Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos thread
realgeek Senior Member • Posts: 1,395
Re: Said more accurately ...

sybersitizen wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

realgeek wrote:

It's certainly convenient to let the camera do it. That's JPEG's big (and only) advantage...The only argument is that they are more convenient and good enough.

More inaccuracy. There are other advantages that some RAW shooters are not aware of or are forgetting about.

Maybe that's good enough for you. But it shouldn't be.

People shouldn't be telling people what they shouldn't do. But the other stuff you wrote about RAW is accurate, so that part is fine.

For anyone who might be wondering what the other advantages of JPG are...

JPG files are processed and stored internally by your camera faster than RAW files are. This typically provides a dramatic improvement in responsiveness - things like a faster frame rate and improved buffer clearing time.

JPG files take up less storage space than RAW files. This means... a) you can own and carry fewer and/or lower capacity memory cards, which can be a money saver and reduce card swapping; and b) you can work effectively with less RAM, less computer storage space, less backup space, and less disaster recovery space. This can save you not only money, but time as well during file transfers, backups, and restores.

JPG shooting allows you to scale down your in-camera images when the sensor's full resolution isn't needed. This again improves responsiveness throughout the entire shooting and processing chain, and reduces storage requirements even further. (A couple of our A-mount cameras allow scaling down RAW files as well, but the majority do not.)

JPG files load into memory faster and process faster than RAW files, making all your software more responsive for viewing, editing, and managing.

JPG files are compatible with everything. There are no concerns about them not being properly supported by computer software or other devices, either today or in the future. There are in fact a geat many nice cameras that don't even offer RAW format; but few cameras that don't offer JPG format.

JPG files are understood by everybody. When you yourself are not available (dead, for example) others with access to your images but without an understanding of the RAW format will have no difficulty accessing and enjoying them.

One more possible factor is that shooting JPG teaches some things about photography that shooting RAW does not teach. JPGs provide an incentive to consider everything that's going on and everything you're doing before the shot. Lighting, exposure, white balance, etc. are best addressed and dealt with before you press the shutter button. You can't always rely on fixing every mistake in post, so you eventually learn to make fewer mistakes when behind the camera. I personally learned about all that as a young man shooting Kodachrome, which was far less forgiving than modern JPG files, and definitively 'set in stone', unlike JPGs. Working with slides - not negatives - for decades set me on a particular path, with the result that I personally am not very interested in the digital negatives provided by the RAW format.

I'm sure that many of you will be tempted to say these factors are not important to you, so you personally disregard them - 'Memory is cheap' is one favorite so-called counterargument - but don't bother doing so, because I won't argue points of view. Factors are factors, and they may very well be important to somebody. Many of the RAW workflow's known advantages are not important to me personally, but I don't deny they exist.

You make some fair points!  However, I think they boil down to one (or two) additional positive(s): smaller files (with faster access).  That they are compatible with everything and understood by everybody is implicit in my convenience point -- the photos are "done" OOC.

The "memory is cheap" argument is, I think, a very strong response to your point(s).  Especially since memory gets cheaper all the time, and computers get faster.  But, nevertheless, the smaller files argument is real.

I totally disagree with the last point -- that JPEG teaches something that RAW does not: to consider everything before you shoot.  EVERYONE agrees you should get as much right in camera as possible.  RAW is simply more forgiving if you make a mistake.  With RAW files, I can exercise discipline any time I want by choosing not to exercise post-process heavily ... but in the end, I won't, because it's a lame and arbitrary limitation.  JPEG's reduced post-process-ability is a shortcoming, not an advantage.  Any other interpretation is spin and rationalization.  IMHO.

But, for the most part, fair points.  Thanks for the contribution!

 realgeek's gear list:realgeek's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-6.3G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm F2.8-4E ED VR Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 100mm f/2.8 Macro +3 more
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