A jpeg image does not lose any quality if you view it, or open it in a postprocessing software program and don't modify or resave it.
The difference between NEF (Nikon's version of RAW) and JPG, is that your camera uses it's setting that you specify to take the raw image, add the settings you choose and output the image as a JPG. The advantage of JPG is that any computer operating system can view the images and the images you save will be smaller than NEF. The advantage of NEF is that you have total control over the image through software postprocessing. I have used Capture NX2 and am just now learning Adobe Lightroom 3.3. Both do a great job with NEF. Capture NX2 is a Nikon product and can do some very magical editing things with little effort. Lightroom has a cataloging feature that is powerful.
I use the D90 and shoot NEF+JPG Fine. That way I can download the JPG's into a computer and just view the images without processing. This is especially good if you are using someone else's computer to view the images. When I get seriious, I use Lightroom and only import the NEF files.
Bottom line, NEF gives you total control of your images and usually better quality output as you convert NEF to JPG within your postprocessing software.
If you are going to keep shooting photographs like this, you should definitely be shooting RAW! That is a great image.
When shooting jpeg, which I sometimes do, my first step is to make an 8 bit tiff copy of the jpeg. That way I do not have to do anything further with the jpeg and it can be kept safe. Any further work on the image is done on the tiff.
RAW gives you infinitely more data to work with, though, and many more options if the image needs work.
If you are serious about your photography it would be well worth spending the time to learn how to work with RAW...
Do jpeg images loose quallity everytime >the are opened and if so how much? Ang then, should I be >shooting in RAW??
Todd, as has been said, everytime a JPEG is re-saved (not just closed), you lose something... Studies have shown, if you use the EXCELLENT or highest level of SAVE then you can do a few of these without really noticing a diminution in quality.
BUT, it really is better to be shooting things like this in RAW. In RAW you can edit to your heart's content, and not lose quality.
I would recommend Nikon Capture NX2 as a fine Post-processing program. Also, View NX2 is a fine browser, and these two programs are the ONLY ones that will fully process Nikon NEFs with all the data the camera provides.
Ok Nef it is. I Would like to be serious about my photography. Does the Nikon capture NX2 do editing? And this will allow me to upload NEF files? What becomes of the original JPEG on the sd card? Do they also loose quality. And thanks so much for the input I have learned alot of very important things on this forum.
I use Photoshop Elements with the Raw/Nef conversion. From what I am told here, the Nikon software brings in your camera's defaults, but I have not had any problem with photoshop either working with RAW's. I am sure there are people who can give you more info on that.
Your software questions are best answered in the Nikon Software forum.
Capture NX2 and View NX2 both are editing programs. View NX2 is my first step as it includes Nikon Transfer for downloading images from my camera or card. View is good for sorting and rating images to decide which ones need editing. It also has a pretty good editor but the edits are applied to the entire image rather than just a selection.
Capture NX2 is an advanced editor - very powerful and easy. It has it quirks, but is very good for RAW images. With images saved as NEFs - even if they are JPEG's, the edits are totally non-destructive and can be removed later. It also is very efficient in handling versions so you do not need to save multiple copies of files. Eric Bowles Nikonians Team My Gallery Workshops
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I have always shot JPEG fine with my D70, but have switched to raw/nef with my d7000. I have found more depth in the pics in raw format and since I boot most of my pics anyway and just tweak on a few, I have found raw the way to go. By the way, AWSOME capture of that owl coming in......WOW
Although shooting RAW will decrease the number of available shots on the card you will gain much more PP opportunities in RAW. As mentioned, you will lose some detail each time you make a change, etc. If you shoot RAW and use VNX2 to download to you can convert any or all images to JPEG by going to the convert button in the top right. Then, you'll have both RAW and JPEG and not have had to shoot RAW+JPEG or just JPEG. Should you desire to post or send an image you already have it changed to JPEG. Pretty slick.
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