Shooting Raw or jpg

Started May 28, 2012 | Discussions
Cobras
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Shooting Raw or jpg
May 28, 2012

I have been shooting RAW. But it takes time to process RAW and then into jpg.

I recently purchased Lightroom 4 and have been using it. I found that LR4 was a fantastic pp-ing program. I now realized that there was no need to shoot RAW any more because LR4 could adjust jpg images very well except for correcting WB. I thought that it would be a good idea to shoot RAW for indoors pictures and jpg for other shootings. What do you think?

winparkman
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

How good do you want to be? I can't imagine going back to JPEG after years of shooting RAW. Simply, look at the file sizes. RAW files are considerably larger giving you a lot more leeway in post processing.

I shoot a lot of outdoor swimteam photos. You have a lot of changes in light, shade, tones, etc. Without RAW, you'd lose the ability to get the most out of those photos. In portraits....well, let's say that there isn't one style of photo that I would choose JPEG over RAW.

If, on the other hand, it doesn't matter that much to you, then stick with JPEG. LR does a better job with RAW but it does well with JPEG. It's up to you.

Cobras wrote:

I have been shooting RAW. But it takes time to process RAW and then into jpg.

I recently purchased Lightroom 4 and have been using it. I found that LR4 was a fantastic pp-ing program. I now realized that there was no need to shoot RAW any more because LR4 could adjust jpg images very well except for correcting WB. I thought that it would be a good idea to shoot RAW for indoors pictures and jpg for other shootings. What do you think?

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fakuryu
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

Hello, I'm not really a Nikon DSLR owner but a Pentax shooter but I do have a lot of friends who uses Nikon and I did recommend some D5100 for them.

But for RAW vs JPG, I also asked this question before as I was a JPG shooter and is now using RAW DNG. Last weekend, I attended the Philippine Digital Photographer anniversary party and was able to also attend a seminar conducted by Manny Librodo. For a world renowned photographer, AFAIK he said that he is still using JPG with his D3s and 24-70.

So in the end, it really depends on you

PS. I don't even know if he known around here.

Cobras wrote:

I have been shooting RAW. But it takes time to process RAW and then into jpg.

I recently purchased Lightroom 4 and have been using it. I found that LR4 was a fantastic pp-ing program. I now realized that there was no need to shoot RAW any more because LR4 could adjust jpg images very well except for correcting WB. I thought that it would be a good idea to shoot RAW for indoors pictures and jpg for other shootings. What do you think?

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RobertLaw
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

It takes as much time to process raw as it does jpeg. If you are trying to get jpg images for review then try instant jpeg from raw. It is very fast and extracts the embedded jpeg from the raw files. If you shoot outdoors in jpeg, the time will come when you will be sorry. At least I was.
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brokensocialscenester
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to RobertLaw, May 28, 2012

Do what works for you. We do all of our personal and professional work in jpeg.
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Alan Brown
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camera memory is cheap
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

Shoot RAW + JPEG... use the jpegs and pp the RAWs for when you are struggling for DR. You can always delete afterwards.

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The Big One
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

I use LR3. I used to shoot raw + jpg, but eventually realized that I never used the jpg, so switched to only raw.

With LR there is no workflow difference between raw and jpg, so why shoot the lesser quality unless you really don't care about quality or you are running out of hard drive space (in which case you should buy another one, they are quite cheap).
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AluKd
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 28, 2012

I'm shooting RAW only, now. Used to shoot RAW + JPG. Never used the JPGs - and nowadays, even I get caught without my machine and needing to get a JPG straight out of the camera, I can use the in-camera RAW processing.

Once you get used to it and streamline your worflow, RAW is a snap to process on LR. I just dump the pictures there after each session and take some time each week to review, tag and develop only the images that show some promise.

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winparkman
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to brokensocialscenester, May 28, 2012

I think you would not work for me. It would be my first question of a pro. The only justification is speed and frankly, I prefer quality to speed.

No offense intended.

brokensocialscenester wrote:

Do what works for you. We do all of our personal and professional work in jpeg.
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Cobras
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to The Big One, May 28, 2012

The Big One wrote:

With LR there is no workflow difference between raw and jpg, so why shoot the lesser quality

That makes sense. So I should stick to RAW.

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Pedro Vera
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Re: camera memory is cheap
In reply to Alan Brown, May 28, 2012

Alan Brown wrote:

Shoot RAW + JPEG... use the jpegs and pp the RAWs for when you are struggling for DR. You can always delete afterwards.

Exactly. To me RAW is insurance. If I am not happy with the JPEG, I can go to the RAW file and mess with it in LR4 as needed. There is a lot more room to adjust when you are working off a RAW file instead of a JPEG.

My only problem with RAW is that I can't be as careless with disk storage, I need to remember to flag the shots I liked and actually used and delete anything I don't consider a keeper.

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Alan Brown
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that's another discipline I need to focus more on
In reply to Pedro Vera, May 28, 2012

Pedro Vera wrote:

Alan Brown wrote:

Shoot RAW + JPEG... use the jpegs and pp the RAWs for when you are struggling for DR. You can always delete afterwards.

Exactly. To me RAW is insurance. If I am not happy with the JPEG, I can go to the RAW file and mess with it in LR4 as needed. There is a lot more room to adjust when you are working off a RAW file instead of a JPEG.

My only problem with RAW is that I can't be as careless with disk storage, I need to remember to flag the shots I liked and actually used and delete anything I don't consider a keeper.

Logging shots 'after' the event has finished.. I should do this whilst peparing/editing but I hate the chore and always go back to it reluctantly... Oh for an asisstant; but no budget for it.

people have always done it with negatives.. still I never shot as many rolls of film in an event as I do relative to digital. space and backup is essential now.

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MiraShootsNikon
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to winparkman, May 29, 2012

I'd hire you, brokensocialscenester.

If you're a pro, you have a fine portfolio, and you shoot JPEG to get it, that tells me:

(1) You're sufficiently skilled to hit challenging exposures / situations properly in camera at the moment, and

(2) You'll deliver my photographs swiftly. Like Steve Jobs says, "real artists ship."

Winparkman, I think you need to develop a more meaningful first question. I wouldn't want to hire a "pro" who thinks a month of photoshopping lousy RAW exposures into mud after my wedding / portrait shoot will get him or her by.

mira

winparkman wrote:

I think you would not work for me. It would be my first question of a pro. The only justification is speed and frankly, I prefer quality to speed.

No offense intended.

brokensocialscenester wrote:

Do what works for you. We do all of our personal and professional work in jpeg.
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http://www.mikeandfrida.com

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MiraShootsNikon
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to Cobras, May 29, 2012

I disagree with The Big One. There's a significant set of workflow differences between working RAW and JPEG in Lightroom (or any other RAW converter.)

If you work a JPEG, you've already got the camera's processing in place. This means that it already:

(a) has color and / or curves adjustments applied (active D-Lighting, for example, which gains-up your shadows);

(b) is sharpened with a pixel radius and amount;

(c) has noise reduction (luminance and color) applied;

(d) uses Nikon code / processing for all of these things.

If you work a RAW file, then color / curves / sharpening / noise reduction are all up to you--and, of course, you'll be doing them using Adobe processing, which can give your photographs a radically different look.

So what's a practical example of how this could influence your shoot?

Well, let's say you're shooting a bride and groom at a bright sunny wedding. If you're shooting JPEG, then you'll want Nikon's in-camera image processing tools to help you: you'll probably spool up some active D-Lighting, for example, which will tell your camera to expose for highlights and use curves processing to gain-up the groom's dark tuxedo. You'd also probably give the image some sharpening in camera. You might also use your camera's "Picture Controls" to set some contrast and color baselines.

If you were shooting RAW and developing in Lightroom, you'd recognize that Adobe won't care about your camera's sharpening settings; it won't care about active D-Light curves; it won't interpret the contrast or color processing instructions in your "Picture Controls." Knowing that, you'd turn your active D-Lighting OFF so that you'd have more direct control of exposure highlights. You might also pick a more neutral camera "picture control" so that you'd have a better idea of what your RAWs will look like with the neutral contrast and saturation Adobe will give you. On import, you'd then process your photographs with RAW presharpening, Adobe's excellent tone, highlight, and shadow controls.

Sure, you can take a "hybrid" approach and process JPEGs that already have Nikon sharpening / color / contrast / dynamic range / curves processing built in. But my point, here, is that it's a different approach than starting from the ground up with all of those things--not just in post processing, but in how you approach your camera setup during the shoot itself.

Or not. Whatever!

mira

Cobras wrote:

The Big One wrote:

With LR there is no workflow difference between raw and jpg, so why shoot the lesser quality

That makes sense. So I should stick to RAW.

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Catallaxy
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Nikon centric workflow vs Adobe centric
In reply to MiraShootsNikon, May 29, 2012

View NX2 and Capture NX2 can read the camera settings stored in the NEF, LR and other third party converters cannot.

If you use a Nikon centric workflow, there is no need to shoot jpeg. You can very easily batch convert the NEFs to jpeg after the fact and you can have jpegs with all the in-camera settings applied.

If you use an Adobe centric workflow, you do not have those in-camera settings and therefore must work a bit harder to get your jpegs from the NEF.

There is no reason to shoot jpeg. You can easily get the jpeg from the NEF if you use View NX2 (free) and batch or Capture NX2 and batch. Or do it one at a time if you need to get just a few out the door and to a client for review.

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winparkman
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to MiraShootsNikon, May 29, 2012

Mira, that is nonsense. You don't shoot RAW in order to fix your mistakes.

I doubt broken cares one way or another if I would hire him. He's a pro and he has his market and people undoubtedly get what they want. But the question was about shooting RAW and the fact remains that RAW allows considerably more leeway in processing than JPEG.

MiraShootsNikon wrote:
I'd hire you, brokensocialscenester.

If you're a pro, you have a fine portfolio, and you shoot JPEG to get it, that tells me:

(1) You're sufficiently skilled to hit challenging exposures / situations properly in camera at the moment, and

(2) You'll deliver my photographs swiftly. Like Steve Jobs says, "real artists ship."

Winparkman, I think you need to develop a more meaningful first question. I wouldn't want to hire a "pro" who thinks a month of photoshopping lousy RAW exposures into mud after my wedding / portrait shoot will get him or her by.

mira

winparkman wrote:

I think you would not work for me. It would be my first question of a pro. The only justification is speed and frankly, I prefer quality to speed.

No offense intended.

brokensocialscenester wrote:

Do what works for you. We do all of our personal and professional work in jpeg.
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chicago wedding photographer
http://www.mikeandfrida.com

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OK, not so purely a hobby.

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OK, not so purely a hobby.

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jonrobertp
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to AluKd, May 29, 2012
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If you need to shoot raw to get decent performance from a D7k, you need a photography course.

Good experienced photographers who get the exposure correct out in the field make professional images from jpgs that sell. Images that clients want, now. Not a few months later.

Raw is ok , but jpg makes more common sense for many of us. Each to his own...depends on what you like doing better...mastering photography and your camera; or doing more work on your computer.

Raw really does take more time to work out...and ppl who claim otherwise ...have already done the work to plan their workflow in the past. Still was work to get to that point. Nothing is automatic...esp. raw processing. Been there, done that. Both raw & jpg.

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MiraShootsNikon
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to winparkman, May 29, 2012

winparkman wrote:

Mira, that is nonsense. You don't shoot RAW in order to fix your mistakes.

I doubt broken cares one way or another if I would hire him. He's a pro and he has his market and people undoubtedly get what they want. But the question was about shooting RAW and the fact remains that RAW allows considerably more leeway in processing than JPEG.

Here's "nonsense," Winparkman:

winparkman wrote:

The only justification is speed and frankly, I prefer quality to speed.

So "quality" can't happen shooting JPEG? Why not? Yes, shooting RAW allows some more post processing leeway, but your argument (so far, anyway) seems to suggest that post processing leeway is "quality" or at least that it's some kind of essential ingredient to it. Maybe I'm reading you wrong, but I can't help but be skeptical that all (or most?) wonderful photography is wonderful because of the post processing leeway involved in the workflow that created it.

Because it just sounds too silly on the face of it. It would mean that no one shooting an analog workflow with slide film could ever get "quality." (Because there's little-to-no push/pull post leeway and a very narrow exposure latitude, shooting chrome is a whole lot like shooting digital JPEG.) I don't know about you, but I've seen some freaking glorious frames shot with transparency. (Richard Avedon's collected covers for Vogue come to mind . . . . Galen Rowell's "Rainbow over Potala Palace"? Steve McCurry's "Afghan Girl"? I mean, come on! )

Given that people did something similar for 75 years with transparency film, isn't it possible that someone could hit an exposure such that even JPEG's small leeway would suffice for a wonderful shot? I know, I know: Steve McCurry "had his market and people undoubtably got what they want." Unlike National Geographic, you "prefer quality to speed."

And then (maybe worst of all!) you wuss out on your dig:

No offense intended.

If you're gonna call someone's workflow crap, then at least put some backbone into your convictions.

No offense intended. (See how lame that is?)

But in all seriousness, I'm yanking your chain hard, here, because the most significant danger to avoid in any photographic workflow might well be assumption--especially the veiled rhetoric that equates shooting JPEG with less skill or less photographic "quality," whatever that means. I'm like you, dude: I shoot RAW most of the time--but not because I'm wearing blinders to the idea that JPEG has its own significant advantages.

mira

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Camnu
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to MiraShootsNikon, May 29, 2012

I'm lazy, I don't want to pp or use PhotoShop, so I shoot Jpeg 99% of the time. I only shoot RAW when it's something very important or the light condition is very bad.

RAW takes too much space on my hard disk.

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AluKd
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Re: Shooting Raw or jpg
In reply to jonrobertp, May 29, 2012

jonrobertp wrote:

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If you need to shoot raw to get decent performance from a D7k, you need a photography course.

Good experienced photographers who get the exposure correct out in the field make professional images from jpgs that sell. Images that clients want, now. Not a few months later.

Maybe that's why some people like Ansel Adams spent months in the darkroom messing and tweaking their films to get the best prints they could out of their film. Hur dur. RAW is not only about exposure (but that, as well, is much better than JPGs).

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