On the dynamic range of RAW...

Started Nov 30, 2004 | Discussions thread
OP Brian G. Veteran Member • Posts: 6,531
Re: I actually thought it was clear. :)

Jared Hunter wrote:

Brian G. wrote:

I agree that the 8080 jpgs conversion routines are very good. I
would never agree that there is no advantage to using RAW. There
are many. Not the least of which is the ability to work in 16 bit
with your image, if you plan on doing much processing.

True, RAW is sometimes necessary to fix big mistakes. But perhaps
one should really be fixing the problem at the source, specifically
improving one's technique so that the exposure is more correct to
begin with. It is ironic that RAW is usually used by those that are
picky about image quality and yet RAW will only have its greatest
benefit if the photographer was sloppy to begin with assuming it is
being used to correct gross exposure errors.

This sentiment comes up a lot, and I just have to comment. I completely agree with you that people should be using good technique to fix as many problems as they can at the source, prior to taking the shot.

I do not agree with you, however, that image processing="fixing mistakes", or that RAW's benefit is maximized with sloppy photography, even if just used for exposure manipulations.

There are a multitude of creative techniques available for image processing that have nothing to do with fixing mistakes at all, and as for exposure, sometimes you simply cannot get the complete dynamic range of a shot in one jpg. And certainly not if motion is involved. You mentioned in your last post "most situations where dynamic range is an issue (or where precise exposure matters enough to the photographer) IS when the subject is static. It is rare to see a dynamic range example using a non-static subject." I'm imagining you are thinking of things like landscapes here, but remember- all you need is to have the wind blow through a single tree, for example, to make jpg blending a nightmare.

For me, the bottom line is that RAW gives one more options. Period. I don't see why people who have RAW capability on their cameras ( and who are in situations where write times are not going to be an issue), wouldn't actually use RAW. In the digital world, unlike with film, we pay more money for cameras with more manual controls. RAW also allows more manual control, and I'm all for taking advantage of everything my camera's got.

Kind Regards,

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