Why you should shoot RAW: an example

Started Feb 13, 2009 | Discussions thread
Dave Farmer Senior Member • Posts: 1,239
I've see-sawed on this...

I used to shoot jpg only, tried raw (everyone said I should!) but found I didn't have the time needed to get the best out of the raw files so went to raw + jpg. I shot like that for a long time, but a few months ago decided to forget the raw files as they take up a lot of space and I never did anything with them.

So I started shooting jpg only - taking more care with settings, trying to get everything spot on in camera as I had no safety net. All was well until I decided to try processing some raws from the summer to see if I could replicate the DRO effects, and I preferred the result from the raw! The DROed jpgs seemed to suffer some colour shifts and loss of detail in grass and foliage in shadow areas, and as a landscaper predominantly that was a major problem (of course I only noticed the issue when comparing to my converted jpgs - realising the extra info was there and I was missing it in the jpg).

So I decided to go the whole hog and shoot raw, leaving off DRO and picture styles etc. as I'd make those decisions at conversion - after all, any pic I actually do anything with I tweak the levels and sharpening at least anyway and converting a raw wasn't a lot more effort.

Then my wife wanted to email some photos to her friends... and of course I had no jpgs! A straight batch process wouldn't help as I needed to do things like bring up some shadows, boost some saturation here and there...

I've decided to return to raw+jpg (well, craw actually), try to get everything right in camera and have the raw as a fallback if I need it, and put up with the extra clutter on my hard drives and in Elements.

Ah, life was so much simpler when I sent my film away and got back whatever the processer gave me!

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'Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur'

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