Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?

Started Mar 27, 2012 | Discussions
probert500
Contributing MemberPosts: 970Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw with a couple of caveats
In reply to morphious, Mar 27, 2012

You just invested a lot in this camera and its full capabilities are to be found in the raw files. You can - after processing export them as jpegs as well as tiffs.

There are a lot of video tutorials on processing raw files and it's pretty straightforward. Start simple and experiment as questions come to mind and problems present themselves.

Unlike some here I suggest saving all your rawfiles (HD space is so cheap) because as you learn more and your eye develops you may find that shots you thought were bad are actually very good.

With the nex I'll shoot jpegs for the panorama setting and for the twilight/ anti motion blur settings. The latter are so impressive that I'm happy to settle for a jpeg of something I would have otherwise simply not been able to capture. I will convert the jpegs to tiff prior to adjustments because the act of saving jpegs compresses them further.

 probert500's gear list:probert500's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Philip Corlis
Contributing MemberPosts: 805Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to Jim Yount, Mar 27, 2012

Thanks Jim - in the end there may be no way to generalize the decision, but I started having doubts with my old Nikon gear - the jpegs had great color that was difficult to reproduce from raw in Lightroom. I think Sony's color rendition is beautiful in most cases. Since Adobe has to reverse engineer camera raw formats they are always off a tick or two. Given a well exposed image, can I really outdo the Sony processor in Lightroom?

I wonder...
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Philip Corlis
Contributing MemberPosts: 805Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil
In reply to nzmacro, Mar 27, 2012

Hi Danny

BIF shots are a unique adventure. I can surely understand RAW when you know you'll have much curve bending work to get pleasing tones. After all, I preach the gospel of RAW to folks almost every day. But as I said, I am beginning to have my doubts for many normal shooting situations.

If nothing else I think it's valuable to revisit our assumptions to be sure we aren't "fighting the last war." certainly the day will come when RAW will no longer be the answer. The question is - is today that day?

Happy shooting!

Phil
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
probert500
Contributing MemberPosts: 970Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil - fly in the ointment
In reply to Philip Corlis, Mar 27, 2012

Philip Corlis wrote:

Hi Danny

BIF shots are a unique adventure. I can surely understand RAW when you know you'll have much curve bending work to get pleasing tones. After all, I preach the gospel of RAW to folks almost every day. But as I said, I am beginning to have my doubts for many normal shooting situations.

If nothing else I think it's valuable to revisit our assumptions to be sure we aren't "fighting the last war." certainly the day will come when RAW will no longer be the answer. The question is - is today that day?

Happy shooting!

Phil
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

I'll agree that on the NEX there are times when the jpeg is the way to go (panorama, twilight and anti blur) but - and this is a big but - if you open and save jpegs they recompress every time you do so - whether you make changes or not. Even if I shoot a jpeg I'll immediately convert it to a tiff.

Harddrive space is so cheap that saving raws is not that big a problem.

 probert500's gear list:probert500's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tesilab
Senior MemberPosts: 1,989Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to Philip Corlis, Mar 27, 2012

Philip Corlis wrote:

Thanks Jim - in the end there may be no way to generalize the decision, but I started having doubts with my old Nikon gear - the jpegs had great color that was difficult to reproduce from raw in Lightroom.

This is the crux of the RAW vs JPEG debate. It takes some dedication to get to the point where you can equal or outdo some of today's jpegs. This is certainly an issue for cameras with the better jpegs (Fuji comes to mind. I hear Olympus is pretty good.). Sony isn't known to distinguish itself in this area. I see unnatural smearing in jpeg output.

I think Sony's color rendition is beautiful in most cases. Since Adobe has to reverse engineer camera raw formats they are always off a tick or two. Given a well exposed image, can I really outdo the Sony processor in Lightroom?

I'd think that it is more likely to be behind a lens profile or two, when it comes to doing things like correcting distortion, vignetting, CA. Reversing a raw format to come up with pixels isn't a problem. Nikon used to encrypt the white point, which was a hassle. Other metadata isn't really so critical to producing good results, AFAIK.

I'd say you can outdo the Sony processor in Lightroom. You get to make choices that are gone forever when you process raw. Did you miss the exposure, did Sony smear your details, when you would have prefered more detail, even with the attendant increase in noise? Did you blow the white balance? Did you accidentally shoot in one of those funky creative modes?

Raw + Jpeg is pretty good insurance. If the typical jpeg version is spot on and better than you are likely to do yourself, take that and dump the raw version. So your write to memory is a bit slower. So your transfer to computer will take a few more seconds or another minute. But if there is a potentially special shot that you need to rescue, or just want to reintrepret, the raw is there.

 tesilab's gear list:tesilab's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +11 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
zackiedawg
Forum ProPosts: 21,058Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil - fly in the ointment
In reply to probert500, Mar 27, 2012

probert500 wrote:

I'll agree that on the NEX there are times when the jpeg is the way to go (panorama, twilight and anti blur) but - and this is a big but - if you open and save jpegs they recompress every time you do so - whether you make changes or not. Even if I shoot a jpeg I'll immediately convert it to a tiff.

Most JPG shooters steer around that issue by leaving the original alone - never saving over it. If you open it to make any changes, use 'save as' and give it a new name.

Of course, you can open and close a JPG all you want without losing anything, as long as you don't 'save' every time you open it just to look.

Also of note: most photo editing software actually has settable compression levels for JPG. Defaults on most are fairly strong compression - 10-12% or so...it can be reduced to almost 0, so resaving barely registers any additional loss. I've always set my PSP and Photoshop JPGs at level 1, which is minimal compression, on the odd times that I actually edit them, or when resizing for posting.

-- hide signature --
 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony a6000 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake +24 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tesilab
Senior MemberPosts: 1,989Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil - fly in the ointment
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2012

I haven't tested this, but the fact that Jpeg is a lossy compression algorithm doesn't necessarily mean that there is a degradation with every file save. And typically when you resave a jpeg file you can modify the jpeg settings to make that an even less likely proposition.

The easiest way to make that determination for any combination of settings would be to open a jpeg in photoshop, and save it as another jpeg image, then perform an a visual image difference on the pair. (Should produce a pure black image when there is no difference, you could verify that with a histogram.)

 tesilab's gear list:tesilab's gear list
Sony RX1 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN +11 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nzmacro
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,729Gear list
Like?
Need to try this again for sure
In reply to Philip Corlis, Mar 27, 2012

Philip Corlis wrote:

Hi Danny

BIF shots are a unique adventure. I can surely understand RAW when you know you'll have much curve bending work to get pleasing tones. After all, I preach the gospel of RAW to folks almost every day. But as I said, I am beginning to have my doubts for many normal shooting situations.

If nothing else I think it's valuable to revisit our assumptions to be sure we aren't "fighting the last war." certainly the day will come when RAW will no longer be the answer. The question is - is today that day?

Happy shooting!

Phil
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Excellent points. I think with just the few tests shots I tried, I didn't necessarily give it a decent attempt. To be honest with LR4 I don't know how much with the whites we can get back with a jpg. There is only one way to find out and thats to give this a darn good go for a week or two. I'll force myself for awhile to try this out mate, its worth it to find out. You may well be totally correct. I just tried it on the 7 with the default settings, so I need to look at that again. I'm very curious as well Phil

All the best Phil and yep, I'll have a good go at this.

Danny.
...........................
m4/3 macro
http://www.macrophotos.com/g2macro

m4/3 feathered flying gadgets
http://www.macrophotos.com/avian/avian.html

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Philip Corlis
Contributing MemberPosts: 805Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to tesilab, Mar 27, 2012

It's impossible for me to argue against your points. After all I'm usually the one arguing those very same points with others. I guess my point (if I have one at all) is that my "unless" list keeps getting longer and longer with my 5n. You know - the "Always shoot RAW... unless" list... Unless you want lens vignetting, CA, and distortion control, unless you want in-camera panoramas, unless you want HDR, unless you want HHT, and unless you want the terrific DRO results Sony offers.

The times they are a changing and perhaps we need to change with them - or the camera companies need to find a better file type than jpeg.

Happy shooting!
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Philip Corlis
Contributing MemberPosts: 805Gear list
Like?
Re: Need to try this again for sure
In reply to nzmacro, Mar 27, 2012

You have some great looking work Danny. You know the other train of thought is... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Cheers!
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
nzmacro
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,729Gear list
Like?
Re: Need to try this again for sure
In reply to Philip Corlis, Mar 27, 2012

Philip Corlis wrote:

You know the other train of thought is... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Cheers!
--
Phil
http://www.PhilCorlis.com
http://www.FindingBritain.com

Agreed, but if it ain't broke you can always go back ;). I'm very curious and stubborn Phil and theres only one way to cure that. If it works, it will be a pleasure working with the jpg sized files. I'll let you know how I get on.

All the best Phil and anything is worth a shot or thousand

Danny.
...........................
m4/3 macro
http://www.macrophotos.com/g2macro

m4/3 feathered flying gadgets
http://www.macrophotos.com/avian/avian.html

Worry about the image that comes out of the box, rather than the box itself.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Philip Corlis
Contributing MemberPosts: 805Gear list
Like?
Re: Need to try this again for sure
In reply to nzmacro, Mar 27, 2012
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
probert500
Contributing MemberPosts: 970Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil - fly in the ointment
In reply to tesilab, Mar 27, 2012

tesilab wrote:

I haven't tested this, but the fact that Jpeg is a lossy compression algorithm doesn't necessarily mean that there is a degradation with every file save. And typically when you resave a jpeg file you can modify the jpeg settings to make that an even less likely proposition.

The easiest way to make that determination for any combination of settings would be to open a jpeg in photoshop, and save it as another jpeg image, then perform an a visual image difference on the pair. (Should produce a pure black image when there is no difference, you could verify that with a histogram.)

It is a fact - it will recompress. It is already a compressed file with limited gamut which is why losing info is more critical. It will be most obvious in subtle areas like a graduated blue sky.

To me the question is why bother when you don't have to. The nex 7 is a $1400.00 machine use it it like god and sony intended.

 probert500's gear list:probert500's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
probert500
Contributing MemberPosts: 970Gear list
Like?
Re: Interesting Phil - fly in the ointment
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 27, 2012

zackiedawg wrote:

probert500 wrote:

I'll agree that on the NEX there are times when the jpeg is the way to go (panorama, twilight and anti blur) but - and this is a big but - if you open and save jpegs they recompress every time you do so - whether you make changes or not. Even if I shoot a jpeg I'll immediately convert it to a tiff.

Most JPG shooters steer around that issue by leaving the original alone - never saving over it. If you open it to make any changes, use 'save as' and give it a new name.

Of course, you can open and close a JPG all you want without losing anything, as long as you don't 'save' every time you open it just to look.

Also of note: most photo editing software actually has settable compression levels for JPG. Defaults on most are fairly strong compression - 10-12% or so...it can be reduced to almost 0, so resaving barely registers any additional loss. I've always set my PSP and Photoshop JPGs at level 1, which is minimal compression, on the odd times that I actually edit them, or when resizing for posting.

-- hide signature --

I guess I'd say why buy a $1400.00 camera and use a limited gamut lossy format. An original jpeg is already a compromised file - anything you do will make it worse, maybe a little - maybe a lot - but why do it if it's not necessary.

You could alway set up a photoshop action and automate your raw processing ( I think) or batch process. Save your raws and when your jpegs become intolerable you can go back to the well. A 2 Tb hd is about $100.00.

I'd say if the image isn't worth the time to process it just might not be worth it.

 probert500's gear list:probert500's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Koch
Regular MemberPosts: 444
Like?
GIF
In reply to probert500, Mar 28, 2012

Several years ago, some cameras allowed one to shoot in an animated GIF mode, which stitched several still shots into a short video one could insert in a website as a continuously looping animation.

Out of fashion?

Would there be anything wrong (or any value?) if cameras allowed one to capture in bitmap, PNG, or the Photoshop file formats?

Most of the time JPEG is good enough. What point is there in hogging lots of disc space for the sake of bulky RAW files, if odds are low that one will ever edit more than a few. Most basic fixes or enhancements can be done with JPEG files. If a picture is so bad that only deep surgery edits in RAW will save it, it will seldom be worth the trouble anyway.

Tablets, cloud storage, and small screens will make JPEG the most efficient option.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
lowincash
Contributing MemberPosts: 707
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to morphious, Mar 28, 2012

I only shoot JPEG =]

I think in all the years I've been shooting, I only shot RAW once to test and that was with the D7000 and did the processing in camera. The only thing I do is resize my pics and sometimes do the auto adjust level and contrast, that's about it. That's why I try to find a camera with good OOC JPEG.
--
I only shoot JPEG =]

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RnF
RnF
Regular MemberPosts: 143Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to zackiedawg, Mar 28, 2012

Pretty much sums it up for me. I am quite happy with the jpg engine on my 5n. Used to shoot RAW, but I have left it behind for the most part. It's pretty satisfying for me to get good jpgs right out of the camera. Less work = more time for shooting.

 RnF's gear list:RnF's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JohnK
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,398Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to morphious, Mar 28, 2012

Always RAW+JPG for me, never want to be caught wanting a RAW file later and not having it. Also I'm paying all this money for IQ, makes no sense not taking max advantage, but that's just me.
--
JohnK
Take a picture, it'll last longer.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sean lancaster
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,121Gear list
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to JohnK, Mar 28, 2012

I've been shooting JPG Fine. Is the RAW+JPG the Fine version of JPG? I am concerned about file sizes, but I also want the best image I can get so I'll give it a go as long as I can use the JPG here and there instead of always needing to process the RAW (so JPG Fine is required for me).

 sean lancaster's gear list:sean lancaster's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha 7 Voigtlander 35mm F1.2 Nokton Sony FE 55mm F1.8 +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
wll
wll
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,820
Like?
Re: Raw or JPG? Which do you shoot with?
In reply to sean lancaster, Mar 28, 2012

sean lancaster wrote:

I've been shooting JPG Fine. Is the RAW+JPG the Fine version of JPG? I am concerned about file sizes, but I also want the best image I can get so I'll give it a go if the JPG is Fine.

Ha, Ha ,ha.

Sean, after receiving your 55-210 lens, which is just wonderful by the way, I concur !

I shoot almost everything in JPG ! The newer JPG engines are very good and for most stuff I do are just fine ... Sony has a very good JPG engine, and I don't want to spend another 3 hours playing around trying to get the very most out of the image when all it does is go on a web site, or made into a 8x10 or ?

If I was making art !!!! then that would be a different situation, but that's not the case ! I'm not looking to compete with Ansel Adams !

wll

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads