RAW vs. JPEG - Better format for beginner?

Started Jun 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,147Gear list
No, I disagree
In reply to newmikey, Jun 25, 2012

You are saying that raw converters will make better jpegs than jpeg engines will... even if you use the default settings and process these files as a batch.

And i say.... you are wrong.

If you tweak every file individually you will get a better image than the camera generated jpeg 100% of the time. But, if you batch process these files using default settings then you will get very mixed results. Probably no better, or no worse, then simply using the camera generated jpegs.

The camera makers aren't stupid. If their jpeg engines could do a better job by using the same default values as your raw converter does, then they would just use the same values.

I realize everyone has their own opinion on this. I suppose I should qualify this by saying batch processing using defaults just doesn't work well for me. Perhaps you get better results, and if you do then more power to you.

My own workflow is to shoot everything in raw+jpeg then use the raw files for those shots that disappointed me due to exposure, white balance or tone problems. If the jpeg looks good, I use the jpeg. If it doesn't I go to the raw file, and do what I can to improve it.

In either case, I save all the raw files, because I know that my skill at processing them will improve over time. Sometimes I go back and redo the processing on a photo I took two or three years ago.

Perhaps I am spoiled because my Olympus jpegs come out pretty good, especially when the lighting is good. I will admit that I use the raw files more often with my Sony A55 than I do with my Olympus E30.

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