i can almost guess at the answers i am going to get, but here it is... which is better, RAW or JPEG? does it really depend on the situation or is it just better to shoot RAW all the time? i just read an article the other that swung me closer to the "RAW all the time camp", but i am quickly realizing how much more work it is. any responses or encouragement would be appreciated.
Theres no right or wrong here, just personal preference. Raw however gives more adjustment latitude and ability to recover less than perfect images. Personally i shoot raw + jpg and depending on subject matter many times use only the jpg image. For serious shots or that one in a million, raw gives me the best chance of having the most data in the image, the most adjustability and latitude to tweak the image to best advantage.
____________________________________________________________________ When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
Shooting RAW will give you a more options in PP (post processing). You have more to do, and that is a bit of a blessing and a curse. I remember one occasion shortly after I switched over to shooting RAW, I was going to a local marsh area to test a new lens that I had picked up the night before. While walking to the towers that I had planned on shooting from I heard a loud roaring coming up the river and saw the rescue hovercraft approaching, I pulled out my gear and set up shooting, click...click...click, what unfolded in front of me was a complete rescue from a point of land across the river. Wow what a day, I had some great shots of this really rare event, now to chimp the pictures, to my horror I discover that I had left the WB set to fluorescent from the test shots I took the night before. When I got home I was happy to discover that I had traded the ability to store a bazzilion pictures on a card for a one button correction of the WB mistake. Ever since then I've shot raw unless I need speed when shooting action scenes, some cameras will shoot a little faster in JPEG mode. As for the more work, look for software that will let you batch process, copy the changes from one image to another. I don't use ViewNX enough to know if it has a batch mode, but CaptureNX and the Adobe software do batch processing. Most of the programs let you try before you buy, so you can see if it''s your cup of tea.
Will shoot for fame...fun...food... a heck I'll shoot anytime anywhere.
#4. "RE: RAW or JPEG?" In response to Reply # 3 Fri 14-Jan-11 03:36 AM by Beatkat
I tend to shoot Raw+jpeg nowadays, especially because the larger media cards hold so many images, and it gives me the option of pretty heavy handed editing/cropping, etc.using the Raw image, should I decide to, when sitting down calmly and post processing.Many times, in the heat of the moment while shooting, it allows a little more freedom when composing, knowing that I will have a lossless, Raw image recorded, as sometimes, heavily editing/cropping, etc., a mediocre shot,or even slightly tweaking, can make a better, or more interesting one, and you want to edit Raw whenever possible as the others have said.
#5. "RE: RAW or JPEG?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 31-Jan-11 08:14 PM by dclarhorn
Berwyn Heights, US
When answering this question, most people only consider the quality/processing issue and not the application/project issue.
RAW gives you greater latitude for post-processing adjustments and doesn't degrade the image. I shoot exclusively RAW images for my fine art print business. However, as your involvement and experience grows you may run into situations where JPEG is better. For example, I shoot conventions for my company and need to send back images the same day for posting on our website. The good folks that I'm sending it to--the webmaster and perhaps my graphic designers--do not know how to process RAW images--in fact, don't have the software to do it. So, which is better in that case? They need to get the images posted right away. I simply optimize my in-camera settings for the best possible out-of-the-box result and send in my JPEGs.
So, at the end of the day, it really does depend on the situation. But, if the situation gives you a choice and time is not an issue, AND you don't mind the extra work, RAW does offer more flexibility.
Added: You can manipulate JPEGs in post-processing. You just want to be careful and not try to adjust too much. You do degrade the image and it can be apparent when viewing. Btw, I have displayed enlarged prints that that started out as JPEGs in galleries.
In addition to all of the other good advice, you should know that it's perfectly feasible to batch-process raw files, making shooting a large number of raw files not especially different than shooting jpeg. For example, in Lightroom I routinely apply processing as the files are brought into the system - it's pretty much transparently like shooting jpeg, although I think the system does more actual work. That way you still have the flexibility of raw with the convenience of a more-or-less finished image.
I shoot 20-25k images per year and essentially all of them are raw, with no particular excessive overhead.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
For me it all depends on what I am shooting. Anything which is important (i.e. an event) I shoot RAW only. Running around using snapshot mode to record a place visited but not particularly interesting I'll shoot JPG. The rest of the time I will shoot RAW + JPEG.
I too shoot both, but in my early digital days sometimes shot only jpeg. A perfectly exposed jpeg shot in good conditions (so needing minimal PP) can yield gorgeous prints that are indistiguishable from a RAW image of the same scene. I have several 16x22 inch prints from D2Xs jpeg captures that are absolutely gorgeous.
So in my mind it's always better to have RAW available, but in the right circumstances jpeg can work out just fine...
Better late than never...replying this post I mean.
For me, I started out with JPEG only for a year and a half (this is my third year having a DSLR, let alone a D40). I know that JPEG is tougher to fix errors (mostly my errors) and that's the primary reason for me to shoot in JPEG. This is especially good if I'm a beginner. This way, I force myself to do everything right the first time. Being a beginner and using JPEG, I tend to observe my mistakes more accurately than my friend (also a photography buddy - he's having a D80). I tend to be more aware of my shots more often and so I improve my shots that way(at least I believe I did).
Now, I switched to RAW, and tend to edit it more often. Yes, my photographs looked better through editing but I wouldn't have to drag from the mud if I didn't get it as much right as I did the first time. The primary reason for me to switch to RAW is because of White Balance. Other than small amounts of touch-ups (whitening of teeth, removing dusts, straightening of horizons, etc), exposure-wise, I tend to think "JPEG". That would help me in discovering how my camera, built-in meter and different lenses behave in different lighting environment.
For a long time after I started photography as a hobby, I was a little intimidated to shoot in RAW for a long time. I figured JPEG was as good or good enough for the time being.
Boy, was I wrong. The flexibility in adjusting images (i.e., covering your mistakes) with RAW can't be matched. It takes more effort and requires you to have to think a little bit more, but it's definitely worth it.