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RAW and JPEG question
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Jun 11, 2019 11:09:59   #
dino21
 
Please don't bite my head off for asking this. I know I am not knowledgeable as you folks are but here it goes..

I have read the advantages of shooting in RAW format and how in post processing it is then processed to your liking. My question is this....If I put a jpeg image in my software and start messing with the controls it also changes the look of the jpeg to where it seems like the jpeg can be changed to ones liking also...?? What am I missing? I shoot both RAW and jpeg and both seem to be processable in post production. Please don't throw the kitchen sink at me.....I am trying to educate myself.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:16:55   #
jaymatt (a regular here)
 
You can do some processing of a jpg photo. However, the camera has done must of the processing for you by a predetermined mathematical equation (by the manufacturer). With a RAW image, you have total control over the processing--it’s all on you.

I use jpg for informal and grab shots, etc., but if I’m trying to get really good photographs, I know I’ll probably have to shoot RAW, so I do.

This is probably not a good analogy, but I think of jpg as akin to drugstore processing, while a RAW photo is akin to taking film into the darkroom where I can do what I want with it.

Besides that, post-processing is fun--for most folks, anyway.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:18:41   #
mwsilvers (a regular here)
 
Raw's big advantage is the flexibility and latitude of adjustments that can be made. Editing jpegs can be very limiting. Things like changing white balance or recovering image detail from deep shadow areas, sharpening and noise reduction will give you much better results when using a raw file. However, since no in-camera settings are generally applied to raw files the way they are to jpegs, you will need to apply all those settings yourself. For small tweaks to an image, the advantage of using raw is not always obvious.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:24:56   #
JohnSwanda (a regular here)
 
When you make adjustments in the camera with a JPEG you are stuck with them. When you process a RAW file nondestructively you can go back any time and change the settings. I have lots of images I shot as JPEG when I first started digital photography, and I wish I had shot RAW and could go back and process them again with the knowledge I have now.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:36:47   #
kmpankopf
 
JohnSwanda wrote:
... when I first started digital photography, and I wish I had shot RAW and could go back and process them again with the knowledge I have now.


That is so true. I have never heard anyone say I wish I had shot that in JPG.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:36:52   #
maxlieberman
 
I agree with all of the above. I used to shoot just jpegs, but now shoot everything in RAW, even pics of the grandkids. I can always convert to jpeg and delete the RAW file if storage becomes an issue, but can't go the other way. In most cases, I can just accept the default RAW image or use the auto adjustment in ACR, but even then, sometimes I want to make tweaks before I open into the processor. Also, if you crop or level in RAW, you don't lose the pixels from the edges that you would if you cropped a jpeg.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:37:26   #
Fred Harwood
 
JohnSwanda wrote:
When you make adjustments in the camera with a JPEG you are stuck with them. When you process a RAW file nondestructively you can go back any time and change the settings. I have lots of images I shot as JPEG when I first started digital photography, and I wish I had shot RAW and could go back and process them again with the knowledge I have now.


Amen!

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Jun 11, 2019 11:39:58   #
AzPicLady (a regular here)
 
I always shoot both. I didn't start out that way. Frankly, once I set my camera to process images as I like them, I normally get pretty good jpegs. I use them for quick posting should I need to do that. I use the RAW images for deeper processing, or for ones that the jpegs didn't actually turn out as I wished. What I find is that I have more detail available in the RAW images than in the jpegs. So, for those I really like, I'm glad to have the RAW version.

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Jun 11, 2019 11:50:21   #
Ysarex (a regular here)
 
How about an analogy:

You want a hamburger -- a really good one. You have two choices:

1) Start from scratch with the basic ingredients: Ground beef, bun of your choice, fresh onion red or white, tomato that you selected, condiments of your choice, charcoal grill or seared in bacon fat or both, etc. And when you're finished you have the perfect hamburger.

2) Buy a Big Mac and see if you can fix it.

Imagine a chef's school and the class beginning the day's lesson on how to make a hamburger. The instructor says, "Start by unboxing your Big Mac and remove the bun, next......

Joe

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Jun 11, 2019 12:01:37   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
dino21 wrote:
Please don't bite my head off for asking this. I know I am not knowledgeable as you folks are but here it goes..

I have read the advantages of shooting in RAW format and how in post processing it is then processed to your liking. My question is this....If I put a jpeg image in my software and start messing with the controls it also changes the look of the jpeg to where it seems like the jpeg can be changed to ones liking also...?? What am I missing? I shoot both RAW and jpeg and both seem to be processable in post production. Please don't throw the kitchen sink at me.....I am trying to educate myself.
Please don't bite my head off for asking this. I ... (show quote)


You're 100% correct, that is: you can process your JPEG to your liking, many times with less effort and time than RAW.

It's when you want to 'push' rather than 'tweak' that that vast amount of original data in the RAW file comes into play. Or, you can 'miss' in RAW with a lot more latitude to correct in post than you can with the JPEG, particularly when adjusting the colors and making wide changes to the White Balance (WB). Keep in mind too, the sharping and noise processing of the JPEG can be improved, but never as much as processing the original RAW data. The process of creating the JPEG discards data, never to be recovered. If you don't need it for your subsequent editing, you'd never know it was missing / discarded. But, when you're trying to adjust the blue of the sky, a other situations, the absence of all that sensor data will become evident.

The 'closer' to perfection you can achieve in your JPEG (WB, picture style, exposure, highlights and shadows, contrast, sharp focus), the less post-work is needed and the less likely to expose the missing data needed for more extensive edits.

The discussion and several examples should help to demonstrate: https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-595000-1.html

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Jun 11, 2019 12:05:25   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Ysarex wrote:
How about an analogy:

You want a hamburger -- a really good one. You have two choices:

1) Start from scratch with the basic ingredients: Ground beef, bun of your choice, fresh onion red or white, tomato that you selected, condiments of your choice, charcoal grill or seared in bacon fat or both, etc. And when you're finished you have the perfect hamburger.

2) Buy a Big Mac and see if you can fix it.

Imagine a chef's school and the class beginning the day's lesson on how to make a hamburger. The instructor says, "Start by unboxing your Big Mac and remove the bun, next......

Joe
How about an analogy: br br You want a hamburger ... (show quote)


You seem to be a youngling. At Burger King, you can have the hamburger anyway you want:

Have it your way, have it your way! Have it your way at Burger King!
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce;
special orders don't upset us.

All we ask is that you let us serve it your way...
We can serve your broiled beef Whopper
fresh with everything on topper.

Anyway you think is proper; have it your way...

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Jun 11, 2019 12:09:32   #
JohnSwanda (a regular here)
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
You seem to be a youngling. At Burger King, you can have the hamburger anyway you want:

Have it your way, have it your way! Have it your way at Burger King!
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce;
special orders don't upset us.

All we ask is that you let us serve it your way...
We can serve your broiled beef Whopper
fresh with everything on topper.

Anyway you think is proper; have it your way...


Try asking them for some better quality ground beef.

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Jun 11, 2019 12:20:37   #
kddp13
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
You seem to be a youngling. At Burger King, you can have the hamburger anyway you want:

Have it your way, have it your way! Have it your way at Burger King!
Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce;
special orders don't upset us.

All we ask is that you let us serve it your way...
We can serve your broiled beef Whopper
fresh with everything on topper.

Anyway you think is proper; have it your way...


Great Now if that gets stuck in my head for more than a day. I'll have to come down to Chicago and hunt you down !!

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Jun 11, 2019 12:26:54   #
DirtFarmer (a regular here)
 
I’m an experimentalist.
Set your camera white balance to incandescent and take a shot in daylight. See how well you can adjust the jpg compared to the raw file.

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Jun 11, 2019 12:30:07   #
bleirer (a regular here)
 
kddp13 wrote:
Great Now if that gets stuck in my head for more than a day. I'll have to come down to Chicago and hunt you down !!


He likes it, hey Mikey!

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