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When to Use RAW + JPEG
My A350 lets me shoot RAW, JPG, or both..

From you experienced folks out there: when do you use both RAW and JPG for each shot? And, when you do, how do you keep the cleanup afterwards from being time consuming, when you go through and get rid of the unwanted shots of both file types?.

The best reason to shoot RAW and JPG I can figure so far is to be able to use JPGs right out of the camera to eliminate the need for post processing of files that are run of the mill or are "good enough" for the intended purpose, but to have the RAW files in reserve, just in case I get a real masterpiece that I want to tweak. However, if I shoot both, then I end up having to manually delete the unwanted copies of bad shots of of each file type, and make sure that the RAW files and JPGs are in synch (e.g., don't keep a RAW copy of a crummy photo where the JPG has already been trashed; don't keep a RAW copy of a JPG that is fine as-is, keep the RAW and get of the JPG for a really neat photo I want to post process, etc.).

I'm just now starting to process RAW files in Elements 5 using the latest Adobe Camera Raw plugin, by the way, so pardon my ignorance if there is something real obvious here that I am just now seeing..

Thanks for any insight you may be able to provide..

TLIII..

Comments (7)

Shoot one or the other if you know in advance if it's an ordinary shot or exceptional. If you don't know shoot raw + jpeg and deal with maintenance afterward...

Comment #1

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:.

My A350 lets me shoot RAW, JPG, or both..

From you experienced folks out there: when do you use both RAW andJPG for each shot? And, when you do, how do you keep the cleanupafterwards from being time consuming, when you go through and get ridof the unwanted shots of both file types?.

Joseph,.

I always prefer to shoot in RAW+JPG whenever I can, and discard unwanted images and copies later..

However - like you - I used to find that it wasn't so easy to manage all the files, and for me the main reason was Windows Explorer's inability to display an image preview of the RAW files, which makes it difficult to know what's "in" all those blanked-out files (at least in comparison to the ease of handling JPGs!)..

While I know this can be done in the Organiser, and in viewers like as IrfanView - which I often use for other jobs - as I manage all my other files in Explorer, I'd prefer to handle pictures that way too..

Recently I've been directed to a free plugin for Windows Explorer from Arcsoft - their 'RAW Thumbnail Previewer' - that does just what it says! http://www.arcsoft.com/press/viewrelease.asp?releaseid=172.

They list the supported RAWs as : Adobe (DNG), Canon, Hasselblad, Kodak, Leica, Mamiya, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Ricoh, Samsung, Sigma, Sony but it certainly also works with MRW files from cameras like the A2, and maybe some others - although, oddly, not Fujis..

Not only does this make Explorer so much easier to use, but also programs that employ similar code (like the Elements Editor's File Open routine) get the same preview capability - so it's a lot simpler to choose and open un-catalogued RAWs for instance..

I've found no huge drawbacks so far: you to register, which takes only a few minutes, and you may need to reassociate some RAW types with ACR again - but that's very little hassle compared to how useful this is for those who haven't access to Microsoft's own RAW viewer or Vista..

I think you may also find it useful - the download page is on: http://www.arcsoft.com/products/rawviewer/.

Peter.

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

Comment #2

Thanks to both of you for the tips, especially the one about the Arcsoft plugin. I'll try it this afternoon..

PS. I do try to determine when only JPG is needed (e.g., snapshots of a birthday party in someone's basement) but sometimes it isn't that cut and dried; e.g., when out on a beautiful day in a park with rivers, birds, etc. On those occasions I usually shoot both and just resign myself to having to clean up later.TLIII..

Comment #3

A few months back, I was looking through several years' photography and realised how much better a job I could make of many of the pictures today - if only I'd still got the original JPGs or RAWs (thanks more to improved software than my increased PP skills!)..

So I've adopted a new system. It clearly would need extra storage space so I bought a large external HD (1TB, running as a mirrored pair of 470GB RAID1 drives so there's a fair degree of safety when used in combination with a UPS)..

The plan - yet to be fully kicked into action - goes like this:.

Initially, keep everything except the absolute failures, worse versions etc, which get deleted immediately..

After the first 'flush' of processing of each week or month's pictures, delete all the 'camera JPGs' for which I've converted RAWs into better JPGs (whose file names get an R or D suffix so I can distinguish them)..

Move all the RAWs off into individual monthly folders without bothering to catalog them (now you see why I find that ArcSoft plugin so handy)Import and catalog the JPGs in the Elements 6 Organizer..

After six months, sift the earliest month's files and delete what's not worth keeping..

Storage is much much cheaper now - whereas I'm so annoyed about all the files I've stupidly got rid of in the past, just to keep some empty space on C: drive! The classic example are the originals from which I made a panorama that one of our local restaurants got made into a 3 foot wide print - I just know I could improve on it, if only I'd kept them..

Peter.

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

Comment #4

Thanks Peter (again).

You have helped answer another question I had, re. storage. My cheap laptop has only 40GB of storage. Since I got the new A350 I have already chewed up 3 of the remaining 13GB free space., so a new PC is in my future.

I already have a 500GB external drive that I use to backup photos and docs. I will shortly get a new desktop machine, with enough bays to add additional drives. Your suggestions will be useful in figuring out how to use the new machine..

By the way, I assume you back up to CD/DVDs also, for really key stuff?.

PS. My first PC had disk space measured in megabytes and not gigs. I am always amazed at how far the things have come. I was one of several managers over a data center at NASA JSC Houston in the early 80s. We were very proud that our arrays of washing machine sized disk units had a total of 17 GB! I can now carry more than that around in my pocket with two 8 gig flash cards. Amazing.TLIII..

Comment #5

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:.

Thanks Peter (again)You have helped answer another question I had, re. storage. My cheaplaptop has only 40GB of storage. Since I got the new A350 I havealready chewed up 3 of the remaining 13GB free space., so a new PC isin my future.

My pleasure - it reminds me that today's Sunday so there's a backup to do!.

Churning out those huge RAWs sure does fill up the GBs pretty quickly. That's why, when I saw that WD had that RAID1 unit for about 70 Euro cents per GB, I thought it was time to leapfrog my current needs, and get a setup that would hopefully suffice for several years (and, hopefully - because of the 3 different ports available on the drive - outlast a change of PC !)..

I already have a 500GB external drive that I use to backup photos anddocs. I will shortly get a new desktop machine, with enough bays toadd additional drives. Your suggestions will be useful in figuringout how to use the new machine..

Although I run everything off an APC UPS - the electricity supply here is subject to big dips and outages - I feel much safer with my backup storage in the form of an external drive unit that's only attached to the PC and powered up for the least time possible..

By the way, I assume you back up to CD/DVDs also, for really key stuff?.

One of my main aims was to avoid having to use CD/DVDs any longer. My working versions are on the C: drive, with a weekly copy across to the MyBook. I then make a further copy on an 80GB external LaCie (which is now pretty full!) and keep a "last resort" version of what's most important on an old ex-laptop HD installed in a USB case..

Is that secure enough - I don't knows. But then again I live on a volcanic island about 25 miles from Vesuvius, so what definition of safe applies?.

PS. My first PC had disk space measured in megabytes and not gigs.I am always amazed at how far the things have come. I was one ofseveral managers over a data center at NASA JSC Houston in the early80s. We were very proud that our arrays of washing machine sizeddisk units had a total of 17 GB! I can now carry more than thataround in my pocket with two 8 gig flash cards. Amazing.TLIII.

Indeed. My first laptop (really a luggable), an orange-screened Elonex, proudly boasted a 30Mb hard disk - two RAWs, perhaps a dozen JPGs or less than half a layered PSD file!.

Regards,Peter.

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

Comment #6

Peter.

I looked up "Ischia" on Google. Looks like you have some beautiful scenery to photograph..

Thanks for the tips. I will be thinking about additional external drives more. Like you pointed out, if your PC dies, it's a lot easier to plug an external drive into a new PC, than to move the hard disk from one PC's rack to another..

PS. With the setup I have today, I'd previously told my wife that if we have a fire at night, we grab the box with the insurance papers, passports, etc., the camera bag, and the external hard file with all our photos on it!.

TLIII..

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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