I don't get sRAW (seriously)

Started Mar 24, 2012 | Discussions
nitts999
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I don't get sRAW (seriously)
Mar 24, 2012

I'm not a troll, just someone looking to upgrade my APS-C to FF and weighing Canon vs Nikon (since my old EF-S glass is worthless anyway).

I've heard comments that people are in love with sRAW, so I tried to do some research and Google searches turn up cursory technical info, but nothing that really explains why folks are so passionate about it.

On paper, it doesn't make sense to me. If I'm bothering with a RAW file, it's likely that I want to do editing/retouching of some kind or I would've just shot in JPG and called it a day. For editing, you generally want as much of the original source data as possible to avoid quanitzation or posterization ( http://j.mp/GMLTFT )

So if I want it straight out of the camera, I choose JPG. If I want to do post-processing, the true RAW seems ideal.

Help me understand the appeal of sRAW?

(again, I'm truly open minded and asking because I seriously am ignorant of the benefits, not as a rhetorical question!)

oysso
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

nitts999 wrote:

I'm not a troll, just someone looking to upgrade my APS-C to FF and weighing Canon vs Nikon (since my old EF-S glass is worthless anyway).

I've heard comments that people are in love with sRAW, so I tried to do some research and Google searches turn up cursory technical info, but nothing that really explains why folks are so passionate about it.

On paper, it doesn't make sense to me. If I'm bothering with a RAW file, it's likely that I want to do editing/retouching of some kind or I would've just shot in JPG and called it a day. For editing, you generally want as much of the original source data as possible to avoid quanitzation or posterization ( http://j.mp/GMLTFT )

So if I want it straight out of the camera, I choose JPG. If I want to do post-processing, the true RAW seems ideal.

Help me understand the appeal of sRAW?

(again, I'm truly open minded and asking because I seriously am ignorant of the benefits, not as a rhetorical question!)

sRAW makes good sense if you want to have good opportunity to post process the image and if you know that you are not going to print large.

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kenwj
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

sRaw is short for "Short Range Assault Weapon" as per Wikipedia.

Actually it's a 1/4 size raw file and I don't get it either. I would write it off as a marketing idea whose time has come and gone. Nobody else is playing follow the leader on this one.

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Causio
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
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nitts999
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to Causio, Mar 24, 2012

Wait, so you're saying that the sRAW wasn't just equal, but actually better than the full-sized RAW? At 1/4 the size? That seems like nothing short of a miracle if true.

Causio wrote:

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
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Peter 13
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

SRAW has a higher DR than JPEG and allows more penalty-free WB and other tweaks. It is the future, IMO, when sensors will have much more pixels.

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cs hauser
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

nitts999 wrote:

On paper, it doesn't make sense to me. If I'm bothering with a RAW file, it's likely that I want to do editing/retouching of some kind or I would've just shot in JPG and called it a day. For editing, you generally want as much of the original source data as possible to avoid quanitzation or posterization ( http://j.mp/GMLTFT )

Some people need the flexibility of RAW files, but don't need all the resolution. For example: People who take photos specifically for web display. Or something simple like taking photos for I.D. cards.

RAW still allows you the flexibility to edit the picture style, adjust the white balance, or alter the exposure. These things would be better done with sRAW than JPEGs.

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kenwj
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to Causio, Mar 24, 2012

Wonderful assessment. Now put down the bottle of Bourbon and think about what you just said. No...seriously, relax, chant a few "ooohms" and delve deep into your inner photographer.

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ultimitsu
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to Peter 13, Mar 24, 2012

Sraw makes no sense to me at all, simple as that, resolution is too small to justify the file size. like you said, if you didnt want to PP, just shoot L jpeg, you get more detail with it.

Mraw however, used to make sense to me. you get good usable file and suppose to save some file space. but i have tried it so many times and eventually concluded that it too makes no sense. resolution is down to 55%, one would expect a equal file size reduction - but it doesnt, you get 75% the file size. so you are throwing away way more detail than the gain in filesize saving. since you always process mraw just as you do with raw, i would rather make the downzise after i see the file properly in post.

mraw would make a lot more sense if it would - A, reduce file size in proportion to resolution reduction, B, increase images in buffer in proportion, C, increase frame rate somewhat. for example if 60D Mraw allowed for 8 FPS without continuous AF, I would use it, especially for things like HDR.

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nitts999
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I think I get it now
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

I was looking at it wrong--trying to decide between RAW or sRAW.

From what you are all saying, sRAW is a JPG replacement, not a RAW replacement. It essentially allows you to have a lower file size, retain some editing ability (beyond JPG) w/out having to have a full sized RAW.

Correct?

So in that case, do many of you shoot RAW + sRAW like folks commonly shoot RAW+JPG? Using sRAW in most cases but resorting to full RAW when needed? (that seems to be the common justification of RAW+JPG shooting)

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MASTERPPA
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

NO, its better then a JPG of the same size..

I shoot 1300 pics a day.. I do not like JPG since I am in a changing light environment all the time.

But 99% of these shots will be online ONLY, but I want PERFECT WB.

You think I want to post process 1300 22MP RAWs? or 1300 36MP RAWS??

nitts999 wrote:

Wait, so you're saying that the sRAW wasn't just equal, but actually better than the full-sized RAW? At 1/4 the size? That seems like nothing short of a miracle if true.

Causio wrote:

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
Luc
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nitts999
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to MASTERPPA, Mar 24, 2012

Yes, I think I see your point (reached it just a few minutes before you posted this, see: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=41011930

MASTERPPA wrote:
NO, its better then a JPG of the same size..

I shoot 1300 pics a day.. I do not like JPG since I am in a changing light environment all the time.

But 99% of these shots will be online ONLY, but I want PERFECT WB.

You think I want to post process 1300 22MP RAWs? or 1300 36MP RAWS??

nitts999 wrote:

Wait, so you're saying that the sRAW wasn't just equal, but actually better than the full-sized RAW? At 1/4 the size? That seems like nothing short of a miracle if true.

Causio wrote:

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
Luc
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MASTERPPA
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Re: I think I get it now
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

Hey, I will make it simple.

If you need good WB correction options and more color depth then JPG, BUT do not need a full 22MP image (ie Online, sports news papers, etc) and only need 10MP or 5MP, then the smaller raw files work great.

What happens when the next DSLR has 50MP? You think anyone who shots sports but want to use RAW so they can correct there images later will want to shoot 5000 50MP raw files??

I know a lot of people who shoot the smaller RAWS on one card, and then JPG on the other.. WHY? Because, have you ever shot 1300 images and they BEST shot, the WB was bad, or had to much or to little JPG sharpening and you were LIKE DAMN I WISH I HAD THAT IN RAW..lol

I shoot weddings, mostly. And everything in some form of RAW.. I have no time to perfect my WB, and in most cases, I like the extra range. In Lightroom with RAW you have all kinds of options that look better from RAW.. But, rarely do I shoot a full 22MB, most are half, and candid are 1/4

nitts999 wrote:

I was looking at it wrong--trying to decide between RAW or sRAW.

From what you are all saying, sRAW is a JPG replacement, not a RAW replacement. It essentially allows you to have a lower file size, retain some editing ability (beyond JPG) w/out having to have a full sized RAW.

Correct?

So in that case, do many of you shoot RAW + sRAW like folks commonly shoot RAW+JPG? Using sRAW in most cases but resorting to full RAW when needed? (that seems to be the common justification of RAW+JPG shooting)

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MASTERPPA
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

Cool..

sRAW was 1st in the Canon 1DIII and was useless.. 2.5MP.. But I will tell you, Nikon should have at least a mRAW.. A 18MP or even a 9MP file from that camera would be awesome, but their only option is a RAW cropped. (which I WISH Canon had also..)

nitts999 wrote:

Yes, I think I see your point (reached it just a few minutes before you posted this, see: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=41011930

MASTERPPA wrote:
NO, its better then a JPG of the same size..

I shoot 1300 pics a day.. I do not like JPG since I am in a changing light environment all the time.

But 99% of these shots will be online ONLY, but I want PERFECT WB.

You think I want to post process 1300 22MP RAWs? or 1300 36MP RAWS??

nitts999 wrote:

Wait, so you're saying that the sRAW wasn't just equal, but actually better than the full-sized RAW? At 1/4 the size? That seems like nothing short of a miracle if true.

Causio wrote:

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
Luc
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Causio
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

nitts999 wrote:

Wait, so you're saying that the sRAW wasn't just equal, but actually better than the full-sized RAW? At 1/4 the size? That seems like nothing short of a miracle if true.

Er... no, I compared sRaw with downsized Raw, the latter being better
Luc

Causio wrote:

The idea is just to have a smaller file, faster to process, upload etc, with a better DR than JPG which would offer more room for postprocessing. Having said that, for two times I compared downsized RAW with sRAW (with both 40d and 5DII) and in both cases the downsized RAW retained more detail.
Luc
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Causio
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to kenwj, Mar 24, 2012

kenwj wrote:

Wonderful assessment. Now put down the bottle of Bourbon and think about what you just said. No...seriously, relax, chant a few "ooohms" and delve deep into your inner photographer.

Is that meant for yourself? (meaning: read again what I wrote...)
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aftab
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

nitts999 wrote:

I'm not a troll, just someone looking to upgrade my APS-C to FF and weighing Canon vs Nikon (since my old EF-S glass is worthless anyway).

I've heard comments that people are in love with sRAW, so I tried to do some research and Google searches turn up cursory technical info, but nothing that really explains why folks are so passionate about it.

On paper, it doesn't make sense to me. If I'm bothering with a RAW file, it's likely that I want to do editing/retouching of some kind or I would've just shot in JPG and called it a day. For editing, you generally want as much of the original source data as possible to avoid quanitzation or posterization ( http://j.mp/GMLTFT )

So if I want it straight out of the camera, I choose JPG. If I want to do post-processing, the true RAW seems ideal.

Help me understand the appeal of sRAW?

(again, I'm truly open minded and asking because I seriously am ignorant of the benefits, not as a rhetorical question!)

Correct me if I am wrong, sRAW uses pixel binning and it is supposed to increase SNR?

earn.hamamatsu.com/articles/binning.html
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SHillphoto
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Yes and no
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

Mraw and Sraw are just smaller raw files sorting loading downloading ect anything over 15MP starts to be time consuming, and storage limiting. Shoot a 1000 pics at 21MP it's alot of work...

If you will only print small sizes why shoot full raw, you can save space and time shooting Mraw and still fully adjust the photo you just have a smaller file.

I feel, for normal prints a 5D2 at mraw is still better than a 50D and at full raw.

I don't use sraw but you could for web photos where you still want the adjustability...

I only shoot 1 mode either raw or mraw, I would rather shoot mraw than jpeg.

I don't see any reason to shoot both raw and sraw.

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surf1
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 24, 2012

I looked up how sRAW actually works.

in sRAW, Canon converts the signals from 4 sensels into 1 image pixel.
On the sensor this is 2 green sensels, 1 red and 1 blue, each at 14 bit.
4x14= 56 bit RAW data.

The problem is, that 1 full color image pixel at 14 bit needs 3x14 bit=42 bit, so the difference is small. Let's say a 4MP RAW file would be 56Mbit file size, an sRAW version of it would have a resolution of 1MP and a file size of 42Mbit, so only 25% smaller.

To reduce the file size, canon saves the color information only for every second pixel, and usese a lossy compression for the data (I think 12 bit and compression)

As a result you get a lossy compressed TIFF file with quarter the resolution of the sensor and 1/16th the color resolution. Due to the 12 bit per channel you have more flexibility to do corrections, but you lost a lot of information in the process of conversion.

Cheers, Surf

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Dave Seeley
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Re: I don't get sRAW (seriously)
In reply to nitts999, Mar 25, 2012

nitts999 wrote:

Help me understand the appeal of sRAW?

sRaw is great... I shoot RAW mostly - when making images for illustrations... but there are plenty of times that I don't want a 22mp file to fill up my hard drive. Tourist travel pics, and family events are a perfect example... for those, sRaw is perfect, big enough for full page prints even with some minor cropping, while preserving the ability to get perfect images from slight over or under exposure... and doing my own selective sharpening. I'd love a 5series cam with 40 megapixels, but if the camera didn't shoot sRaw, I might not want it at all.

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