JPEG Vs RAW - why RAW is overrated...

Started Oct 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 2,853

You can extract highlights and shadows from your RAW image?  Great, I can do it with my JPEG.  The reason being, I shoot my pictures with fair exposure and WB to begin with.  If we factor in WB, Exposure and ISO, we are told we work too hard for our shots.  Yet RAW users aren't "Lazy" for avoiding this work?  Please!  Your goal in photography is to take photographs. Not to spend countless hours editing them. Adobe don't tend to update the ARC for newest cameras unless you buy the latest version of Photoshop.  How many of you update Photoshop every time a new camera comes out?

And people claim Canon cripples their cameras in order to improve the next generation.  You have to pay for services rendered, they don't come free....except for the free processing software that comes with the camera.

The ONLY valid argument presented by those advocating RAW is that RAW is 'future-proof' and this is the biggest misnomer put forth so far because RAW is anything but guaranteed to be convertible or retrievable by future programs.  You may mistakenly believe that it will be but you may very well be wrong.  Adobe doesn't seem to be cutting support for decade old cameras yet.

Howard, go back and whine under your own rock. You created your own thread to rebuke me in - with a thinly veiled pretense of being "above all this" and yet here you are, peddling your pro-RAW rubbish over here.  Forget about "misconceptions", you have an AGENDA and there's quite a difference between the two.  But read on, it gets better...

Can't wait.

At a time when Adobe is cutting staff year after year, you should be rightly concerned that Adobe might change their minds about RAW files because they've done so before and it's inevitable they will do it again.  I remember being laughed at for buying the first computer without a floppy drive.  People laughed.  Then they felt sorry for me because "how will he share games, files and software?"

See previous link.  Cutting staff does not cut support for previous cameras.  Those algorithms are part of their library and easily integrated into future releases.

Then people at Apple complained that the old memory-hog known as "FLASH" was causing their iPods, iPhones and Computers to stall, pause and occasionally crash.  In fact, if anything could make a Mac crash it was FLASH.  Adobe were WARNED by Steve jobs (the Apple CEO at the time and co-creator of Apple) that Flash was a problem and Adobe was supporting archaic, defunct and obsolete architecture.  GET RID OF IT he demanded.  Adobe said 'No'.  So Apple withdrew support for FLASH.  And after a hearty laugh at Apple's apparent expense, it now appears that not only were Apple correct, but that Apple made good their threat and no longer support FLASH with their devices.  Last month Google admitted that they were preparing to dump FLASH.   Then Adobe announced that it was preparing to dump FLASH.

The evolution of the web is not comparable to the evolution of every other digital technology known to mankind.  Nice try, but your analogy fails miserably.

The only thing that will preserve your RAW images into the future is the action of not losing your original RAW converter disk.  Why?  Because RAW formats by one camera are often not readable by RAW software from another manufacturer.  Each manufacturer has their own proprietary version of RAW!  And it gets better, That CD your camera came with is going to be obsolete.  In fact, it's already obsolete and to make matters worth, most people today have experienced structural breakdown of the layers of metal inside the CD as the resins in the other layers cure and contract over time.  And now Apple are phasing out the CD/DVD-ROM/RW drives on their computers.  They've taken them off the Mac Mini and the Mac-Air-Books don't have them either.  Why?  Because CD-ROMs and their ilk are now obsolete.  You want software, music, movies, then you download them these days.  It's only going to get worse.  With the only means of recovering RAW files being via that little CD that came with your camera, straight away you might show some concern.  But, it gets better/worse:

Why keep the CD forever?  The OS of the future won't install a program only a few generations of the OS back.  What a silly argument.  You kieeping a 20 year old PC around running Window Millenium Edition?  LOL

"Numerous different raw formats are currently in use and new raw formats keep appearing, while others are abandoned" [Wikipedia]

You're using Wikipedia as a source?  Nice.  Our nation's number one source of semi-accurate, user corruptable information.  Fits your style, though.  You forgot the bubble for "decision making of a human brain free of permanent changes that can't be undone" after the RAW flowchart.  And at any point in the future despite your fear mongering.

The problem now is that decoding software for one RAW image may not (and sometimes does not) work for pictures taken with another camera.  A RAW image is only as good as the sensor in the camera at the time.  So how many RAW type files are there?  Hundreds?  Here's a list of the mainstream RAWs on Wikipedia:

"Many raw file formats, including 3FR (Hasselblad), DCR, K25, KDC (Kodak), IIQ (Phase One), CR2 (Canon), ERF (Epson), MEF (Mamiya), MOS (Leaf), NEF (Nikon), ORF (Olympus), PEF (Pentax), RW2 (Panasonic) and ARW, SRF, SR2 (Sony), are based on the TIFF file format.  These files may deviate from the TIFF standard in a number of ways, including the use of a non-standard file header, the inclusion of additional image tags and the encryption of some of the tagged data."

The more things change the more they stay the same.  RAW support is nothing to be afraid of.

If you can't read those RAW files in (Adobe) Lightroom that you took with your Sony camera or you can't open RAW files in ACD-See Pro that you took with a Nikon, it's because no-one had released conversion software to decode that RAW document.  And whilst they probably will, you won't be able to use it until they do.  How many people complain on DPreview because they can't open their new RAW files in [insert program here]?  Why is this continually the case every time a new camera comes out?  JPEG opens just fine but that's because JPEG is a "standard file".  RAW is not.  Nikon have their own RAW, so do Sony, and so do all the other manufacturers and most are NOT compatible with one another.  Move-Batch-Export for RAW often doesn't work. But that's okay, perhaps you can convert all your RAW files every five years or so.

There are many JPEG standards and the JPEG standard has changed over the years, but it has always remained backwards compatible.  DNG will be the same as far as backward compatibility and once a program like Photoshop supports a RAW file integrating into perpetuity isn't hard....and has been done reliably up to now.


Nobody is telling you "Don't shoot RAW".  There are indeed benefits for doing so.  But the warning that older RAW files may not be supported in future is very real.  And the advantages of shooting JPEG on modern cameras is also very justified.  With many JPEGS being indistinguishable for RAW these days, the argument for using one over the other in no longer as effective.  DNG [1984] might not emerge as the universal file for digital negatives in the future but what about all those RAW files that will eventually become obsolete?  You know they will.  Adobe has already mentioned a new version of DNG may be on the way.  And previous version are earmarked for obsolescence.  So will you attempt (if possible) to convert all those RAWs?  Did you know that most RAW files are based on the TIFF format?  And are you aware that camera manufacturers are starting to reduce TIFF data to reduce file size in some camera files (in this case making it a "lossy" file)?  Interesting times. When RAW becomes a Lossy file, the real whining will begin.

And the utter garbage about JPEG only being useful for 8x6 prints at "Walmart" is offset by the mere fact that you can't print a RAW file until it has been converted to an 8-bit JPEG in most cases.  All those massive prints in galleries weren't printed from RAW files.  They were converted.  Hilarious.

Depends on the gallery, but many printers will take TIFF files.  They offer ICC profiles that make print proofing possible when editing.  And it isn't the printing from JPEG that is necessarily the most limiting factor, it might be the inability to use all the information available in a RAW file to accomplish the breadth and depth of editing one desires to realize their creative vision.  Apparently your solution is to take the perfect picture every time.  Even the perfect picture can benefit from improving white balance or recover highlights that would have been destroyed when that gamma correction and tone curve were applied to the JPEG.  Same with all the other edits included in that tidy block diagram above.  Sometimes allowing the human brain to play a larger role in the creative process is advantageous, though you think that's all handled up front by you and the amazing Digic processor.  That's wonderful, but just as you said before every camera processes things differently.  I'd like to see you create a list of cameras with JPEG engines that are acceptable in JPEG and which cameras need RAW to get Marco-level acceptable image quality.

Your statements and fears are hilarious.  Saying that I have an agenda is absolutely correct by the way.  My agenda is to offer a balanced perspective to your narrow minded, fear and shame based attempts to tell people they should be as stubborn as you are.  I've stated how I treat my JPEGs and my RAWs many times.  I've never told someone they were lazy or stupid for not caring about RAW.  However, I have told people that if they can edit JPEG then they can edit RAW.  You underrate our fellow artists.  There are more than enough casual shooters with zero access to RAW files or desire to edit anything to prove your statement that most people don't need or want RAW.  I know a lot of people who used to trash their negatives after they got prints.

Your method of presenting your case is to miss the point entirely and treat others like fools.  Your picture of the raw steak and a completely different hunk of meat should be enough to make that clear to anyone.

-- hide signature --

Marco Nero.

Congrats on your Google ranking.  I really think the only measure of usefulness you place on posts such as this is how much you can insult people into bickering constantly.  I am above all this, I won't bicker.  But I'll be happy to laugh in your face when you say really narrow minded and shortsighted things.  You put this thread up as a battle in order to get the attention of those who listen to every word you say without a thought in their head....they came to my thread and behaved like jackasses there, too.  Thankfully the vast majority of my discussion was civil and assumed those reading were intelligent and could make up their own mind once given the facts.

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