Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos thread
thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

thebustos wrote:

I think you're looking at it wrong. Jpeg and raw aren't simply different types of files independent of each other. The jpeg is the processed raw file. The raw file retains all of the photo information so that you have better control over things like white balance, brightness, contrast, etc... The raw file is better in that you have more flexibility over the final outcome than you do with a jpeg. You can process a raw file to look like the out of camera jpeg, but you can't undo that processing to make a jpeg into a raw. So the real question is which is better for you from a work flow stand point. If you don't want to do much to an image once you shoot it, then jpeg is fine. If you want to process everything yourself, then shoot only raw. If you don't want to do much to your photos, but want to be able to fix things if need be, shoot raw + jpeg... I look at the raw as a digital "negative"...

I would do any amount of work on a file to make it look better. The question is, will all of that work on RAW really result in something visibly better.

And no, the RAW file was not created without the WB and exposure settings you put into the camera. It doesn't contain the Scene settings, if any, or the lens corrections, or sharpening and noise reduction, but it is not a TOTALLY unprocessed "negative" like in the good old film days.

1.) I didn't say that the RAW file was created without the WB and exposure settings. What I said is that you have better control over them in PP with a RAW file. But I will say that if you get the white balance wrong with a JPEG you can't correct the way you can with a RAW file.

2.) as far as talking about RAW as a "negative", I was commenting on the relationship of the RAW to the JPEG. The JPEG is a compressed form of the RAW which is uncompressed. When you shoot JPEG only the camera is still using the RAW data to make the JPEG, it just isn't saving the uncompressed data for you.

3.) As far as better IQ, that's subjective. You may be able to work on a RAW file forever and not be able to figure out how to get it to look better than you think the JPEG looks. But that is completely dependent on your personal tastes and talent with PP. However, there isn't any detail or color info in a JPEG that isn't also present in the RAW file. There aren't any corrections that you can make to a JPEG that you can't also make to a RAW file, but there are corrections you can make to a RAW file that you can't make to a JPEG.

4.) I would say in terms of sheer possible IQ, RAW is superior to JPEG. Actual IQ though is completely dependent on whoever is doing the processing of the RAW file.

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