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Subject: "Shooting RAW" Previous topic | Next topic
Paul94583 Registered since 09th Dec 2008Mon 11-Jun-12 07:37 PM
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"Shooting RAW"


Chandler, US
          

I just started shooting raw and downloaded Capture NX2.

Just wondered what some of the benefits there are of RAW versus JPG.

Paul

"I'd rather try and fail, than fail to try."

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
Asgard Administrator
11th Jun 2012
1
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
four eighty sparky Silver Member
11th Jun 2012
2
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
Paul94583
12th Jun 2012
3
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
ericbowles Moderator
12th Jun 2012
4
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
four eighty sparky Silver Member
12th Jun 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
cliddell Silver Member
13th Jun 2012
6
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
kennoll Gold Member
14th Jun 2012
7
Reply message RE: Shooting RAW
Howker Silver Member
15th Jun 2012
8

Asgard Administrator He is your Chief Guardian Angel at the Helpdesk and knows a lot about a lot Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Mon 11-Jun-12 07:45 PM
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#1. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 11-Jun-12 07:47 PM by Asgard

East Frisia, DE
          

One of the biggest advantages of RAW is flexibility.

When shoots in JPEG, the white balance, tonal curve, sharpening, compression, and other choices are essentially burned into the file. The sharpening and compression are irreversible (you can blur the JPEG image to reduce the sharpening, but that is not the same as undoing the sharpening and it will degrade the image). Color and tonal problems created by improper white balance or tonal curve can be adjusted somewhat in a JPEG file, but it will cause some degradation of the image. The problem arises because the camera sets these parameters into the image at the time the photo is taken. Making changes to these parameters at a later time can be difficult (e.g., loss of detail in the shadows due to the use of a contrasty tonal curve) or impossible (e.g., undo file compression).

On the other hand, for raw files, the white balance and tonal curve are handled in the raw converter (sharpening can be handled in the raw converter or in an image editing program). You can set the parameters at the time of conversion. You decides to use a different setting, you can simply change the setting and reconvert the image (e.g., if the image had a loss of shadow detail due to a contrasty tonal curve, You could simply reconvert the file with a less contrasty curve). In fact, you can reconvert the image as many times as you wishes with different settings. There will be no degradation of image quality because the original raw image is never changed. Every time a conversion is performed, a new file is created that has all of the settings incorporated into it. Thus, white balance, tonal, and sharpening issues can be more easily dealt with in raw.

Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
Eala Freya Fresena

  

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four eighty sparky Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2011Mon 11-Jun-12 10:36 PM
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#2. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

In a nutshell...... when you take a digital shot, every camera sees the scene on the sensor as a raw file. Then, the camera's firmware applies settings such as sharpness, white balance, saturation, contrast, etc. to the data, then records the result as a .jpeg. This is fine if you're taking snapshots of the kids on Christmas morning. All camera can take a jpeg image file. But even though all cameras use raw files to create jpegs, not all of them are capable of recording raw files to the memory card.

Shooting raw means you're using a camera's ability to not apply any settings to the data and record both the image and the settings separately. When you view the image on a computer, the software takes the settings you had on the camera and applies them in order to render the image on the screen. But the huge difference is...... those settings are not 'set in stone'. You can change them as you wish. And better software can apply them to certain areas of the image if you want.

So if you take a shot, and get back to your computer and realize your saturation setting wasn't what you wanted it to be..... you can literally 'go back in time' and change it. it's like you're back where you took the shot originally, and can perform a 'do-over'. Now another neat trick.... with the right software, you can make those changes on the computer...... and still not make them permanent. You can save everything you've done up to that point as a raw 'image' file. So six months down the road, you can reload the file, and undo half the changes you made and do something different. It's the ultimate in editing flexibility. If you want to make the changes permanent, just save the image as a jpeg.

The downside? Raw files are huge compared to jpegs. They take up much more memory card and hard drive space. The other minus is you must post-process a raw image...... you cannot send it to your printer and get 8x10s made. You must convert them to jpegs first.

Which is better? Depends on what you're shooting. Snapshots & photos you just want to email & post on Facebook: Jpeg all the way. And since the files are larger in raw than jpeg, you will quickly fill your buffer up shooting raw, so if you're shooting fast-paced subjects (sports, news events, wedding candids, etc.) you'll want to shoot jpegs there as well. But if you have the time to shoot slowly and post-process, shoot raw.

____________________________

My toys: A pair of gripped D600s, gripped D7100, Sigma 8mm circular fisheye, Sigma 15mm full-frame fisheye, Tokina 17/3.5 SL, 17-35 2.8D, 24-85 G, 24-120/4G, 28-200 D, 50/1.8D, 50/1.8G, 50/1.8E, 70-200 2.8 G VRII, 70-300G, 105/2.8D Micro, Tamron 150-600, 500 f/8 Reflex: Sigma 600mm, Celestron 2,000mm: PB-6 bellows, Nikon 1.4 and 1.7x TCs, auto macro tube set: SB600: Manfrotto 055XB/804RC2/390RC2 & 560B-1: Gossen Starlite: Easy-Up AP1500: 40' WonderPole

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Paul94583 Registered since 09th Dec 2008Tue 12-Jun-12 12:02 AM
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#3. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 2


Chandler, US
          

Thanks for the info.

Paul

"I'd rather try and fail, than fail to try."

  

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005Tue 12-Jun-12 01:19 PM
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#4. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 0


Atlanta, US
          

Since your question is specifically about Capture NX2, let me address the difference in that context.

Lossless Editing
With a NEF file all of your edits are reversible. Any edit - and several of the camera settings - can be changed during post processing. And they can be changed back to the original settings later if desired.

Editing only available in RAW
A JPEG bakes in the settings at that point in time. White balance, Picture Controls, Noise Reduction, etc. are baked into the JPEG image but can be changed in RAW. Exposure can be adjusted slightly in RAW, but not with a JPEG.

Impact of multiple layers of processing
Each time a JPEG image is saved, all the settings and edits are baked into the image. So if you have a picture control and sharpening in the camera, and then adjust contrast, brightness or saturation in post processing, you can create artifacts. The artifacts may exist in processing a NEF file, but you don't get as much compounded processing where you are applying edits to artifacts and making them worse.

Shadows and highlights
Some areas are problems - like deep shadows and bright or blown highlights. You have more latitude to fix these problem areas with a NEF file. The tools may work with a JPEG, but they work better with a NEF.

Speed
JPEG files are smaller, so they are faster to process. If your workflow does not involve post processing - sharing snapshots for example - you might just shoot JPEGs. Some jobs require JPEG's only. New photos typically must be JPEG's to remove the possibility of tampering.

I find that I only want to share my best images. I'll typically use View NX2 to rate images and decide which need more editing. I typically do global edits of images for sharing using View NX2 only. And I'll use View to convert those images to JPEG's of the desired size - usually sized for the web.

I typically only edit 2-3% of my images in Capture. These are the best images where a large print might be produced. I usually start over with the editing and remove any edits from the camera or View. My edits are much more likely to be applied selectively - just to the portion of the image where I need it. Editing in Capture will mean that you cannot go back to View for later edits or conversion - everything must be done in Capture.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
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Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

  

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four eighty sparky Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2011Tue 12-Jun-12 03:49 PM
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#5. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

HOWEVER:...............

You can load a Jpeg or Tiff into NX2, and you can save it as a .NEF file. It will not be a true 'raw' image, but your editing steps can be reversed.... even after saving and closing NX2.

You can also create multiple versions of an image under one filename. Let's say you have a photo of a 1957 Chevrolet, and you've named the file '57 Chevy'.

You load 57 Chevy.NEF into CNX2, and edit to your heart's content. Sharpness, white balance, saturation, focus, crop, straighten.... you do them all. Then save your .NEF file.

All those steps are completely reversible, as Eric said. But let's say you need a B&W version. You load your .NEF file back in, and you can create another 'version' of the file. You call it "B&W Version". You then do whatever desaturation processing you want, and Save the file. You don't need to save it under a different filename (like '57 Chevy BW.NEF)..... just Save the file. Now all three versions will be available to you: The original, the edited color version, and the edited B&W version.

Two years from you, you're asked to make a 'pop art' version. No problem! Add "Pop Art" to the Version list, edit it as you like, and Save. Now you have 4 versions of your image.... all under ---one--- filename.

Each version increases the filesize just a bit.... not --miniscule-- compared to saving four separate filenames.

____________________________

My toys: A pair of gripped D600s, gripped D7100, Sigma 8mm circular fisheye, Sigma 15mm full-frame fisheye, Tokina 17/3.5 SL, 17-35 2.8D, 24-85 G, 24-120/4G, 28-200 D, 50/1.8D, 50/1.8G, 50/1.8E, 70-200 2.8 G VRII, 70-300G, 105/2.8D Micro, Tamron 150-600, 500 f/8 Reflex: Sigma 600mm, Celestron 2,000mm: PB-6 bellows, Nikon 1.4 and 1.7x TCs, auto macro tube set: SB600: Manfrotto 055XB/804RC2/390RC2 & 560B-1: Gossen Starlite: Easy-Up AP1500: 40' WonderPole

Visit my website.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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cliddell Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Oct 2006Wed 13-Jun-12 06:40 PM
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#6. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 5


Pietermaritzburg, ZA
          

Four Eighty,

Yes but!

As others have stated, you can save a JPG as a NEF file - I do that all the time when photos of my grandchildren arrive from "down under" but you have a limited subset of editing possibilities notably the two stop exposure up and the same down and (for me) to be able to tweak the WB. Of course you are also unable to tweak in camera settings either.

Regards,
Clive Liddell
Pietermaritzburg
South Africa

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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kennoll Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Feb 2011Thu 14-Jun-12 12:14 AM
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#7. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, US
          

Paul,

What the others are saying, Paul, is that you have a lot more creative opportunity with RAW files than for JPEGs (Nikon RAW files have the .NEF extension).

The D200 is capable of recording both NEF and JPEG files when you snap the shutter (Image Quality under Shooting Options). You could select this option, NEF (RAW)+JPEG Normal for example, and shoot a few shots then open a NEF/JPEG pair in Capture NX2. You'll notice, for example the editing options on the right hand side will change when you select one format or the other. NEF will let you adjust exposure while JPEGs will not. With NEF you get Camera Settings. With JPEG you do not. Both have Camera & Lens Corrections but they are limited on JPEGs. And son on.

Well, you get the idea. It will take some experimenting to really see, and get a feel for the creative differences of the formats.

Remember, you really can't break anything by trying different options.

Like what was mentioned before, kids on Christmas morning, JPEG. Something that moves you, NEF. Not sure? Both.

Ken
Seattle, WA

  

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Howker Silver Member Nikonian since 21st Jul 2010Fri 15-Jun-12 03:29 AM
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#8. "RE: Shooting RAW"
In response to Reply # 7


Redmond, US
          

I think Digital Darrell sums it up in one of his books......"if I'm at a party & about all you need is point & shoot, use jpg otherwise RAW or both" or words to that effect.

Not bad advice

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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