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photoheron

Fort Smith, US
29 posts

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photoheron Registered since 05th Jun 2013
Sat 31-Aug-13 01:58 PM

I see that numerous photographers are shooting in raw vs jpeg. Specifically what are the advantage of shooting raw? Secondly does it need a special computer program to process?

blw

Richmond, US
28713 posts

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#1. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sat 31-Aug-13 05:39 PM

If you've shot film, it's like the difference between shooting a negative and a slide. One is a finished product (roughly speaking) and the other is a mechanism for producing a finished product.

A raw file is a lot like a digital negative, while a JPEG is more like a slide.

Although you can certainly edit JPEGs too, there's vastly more latitude when editing from raw. Have a look at this thread that illustrates some of what is possible and why it might not be so easy to "just get it right in the first place."

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samrothstein

Chicago, US
21 posts

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#2. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 1

samrothstein Registered since 09th Mar 2013
Sat 31-Aug-13 06:42 PM

When you shoot JPEG the camera makes the decisions of contrast, color, sharpness etc for you and saves it as a finished product, leaving out all of the rest of the data it feels is not needed and compressing it into a nice tidy universally accepted package.

RAW on the other hand is a fully unprocessed, uncompressed image and will need to be edited on your computer to process all the colors, contrast, even white balance. There is also a difference in size as the average JPEG is about 1-4MB and a RAW file is upwards of 20MB or more. You then have to convert/save it as some sort of image file such as jpg png etc.

Basically, if you have absolutely no intention of ever editing your photos, or maybe only doing a crop or brightening it the JPEG is probably fine, but if you want to do some serious editing work then RAW is the way to go.

dagoldst

Little Rock, US
3093 posts

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#3. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 0

dagoldst Gold Member Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2012
Sat 31-Aug-13 07:54 PM

The basics have been covered. RAW is undoubtedly going to allow you the most control, the best final image.

You need a good RAW editor, but not necessarily top of the line programs like Photoshop CS versions. Lightroom is excellent, and as a 2nd, Nikon NX2.

Either program needs at least a decent dual core computer with 4 gig of memory and depending how much you shoot, anywhere from modest to a lot of disk storage. Keep in mind you need to back up your images, (if they are important to you), so any disk subsystem needs to be replicated in some way as a minimum.

David

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan

skibreeze7

Astoria, US
958 posts

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#4. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 0

skibreeze7 Gold Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the continuous sharing of his inspirational photographic abilities and for helping and encouraging members as they advance from beginner into advanced photography. Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2012 images Photo Contest Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2011 images Photo Contest (Top Finalists) Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2011 images Photo Contest (Challenges) Winner in the Annual Nikonians Best Images Contest 2015 Nikonian since 18th Nov 2006
Mon 02-Sep-13 02:16 AM

Bradley,

One analogy that is sometimes used:...shooting raw is similar to capturing the ingredients for a cake, whereas shooting jpeg is having the image essentially "baked". Once it's baked, you have a much smaller window for making any significant changes in the image.

One example of the substantially wider latitude in shooting raw, is in color balance. This image was shot in raw, but I created two versions, with widely divergent color temperatures:




Click on image to view larger version





Click on image to view larger version



Darryl
Northern Oregon Coast
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)

photoheron

Fort Smith, US
29 posts

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#5. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 4

photoheron Registered since 04th Jun 2013
Mon 02-Sep-13 01:15 PM

Thank for the great explanation of the difference between raw and JPEG.
Does raw need a special post processing program?

Leonard62

Pa, US
4419 posts

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#6. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 5

Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Writer Ribbon awarded for his contributions to the Nikonians Resources articles library Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009
Mon 02-Sep-13 02:01 PM

Raw files are camera specific so you need an editor that can handle them. Also as new camera models are released the software must be updated. From a price and performance standpoint I would recommend the latest version of Photoshop Elements. It has nearly all the tools of the pro versions of Photoshop. Also the free software that comes with the camera, Nikon View NX2 is a good starting point. It can also be downloaded from the Nikon site.

Since jpg files are an industry standard they are not camera specific.

Len

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Beatkat

Belleaire Bluffs, US
245 posts

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#7. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 6

Beatkat Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2007
Wed 09-Oct-13 01:14 AM | edited Wed 09-Oct-13 01:15 AM by Beatkat

Don't overlook Faststone Image viewer (faststone.org)..handles RAW from every manufacturer, and has many excellent features...free for Non Commercial use...quite powerful..
FastStone Image Viewer 4.8 Freeware (Last Update: 2013-04-04)

"An image browser, converter and editor that supports all major graphic formats including BMP, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, PNG, PCX, TIFF, WMF, ICO, TGA and camera raw files. It has a nice array of features such as image viewing, management, comparison, red-eye removal, emailing, resizing, cropping, color adjustments, musical slideshow and much more".
Connecticut Nikonian
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pjonesCET

Martinsville, US
854 posts

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#8. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 7

pjonesCET Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Jul 2011
Wed 09-Oct-13 06:58 PM | edited Wed 09-Oct-13 07:17 PM by pjonesCET

Here samples of Flowers I took with m D3200 set for raw

Click on image to view larger version

After Processed

Click on image to view larger version

next is Raw only no correction

Notice this one has Noise and colors are not as Bright. The original Corrected version looks like I saw it when photographed
Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Phillip M Jones, CET
pjonescet@comcast.net
http://www.phillipmjones.net/

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjonescet/
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freedomfarm

US
605 posts

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#9. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 0

freedomfarm Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2013
Thu 10-Oct-13 10:31 PM

I'm still learning, but I like to do editing in PS Elements 11. I haven't shot in raw yet, as I use the highest jpeg settings. I then open the images I want to edit in PSE 11 in "camera raw" and can make adjustments to the images as if they were raw. I'm sure there's a difference opening a jpeg in "camera raw" verses opening a raw file, but you do get all the adjustment tools right there in one screen at your disposal.

Steve H
Rock Creek, Ohio

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DS256

Markham, CA
25 posts

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#10. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 9

DS256 Registered since 10th Aug 2009
Fri 11-Oct-13 10:40 AM

Steve, you bring up a point of how many post processing tools do you need? I'm currently in that position since I know have both a Nikon and Olympus. I've been very happy post processing my Nikon NEF's with Capture NX 2 but now have to look for the equivalent for Olympus ORF raw files. That also means learning another tool.

I see some in this thread talk about using PhotoShop for RAW and that may be the best lowest common denominator for RAW processing. I need to do some more research. Using a single Adobe product is also skill protection if you change camera manufacturers.

However, I want to reinforce shooting in RAW. Why have some of your post-processing decisions made by the camera in converting to JPG?

_______________________________________
Paul Naish http://paul.naishfamily.net

freedomfarm

US
605 posts

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#11. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 10

freedomfarm Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2013
Fri 11-Oct-13 12:08 PM

I need to shoot in RAW someday, My situation is a bit backwards. I have been using photoshop since 1995, and I just took up photography on a more serious level last winter (first DSLR). PSE was a familiar setup. When bad weather comes and I have more time I'll play with RAW images in PS and NX 2 and see where that takes me. For the OP, I just wanted to make the point that PSE offers RAW processing (and maybe more than NX2, as I enjoy photo manipulation also) and that you can easily play with your jpeg images by opening them in RAW.

Steve H
Rock Creek, Ohio

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#12. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 9

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Fri 11-Oct-13 12:51 PM

If you're shooting JPG's, then you won't have as much flexibility when post-processing the image. In particular, the camera's White Balance setting will be "baked into" the image, so you can't change it at will as you could with a RAW image. It's also easier to recover under- or over-exposure problems in RAW images than it is in JPG's.

Brian
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photoheron

Fort Smith, US
29 posts

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#13. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 12

photoheron Registered since 04th Jun 2013
Sat 12-Oct-13 12:36 AM

Raw would be the choice to bringing out the best quality of the picture.
I

Shy Talk

Port Glasgow, UK
653 posts

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#14. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 13

Shy Talk Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2010
Thu 17-Oct-13 09:31 PM

Firstly, another vote for Faststone. Excellent, easy and free.

Secondly, I think it's got a lot to do with what you do, whether to bother or not, with raw.

If you go out for a hike and shoot a dozen very carefully thought out shots, why not use raw?

I'm into aircraft pics, so I might stake out an airfield for the afternoon, and shoot 600 shots. Am I really going to pp them all? Nope!

And anyway, I'm probably just going to crop a few, sharpen a little, maybe alter the curves a wee bit. You can do all this in faststone easily.

I think jpegs for me, maybe raw for the post processors who do big changes in pp (and even then, I bet you could do 75% of it on a jpeg)

I think the Nikon jpegs are excellent.

my webpage is at http://www.scottishops.co.uk

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DC2105

Kolkata, IN
6 posts

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#15. "RE: Raw vs JPEG" | In response to Reply # 14

DC2105 Registered since 15th Sep 2013
Mon 21-Oct-13 03:43 AM

Thanks for all the info.

It will help me a lot.

D5100 is better than any Sniper.

G