Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos thread
Bruce Oudekerk
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Re: Better to compare apples to apples
In reply to Tim A2, Jul 1, 2013

Tim A2 wrote:

I shoot JPEG, but know RAW has it's advantages and am looking in to switching. My problem is with folks who compare an unprocessed badly exposed OOC JPEG with God knows what camera JPEG processing settings to a processed RAW photo. When I shoot a JPEG that is not exposed correctly I correct the exposure and shoot again (pleae don't tell me I may miss a once-in-a-lifetime shot). My camera settings for JPEG are pretty much left at neutral and I process the JPEGs with curves, levels, unsharp mask, histogram, WB, etc. Now that brings up a separate question. Would processing a RAW image take any longer?

So please don't ask me to compare a poorly exposed, unprocessed JPEG with unspecified settings to a processed RAW image. Yes, of course it is not apples to apples, but please use a properly exposed and processed JPEG if you want the comparison to be meaningful.

Tim

The example I gave was admittedly a big time screw up on my part but when shooting people it is often, if not usually, a one time shot.  Of course the next shot is a one time shot also…they all are unless the subject is static:)

To be honest RAW is my way of extending dynamic range to the max of the camera.  It allows me to utilize what is there without having to use some sort of multiple shot HDR.  As the dynamic range of cameras increases on an almost daily basis, it allows us to better execute the vision we have of the scene we are shooting.  That isn’t true so much in the studio where we can control the lighting but more likely (at least for me) outdoors where sky/clouds highlights to shadows really pushes the hardware.

I consider it a cheap shot to always say…’use the correct exposure and you’ll be fine’ because it isn’t always fine unless you have a limited vision of what the possibilities are inherent in the capture.  In an iffy situation, I bracket and still there is often no one shot that is perfect and my a850, while aging, still has decent dynamic range in the lower ISOs.  Which points up another issue, if we are forced to raise the ISO we necessarily lower dynamic range which just makes it all the more important to be able to ‘get it all’ and use RAW processing.

With all that said.  A good capture in Jpeg is a good capture… and it is generally good enough for any situation.  It the ‘good capture’ that can be a problem.

Bruce

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