Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Started Jun 29, 2013 | Photos
Gary Eickmeier Veteran Member • Posts: 3,479
Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

I suppose we all do this comparison stuff between RAW and JPG to try and convince ourselves of the vast superiority of RAW, but I am still a work in progress. Shot a band camp recital in RAW and JPG. Shot from 1600 to 6400 jut to stretch the limits. Opened up the RAW images, a little shocked at the noise at 6400. Opened up the JPG image, AMAZED at the smoothness and perfection of the image. At 1600 there is not much difference,  would say no problem whatsoever up to 1600.

So a couple of comparisons, proessed and not:

You can view them in original by clicking through. Maybe you have an example where RAW shows its superiorty. So far I haven't seen it.

I am not fighting it, still trying to learn. Bought another book on it by Jon Canfield. What I need to learn is how to process the RAW to get them to begin to compare with the camera's internal processing.

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Gary Eickmeier

success100
success100 Contributing Member • Posts: 735
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

well remember shooting jpeg applies noise reduction and all that good stuff in camera. I felt the same until i started doing paid gigs. shooting raw really does give the ability to get the most out of a picture in PP. Lightroom specifically IMO.

If im just running and gunning though, I shoot jpeg. For paid gigs I shoot raw

Ed at Ridersite Forum Pro • Posts: 18,478
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
9

Why would you shoot RAW and not process?  What RAW processor are you using?

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yakkosmurf Senior Member • Posts: 2,095
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
4

Agreed. RAW is when you want more than what comes out of the camera. The camera intentionally doesn't process the file like a jpg, so that you can. You comparison is invalid until you process the RAW file to reduce noise etc.

Now, if you take an image that requires no editing or noise reduction, you can compare them this way.
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splashy
splashy Senior Member • Posts: 2,351
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
2

Question remains, will the endresult be better then the out of camera Jpeg??

Most of the times I really doubt that.

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busch
busch Forum Pro • Posts: 32,633
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
6

Why keep trying? If you are getting the reults you want, don't fight it! Seriously!

I believe a properly exposed shot is the key to good JPEG's. I also think a poorly exposed shot can be better worked on if it is RAW. I shoot almost 100% JPEG. With the a77 and some of the others, there is really not much excuse to not properly expose a shot.

This JPEG vs RAW has been going on for ages and will continue for a long time. JPEG engines get better but some don't seem to take that into consideration.

There are those that swear by RAW and those that swear by JPEG. Simply do what makes you happy.

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artlmntl Senior Member • Posts: 1,804
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
6

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

I suppose we all do this comparison stuff between RAW and JPG to try and convince ourselves of the vast superiority of RAW, but I am still a work in progress. Shot a band camp recital in RAW and JPG. Shot from 1600 to 6400 jut to stretch the limits. Opened up the RAW images, a little shocked at the noise at 6400. Opened up the JPG image, AMAZED at the smoothness and perfection of the image. At 1600 there is not much difference, would say no problem whatsoever up to 1600.

You can view them in original by clicking through. Maybe you have an example where RAW shows its superiorty. So far I haven't seen it.

I am not fighting it, still trying to learn. Bought another book on it by Jon Canfield. What I need to learn is how to process the RAW to get them to begin to compare with the camera's internal processing.

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Gary Eickmeier

Gary, I say this with all respect: You're probably better off just sticking with the jpg. For you to have all of this turmoil over RAW shooting, it's a sign that it's probably not for you. You don't seem to have a strong aesthetic reason for going to the trouble. It seems me, you mostly want to match the JPG. So, you're probably wasting your time.

As you already noticed, the JPG already has a processed version of your image. 24 MP is an enormous image area. You're probably going to downsize it a bit. You may print it, but probably not at poster size. So, it really doesn't make any difference how you process it unless you're a compulsive pixel-peeper or unless you're cropping deeply into the image to get your composition.

Even if you are cropping in, you'll probably end up with far more image area than you need to successfully print an 8x10 or 9x12. So, if you're happy with the look of the JPG, you should stick with that. Shoot your pictures, share your work, and don't look back.

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Hunter

beardedspoooon Regular Member • Posts: 141
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Maybe you should upload the RAW file somewhere and let someone tinker with that, just so you can see some of the flexibility that RAW has to offer.

As others have said though, if you're happy with what you're getting, be happy and share those pics. 

Renato1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,327
No Convincing Required
4

I'm not sure what you are trying to compare. The JPEG comes from the RAW file - the nice clean Jpeg came from that noisy RAW file.

Ten years ago it was not uncommon to have blown highlights and to have dark patches devoid of detail in Jpegs. It was fairly wise to shoot RAW if one could, as the detail could be brought back into the picture, which otherwise would have been irretrievably lost in a Jpeg. For me, that hasn't been much of an issue since Sony bought out the A100 with the then novel feature of Dynamic Range Optimization.

RAW is still handy for instances where one can expect the camera to struggle with  exposure and white balance (especially indoors with all those energy saving flourescent globes around), but otherwise, unless one is really enthusiastic about getting the absolute best (by doing a stack of work) Jpegs are very satisfactory.
Regards,

Renato

DutchMM Senior Member • Posts: 1,125
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

I would agree with those voices that say "if you're happy with the JPGs, why make it more complicated".  That said, your samples are a classic lowish light situation.  If you want to get more detail on the background without burning out the orchestra's white shirts, then you need to think about shooting raw.

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busch
busch Forum Pro • Posts: 32,633
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
1

There isn't much to see in that background as it is a black curtain.

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thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,257
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
8

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"...

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artlmntl Senior Member • Posts: 1,804
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
1

thebustos wrote:

I think you're looking at it wrong.

Everybody knows this.

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Hunter

BertIverson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,831
Gary - Bit OT but --- Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
5

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

I suppose we all do this comparison stuff between RAW and JPG to try and convince ourselves of the vast superiority of RAW, but I am still a work in progress. Shot a band camp recital in RAW and JPG. Shot from 1600 to 6400 jut to stretch the limits. Opened up the RAW images, a little shocked at the noise at 6400. Opened up the JPG image, AMAZED at the smoothness and perfection of the image. At 1600 there is not much difference, would say no problem whatsoever up to 1600.

I shoot exclusively RAW but not because of noise or IQ superiority (I am pretty sure that Sony engineers know how to create a JPG -- but with their personal preferences not mine).
I just got tired of chimping, DRO, HDR, exposure bracketing, spot, center, matrix metering, white balance etc. These can all be accomplished during PP when "time is NOT of the essence"
All that is left, at shooting time, are compose and focus.

my 0.02
Bert

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EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
5

splashy wrote:

Question remains, will the endresult be better then the out of camera Jpeg??

Most of the times I really doubt that.

I don't. The camera's JPEG engine cannot think as well as a person can, on drawing the lines and limits.

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Ron Poelman
Ron Poelman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,372
+1, Photos are RAW.
7

A JPEG is only one of a myriad possible variants on it.
No matter how it was obtained, (and some software is better than others)
a JPEG will never be the definitive shot, it will only be one version.

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EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

Gary Eickmeier wrote:

I suppose we all do this comparison stuff between RAW and JPG to try and convince ourselves of the vast superiority of RAW, but I am still a work in progress. Shot a band camp recital in RAW and JPG. Shot from 1600 to 6400 jut to stretch the limits. Opened up the RAW images, a little shocked at the noise at 6400. Opened up the JPG image, AMAZED at the smoothness and perfection of the image. At 1600 there is not much difference, would say no problem whatsoever up to 1600.

I picked the first two. RAW is grainy, as expected whereas JPG is smooth... to the extent of being smudged badly.

With RAW, you can smooth out some of the noise and retain the details. With JPG, you have what your camera gave you. Also remember that RAW processing is more than simply accepting default settings in the software.

Now, here is an overlooked advantage of shooting RAW. Instead of ISO 6400, you could have used ISO 1600 and increased the exposure in RAW conversion by 2-stops.

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nemist Regular Member • Posts: 381
Re: +1, Photos are RAW.
1

If you are saying that RAW is a good as jpg, there are several things to consider:

1) You don't understand that particular photo as well as the camera.

2) Every reviewer and serious photographers shoots RAW, and IQ is measurably higher--i.e., when dpreview says measures the RAW IQ as much higher than JPG, you're disagreeing.

3) Sony's JPG engine isn't even that good on the a77. If you like the Sony's JPG, try shooting FUJI. It's been noted all over the place.

4) Your forgoing all sorts of malleability on the files, and the more options the more potential.

If you shoot JPG and you're happy that's good and you should continue to do so.  But if you want to extract every bit of IQ from that sensor, learn to process raw photos and you'll probably have a hard time shooting JPG.  I only shoot raw now, but sometimes I wish I could JPG, but I can't take the hit in IQ.

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW
1

Evidently not or we wouldn't keep having these discussions.

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Dave

dlkeller Veteran Member • Posts: 6,922
Re: Gary - Bit OT but --- Still Trying to Convince Myself on RAW

What you are saying is basically true, but NOT for the exposure metering modes.  The better your exposure is in the original RAW image the more flexibility you have in working with it.  A poorly exposed RAW limits what you can do with the image.  The best metering mode often depends on the type of scene and often will make a major difference in what you can do with your RAW image.

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