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The pros and cons of shooting RAW versus JPEG
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Jul 18, 2021 15:32:34   #
JD750 Loc: SoCal
 
srt101fan wrote:
Nothing wrong with a closeup examination of Van Gogh's brush strokes. But if that"s the only way you look at the painting you are really missing out....


Agree.

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Jul 19, 2021 04:01:09   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
selmslie wrote:
As art there is nothing wrong with the image.

But there is no remedy for the technical issue, overexposure because it seems that the meter was responding to the dark background.

With digital you need to expose for the highlights. In this case it would have prevented them from getting blown out and it would have only made the background darker, if possible.


If I had exposed for the highlight, it would not have been good for the flower and most of the leaves. Contrary to one suggestion, the white petals on the rose are not over exposed. The over exposed leaf towards the back was reflecting direct sunlight, and account had to be taken of this. The dark background was a shaded building at some distance. I do (always) use spot metering. I see the problem, therefore, as that one leaf at just the wrong angle.

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Jul 19, 2021 05:48:07   #
selmslie Loc: Fernandina Beach, FL, USA
 
Delderby wrote:
If I had exposed for the highlight, it would not have been good for the flower and most of the leaves. Contrary to one suggestion, the white petals on the rose are not over exposed. The over exposed leaf towards the back was reflecting direct sunlight, and account had to be taken of this. The dark background was a shaded building at some distance. I do (always) use spot metering. I see the problem, therefore, as that one leaf at just the wrong angle.

Exposing for the flower does no mean placing it at middle gray.

If you are spot metering, you can expose for the brightest part of the flower by placing it a couple of stops brighter than middle gray.

You have only between 2 and 3 stops above middle gray to work with before the brightest part of the flower exceeds the upper limit of the dynamic range.

You could even have spot metered the brightest part of the leaf with the EC set to between +2 and +3 and retained all of the highlight information without ruining the flower.

If you were capturing the raw information it would have been a simple matter to brighten or darken any part of the image.

But the flower wasn't going anywhere. If you were shooting only JPEG you could have bracketed several shots and picked the best one.

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Jul 19, 2021 06:02:32   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
selmslie wrote:
Exposing for the flower does no mean placing it at middle gray.

If you are spot metering, you can expose for the brightest part of the flower by placing it a couple of stops brighter than middle gray.

You have only between 2 and 3 stops above middle gray to work with before the brightest part of the flower exceeds the upper limit of the dynamic range.

You could even have spot metered the brightest part of the leaf with the EC set to between +2 and +3 and retained all of the highlight information without ruining the flower.

If you were capturing the raw information it would have been a simple matter to brighten or darken any part of the image.

But the flower wasn't going anywhere. If you were shooting only JPEG you could have bracketed several shots and picked the best one.
Exposing for the flower does no mean placing it at... (show quote)


Yes - thanks for advice.

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Jul 19, 2021 08:47:58   #
BigDaddy Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
srt101fan wrote:
Generally speaking, I find these RAW vs JPEG, PP vs SOOC arguments to be rather silly.

You RAW/PP shooters need to accept that, (a) there's some damn fine JPEG/SOOC photography going on, and (b) some photographers just don't want to PP.

You JPEG/SOOCers need to accept that RAW shooters have more options and bigger tool boxes than you do.
🙄

I personally shoot jpg and occasionally shoot raw. I have ALL tool boxes available to me, but 99.999% of the time I don't need the raw "tool box" and find the jpg "tool box" is more than adequate for my needs. Raw vs JPG is WAY down the list of things that affect anyone's photo's. Imagination, subject matter and composition are the big hurdles, exposure, camera settings, white balance are generally easily managed with experience and camera to well within the capabilities of jpg editors. I don't use a spectroscope to measure each individual photon of my pictures, I just look at them and see what I like or not. (Here's where the caped photographers with x-ray vision and 16 bit monitors jump in and say "your standards are not as high enough, and I say if I can't see it, it ain't there)

Having said that, I certainly don't wear an "I Shoot Jpg" T-Shirt. It may look like it when people say things like "the major reason I shoot RAW is because jpg's deteriorate each time you edit them", or "you can't adjust white balance with a jpg" and if you want to edit you must shoot RAW, and so on. When they say I shoot raw because it can't hurt anything, and I like/need the increased color depth and dynamic range, and post a bunch of charts and graphs to prove it, OK. I usually will go to see pictures the've posted. Most of the time they've posted no pictures at all, sometimes a few not related to the subject, and occasionally one has posted some good photo's. Never have I attributed the good photo's to shooting raw. Usually it's a combination of photographic skill, good camera and sometimes luck.

Shooting raw is near the bottom of a long list of things needed for a great photo, and most of the time it's not even on the list.
Re-reading that I should say on a rare occasion, your photo may be beyond the capabilities of jpg editor to fix and in those rare instances, you might move raw up on the list.

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Jul 19, 2021 09:03:50   #
selmslie Loc: Fernandina Beach, FL, USA
 
BigDaddy wrote:
... Shooting raw is near the bottom of a long list of things needed for a great photo, and most of the time it's not even on the list.
Re-reading that I should say on a rare occasion, your photo may be beyond the capabilities of jpg editor to fix and in those rare instances, you might move raw up on the list.

Anyone who shoots raw and then spends a lot of effort adjusting the image probably didn't take a very good picture in the first place.

Whether JPEG or raw, the one with minimal post processing is the one that was captured correctly.

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Jul 19, 2021 09:06:47   #
BigDaddy Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
selmslie wrote:
Exposing for the flower does no mean placing it at middle gray.

If you are spot metering, you can expose for the brightest part of the flower by placing it a couple of stops brighter than middle gray.

You have only between 2 and 3 stops above middle gray to work with before the brightest part of the flower exceeds the upper limit of the dynamic range.

You could even have spot metered the brightest part of the leaf with the EC set to between +2 and +3 and retained all of the highlight information without ruining the flower.

If you were capturing the raw information it would have been a simple matter to brighten or darken any part of the image.

But the flower wasn't going anywhere. If you were shooting only JPEG you could have bracketed several shots and picked the best one.
Exposing for the flower does no mean placing it at... (show quote)


Most modern camera's also have HDR modes that simplifies this by taking bracketed photo's and combining them in camera.
I think ALL cell phones can do this, and probably all modern DSLR's.

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Jul 19, 2021 09:32:33   #
davyboy Loc: Anoka Mn.
 
BigDaddy wrote:
I personally shoot jpg and occasionally shoot raw. I have ALL tool boxes available to me, but 99.999% of the time I don't need the raw "tool box" and find the jpg "tool box" is more than adequate for my needs. Raw vs JPG is WAY down the list of things that affect anyone's photo's. Imagination, subject matter and composition are the big hurdles, exposure, camera settings, white balance are generally easily managed with experience and camera to well within the capabilities of jpg editors. I don't use a spectroscope to measure each individual photon of my pictures, I just look at them and see what I like or not. (Here's where the caped photographers with x-ray vision and 16 bit monitors jump in and say "your standards are not as high enough, and I say if I can't see it, it ain't there)

Having said that, I certainly don't wear an "I Shoot Jpg" T-Shirt. It may look like it when people say things like "the major reason I shoot RAW is because jpg's deteriorate each time you edit them", or "you can't adjust white balance with a jpg" and if you want to edit you must shoot RAW, and so on. When they say I shoot raw because it can't hurt anything, and I like/need the increased color depth and dynamic range, and post a bunch of charts and graphs to prove it, OK. I usually will go to see pictures the've posted. Most of the time they've posted no pictures at all, sometimes a few not related to the subject, and occasionally one has posted some good photo's. Never have I attributed the good photo's to shooting raw. Usually it's a combination of photographic skill, good camera and sometimes luck.

Shooting raw is near the bottom of a long list of things needed for a great photo, and most of the time it's not even on the list.
Re-reading that I should say on a rare occasion, your photo may be beyond the capabilities of jpg editor to fix and in those rare instances, you might move raw up on the list.
I personally shoot jpg and occasionally shoot raw.... (show quote)


You rock it big Daddy!!!!

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Jul 19, 2021 12:09:18   #
Ysarex Loc: St. Louis
 
BigDaddy wrote:
I personally shoot jpg and occasionally shoot raw. I have ALL tool boxes available to me, but 99.999% of the time I don't need the raw "tool box" and find the jpg "tool box" is more than adequate for my needs. Raw vs JPG is WAY down the list of things that affect anyone's photo's. Imagination, subject matter and composition are the big hurdles, exposure, camera settings, white balance are generally easily managed with experience and camera to well within the capabilities of jpg editors.
I personally shoot jpg and occasionally shoot raw.... (show quote)

Very good reasons for shooting raw. As Delderby's rose illustrates and as you're tacitly acknowledging here JPEGs still need to be edited. (Sans studio control) if you really want to make a photo as good as it can be there will almost always be something you can improve in post.

I'm processing through a collection right now of a little over 1000 photos. Some I actually shot JPEG. I'm 780 finished and of those 780 photos every single one of them I have been able to improve with editing changes impossible to do in camera. This is something photographers have known from the beginning including even those slide shooters (I was one) of years gone by. Ask any good darkroom worker if they a) rarely if ever do any burning and dodging of a print b) burn and dodge about 1/2 of the prints they make or c) can't remember the last time they made a print that wasn't improved with some burning and dodging and the answer will be c).

So if post processing is pretty much assured then why not:
1. Save time and work behind the camera so you can better concentrate on stuff like imagination, subject matter and composition. JPEG shooters have to devote time and energy to, as you acknowledge, camera settings beyond just exposure. I don't and that allows me to devote more of my attention to what matters.

2. Save time at the computer post processing. Big Daddy has demonstrated in this thread that processing a JPEG can be much harder and more time consuming than processing a raw file. https://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-704155-6.html#12395155

3. Achieve a 100% non-destructive workflow with you photos. You can only do that partially with JPEGs but not 100%.

4. Extend your capability beyond what JPEG makes possible. Big Daddy is right that in general a JPEG can be edited and the available range of editing will handle normal/average subjects. But why shut yourself off from being able to photograph more of what you see? I take photos JPEG shooters can't take. JPEG shooters limit their range of available subject matter so they can work harder behind the camera and not be able to concentrate as well on what matters in order to have to spend more time at the computer post processing without access to a fully 100% non-destructive workflow. It doesn't add up unless somewhere in the process the JPEG shooter is compromising: if you really want to make a photo as good as it can be...

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Jul 25, 2022 21:09:21   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
BigDaddy wrote:
They also don't state that most editors have production or developer format that you can save your jpgs in lossless and preserve the edits for future editing.
They don't state it because they don't know it and are trying to justify shooting raw but for the wrong reasons. What's really cool is the same statements, often the same exact words, are repeated over, and over and over all over the web.


I will agree that talk of losing quality of JPEG’s due to repetitive saving is a weak argument for raw. The more compelling reason being that a 12 bit raw file has 8 times the data of a JPEG. A 14 bit raw has 32 times the data.

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Jul 25, 2022 21:11:32   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
josquin1 wrote:
And the battle rages on with the JPGs attacking and the RAWs digging in on the defense. Who will win? Only time will tell.


I’m fine with people doing what works for them but listening to those that say JPEG is just as capable as raw is ridiculous.

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Jul 25, 2022 21:37:53   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
Delderby wrote:
But you'd get the same answer from 2 and 6. Where would that leave you?


And he’s completely wrong. The data isn’t there. Every bit you add doubled the amount of data. My 14 bit raw files have 32 times as much data as a JPEG.

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Jul 26, 2022 00:09:52   #
Delderby Loc: Derby UK
 
SuperflyTNT wrote:
I will agree that talk of losing quality of JPEG’s due to repetitive saving is a weak argument for raw. The more compelling reason being that a 12 bit raw file has 8 times the data of a JPEG. A 14 bit raw has 32 times the data.


Yes - but surely most of this raw data is irrelevant - and will be discarded when you develop the raw and convert the result to JPG? You cannot print raw data.

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Jul 26, 2022 03:43:30   #
SuperflyTNT Loc: Manassas VA
 
Delderby wrote:
Yes - but surely most of this raw data is irrelevant - and will be discarded when you develop the raw and convert the result to JPG? You cannot print raw data.


It may be irrelevant to a resulting JPEG but it may be very important on the processing I do to get to that JPEG.

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Jul 26, 2022 11:13:31   #
BigDaddy Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
 
SuperflyTNT wrote:
I will agree that talk of losing quality of JPEG’s due to repetitive saving is a weak argument for raw. The more compelling reason being that a 12 bit raw file has 8 times the data of a JPEG. A 14 bit raw has 32 times the data.

Not that it matters much, but this thread is over a year old. You maybe should have jumped in then😁
I've done the same more than once, so just sayin'

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