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JPEG Vs. RAW
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Jan 10, 2019 09:53:51   #
traderjohn
 
paver wrote:
Bill, thank you!
I don't know if you read my comment about seeking answers to questions from knowledgeable individuals, but you sir seem not only knowledgeable, but also very experienced.

You know, It seems to me that on this and other photo sites, it is almost sacreligous to profess you only shoot JPEG, and the mention of not pp an image places you in the company of Neadrothals.

I have a copy of GIMP, Elements 13, and several other pp programs.
They are absolutely amazing pieces of software, that in the hands of an experienced user produce unbelievable results.
The main issue is the very steep learning curve
associated with them, and more time in front of the computer, less time with the camera.

I do understand that some professionals require this ability to excell in their business.

It blows me away reading posts from members that talk about using layers, brushes, and, if the black being used is really black!
Way above my pay grade!

I like the fact that you and others have mentioned images that have heavy processing applied, are not "pure", and take away from the "art of the camara".

What is great, is that like life in general is made of the choices we make, and being that photography is a part of our lives,
WE CAN MAKE THE CHOICES THAT MAKE US HAPPY!

That is the bottom line for me, being happy.
Bill, thank you! br I don't know if you read my co... (show quote)


You will be better served by using Youtube. Punch in your question and go from there.

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Jan 10, 2019 09:58:11   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
sbohne wrote:
...I'm not anti RAW. I just never used it because I'm experienced enough to read a histogram and I know I'll be doing some post processing. I just didn't have time to wait 90 seconds for each file to open when I was staring at 300 images taken at a wedding. That time may be shorter today.

I will take issue with a previous poster: shooting in RAW does NOT permit a photographer to do "amazing retouching." If I am wrong, I'll admit it... If you can explain to me how shooting in RAW makes "amazing retouching" possible.

Look, if you want to shoot RAW, DO IT, especially if you enjoy fiddling with the software. But a word of advice: do your research and LEARN HOW TO DO IT CORRECTLY. Many photographers brag about shooting RAW, but they are not skilled at the post. I had a local competitor who's best RAW file output wasn't as good as my worst jpg.

Most of all, have fun.
...I'm not anti RAW. I just never used it because ... (show quote)


I shoot raw only. Not because I can't produce good jpgs from the camera but because I enjoy the enhanced control in postprocessing I get with raw data.

When I first got a DSLR I shot jpg because it was what I was familiar with. Eventually I changed a camera parameter and forgot to change it back. I got a bunch of blue photos. I needed those shots and they were not repeatable. I freely admit that it was my fault as a newbie. But after that I started shooting raw+jpg. Best of both worlds.

Eventually my photopile got over 10K shots. At my age I was having trouble finding a photo I wanted out of that many photos. The first thing I did was to start changing the file name of the photo to include a description of the subject. The second thing I did was to start using Lightroom for my postprocessing. Lightroom makes it easy for me to add keywords to the photos which increased the number of search terms I could use to find things. It also allowed me to produce collections of photos in such a way that a photo could be in more than one collection without making duplicates. So everything I shot went into LR.

Since I was shooting raw+jpg, there was occasionally the temptation to use the jpg directly. I didn't have to postprocess it so I didn't have to put it into LR. That meant it was not available for searches using keywords and I couldn't put it into a collection. So I dropped shooting jpg. That forces me to put everything into LR. Since it's in LR it's very easy to produce a jpg if I need it.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:19:11   #
WessoJPEG (a regular here)
 
sbohne wrote:
Wow! If my reply offended you, are a really delicate flower! You need to butch up. My comment was not directed at you, but the fact that after nearly 20 years that there is still confusion on this. I don't agree that shooting in RAW is "bunk." You absolutely have more control over your images. And yes, digital HAS been around for nearly 20 years now. I wrote an article on this very topic nearly 20 years ago for Sue Chastain's photo page on about.com.

As long as we're busting myths, you didn't mention this but I still see it today: your file is NOT sharper in RAW. Years ago, Nikon's propriety software had a flaw that produced slightly soft jpgs, and the "RAW ONLY NEVER JPG" cult jumped on this with both feet.

I'm not anti RAW. I just never used it because I'm experienced enough to read a histogram and I know I'll be doing some post processing. I just didn't have time to wait 90 seconds for each file to open when I was staring at 300 images taken at a wedding. That time may be shorter today.

I will take issue with a previous poster: shooting in RAW does NOT permit a photographer to do "amazing retouching." If I am wrong, I'll admit it... If you can explain to me how shooting in RAW makes "amazing retouching" possible.

Look, if you want to shoot RAW, DO IT, especially if you enjoy fiddling with the software. But a word of advice: do your research and LEARN HOW TO DO IT CORRECTLY. Many photographers brag about shooting RAW, but they are not skilled at the post. I had a local competitor who's best RAW file output wasn't as good as my worst jpg.

Most of all, have fun.
Wow! If my reply offended you, are a really delica... (show quote)


Love it, good explanation.😍👍

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Jan 10, 2019 10:21:36   #
sbohne
 
sloscheider wrote:
Fortunately new photographers are being born every day. Once upon a time, you were a newb too :-)


You are 100% correct on both points, but you and the OP seemed to take my comment as degrading. It was not the intent. Back when there was film, new photographers didn't ask, "What side of the film goes towards the lens?" Well, maybe in the sheet film days

The point I was attempting to make is that we still have this RAW ONLY NEVER JPG cult that perpetuates confusion. There are still people today who think that simply by opening a jpg file, then closing it, you have lost data. It wasn't true in 1999, it's not true today. In the film days, we didn't have battles over Verichrome and Velvia or Ektachrome vs Kodachrome. Well, maybe there were, I just never saw them.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:23:54   #
olemikey (a regular here)
 
paver wrote:
Bill, thank you!
I don't know if you read my comment about seeking answers to questions from knowledgeable individuals, but you sir seem not only knowledgeable, but also very experienced.

You know, It seems to me that on this and other photo sites, it is almost sacreligous to profess you only shoot JPEG, and the mention of not pp an image places you in the company of Neadrothals.

I have a copy of GIMP, Elements 13, and several other pp programs.
They are absolutely amazing pieces of software, that in the hands of an experienced user produce unbelievable results.
The main issue is the very steep learning curve
associated with them, and more time in front of the computer, less time with the camera.

I do understand that some professionals require this ability to excell in their business.

It blows me away reading posts from members that talk about using layers, brushes, and, if the black being used is really black!
Way above my pay grade!

I like the fact that you and others have mentioned images that have heavy processing applied, are not "pure", and take away from the "art of the camara".

What is great, is that like life in general is made of the choices we make, and being that photography is a part of our lives,
WE CAN MAKE THE CHOICES THAT MAKE US HAPPY!

That is the bottom line for me, being happy.
Bill, thank you! br I don't know if you read my co... (show quote)


Paver, you are going to get a lot of good/bad and well meaning (and maybe the occasional rude comment) advice on this subject. Without going into a whole bunch of discussion I suggest this as a way to get to know something about the merits of RAW versus JPEG and post processing versus SOOC and everything in between: Besides some reading on the subjects, do some experimenting by shooting the same subject sets in JPEG and in RAW (if your camera has the capability try setting it on RAW & JPEG so you get two shots of each scene). Try one of the free PP systems and do a little manipulating to see how you like what can be done, with both JPEG and RAW versions of a scene.

As for post processing not being a part of real photography, I don't agree, and I too come from approx. 50 years of photography, film to digital. To me, PP is no different than spending time in a physical darkroom. You can spend a lot of time on the camera end, or a lot in PP, or a good combination of both, to yield the pictures you intended. There are indeed, many ways to get there.

I've never paid for a PP system, I use free downloads, mostly Nikon View NX-2 and Adobe Photoshop free DL. However I'm just what I'd call an "Advanced Hobbyist" photographer these days, as I haven't shot for money in a great many years, I shoot for my personal pleasure, to keep my skills up, and to keep my mind working best it can, and I have loved photography since my teen years (first real camera was an Argus C3).

Try some experimenting, do a little reading, and have lots of fun!!!

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Jan 10, 2019 10:26:38   #
sbohne
 
Fotomacher wrote:
THINK - a RAW file is like a first generation film negative. A JPG file is like a negative made from a print of the image. (Called an inter-negative) It will be second generation at best and if you were to repeat that process of printing and making new inter-negatives, you will “lose” information.


IMHO, this is a VERY POOR ANALOGY. Sorry, not anything like it at all. You do not lose information with every new print, and a RAW file is no sharper than a jpg unless your camera is faulty. Bad advice here.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:26:59   #
brianmcnarch
 
photoshop also has a 'camera raw' filter which may be useful if you are not happy with the jpeg file. I am not sure how much this filter degrades the file but it does allow adjusting a jpeg in adobe camera raw.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:32:23   #
jeryh
 
Nice to hear of your enthusiasm; I would suggest you forget about raw for a while; I have been photographing for an awful long time; I retired a long time ago, and I am still shooting daily. Personally, I DON"T shoot raw; It isn't necessary, and today's JPEGS are as good as you will ever need. If you wish to spend all your time on a computer- well have at it ! Learn the basics first, let others worry about the unnecessary things, and just enjoy being a budding expert !

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Jan 10, 2019 10:33:42   #
camerapapi (a regular here)
 
I have been shooting digital since 2001 and this is the first time someone entirely agrees with me regarding RAW and JPEG images. Where the misconception that a JPEG image is super compressed and looses a lot of data originated I do not really know but surely is not entirely true.
What happen to a RAW image when it is converted to a JPEG? It looses data, I guess nobody will deny that. We all know that RAW files are not printed by professional labs and we all know that unless special software is used the RAW data cannot be processed. JPEG files are universal, all softwares can read it and it is what professional labs print, at least here in the Miami area.
It is a fact, unknown to many, that it takes a lot of editing and saving a JPEG for the file to loose lots of data. In my humble experience sharpness is lost but it takes processing the file several times and it is nothing that cannot be fixed easily. Saving the JPEG image as a TIFF offers lots of protection to the file.
I have stated many times that I use both files. RAW takes much more time to edit and it requires skill to bring back in the file what we originally saw. If the proper skill is not used chances are excellent that the photographer developing the file will be disappointed.
Modern JPEG files are of excellent quality. I have shot the same subject with both type of files and the JPEG always looks better. Do not misunderstand me, if all the original data is what you want a RAW data is what you need but if you lack the expertise needed to edit that file I have not good news for you.
In case someone ask, I have no issues changing the WB when I use JPEG files. Many but many times I am lost trying to nail the right WB in post using RAW. Whenever I am in doubt I simply do a custom WB and I do that for both files.
I know of a successful professional wedding photographer in this city that only shoots JPEG images. Never a complaint from her customers. She feels comfortable when she knows she does not have to work so hard with over 800 images per wedding.
I like RAW files but they have their place. For sure I have to work harder in post when i use them.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:33:57   #
f8lee
 
sbohne wrote:
You are 100% correct on both points, but you and the OP seemed to take my comment as degrading. It was not the intent. Back when there was film, new photographers didn't ask, "What side of the film goes towards the lens?" Well, maybe in the sheet film days

The point I was attempting to make is that we still have this RAW ONLY NEVER JPG cult that perpetuates confusion. There are still people today who think that simply by opening a jpg file, then closing it, you have lost data. It wasn't true in 1999, it's not true today. In the film days, we didn't have battles over Verichrome and Velvia or Ektachrome vs Kodachrome. Well, maybe there were, I just never saw them.
You are 100% correct on both points, but you and t... (show quote)


I have already written a description of the difference between raw (no caps needed) and JPEG or other image files above - read it to understand what you are talking about.

Meanwhile, a JPEG recompresses each time it is saved - that was and is the issue. If you open a JPEG and simply close it without saving it, you are correct, nothing is changed. But if you open a JPEG image and do nothing to it but click "Save", the new saving process will indeed lose some data in its attempt to compress the image file. Repeatedly open, save, repeat (again, without changing anything in the image itself) and you will begin to see a difference. THAT is what people are "rightly" talking about when discussing JPEG's 'problem'. TIFF, PNG and other formats are not saved using lossy-compression techniques and thus do not suffer this problem.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:35:10   #
Peteso
 
I used to shoot professionally, including weddings and events, in both black and white and in color. Now I’m retired and have fully made the transition to digital and post processing. I agree with the responses to this post, but I think distinctions between applications (weddings, portraits, nature photography, etc.) might be helpful. Most of my photography now is landscapes and wildlife. The qualitative differences between well processed images from RAW files into JPEG files versus camera-generated JPEG files is huge. The software built into the finest cameras cannot begin to compete with processing software like Photoshop and Lightroom. If you’re shooting commercially for money, it may not be cost-effective, but that’s an economic decision, not a quality decision. Hope you all find this helpful...

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Jan 10, 2019 10:36:35   #
sbohne
 
DirtFarmer wrote:
I shoot raw only. Not because I can't produce good jpgs from the camera but because I enjoy the enhanced control in postprocessing I get with raw data.

When I first got a DSLR I shot jpg because it was what I was familiar with. Eventually I changed a camera parameter and forgot to change it back. I got a bunch of blue photos. I needed those shots and they were not repeatable. I freely admit that it was my fault as a newbie. But after that I started shooting raw+jpg. Best of both worlds.


You should have been able to correct your blue images easily enough in Photoshop.

And your reason for shooting RAW is perfect: you enjoy post-processing. And I say, more power to ya!

I worked at photography as a living and didn't enjoy working in the darkroom (although I was good at it). I made a lot more money exposing film than souping it. I stopped darkroom work and hired a tech when my business got large. It's the same way with post-processing. I have a friend who eventually closed his studio and just does fine art photography and teaches classes. Why? He insisted on doing all the post himself. He was working 22 hour days. It's supposed to be a for profit business but it is consumer driven. He is much happier...and much more rested...now that he jettisoned his consumer focus.

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Jan 10, 2019 10:50:52   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
sbohne wrote:
You should have been able to correct your blue images easily enough in Photoshop...


I was inexperienced at the time and was using other postprocessing programs so it was difficult for me. But it did get me into raw so on the whole it was a negative experience with a positive outcome.

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Jan 10, 2019 11:00:09   #
gwilliams6
 
As a pro of over 40 years, I shoot in Raw+Jpeg all the time. I use the jpegs for quick review and posting. I process the raw images for my final results. As raw captures all the image data it CAN produce a superior end product. However we are so used to viewing jpegs that for most folks they look perfectly fine. In-camera processors have gotten better , thus jpegs "straight out of the camera" look better now than they used to. Raw will give you the best dynamic range your camera's image sensor can produce, so be aware of that if you are shooting in situations where you may need this wider dynamic range. In jpeg compression you lose some dynamic range as that is compressed also.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xqkkWB4zk4
Adorama TV's Marc Wallace has a good video here on the subject.

What many don't realize is the fact that if you never shoot raw you will never see or obtain the absolute best image quality that your camera and lenses can produce. You might be amazed at the difference. That doesn't mean you can't go your entire photo life shooting jpegs only and be happy. You just won't ever really know what your images could have been.

Cheers

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Jan 10, 2019 11:01:38   #
SusanFromVermont
 
paver wrote:
Hi,
I am trying to better understand a post processed RAW file vs. a JPEG.

I am a real novice in this area but
as I understand, RAW files are just basically numbers, that until processed with special pp software, can not be viewed through the normal process of viewing an image on a computer.

This is not true. When I upload RAW images from the camera into LightRoom, and they are also automatically placed in a file on my hard drive, those RAW images are completely viewable without LR. Many people will transfer images directly from the camera to their hard drive, sort through them, before ever sending them to LR [or any other pp program}.

[quote=paver]I beleive, after the pp, the pp software has the ability to convert the said image to a GIFF, or TIFF, etc.

Question is since JPEGs are heavily compressed files, with a lot of lost info. aren't the pp converted JPEGs, lossy as well, throwing away information?[/quote]
I suspect you are speaking of the difference between a camera-generated .jpg and one made after pp a RAW file. Yes, information is "thrown away" during the compression that occurs when converting to .jpg. BUT with more information available for pp, you can make more effective edits to the RAW which in turn can produce a better rendering when converted to .jpg.

paver wrote:
I understand that post processing an image,
gives us the ability to not only edit an image to our liking, but the great ability to save an image, that would be terrible without pp.

What happens to the quality of an image viewed in pp software, vs. a post processed JPEG?

Once again, a true beginner trying to learn.

If you start with RAW, you can save in a lossless format [.tiff is my preference, .psd is another], which preserves all the data in an image. From that file, you can, in turn, produce a .jpg that despite losing some information, will look just like the .tiff or .psd file. For many of us, the lossless format has another advantage - we can go back and change our edits without compromising the quality, and we can also create new versions without losing the original edit. For instance - color to black and white, experimenting with a newly learned editing technique, trying different levels of saturation, contrast, etc., and many other features.

You have invested in a digital camera, which can be used as though it is a point-and-shoot. But since you did not purchase a point-and-shoot, why not explore the camera's capabilities? Keep an open mind about which features you will use, try them all! There is a learning curve, but worth the effort - this refers to the camera and lenses, and also to the editing programs.

There are many sources of information to explore, some free [YouTube, CreativeLive, Photography websites, forums, etc.] and some that will charge a fee [Photographers will have websites and/or Facebook pages where they charge membership fees or rely on selling video tutorials.] And of course there are forums such as this one, DP Review, Cambridge in Colour, etc.

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