SEE grainy images? Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #27

- other people NOW do not have 3 decades of film picturetaking behind them- Well, I do. Check my bio.- for them jpegs donot work and cannot easily be made to work.

- JPEG is a compressed file. Does it look good? Close to the real thing? Yea, right. If we'll remove - just academically speaking - a couple of your not most visible vital organs, would you look good? Almost exactly as before?.

- a great many people got ito photography in a real way when digital cameras came out..

- What does THAT have to do with the price of bananas in Peru? A photo is still a photo. Fine adjustment of it's WB, DR, saturation, etc. is a must..

- prior to that they may have shot at christmas or like occasions and vacations. that will give them a point of view that is totally different from mine.- I'm a pro and my point of view is totally different from yours.- when I took slides the question was what is pp and photoshop?.

- As soon as it became possible, I was scanning my films and PP-ing them, to get better - more correct - results in the form of a digital file..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #28

Reading this thread, it is clear that even the most ardent JPEG-ophiles think RAW has it's uses and is sometimes essential. If you want to take photographs seriously you must have access to RAW - how often you use it is another matter entirely..

As has been noted in other posts, it is not that the camera can or cannot capture RAW, it is whether it can or cannot write the RAW file to memory, and it is not expensive to add that capacity. So, why would a camera not allow RAW output? Either because the maker does not expect the user to want or be able to use it, or because (as in the case of the high-end compacts like Nikon P500x and Canon G7-9) the manufacturer thinks it would affect the market for their low-end DSLR...

Comment #29

GaryDeM wrote:.

Thank you..

For me jpegs work because of my background in shooting slides for32yrs. that experience made me shooti accurately or watch my money gointo the waste basket. that has carried over to my digital shots. ican shoot jpeg and make it work because of the 32yrs I shot slidesand I had to be accurate with those. other people NOW do not have 3decades of film picturetaking behind them. for them jpegs donot workand cannot easily be made to work.



Experience won't simultaneously recover highlights and shadows in a JPEG when you want a different tone mapping..

Using JPEG has nothing to do with experience, and everything to do with ignorance of PP software..

If you have enough room on your flash-cards, and you don't need burst shooting, there is NO reason to shoot JPEG. NONE. ZERO..

Learn to use PP software and stop pretending you don't have to because you're such a superior photographer. And don't tell me you know how to use PP software, because you said one has to convert raw to tiff or jpeg to print. They don't...

Comment #30

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=25267659.

Why do you keep replying so quietly to me? do I hit a nerve?..

Comment #31

Here is the link...http://www.adobe.com/...ts/photoshop/pdfs/understanding_digitalrawcapture.pdf.

Read page 3, the section titled "How JPEG Differs from Raw"..

Comment #32

I read it. so what. there still has to be a difference that can be seen. otherwise you are doing raw for the exersize..

"this is the reason I shoot jpeg. for such almost imperceptable differences it is simply not worth it for me to shoot raw with the extra effort involved.".

Any extra effort..

I have to see it to make it worth it. noone has yet been able to look at my raw/jpeg test and say raw is better because ???. the pics are too close to call. in fact if I didnot name which was which noone could with any consistancy..

If this is how close I am getting to the supposely better raw, then I have no reason to switch..

Mr spock on star trek said once, and it applies here, " a difference that makes no difference is no difference"..

The above is based on my jpeg/raw test at-http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257..

Comment #33

Oh, now - with those samples of yours - I can see what you are talking about! You just don't know how to process RAW properly, that's all..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #34

GaryDeM wrote:.

The above is based on my jpeg/raw test at-http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257.

I have seen pros take what would normally be just a snapshot for most people and turn them into artistic works. Keep in mind that for any JPG vs RAW comparison to have validity, the person processing the RAW needs to know how and wants to totally optimize post processing..

Go out and shoot a very high contrast landscape shot where you need to decide which area you use to set your exposure. Your eyes can focus fine on either location, but the camera can only be exposed for one or the other. With RAW and post processing you can match what your eyes see..

If YOU are happy with your photos, then that's what counts for you. But you cannot use that photo you posted and your processing and say it is a benchmark for determining the value of RAW. Also, if you cannot see any definition under your car or in your garage on a bright sunny day, you may want to have your eyes checked..

These debates are fun, but what really counts in photography is what makes each of us happy...

Comment #35

A list from one of the top raw conversion software providers..

"Control white balanceIncrease dynamic range while working with higher bit depthBetter exposure controlTackle noise problems at sourceImprove sharpening at sourceOptimise output file sizeUnlimited image modifications at sourceGreater image flexibilityHigher quality outputsFast workflow".

One of the best benefits for me is having the original raw files I can benefit from the future development of raw conversion software. This is technology in a rapidly improving stage of development and we will see tremendos enhancements in the next few months and years..

Denis de Gannes..

Comment #36

GaryDeM wrote:.

I read it. so what. there still has to be a difference that can beseen. otherwise you are doing raw for the exersize..

"this is the reason I shoot jpeg. for such almost imperceptabledifferences it is simply not worth it for me to shoot raw with theextra effort involved.".

Any extra effort..

I have to see it to make it worth it. noone has yet been able to lookat my raw/jpeg test and say raw is better because ???. the picsare too close to call. in fact if I didnot name which was which noonecould with any consistancy.if this is how close I am getting to the supposely better raw, then ihave no reason to switch..

Mr spock on star trek said once, and it applies here, " a differencethat makes no difference is no difference"..

The above is based on my jpeg/raw test at-http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257.

These photos are part of a RAW processing tutorial. Hopefully you can see and appreciate the differences. These were processed by a professional photographer, Matt Kloskowski, to achieve a specific look..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #37

Sorry your example will not work. the reason is that nonoe of us were standing there when the shots wee taken. we do not know what the original scene looked like. so my major question -how close are the model shots getting to what the original scene was? - remains unanswered. we simply do not know the accuracy..

I have to repeat what I said. that my goal is to create the scene for my memoies, not improve on it in any way..

The 2 model shots are nice but did she look EXACTLY like that in person at the time of the shoot? if the answer is no then the shots are a miss and do not accurately portray her when the shots were taken. this is why I will never get into portrait photography. I prefer landscapes anyway..

In the raw/jpeg test the light was glare bright. I was squintly standing there and you could not see under the car it was just as black as the pics show. on that basis I cannot change the shadow detail becaus if I did I would not be faithfull to the original scene. I do not want to change or improve the images from the real scenes; I want to record them accurately..

Each of us has different goals and expectations when we take pictures. for some it is to make them pop, to others it I to malke colorfull, to other is to make them surerealistic/impressionisttic. for me it is acuuracy. if there is no real colors in a scene my picture has to show that, if you cannot see into shadow areas due to light conditions the my pic has to show that, or any other real trait the scene has has to sahow up in my pic. I do not want change what I see...

Comment #38

Firstly the big flaw - I took the shot in RAW, then created the JPG in photoshop, rather than in camera. The camera might have kept more detail in it's JPG, I dunno..

Anyway, here's the test. One shot of a building with too much dynamic range for the sensor to handle:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

I then dragged the WB sliders in lightroom to see just how much detail was captured but not displayed by the RAW file. Here's the WB all the way to blue, then to yellow:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Note how much shadow detail has been kept in the building..

I then attempted to do the same with the .jpg version of the shot:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

It still gives a blue/yellow tinge, but it does not show any detail that was previously hiding - that detail has been deleted during the jpg compression..

Anyway, just a quick little test, but helped me swing to 100% RAW. Lightroom definately helped - you can use RAWs just as easily as you could JPGs previously .

Hope it helps you too!..

Comment #39

GaryDeM wrote:.

Each of us has different goals and expectations when we takepictures. for some it is to make them pop, to others it I to malkecolorfull, to other is to make them surerealistic/impressionisttic.for me it is acuuracy. if there is no real colors in a scene mypicture has to show that, if you cannot see into shadow areas due tolight conditions the my pic has to show that, or any other real traitthe scene has has to sahow up in my pic. I do not want change what isee..

I agree. Some people use photography as an art expression and shooting in RAW with in-depth knowledge of post processing is a great tool to maximize their results. Typically they want to give the photograph 'life' or 'mood' or 'pop'. Regardless of which photo in the above example accurately depicts the model, which one would be used in a portfolio, or in a magazine?.

I responded to your initial comments, from which I inferred that shooting in RAW and post-processing has no value; it is a significant asset to photography. However, considering your goal is to take a picture of something YOU saw and how YOU saw it, then I agree completely; RAW processing is a waste of time for snapshots. Have fun!..

Comment #40

Bramley wrote:.

Anyway, just a quick little test, but helped me swing to 100% RAW.Lightroom definately helped - you can use RAWs just as easily as youcould JPGs previously .

Hope it helps you too!.

Great example! And in RAW processing you can expose the photo two ways, then using the layering and masking tool in Photoshop, you could combine the two exposures so that the photo truly represents what your eyes saw at the time...

Comment #41

There are basicly 2 types of shooters out there..

.jpg - Usually people who either arent interested in editing as they don't like being behind the computer....or people like photo journalists that need quick or immediate turn around time. The camera (if your consistant in your shooting practices) can be dialed in quite nicely to give acceptable results out of the camera. The problem is it puts the same Post Processing to EVERY picture....and not every picture needs the same amount of contrast, or the same white balance, etc..etc. When you correct shots that DONT come out of the camera like you wished.....there is less data to work with (8bit vs 12-16 bit RAW which depends on the native output of your camera) you just throw away that by converting the output to a default of 8 bit).

RAW - People who like working on images, being in complete control of what happens to the shot instead of letting the computer chip inside the camera make cookie cutter decisions for them. Usually people creating artwork, or people that know that there is a large diffrence between what the human eye sees, and what the camera sees and need the extra editing overhead to bridge that gap while editing. RAW native in most cameras is 12 bit, some are 14 bit, and precious few are true 16bit..

If you want to understand bits...just think of a ladder. When you change the bit rate, you dont effect the legnth of the ladder...you effect how many rung are between the ends of each ladder......think of each rung the as the amount of smoothness between transitions in colors. The closer spaced the rungs...the smoother the transitions are..

The other thing to consider is what is known as linear gamma....here is a nice quick read on that.....

Http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf.

Hope this all helps...one is not better than another as your epxectations of your end result (speed vs. quality vs. how much time you want to spend in the digital darkroom) will determine which is for you..

Roman.

'Miles to go before I sleep.'Robert Frosthttp://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/..

Comment #42

"I responded to your initial comments, from which I inferred that shooting in RAW and post-processing has no value; it is a significant asset to photography. However, considering your goal is to take a picture of something YOU saw and how YOU saw it, then I agree completely; RAW processing is a waste of time for snapshots. Have fun!".

Above is what you said about what I wrote. below is what I wrote. my question is did you ever read it?".

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.".

Where did I say that raw and pp has no value? tell me in the above words..

In any event I will leave you with your adjusting and manipulateing, I hope you enjoy all the computer time. I do not like that is why I get right in the camera, so do not have to use computers. I have doing computers and dataprocessing since 1978 and that is enough..

P.s. if you are quoting a person do him/her the correct thing and do it accurately...

Comment #43

GaryDeM wrote:.

Where did I say that raw and pp has no value? tell me in the abovewords.in any event I will leave you with your adjusting and manipulateing,i hope you enjoy all the computer time. I do not like that is why iget right in the camera, so do not have to use computers. I havedoing computers and dataprocessing since 1978 and that is enough..

P.s. if you are quoting a person do him/her the correct thing and doit accurately..

Wow, you need to relax, especially your p.s. Firstly, I was responded to this post....

GaryDeM wrote:.

"i have to see it to make it worth it. noone has yet been able to look at my >raw/jpeg test and say raw is better because ???. the pics are too close to call. in >fact if I didnot name which was which noone could with any consistancy..

If this is how close I am getting to the supposely better raw, then I have no >reason to switch.".

So, I posted an example to demonstrate the significant improvement of post processing of a RAW file..

Secondly, before you accuse me of mis-quoting, you need to read my post in which I used the word inferred. By definition, "infer"..."to come to a conclusion or form an opinion about something on the basis of evidence or reasoning" in no way implies that I was quoting you! But rather, from your statement I inferred and posted my example, because of your specific comment, "if this is how close I am getting to the supposely better raw, then I have no reason to switch." I believe that the photos I posted and other photos posted in response to the initial RAW question and your specific comment demonstrates significant advantages to RAW & PP. However, if you choose not to post process because you hate sitting in front of the computer, that's cool!..

Comment #44

RomanJohnston wrote:.

.one is not better than another as yourepxectations of your end result (speed vs. quality vs. how much timeyou want to spend in the digital darkroom) will determine which isfor you..

Technically, one is way better than the other..

An analogy: Back when we were shooting film, say up until the late 1990s, many of us kept the snapshot prints from the photofinisher, and discarded the film negatives as useless (for us). This dismissal was of course an utter horror to those with darkroom skills who obviously knew better, but it worked OK for the masses who didn't know/didn't care, and they had their snapshots. Then when newer digital technology of scanners came along, we learned real fast the obvious fact that it was the film that was the original, and which as a master was way more capable then the lesser grade small paper copy. It didn't get better than the original film master..

And the same comparison seems right today about JPG vs the RAW image that the camera actually creates. The camera can be the photofinisher, and it will make the lesser JPG copy for us, or alternately, the better cameras can save the original with which we can do anything we wish. We have that choice if to work from the lesser 8 bit copy, or from the 12 bit original master. It doesn't get better than the original RAW master..

Everyone else must be a much better photographer than me, because I simply am not able to control every frame to come out as perfection. Some frames are surprises, and are simply are not perfect.   But with RAW, it really doesn't much matter, they are good enough that it just takes a couple of clicks to make it perfect in my eyes. Plus the RAW tools are simply better and easier and more powerful than the old style Photoshop tools..

I still say those that dont do RAW either simply don't care to bother with doing anything, or don't know how to do anything. Or may just not know better. Any of the three reasons are OK if they feel things are working out OK for them. But it sure does not make the lesser 8 bit JPG be the better technical solution. There is simply no way that can be argued...

Comment #45

At last some sense. We shoot professionally in the studio and as a hobby everywhere else. Although I shoot RAW and jpg hobby shooting I don't think I've ever needed the RAW file. As Gary says, getting a correct exposure is not difficult when you can check so fast with a digitat camera. The reason I shoot full size with the RAW file as well is becaus I can, and it migh just be useful. I got an 8GB card on my way through Heathrow in my trip last week.



In te studio our exposure are controlled even more tightly but about 5% of our shots need the RAW file for adjustments. Tis could be if over and under exposure is present in the same shot. Perhaps blond hair at the front of the hed being over exposed and a dark black sweayer not showing any detail. Here I would mix more than one processed RAW file to get the final image.Jules.

GaryDeM wrote:.

In these forums I constantly read I shoot raw and love it. when I getmy pic to the pc it is so easy to adjust the exposure and whitebalance and etc.my question is- why was the pic shot incorrectly in the first place?if it is shot correct then the need for easy correction is simplysomething that does not exist. I go into the field expecting, anddemanding of myself, that my shots will be all correctly exposed. ifANY are not then I know I did not put the care and techniqueneccessary in the effort of shooting them. and that is not acceptableto me..

I spent 32yrs shooting color slides. with slides you are allowedvirtually no exposure errors; what you shoot is what you get, andthere is no pp to save anything. if the shot is bad it goes intowaste basket and your money with it. therefore as I shot over the yrsi got better and better with exposure, now it is an EXTREMELY RAREpic that has anything wrong with exposure. this is the reason that ido not need or want the ease of raw processing; I simply do not needit.as for jpeg vs raw difference,you might be interested in this; which I posted a while back..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257.

I fully realize that there is a lot people who have only shot withdigital cameras and have no film yrs behind them. this makes a bigdifference. they are going in to the picture taking knowing there isa method to correct their mistakes; I never had this, if the exposurewas wrong it stayed wrong and the slide was pitched..

You guys should have read my above reply more carefully. I did notsay that raw was bad. I simply do not need it to get a quality pic.and there are 3 instances where I would be shooting raw and namedthem.and there are a lot people who enjoy use pp programs and using the pcon their pic. I do not. I have worked, till retirement, since 1978with data processing and computors. for recreation, I do not need orwant more unless I have to..

Why do you never see birds crash into each other?..

Comment #46

WFulton wrote:.

RomanJohnston wrote:.

.one is not better than another as yourepxectations of your end result (speed vs. quality vs. how much timeyou want to spend in the digital darkroom) will determine which isfor you..

Technically, one is way better than the other..

But we arent talking about technically. We are talking about the experience of photography. For some.....RAW is a pain in the butt or slow in comparison. I am sure that most journalists would argue that RAW has a work flow that is NOT adventageous to their shooting style. Personally I shoot RAW and know of the technical advantages....I wouldnt shoot ANYTHING but RAW. But I am not short sighted enough to dismiss JPG's advantage to those that want it..

An analogy: Back when we were shooting film, say up until thelate 1990s, many of us kept the snapshot prints from thephotofinisher, and discarded the film negatives as useless (for us).This dismissal was of course an utter horror to those with darkroomskills who obviously knew better, but it worked OK for the masseswho didn't know/didn't care, and they had their snapshots. Thenwhen newer digital technology of scanners came along, we learned realfast the obvious fact that it was the film that was the original, andwhich as a master was way more capable then the lesser grade smallpaper copy. It didn't get better than the original film master..

And the same comparison seems right today about JPG vs the RAW imagethat the camera actually creates. The camera can be thephotofinisher, and it will make the lesser JPG copy for us, oralternately, the better cameras can save the original with which wecan do anything we wish. We have that choice if to work from thelesser 8 bit copy, or from the 12 bit original master. It doesn'tget better than the original RAW master..

I agree with your quality comments....again...why I use RAW myself....it AGAIN....dosnt blind side me to the value of .jpg files to the casual user...or somone needing a quick turn around time on their work..

Everyone else must be a much better photographer than me, because Isimply am not able to control every frame to come out as perfection.Some frames are surprises, and are simply are not perfect.   Butwith RAW, it really doesn't much matter, they are good enough that itjust takes a couple of clicks to make it perfect in my eyes. Plusthe RAW tools are simply better and easier and more powerful than theold style Photoshop tools..

Ahh....now your talking about a pet peeve of mine.....people who use raw to make up for their photographic shortcomings.....this in effect negates just about any advantage you argue for that RAW has over JPG. RAW (at least for me) requires even more knowledge....more consistancy, and much better shooting habits to maximize it's potential. A digital Master file is only as good as it is shot. And sorry to say...but consistancy is what makes a good shooter.....a good shooter..

I still say those that dont do RAW either simply don't care to botherwith doing anything, or don't know how to do anything. Or may justnot know better. Any of the three reasons are OK if they feel thingsare working out OK for them. But it sure does not make the lesser 8bit JPG be the better technical solution. There is simply no way thatcan be argued..

I argue the same things for people who dont get consistant enough results from their camera.....they simply dont care or bother to do anything or know how to do anything (like get to know their craft of photography OR their camera and it's settings) to improve their photogaphy..

With that last statment said....I will say this....if you compart the sloppy RAW output to that of a VERY high quality .jpg shooter..

I would almost always take the quality .jpg file over the horrable RAW file any time..

But in the end I would take a quality RAW file over a quality .jpg file any time as well..

Roman'Miles to go before I sleep.'Robert Frosthttp://www.pbase.com/romansphotos/..

Comment #47

I think we have gone off-track with our perspective and sometimes passionate rebuttals of RAW vs JPG. The original question posted by the person who started this thread....

W333 wrote:.

Hello.

Can you tell me please the advantage of cameras that support RAW.

I mean, is it just an advantage for more rapid editing of the images,or there is a quality advantage as well?.

Thanks.

RAW provides more data and more options to perform non-destructive post processing. You need to develop a reasonable skill level in using Photoshop or photo processing software to maximize the quality of your output...

Comment #48

RomanJohnston wrote:.

With that last statment said....I will say this....if you compart thesloppy RAW output to that of a VERY high quality .jpg shooter..

I would almost always take the quality .jpg file over the horrableRAW file any time..

But in the end I would take a quality RAW file over a quality .jpgfile any time as well..

No one is taking sloppy. The words sloppy and quality are very loaded. If your frames come out of the camera absolutely perfect, not requiring the slightest little thing, like cropping, scaling, sharpening, or tonal work too, then I am awed, and more power to you. I have a little harder time with it myself.   I still say such claims of perfect JPGs only just means they don't care to bother with doing anything else, or don't know how to do anything else. I suspect the latter, because if they did, surely they would.



There is the old cliche that Ansel Adams with a Brownie box camera clould run circles around any of us with our thousands of dollars of best modern gear... but the highlight of Adams work was his darkroom skills, contrast, dodging, burning, etc. Straight out of the camera was far from satisfactory for him, and it definitely was not due to sloppiness. He was the exact opposite of sloppy..

Those were the tools he had to work with then, but just think what Ansel could do today with digital RAW.   It still takes a special eye of course, but actually, my guess is that he would not be much noticed now, because everyone else can do it today, and in color. RAW just makes the job be much easier and better, and greater range is possible, and of course, less artifacts. These are the details, either we sweat them, or we don't..

Outputting JPG from the camera is exactly the same concept as throwing away the original negatives, and keeping only the one hour lab work, so to speak...

Comment #49

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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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