Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?

Started May 8, 2013 | Discussions
Smiller4128
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Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
May 8, 2013

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

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Digirame
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

JPEG vs RAW debates can go on "forever", on these forums.  RAW can give us better images, but if you are a JPEG shooter, you can do well also.  I shoot JPEGs and don't like to do a lot of post processing, so I concentrate on getting the best picture I can at the time straight from the camera.  It's just a matter of personal preference.  If you were taking pictures at a once-in-a-lifetime event like of a wedding of a close friend, then you might want to choose RAW + JPEG.  To minimize post processing I chimp a lot and when I can't see the images clearly on the LCD, then I look at the histogram.

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R2D2
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

In a nutshell:

1. EVERYBODY shoots RAW.  Some choose to let the camera do the processing.  Others process the RAWs themselves in Post.

2. You may want to go back into an image at some point and process it differently.  With RAW, you still have the unaltered original to work with.

3. Someday your philosophy may change. 

R2

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Smiller4128
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Digirame, May 9, 2013

Digirame wrote:

JPEG vs RAW debates can go on "forever", on these forums.  RAW can give us better images, but if you are a JPEG shooter, you can do well also.  I shoot JPEGs and don't like to do a lot of post processing, so I concentrate on getting the best picture I can at the time straight from the camera.  It's just a matter of personal preference.  If you were taking pictures at a once-in-a-lifetime event like of a wedding of a close friend, then you might want to choose RAW + JPEG.  To minimize post processing I chimp a lot and when I can't see the images clearly on the LCD, then I look at the histogram.

Well I don't mean to start a huge war or anything here. Just wondering, if for my preferences, would shooting in JPEG be better for me or would I still benefit from the continuos use of RAW?

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Keith Z Leonard
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

I shoot RAW exclusively and find that if there is an opportunity to edit a bit in post I always do it.  I would have to shoot jpeg to not do it.    Even still, the question becomes which processing you prefer, if you like how Lightroom processes your RAW files better than how the in camera stuff works, then shoot raw, import to LR and export, done.  That's a lot like shooting jpg+raw except that you don't use as much memory card space.    It does still offer you the advantage of making exposure corrections, etc for stuff if you want.  If you are going to lighten/darken at all you are better off shooting RAW because it retains the full dynamic range that your sensor can produce, where jpg encodes down to 8 bits compressed.

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Binary Hulled Ion
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In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

Digirame wrote:

JPEG vs RAW debates can go on "forever", on these forums.  RAW can give us better images, but if you are a JPEG shooter, you can do well also.  I shoot JPEGs and don't like to do a lot of post processing, so I concentrate on getting the best picture I can at the time straight from the camera.  It's just a matter of personal preference.  If you were taking pictures at a once-in-a-lifetime event like of a wedding of a close friend, then you might want to choose RAW + JPEG.  To minimize post processing I chimp a lot and when I can't see the images clearly on the LCD, then I look at the histogram.

Well I don't mean to start a huge war or anything here. Just wondering, if for my preferences, would shooting in JPEG be better for me or would I still benefit from the continuos use of RAW?

I'm not anybody in terms of experience or anything, but unless you have tight memory concerns, just shoot both. That way, you get the JPEG without any further work if you're happy with it straight out of the camera. Or, you have the RAW if you feel like doing any other edits. My wife prefers doing it this way. I prefer RAW only because I never know when I might suddenly have a different perspective on something I've already shot, and duplicating what it looks like out of camera is relatively simple.

In short, I don't think anybody's going to look at your picture and compliment you on what it is, but then scoff when they figure out that it's OOC.

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WilbaW
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

am I still better off shooting RAW?

Unless you're perfectly happy with what you get out of the camera and that's all you'll ever need, you're always better off shooting raw. You can extract the embedded JPEGs from a batch of raw files (the same JPEGs you would have got if you shot raw+JPEG), with a tool like Instant JPEG from RAW in a few seconds, and have all the creative possibilities if you do get the raw thing some time.

When I got my first DSLR I was good enough at editing JPEGs, happy to do that, and didn't see the benefits of raw. To break through I had to force myself to learn how to use a raw converter and explore what it could do. Haven't shot JPEG since.

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jayrandomer
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RAW is better, JPEG may be fine
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

JPEG is better if you have memory concerns or if you want faster and more sustained bursts; otherwise RAW offers everything that JPEG does for a minimal amount of extra work.  RAW+JPEG offers both at the expense of even more memory.  I started shooting JPEG and now that I make use of LR I'm somewhat disappointed that those RAW files are gone forever.

What I don't understand is the reluctance to use PP software to alter an image.  I can understand the objection to pixel-level editing, but what's your objection to RAW development?

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Jim Cassatt
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

I teach an evening photography class.  Since we don't talk about software, almost all of the students shoot RAW.  I improve a lot of the images in front of the class by some simple tweaks.  You could do these tweaks in your camera prior to the shot, but to my mind this takes more skill that doing them afterwards.

My feeling is that most images can be improved by tweaking.  Simple software will do this for you, so shoot jpegs.  However, I try to push Lightroom on people.  If you go that route, then there is no advantage to shooting jpegs since editing RAW images is so easy.

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DSHAPK
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

i have a t2i and t4i and have been working with the t2i since it came out. I use dpp exclusively for viewing and what little pop I do. i rarely shoot raw, only when I know the shot is "important" I will shoot raw plus jpg.

the t4i has an excellent jpg engine. Plus with jpgs as noted above, you get the burst rate.

in a nutshell, the situation dictates what i shoot, there is no hard and fast rule.

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demarren 123
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

I agree with DSHAPK

Taking raw pictures if you need to pixel level,other it is a waste of your memory.

hard disk space,if you count lets say take 400 pictures A week like me.

You can adjust jpg just like raw make a profile in lightroom and you are done.

printing to A4 you won,t see the difference.

If you go for a one trip then shoot raw+Jpg just to be sure.

Better save then sorry.

otherwise pictures you can shoot over and over again,no need for raw.

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mfait
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to WilbaW, May 9, 2013

WilbaW wrote:

Smiller4128 wrote:

am I still better off shooting RAW?

Unless you're perfectly happy with what you get out of the camera and that's all you'll ever need, you're always better off shooting raw. You can extract the embedded JPEGs from a batch of raw files (the same JPEGs you would have got if you shot raw+JPEG),

Not true on my XSi and probably not true on most dSLR's.

RAW+JPG give me a 12 MP JPG file.  However the JPG image embedded in the RAW file is about 3 MP.

with a tool like Instant JPEG from RAW in a few seconds, and have all the creative possibilities if you do get the raw thing some time.

When I got my first DSLR I was good enough at editing JPEGs, happy to do that, and didn't see the benefits of raw. To break through I had to force myself to learn how to use a raw converter and explore what it could do. Haven't shot JPEG since.

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mfait
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to demarren 123, May 9, 2013

demarren 123 wrote:

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

I agree with DSHAPK

Taking raw pictures if you need to pixel level,other it is a waste of your memory.

hard disk space,if you count lets say take 400 pictures A week like me.

You can adjust jpg just like raw make a profile in lightroom and you are done.

printing to A4 you won,t see the difference.

If you go for a one trip then shoot raw+Jpg just to be sure.

Better save then sorry.

otherwise pictures you can shoot over and over again,no need for raw.

As Jim Cassatt said, most images can benefit from some simple tweaks.

I shoot RAW+JPG.  The reason for the "+JPG" is that I get a higher res image for playback to confirm things like focus.  RAW only gives a lower res embedded JPG image, and makes it harder to tell if focus is bang on.

I eventually throw away the Out of Camera (OOC) JPGs as I find that most images can benefit greatly from a few simple tweaks.  I process the RAW images and mostly adjust the exposure as the camera hardly ever gets it bang on, and sometimes the white balance.  This means that I don't have to review histograms and try to tweak the exposure with exposure comp at time of shooting.  No one will wait for me to do this.  I also don't have to keep changing the white balance for different lighting conditions, and then forget to change it.

I find I can make great improvements on the RAW files by only spending a few seconds on each image, and then batch process to convert to JPGs.   After this I delete the OOC JPGs.

For those worried about disk space, delete the RAW files.  If you shot JPG only, you would still not have any RAW files.  By shooting RAW and making some quick simple tweaks, you now how JPGs that are significantly better than the OOC JPGs.

You now have better JPGs and no RAW files taking up disk space.

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jayrandomer
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I think he meant develop
In reply to mfait, May 9, 2013

mfait wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

Smiller4128 wrote:

am I still better off shooting RAW?

Unless you're perfectly happy with what you get out of the camera and that's all you'll ever need, you're always better off shooting raw. You can extract the embedded JPEGs from a batch of raw files (the same JPEGs you would have got if you shot raw+JPEG),

Not true on my XSi and probably not true on most dSLR's.

RAW+JPG give me a 12 MP JPG file.  However the JPG image embedded in the RAW file is about 3 MP.

With DPP you should be able to generate the same JPEG that you would have generated in camera from the raw file, assuming you match the settings in your camera.  You also have the opportunity to develop something you like better than what you would have with the camera.

RAW+JPEG saves you from having to do that RAW conversion, but that's about it.

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Olga Johnson
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to mfait, May 9, 2013

mfait wrote:

Unless you're perfectly happy with what you get out of the camera and that's all you'll ever need, you're always better off shooting raw. You can extract the embedded JPEGs from a batch of raw files (the same JPEGs you would have got if you shot raw+JPEG),

Not true on my XSi and probably not true on most dSLR's.

RAW+JPG give me a 12 MP JPG file.  However the JPG image embedded in the RAW file is about 3 MP.

Earlier dSLR raw files included a smaller JPG.  Not sure when, but later dSLRs, give me full size JPGs.  For example, with the T2i and the T4i, I can extract full size 18 MP JPG from a raw file.

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Olga Johnson
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There is a JPG embedded in every raw file
In reply to jayrandomer, May 9, 2013

jayrandomer wrote:

mfait wrote:

WilbaW wrote:

Smiller4128 wrote:

am I still better off shooting RAW?

Unless you're perfectly happy with what you get out of the camera and that's all you'll ever need, you're always better off shooting raw. You can extract the embedded JPEGs from a batch of raw files (the same JPEGs you would have got if you shot raw+JPEG),

Not true on my XSi and probably not true on most dSLR's.

RAW+JPG give me a 12 MP JPG file.  However the JPG image embedded in the RAW file is about 3 MP.

With DPP you should be able to generate the same JPEG that you would have generated in camera from the raw file, assuming you match the settings in your camera.  You also have the opportunity to develop something you like better than what you would have with the camera.

RAW+JPEG saves you from having to do that RAW conversion, but that's about it.

He does not mean "develop".  There is always a JPG embedded in a raw file.

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paparios
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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to Smiller4128, May 9, 2013

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

Well, sometimes it helps,.....a lot. In the example below, one friend used my camera to take a picture, without adjusting the exposure (the camera was in manual). Using RAW and Lightroom 4.2, I was able to adjust the exposure (by 4.3 stops) and get  at least a viewable result.

Miguel

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Re: Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?
In reply to paparios, May 9, 2013

paparios wrote:

Smiller4128 wrote:

I don't really believe in using any PP software to alter an image too much. If I do, it's to lighten/darken certain parts of an image or to enhance the color a tad if it's been brought down by haze and such. I'm wondering though if maybe I'm better off using JPEG as opposed to RAW since the camera will automatically makes adjustments to the image? Or am I still better off shooting RAW?

Well, sometimes it helps,.....a lot. In the example below, one friend used my camera to take a picture, without adjusting the exposure (the camera was in manual). Using RAW and Lightroom 4.2, I was able to adjust the exposure (by 4.3 stops) and get  at least a viewable result.

Miguel

Another example, this time with High ISO. The original without PP, using DPP. The second processed through Lightroom.

Miguel

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Oilman
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What I don't understand is the reluctance to use PP software to alter an image.
In reply to jayrandomer, May 9, 2013

I agree!!!

Why spend all that money to  buy a camera and take less that the best pictures that you can. It makes no sense to me. Everyone agrees that you should try to get the picture right when you push the button. Everyone agrees that you should use the histogram.  But the sad fact is that there is no camera that is as good as your eyes. Processing gets the photo to what you saw when you took it. And ALL DIGITAL PHOTOS ARE PROCESSED!!!!!  The only question whether the camera processes it (JPG) or you process it.

Processing techniques are not new.  Unsharp mask, gaussian blur, dodge and burn etc., are all terms that go back to film photography. All digital does is make it easier.

Ansel Adams stated " The picture is the score. The processing is the performance."

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DSHAPK
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Re: What I don't understand is the reluctance to use PP software to alter an image.
In reply to Oilman, May 9, 2013

Because there are times I don't need raw. I bought the best camera to have a choice. The t4i with its digic 5 processor produces great jpgs. Why should I post process when the camera gets it right 99% of the time?

I'm an amateur taking amateur photos, not a pro shooting a wedding. Why download hundreds of 18 meg files, if not needed? The flip side of jpgs and reduced file size is I may have to throw away some shots that could have been keepers. However the trade off seems good to me.

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