JPEGS, need RAW for What?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Ken Croft Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: JPEGS, need RAW for What?
2

Mr Newcombe

You are clearly happy with your images of mostly unchallenging subjects. I guess they are from cameras with small imagers at ISO 400 or below. In my view you will gain little from using raw for these. When I shoot similar snaps around the house and garden, family and friends and holidays, soc jpg files are usually good enough and easy to share with others via social media. Only for something special will I use the raw version to turn into something a bit extra. [My cameras have 2 card slots and I use one for raw and the other simultaneously for jpg].

However, like many others, I enjoy taking pictures of birds, which has its own problems. I am often in a dark woodland and I commonly have to shoot at f4 and ISO 3200 and above. Not with my skinny Stylus1 of course. Birds are often distant and even using a true 800mm lens, some cropping is often needed. At these ISO settings there is a significant amount of noise in the images and cropping makes it more apparent. The jpg file produced in the camera will already have some of the noise removed and then the image sharpened and in so doing some detail is lost. The raw file has all the noise and all the detail still there. By fairly simple post processing, even in batches if necessary, I can remove a lot of the noise to my taste, and sharpen the image also to my taste, to show for instance feather detail that would simply not be there in the soc jpg. I enjoy post processing just as I did in the days when I processed my own CibaChrome prints and FerraniaColour slides. If I did not shoot raw files then most of the time my images would not satisfy me.

I accept that birders are a special case, but it is rather silly to persist in suggesting that there is little or nothing to be gained from shooting raw files. For you that probably is the case, but you are not the world.

Ken C

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