I just received my D3X camera today. I have the camera set to product low compression jpgs and uncompressed raw files. As with my former camera, the D700, I can't seem to find any difference between the photos in raw vs the photos in low compression jpg.
RAW isn't so much about being able to tell the difference between RAW and JPG. Most of the time you won't be able to tell the difference depending on the viewer (some don't apply the in-camera settings). For instance with a program like ViewNX the JPG and NEF will probably be identical.
RAW is about the flexibility to change pretty much anything after the fact. Got the white balance wrong? Move a slider. Want more or less sharpening? Move a slider. Exposure off? Move a slider (within reason).
With JPG all your camera settings (contrast, sharpness, white balance, saturation, hue) are baked into an 8 bit image vs the 12/14-bit data in a RAW file. You can make some changes but you won't have nearly the control you would have with a NEF file.
I always shoot RAW so I have the option. Most end up as JPG images for the archive. If there's nothing to tweak I just run a batch convert from NEF to JPG and I am done. But if there is anything to be fixed I know I am working with the most flexible option.
When you shoot jpeg in the camera, all you are doing is using the camera to process your raw image, but then the camera throws away the original data leaving you with only the jpeg.
When you shoot in raw, you wait until later and make your jpeg with your computer. This allows you to use your computer to apply all the changes you want in as many ways as you want; all without ever causing any damage to the raw image, because you never change the raw data. When you edit raw data, all you do is store a list of instructions with the data that tell the software what to do with it when the jpeg is created for printing (sharpen, wb, color mode, contrast, etc).
By shooting raw+jpeg, you are just letting the camera make one of the jpegs for you. If you want more or different ones, you can use your computer to edit the raw data and output a new jpeg.
The camera processor is very good at converting the raw data, but a PC is better - far more powerful and can run much more sophistocated software that can make a difference in the quality of your prints later.
Sat 02-May-09 12:02 PM | edited Sat 02-May-09 12:31 PM by RRRoger
1. When I shoot an Event where each picture could be of major importance (i.e, Weddings), I use RAW/NEF + JPEG. a. With a D3X you going to have to use a very good monitor and hit Shift and + keys or other wise zoom in on the image to see much difference between NEF and JPEG.
2. So far because my D3 camera & settings are so good, I have deleted all the NEFs after review/comparison each time. The JPEGs out of the camera have sometimes been equal but usually noticeably better. a. I found it takes a lot of work/time to produce a better picture from the NEF with PhotoShop, Nikon View, or ACDSee Pro. b. This was not true before using a D3. Previous Pro bodies were not as good in low or inconsistent light. A church often has three or more light sources.
3. What a previous poster said about software improvements is true but also applies to JPEGs. a. Storage of D3X RAW files is going to be really huge, so I would only save the most important shots in that format.
Sat 02-May-09 01:28 PM | edited Sat 02-May-09 01:31 PM by RRRoger
>Ouch! So you're throwing away your negatives? Something I >would never dream of doing. Storage is very cheap these days, >so why not keep them? > I do keep the most important NEF files. I throw away the thousands of other RAW images. I have a copy of the JPEGs on my computers and a copy of those special NEFs and all JPEGs on DVD or BlueRay disc.
I have many terabytes of pictures on my 5 computers and many stacks of DVDs in archive. Not so cheap, I have thousands of dollars invested just in storage.
Sat 02-May-09 02:25 PM | edited Sat 02-May-09 02:26 PM by MEMcD
Welcome to Nikonians! It is a waste to have a D3X and not capture Raw images! Although the jpegs may be outstanding, you are not taking advantage of the added information in the raw file to take the image to the nest level. Instead you are in effect throwing the information in the trash can. As stated above, the NEF file is a digital negitive. I shoot everything Raw + jpeg. To me: if it is worth shooting, it is worth shooting in raw! Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I am an Event Photographer. I sell a CD of all pictures of one person at one Event for $85.00. The more the better. They want me to capture the memories. The D3 JPEGs are so good that I seldom have any trouble printing a 17x25 poster untouched.
>I am an Event Photographer. >I sell a CD of all pictures of one person at one Event for >$85.00. The more the better. They want me to capture the >memories. The D3 JPEGs are so good that I seldom have any >trouble printing a 17x25 poster untouched.
All I can say is you're a much better photographer than I am.
I have to crop and at least slightly adjust the exposure of most images to make them as good as possible. Even this one step will lower the quality of a jpeg.
I rarely take an image that can't be improved with cropping and slight adjustments.
>Quote Russ >Wow! > >"All I can say is you're a much better photographer than I am." >> (Roger) Perhaps, but I won't pat myself on the back. I do have great talent, thank God not my hard work for that, but mostly what I shoot is good enough. I produce memories. My customers are not paying me for Art Pieces. I lot of my talent is picking the right tools to work with and getting in the right place at the right time. I prefer candid to a forced pose. >>
>"I have to crop and at least slightly adjust the exposure of >most images to make them as good as possible. Even this one >step will lower the quality of a jpeg." >> (Roger) Sometimes I adjust exposure or crop a JPEG image. I always "save as", thus preserving the original and on a critically important JPEG I will work on a copy. I will also select a batch of JPEGs and brighten/lighten them all at once. This is very rare now that I shoot with a D3. I generally rename the enhanced image by adding an e or c to the file name. >>
>"I rarely take an image that can't be improved with cropping >and slight adjustments." >> (Roger) that must be true of everyone but with thousands of pictures you have to choose which ones to adjust. >>
>>"I rarely take an image that can't be improved with >cropping and slight adjustments." >>> >(Roger) that must be true of everyone but with thousands of >pictures you have to choose which ones to adjust.
In my case, I take thouseands and I edit thousands every time. I just shot a children's camp this weekend, and took over 2500 images, I will spend the rest of today and tomorrow editing them in Adobe Lightroom. Every image will be examined and cropped and adjusted as needed and uploaded as a hi-res jpeg to my website by Monday.
Russ, I know that if I spent more time editing I would improve my prestige by displaying only my best work. But I am not so interested in awards. I am trying to provide what my customers want and they often choose photos that I would personally throw away. That is why I say memories instead of artwork sell.
Is all that editing paying off for you? Are you selling portraits for a high price? It seems that only the most affluent client is that critical of quality.
If I had a high volume market for $50+ 5x7s I would buy a D2X right now and also only use my very best glass.
Sun 03-May-09 06:54 PM | edited Sun 03-May-09 06:57 PM by RRRoger
>>Is all that editing paying off for you? > >All I can say is that people like my work. > >Russ
to me that is more important than money, as long as you are being appreciated and not just taken advantage of. Of course, we do need to make enough to pay for the latest-greatest tools so that we can do even better works.
Sun 03-May-09 11:46 AM | edited Sun 03-May-09 11:53 AM by allocca
All great answers. I've been shooting raw + jpeg and saving both. But, using the jpgs as they seem to be quite good. I'm using photoshop cs4, which has better tools for jpg's than raw files. I haven't tried other software.
>All great answers. I've been shooting raw + jpeg and saving >both. But, using the jpgs as they seem to be quite good. I'm >using photoshop cs4, which has better tools for jpg's than raw >files. I haven't tried other software. > >John
If you have and like PhotoShop, then it has all you need. Other programs are simpler to use although PhotoShop is getting more intuitive.
My problem is that I don't have the time to properly learn and stay up with PhotoShop, so I use ACDSee Pro instead.
In photoshop, when you double click on a .nef file, it brings up a separate window. I just saw that you can then open the raw file in photoshop. Then, I opened the jpg in photoshop and viewed them side by side. Now, I can see the difference.