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Pros and Cons of shooting in RAW

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by JEG649, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. JEG649

    JEG649
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    Following my other post about buying a 350D, I'm now deciding on how much memory I am going to realistically need.

    Big trip planned is a 2 week safari in a month or so - when we went last year we shot c400 pics of which we were happy with c150 at the end of the day. (We weren't TOO critical!!).

    We were told by our local processor that we should think about selling some of the images.

    Now if we want to sell some of the images, I have been told that shooting in RAW is the best way as it keeps the image size/quality high with no compression.

    Apart from the amount of memory needed to store the pics what are the pros/cons of shooting in this format - or should I just shoot at the other highest res?

    Any advice would be appreciated before I decide on size of the CF card.

    Cheers
     
  2. kenlynch

    kenlynch
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    Pros:
    You have much greater latitude than with JPEG if you need to tweak the exposure afterwards, great for not having to worry too much about tricky exposures.
    You have no compression, so no JPEG artefacts caused by in-camera compression.

    Cons:
    You need to convert to JPEG or TIF which takes some time.
    With the 350D it lowers the camera's ability for continuous shooting - you can only take a burst of 5 or 6.

    I use RAW exclusively, IMO the pros outweigh the cons. As far as storage goes I can fit around 110 RAW files on a 1GB card. If you want mass storage then maybe invest in something like a Vosonic X'S-drive.
     
  3. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I would add to factor in your own confidence level as well. If you consider yourself technically competent and know all controls and settings on your camera very well, you probably get away with using JPEG only...If you are not then definitely choose RAW, I've been able to correct some picture that totally failed out of camera to an incredible shot without any quality loss...

    I second the advice regarding extra storage...Depending on your needs cards may be plenty 220 photo's, then at the end of the day transfer them to a portable storage unit. It has to be noted that not many support the display of RAW files, so if you would want see it as well you have to be very choosy about which model to choose. The Epson P-2000 had my first preference with full RAW support and a great display, but it was too expensive for my use...I went with an Apple iPod photo plus Apple Camera connector, the only draw-back is that you have to shoot in RAW+JPEG if you want to see the pictures....Works great though, even integrates with Adobe Photoshop Elements!!!
     
  4. mattym

    mattym
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    ive just started using RAW, its great, but the time taken to process after can be extensive, depending on how good you are with the camera and the software!
     
  5. paulc1

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    I use my d70 in Raw and basic jpeg mode, so it shoots one of each at the same time, and I can still fit 178 images on a 1gb card, so I can browse the jpegs and decide which raw files to process, I have been shooting raw for about 2 months now, and I am astounded at the difference between fine jpeg quality and raw.
     
  6. JEG649

    JEG649
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    Thanks for the advice - the worry I have is that my knowledge of Photoshop elements is pretty limited (I have asked for recommendations on a good book elsewhere on this forum!). Will this mean that I will be pretty disappointed by my Raw files. Is this the equivalent of the difference between negative and transparency "normal" film?

    Interested in Paulc1's comments above - does anyone know if you can write simulataneously with a 350D?
     
  7. tomson

    tomson
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    yes, you can write RAW and Jpeg simulataneously with a 350D
     
  8. kenlynch

    kenlynch
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    The thing about RAW is that it is the digital negative, so you can experiment with levels and it doesn't alter the RAW file. Not happy with the result? Simply start over again. Generally you won't need to do too much to the RAW as long as your original exposure was good.
     
  9. dejongj

    dejongj
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    Ken is spot on there! If your original photo was good in JPEG then it will also be just as good in RAW and require just as little postprocessing, i.e. none

    If it wasn't, then no matter whether you shot in RAW or JPEG you will have to post process if you think it is worth rescueing...

    The book to get regarding elements is Photoshop Elements 3 for digital photographers by Scott Selby.

    Remember that Adobe Elements 3 has full support for the RAW format, so you will see your pictures in RAW in the organiser, supports version control if you do post process etc. So you even have to convert them to JPEG until you use them...for example to scale down to send via e-mail, or build webpages or just convert to upload for online printing...

    Please note that most likely you will have to download an update to Adobe Camera RAW so it can recognise the files by your 350D. This is as that camera was released after version 3...
     
  10. dejongj

    dejongj
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    As this is a photography forum, I thought a picture says more than a 1000 words...

    I took the picture below in our car whilst driving (my wife was, not me ofcourse). I totally forgot to check the settings of my camera and it was still in full automatic mode. I was quite disappointed when I saw the result...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I am not at all a wizz in photoshop, especially compared to some people on here. So perhaps you can fix it, for interest purposes I tried it with auto levels and it was still very bad. So if I had it shot in JPG I would have thrown it away. But luckily I didn't shoot in JPG but in RAW instead, the result below was the result of a single click...I was pleasantly surprised and happy I shot in RAW. It actually saved me so much post processing time....

    But judge for yourself...

    I think it is known on here that I am an advocate of RAW, mistakes like these proof to me that RAW has got some great advantages and can save your faulty shots and safe you a lot of time...

    BTW Full versions and associated EXIF information are available via my smugmug gallery....
     
  11. kenlynch

    kenlynch
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    Here's another example I did. I deliberately overexposed and shot JPEG+RAW. The JPEG is too overexposed, there is only pure white on the petal and no amount of Photoshop magic will get you a good exposure. The second shot is converted from RAW. As you can see, the RAW still captures the detail in the petal and you can achieve a usable exposure that JPEG wouldn't have given you. If you want to get that once in a life-time shot, take no chances and go with RAW.
     

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  12. RobertP

    RobertP
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    This ground has been covered before and speaking as someone who mainly shoots jpeg there is no argument that RAW's can produce a superior image. They can also help you salvage a poorly exposed shot as has been pointed out.

    I shoot mainly jpeg (not exclusively) because I am too lazy to go through every picture making adjustments and processing them. I found that more than 9 times out of 10 I would perform the same functions on all RAW shots.

    So I just played with the in camera jpeg processing settings and get jpegs from the camera which are mostly just as I would have got from processing RAWs. I take a lot of shots and I delete a lot as well. Most of the stuff is repeatable if they are all duds.

    For stuff that is not repeatable - holidays, events etc I shoot RAW. So far I can honestly say there are no more than 10 shots where RAW has given me a real benefit over jpg.

    I always set the camera to produce small fine jpg along with the RAW files and comparing the processed RAW's to the jpgs shows only a small difference most of the time - to my eyes.

    So a long winded way of saying no absolute rights or wrongs - do what works for you.
     
  13. seany

    seany
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    There's no doubting the power of raw, who could argue with it after all? Not i

    Dwight McCann is an event photographer who works for casinos and other venues in the states shooting their shows, he's shot Tom Jones and Tony Bennett to name just a couple

    I'll just quote him here:

    "Here's another dirty little secret of mine: I don't shoot these types of events using RAW. I rarely use RAW. I shoot way too many images and spend way too much time on culling and other post processing. I frequently have 300-600 images to deal with (and a day job) and I shoot one to three events a week ... I need to spend time with my family and get exercise ... so while I truly believe that RAW is optimal, I don't do it."

    You can read the full thread here
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=81761
     
  14. mr jones

    mr jones
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    i shoot raw, and ill post my reasoning why when im sober, as ive been out drinking for 14 hours and im in no state to do anything but sleep now *burp*
     
  15. dave_bass5

    dave_bass5
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    One other great thing about RAW is that you can correct a lot of images at once.
    I always just use AWB on my 350d when shooting RAW. i can then preview all the thumbnails in C1 or RSE, make a correction to one and then apply it to all the others that need it and i can see it on the screen so its not like running a batch file.
    saves a lot of time not having to open them one by one.
    As for the pics posted above that were shot with the wrong colour balance they can still be corrected so i cant see why they would be throwen out

    Dave.
     
  16. petecowie

    petecowie
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    I bought something which may be of interest to you if you are trying to decide on CF size. Have a look for an Archos Gmini 400 MP3 player it has a 20gb hard drive and a compact flash slot on the side, the unit is exactly the smae size as an ipod so makes a great photo album, you can also look at the pics with the build in (albeit small) screen or via video out on the tv.

    The current price on these is about £190-£220

    http://www.tesco.com/electrical/pro...Gmini+400+20Gb+Digital+Media+Player+-+(silver)

    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=74855

    Pete
     
  17. JEG649

    JEG649
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    :thumbsup: Thanks for all of your advice. Bought my 350D last night from Jessops who price matched it to £599 and managed to get a Sandisk Ultra 2 512Mb card for £20 instead of £49 they were asking for it so pretty chuffed.

    Had a quick play last night and shot a few test shots in the mode which writes RAW and large Jpegs.

    When I uploaded them (using the Win XP Camera wizard) it only seemed to upload the jpegs. Had a quick look through all docs etc that came with it and can't seem to understand how to access the RAW files?

    HAve they been uploaded but I just can't see them Using Win Explorer or do I need to use some particular software to view them (like Photoshop Elements)?

    Any advice would be appreciated :lease:
     
  18. dave_bass5

    dave_bass5
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    If you have a card reader (and i really is worth getting one) its best to use that as its so much quicker to upload you pics.
    I cant remember off hand but i think the XP uploader wont reconise them as picture files so it wont see them as its only looking for image files.
    Have you downloaded the winXP RAW viewer from MS? it might have some sort of update to the OS that will let it upload but i cant be sure.

    A program that i use is called Downlader pro (www.breezesys.com) and its fantastic as it downloads all you image files including RAW from the camera automatically and puts them into folders with the date the pictures were taken and can even rename the pics with day/date as it does it.
    there is a free trial on the website so it might be worth giving it a go.

    Dave.
     
  19. dejongj

    dejongj
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    I would switch-off XP and just use Elements Organizer as you have already got it. It will import the RAW files properly and facilitates version control, organisation, editing etc. If you haven't you will need to download the Adobe Camera Raw updater to ensure support for the 350D as it is a relative new camera...

    Your free to shoot in RAW+JPEG if you want, but there is no real need for it when you use Elements and its organizer. The comments made earlier were really for if you want to view the photo's on a better value portable storage device...
     
  20. John7

    John7
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    I have the winXP patch and it still won't recognise the RAW images from the camera. You have to import the images to the hard drive first using the EOS viewer utility that comes with the camera. Win XP (patched) will then be able to recognise the RAW files as if they were jpg's etc.

    Hope this helps

    John
     

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