Order of operations for photos made from multiple raw files

Started 5 months ago | Questions thread
TAGooty Forum Member • Posts: 98
Re: Order of operations for photos made from multiple raw files

My understanding is that as long as one uses lossless compression, both TIFF and RAW both retain maximum quality during multiple steps of processing.  Lossy compression (which JPG uses, which is optional in RAW and TIFF) results in loss in quality as the number of image export operations increases.

RAW file sizes are much smaller than TIFF, so I prefer to process in RAW as far as possible.  This depends on the capabilities of the camera vendor's RAW processing s/w, e.g. Nikon Capture NX.  When I reach the capability limit, I export a TIFF in Capture NX and edit that using GIMP or Darktable or Lightroom.

When processing JPGs, Darktable and Lightroom have the nice feature that they do not modify the original file.  Only at the time of export, all edits are applied and then the output is written.  Thus, the loss of quality due to JPG occurs only once regardless of the number of editing operations.

Hope this helps.

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