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Question about RAW
#1
It is a fact that RAW holds a lot more information about the image taken.
And that more can be done in PP with this information.
My question is ...... If I take the RAW into lightroom, what extra can be done if all the Developments do exactly the same whether its in RAW or Jpeg?
Canon EOS 650D with 18-55 kit lens/ 75-300 zoom/ 100-400 zoom
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125137869@N08/
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#2
I guess I would wonder what you mean by the statement " if all the Developments do exactly the same whether its in RAW or Jpeg?" I am not sure that they do, because, for one thing, with a jpeg you can only set a "relative" temperature in the BASIC panel and not an absolute temperature as you can with a raw file. The jpeg file, as you know, has already been processed in the camera. This "pre-processing" cannot be removed, whereas with a raw file you can always start over again back at the non-processed point, or remove the last "development" change to an image and try something different, particularly in Lightroom. With the raw file, you are not applying "processing effects" over effects that have already been irreversibly done to the image with a jpeg.

The jpeg format is often referred to as a "lossy" format as some "data/image information is lost each time the file is saved. Personally, I have never noticed any difference when I have been working with jpeg files, but that may just be the way I work with them. Raw files tend to preserve more fine detail in an image, but this is one of the reasons that they need further processing, whereas jpegs do not. I also believe that I have more control over colour, white balance and exposure adjustments with raw than I do with a jpg. Raw files also give you a certain freedom to apply "new" technology in the future as it become available. Whether you can get this same "freedom" with jpegs, I don't know.

I guess it really comes down to what you are happy with. If you like the look of the jpeg straight out of the camera, then that is really all you need to worry about. If you like to put the "finishing touches" on an image, or experiment with different post-processing effects, then raw is the one to go for. I know that a lot of sports photographers, who have to get images to their editors as soon as possible after the event, shoot jpegs for the reason that they have a "processed" image right out of the camera. When I first started out in digital, I shot jpegs + raw for comparison, but eventually gave up on the jpeg and went totally raw. Personally, I enjoy the freedom I get from raw images for post processing in Lightroom or in one of the many plug-ins available for it.

Hope this helps.

WesternGuy
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#3
Thank you for your reply.
What I meant about the Developement is ............In Lightroom on the right is..
Library > Develope > and Web.
Under Develope you have Basics, Tone curves, Effects etc.
The "Basic" sliders will take the Exposure from pure black to white regardless if it's Raw or Jpeg.
I understand that a lot more information is in the RAW, but do the sliders allow you to bring out more of the information
Canon EOS 650D with 18-55 kit lens/ 75-300 zoom/ 100-400 zoom
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125137869@N08/
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#4
I haven't really set out to test it, but you could probably check this out for yourself. Take one of your images, shoot it in jpeg and then in raw. You could then put both of them through the same sequence of processing and see what you get. My guess is that, depending on how you have the jpg in-camera conversion set up, you might find that you actually have to do a bit more work on the raw image because the camera will have already processed the original raw image depending on how you have the in-camera conversion set up. If you do try this, make sure that you are producing jpegs that are the same size as the raw image, otherwise the camera processing may affect the final jpeg image. For the 650D, this would mean shooting at High-quality jpeg and High-quality raw. I would also set the "Picture style" to "Auto" for the jpeg, but I suppose that you could use any other "style" setting. You just have to remember which setting you used as this will give you some insight into how the camera converted the image to the corresponding jpeg format.

I do know that you can often recover a poorly exposed image if it was shot in raw, something you cannot do if you shot a jpeg image because the "exposure" is baked in to the image.

As far as the "sliders" allowing you to bring out more of the information, I would say yes because when you shoot a jpeg, a lot of the information that would be in the raw image is already incorporated into the jpeg and you cannot make changes to the jpeg that you can to the raw image because a lot of the information is not there to be used when you are "editing" the jpeg. I hope this makes sense, but I would encourage you to test this all out for yourself. Shoot three or four different images - a flower, a landscape, a sky with clouds shot, and maybe a portrait. Shoot enough images so that there is a considerable variation in the white balance and the subject matter. Shoot both in raw and jpeg and then see what you can, or cannot do, with them in Lightroom. If you do this experiment, please post some results and let us folks in the forum know how you got on with this.

WesternGuy
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#5
This is my non-expert amateur description and based on my own testing.

The big differences between RAW and jpeg stems from the bit depth - the 'volume' of colours recorded. Most DSLRs record in 12 bit precision or 4096 levels. JPEG is 8 bit or 256 levels of colour - so the on-camera processing does a LOT of work to reduce the number of levels and in so doing makes a lot of sometimes irreversible decisions on white balance, colour compression etc.

For a more elegant description of all this have a look here:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutoria...format.htm (one of my 2 favourite resources on all things DSLR, but watch out, if you've never visited the site allow several hours as you'll probably chase of in all sorts of interesting directions Smile

But 'so what' if I'm happy with the jpeg? Well if your like me there are a number of times when I have an image where the colour balance is not right; the exposure is off; or more specifically the shadows are too dark or highlights are blown (and because of the in-camera compression the detail is lost); etc. In these case RAW truly comes into its own because nothing is pre-processed in-camera. In PS Adobe Camera RAW (and presumably LR) I can adjust all of those with ease.

Another important point is jpeg is 'lossy' compression as mentioned previously. Well the camera has already discarded a lot of info, if I save, edit, save, edit repeatedly on a jpeg the lossy compression is rerun each time with continual reduction of quality - if you want to test, take a copy of a full range jpeg, use levels to deliberately make the image very light or very dark, save, re-edit and try to find the the detail you lost. Usually my editing efforts are not that extreme but it does illustration the point.

Do the same thing with ACR. If you check the disk folder afterwards you will find an additional file with the same filename. This 'sidecar' file contains all the edits you saved on the raw file (whether you 'saved' the raw or 'Opened in PS as a tiff). Re-edit the raw and they are all there; you can reset or change individual settings at will, or even delete the sidecar file and start again. Note PS always converts raw to 16bit TIFF so even subsequent re-editing will not loose detail (means you have to convert to jpeg as a final action for web or some printing programs.)

So what do I do? I always set for RAW+JPEG to save on-camera; I use branded, quality class 10 memory so the save time is at a minimum, read into a computer is quick (I know most cameras can't 'outsave' a C10 but the cost difference in minimal so its a small attempt to future proof my memory.) When I work with the images Iuse jpegs most of the time as most of my stuff is 'snapshots' but for the images I really like, or those needing more than curves and sharpening I use the RAW. For me that's typically 10 or 20% I guess. Finally I archive the jpeg contacts, the raws, and just the jpegs I finally used.

Dave




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#6
(Oct 17, 2014, 04:21)johnytrout Wrote: It is a fact that RAW holds a lot more information about the image taken.
And that more can be done in PP with this information.
My question is ...... If I take the RAW into lightroom, what extra can be done if all the Developments do exactly the same whether its in RAW or Jpeg?

Hi,

The beauty about RAW is that you can either in camera or via software, edit the image to change the colour balance as if you'd taken the picture in another mode.

For instance if you've taken a landscape in portrait mode, you can change this as above and the image will appear as if it was taken in the landscape mode.

Personally I shoot in both RAW and JPEG to dual cards as I like (and sometimes need) the display flexibility of JPEG, along with the PP flexibility of RAW.

Regards
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#7
Sure it's from CS3 onwards, you can open jpg in Bridge, then open in Raw. I use CS4, changed camera without realising 4 did not support RAW, on the camera I purchased. Have never really missed it, as, I can access via above. Ed.
To each his own!
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#8
Johnny, you might want to check out some of the reasons for shooting raw and why it is better to process a raw file in Lightroom than a jpeg.

http://www.digitalphotomentor.com/raw-vs...e-formats/

I think that some of these points may have already been touched upon, but this overview will, hopefully, settle some of questions.

WesternGuy
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#9
The linked article outlines the features of Raw files correctly, as do many other sources on the Web, and I completely understand them.

But I think the question to ask oneself is, "Do I need to shoot Raw?".

In my experience so far, I have found that JPEGs from the camera are of very good quality, and close in appearance to what I want. They are sufficiently malleable to be adjustable to produce photographs, without any perceptible loss of quality for viewing from a sensible distance on a screen or in prints up to at least A3 (16x12 inches) in size.

Other factors, such as the chosen subject, the content and composition within the frame, the quality of available lighting, my artistic vision as the photographer, etc., are of much greater significance regarding whether the images make good photographs or not!

One can get the impression that a "real" photographer (i.e. someone serious about the art) wouldn't dream of shooting JPEGs. But, of course, a real photographer shouldn't be making serious mistakes, such as the extreme examples usually quoted to justify shooting in Raw!

While it is true that Raw files contain more data, and therefore give greater leeway for adjustment when things go wrong, there is much that can be done to "correct" a poorly taken shot recorded in JPEG format. It is a good idea to experiment for yourself, and here is an example - test shots of my garden shed under a cloudy sky this morning:

   

   

The series down the left are the JPEGs shot by decreasing the exposure one stop each time, down to 5 stops below normal.

The series down the right show the JPEGs produced by recovering the pictures, by adjusting them with the sliders in Adobe Camera Raw (yes, JPEGs can be loaded into ACR). No further processing was done on the images.

Here is a larger image of the 4-Stop recovered JPEG (IMGP6767a0.jpg) which should display as equivalent to an A4 print (~12x8 inches), if your screen is big enough:

   

The full resolution (16MP) file of this image also prints out to make an acceptable A4 print (despite being a rubbish photograph!).

In contrast to the extreme editing needed to correct the worst of these examples, the sorts of moderate adjustments usually needed to enhance a JPEG are unlikely to result in any perceptible quality issues.

Cheers.
Philip
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#10
Philip, thanks for the great set of comparison shots. I am sure it will have a lot of folks thinking about raw vs. jpeg. I think that ultimately it comes down to doing whatever works for you, the photographer and the type of photography that you do. I think it also depends on how much post-processing you do, or want to do, with your images. I am also not convinced that some pictures of a garden shed will convince a lot of us who shoot landscapes, etc., that jpgs are sufficient. In my opinion. whether or not to shoot one format or the other depends a lot on what the end use is and whether or not you (the photographer) want to release your artistic talent (yes, I see photography as an art form) to the algorithms developed by someone who probably has no idea of what any of the end users will be shooting, so they come up with a "compromise" which a lot of people are happy with, thus all the labels on the "image type selector" on a P&S camera. I know my wife and my son both shoot jpgs, but any sort of post-processing short of printing their images at the local photo shop, is not something they want to do and that is what they are happy with - it works for them. For me, I really want the freedom that having a raw image gives me, thus I shoot raw. I know I can always get a jpg from it, if needed, for things like web display or printing at Costco, but for that feeling of full artistic freedom, there is nothing like a raw file. Also, when I do decide to produce a jpg from a raw file, then it is an image that I have produced from my post-processing and not one that the camera has imposed on me. Maybe that is it...there are some (a lot) of us who want the freedom that goes with having a raw file without the feeling that we have to deal with an image produced by the camera based on an algorithm produced by someone who has no idea of what it is that we are shooting. Yes, buying into raw means more work on our part, but some of us like that "work". Personally, I do not see it as work, but as an essential part of my photography. It produces an image which is mine and mine alone.

While I can understand and appreciate your perspective, I do hope you understand that while I am not "anti-jpeg", I am "pro-raw" as it gives me, in my opinion, more degrees of freedom than a jpeg does.

WesternGuy
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#11
(Oct 23, 2014, 10:41)WesternGuy Wrote: ...While I can understand and appreciate your perspective...

WesternGuy

Considering the general implications suggested by your longer paragraph, that understanding would seem doubtful... Sad

Cheers.
Philip
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#12
Not true - I understand very well why some people would want to shoot jpegs. I also understand why some people, me included, shoot in raw. In the end, as I have said, it all depends on what folks want to do with their image(s) and whether or not they are happy with the results that they get, regardless of how they get them. For me, it is not a case of arguing whether one is better than the other, only what works for each individual. In my opinion, the old saying different strokes for different folks holds very true here. You and others may choose to shoot jpeg, or raw + jpeg - no problem from my perspective. Others, like me, may choose to shoot raw - no problem. Regardless of which format you choose, if it gives you what you want for a final product then that is really all that counts.

As I said in my previous posting - For me, I really want the freedom that having a raw image gives me, thus I shoot raw. I do know of a number of folks that don't really care about this freedom, they simply want a good image that they can share with family and friends. I have no problem with this and I certainly appreciate their perspective/choice - it's their decision, based on their needs and end use. Mine just happens to be different. Nothing is wrong with either choice.

Hope this helps clarify that I do understand and appreciate your perspective. Perhaps, I should have used the word choice rather than perspective.

WesternGuy
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#13
gotta go with westernguy. I shoot raw+jpeg as I mentioned previously because jpeg suits much of the time but when it doesn't I have the ability to use raw for more control and recovery (although the image recovery by MrB was pretty impressive!)

In the same way I choose to use a DSLR rather than a phone, full frame instead of cropped, Canon instead of Nikon, Photoshop instead of Lightroom etc. As an amateur many of those decisions were chance, several were because as an enthusiast, I wanted to get the best results I could, and sometimes using the tools to achieve that is a big part of the enjoyment. A full-time professional would have much different considerations.

[ps before I restart the Canon vs Nikon vs Pentax vs whatever debate, when I finally decided to go DSLR instead of compact, the best spec/ price performance as I saw it at the time was a special offer on an EOS 600 in my local camera shop Wink
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#14
Westernguy,

Post #12 contains views about freedom of choice with which no-one should disagree.

But, with regard to Raw/JPEG choices, the comment in Post #11 is still applicable.

Cheers.
Philip
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#15
(Oct 24, 2014, 04:16)MrB Wrote: Westernguy,

Post #12 contains views about freedom of choice with which no-one should disagree.

But, with regard to Raw/JPEG choices, the comment in Post #11 is still applicable.

Cheers.
Philip
Then I guess all we can do (hopefully) is agree to disagree.

WG
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#16
WesternGuy, I am reluctant to agree to disagree, not because I wish to argue with you, but because I wanted you to rethink what you appear to have mistakenly assumed and/or implied (perhaps inadvertently) is my perspective.

If you study the content of your Posts, #10 and #12, you should see that they give the impression that JPEGs are for those who leave everything to the camera and who do not want to be bothered about image processing. By contrast, my contribution in Post#9 is to show, with concrete examples, that JPEGs are amenable to quite severe image processing adjustments, in this case mainly to reverse the (deliberate) under-exposure, but there are also subtle changes to their white balance, shadows, highlights, clarity, saturation and vibrance.

My perspective is the enjoyment of exploiting the amazing technology provided within a modern DSLR, by taking control of the many parameters that it allows me to adjust, in order to try to capture a JPEG image close to that which I desire. Then, as I have discovered both by reading and by my own investigations, the JPEG image (or parts within it) can be tweaked/adjusted/enhanced/edited in imaging software (at 16-bit depth if needed), without any perceptible loss of quality over the relatively short range adjustments that are usually required (compared with the extremes in Post#9). Nearly every JPEG image I shoot is processed (usually in PaintShop Pro X6), and that forms a large part of my enjoyment of making photographs. And, for me, the huge Raw files are simply unnecessary.

But, of course, as EdMak often writes here - "To each his own!" Wink

Cheers.
Philip
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#17
I would be curious to know how you can edit a jpeg at 16 bits when to my knowledge, a jpeg only contains 8 bits to begin with. Correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, this simply stretches the color and tonal values that you can work on with the image due to the 8-bit to 16-bit conversion but still the original file already has lost some detail due to the in-camera jpeg conversion. It is also my understanding that making an incorrect exposure and then using jpeg as your preferred file could result in clipping either in the shadow or highlight areas. I would agree that if your capture is reasonably accurate (exposure & white balance wise) then modest 8 bit edits will probably be fine. If you're making large corrections to the captures (especially to levels) then you're probably going to see degradation no matter which bit depth you process in (you can't reveal information that isn't there).

I think it would be interesting to try your experiment with an image that has a very high contrast range to see if you can still recover the image details such as you have demonstrated with your shed example.

I still stand by my position as Ed has said in his way - it all depends on what you want to do with the final product - "to each his own." For those who are content to capture jpg images and edit them to produce their final result then that is their decision, and as long as they are happy with the results then that is all that counts. For those, like me, who prefer to capture raw images and process them then that is their decision and they, like me, must be prepared to live with any extra post-processing required.

We could continue this and beat it into the ground more than we have already. I choose not to continue this discussion and simply let any readers decide which way they wish to go when it comes to choosing raw or jpeg, or both. There are advantages and disadvantages for both approaches and as long as the individual is prepared to live with these, then that is really all that matters.

WesternGuy

WesternGuy
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#18
For some reason, I could not update edit my previous post - Mods - what happened, I was well within the time limit?

I wish to add the following for clarification.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
If I gave the impression that jpgs are for those you want to leave everything to the camera and not be bothered with processing, this is because in my experience this is more often the case than not - most folks with P&S cameras do not, in my experience, do any further processing of their images other than to print them at a photo centre . I will admit that when I first started in digital, I shot only jpegs and did post processing on them. It was only when I became dissatisfied with some of the results, or lack thereof, that I switched to raw format. You can definitely make changes to jpgs in post-processing, but it is my understanding that you are limited to the full extent of what you can achieve because of information losses from the in-camera processing.

WesternGuy
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#19
I'm with Philip on this one.

It seems to me, that a lot of the discussion/argument rotates around the 'who's got the bigger file' question. Sort of 'my cars bigger than yours', so I've got better bragging rights than you have scenario. Thus I find the whole thing to be quite childish.

In some (but only some) lines of work the use of raw files is understandable. An example of which might be 'Wedding Photography', where Bridezilla and her equally revolting mother expect the photographer to work wonders and produce miracles from a sows ear of a subject, taken in lighting conditions which were far from ideal. However, if we look at portraiture carried out either in a studio or in the subjects home with your 'portable studio', then as YOU the photographer has now got total control of the lighting, posing, background, etc, under these circumstances, correctly exposed JPEG files are 'in my opinion' and experience more than adequate to produce highly saleable prints up to A2 in size from a 12mp camera.

No doubt the argument will drag on ad-nausium with nether side stopping to consider the purpose for which the end product (the picture) is to be used. I cannot help but feel however, that those who insist 'I'll only shoot RAW because its better/more professional/the files are bigger/I've got a bigger and faster computer system than you', (Yah-boo sucks) are in the main, somewhat guilty of 'file snobbery'.

Best regards.

Phil.
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#20
(Oct 24, 2014, 18:50)Phil J Wrote: I'm with Philip on this one.
...edited

No doubt the argument will drag on ad-nausium with nether side stopping to consider the purpose for which the end product (the picture) is to be used. I cannot help but feel however, that those who insist 'I'll only shoot RAW because its better/more professional/the files are bigger/I've got a bigger and faster computer system than you', (Yah-boo sucks) are in the main, somewhat guilty of 'file snobbery'.

Best regards.

Phil.

I would agree with you Phil, but you will note that I never really said anything about bigger, better, faster, or more professional. I have said that it is up to the individual photographer to decide what to use and if it suits his purpose then that is really all that counts. I choose to shoot raw because it suits my purpose. If someone else chooses to shoot jpeg because it suits his purpose, then there is nothing wrong with doing that. I also said that regardless of what choice you make, part of making that choice is being able to live with the pros and cons of that particular choice. Because I shoot raw, I have to live with the fact that my files out of the camera will always be very large and thus I will require more "storage" for them and storage costs $$$.

By the way, I agree with your comment about "file snobbery". There are, I suspect, some who shoot raw because "that's what the pros do", when in fact certain pros shoot primarily jpeg because it suits the nature of the work that they do. I think this is like the Canon vs. Nikon argument and could go one ad nauseam and will most likely never be settled because everyone's requirements are different and as long as they are different, then they will make a choice dictated by their different needs. That's all.

WesternGuy

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#21
+1 to everything in Phil J's and WesternGuy's last posts.

As I suggested in my Post #9, comments around the Web from the Raw side of the debate often give the impression that one cannot be a serious photographer unless one shoots Raw. I think that is often intentional, it evidences an attitude, and it is a manifestation of the sort of snobbery that Phil mentions. It is often "supported" by perpetuating and exaggerating myths, half-truths and unthruths about JPEGs, usually alongside examples of extreme processing to rectify mistakes that serious photographers shouldn't make.

One cannot escape the mathematics and physics - Raw files contain all the 16-bit data from the sensor (which is why they are huge), whereas JPEGs contain 8-bit compressed files which have lost some of that Raw data (which is why they are much smaller). However, contrary to some of the myths and untruths, most of the image editing procedures can be performed successfully on JPEGs, although not to quite the same extent as is tolerated by Raw files with their extra data.

The considerations should be whether that lost data and extra leeway in processing can be used to make any real perceptible differences to the final images (i.e. from Raw compared with from JPEG), and therefore whether they are actually necessary, both in the types of photography one is serious about, and also to the intended final output format.

Cheers.
Philip
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#22
(Oct 25, 2014, 00:17)WesternGuy Wrote:
(Oct 24, 2014, 18:50)Phil J Wrote: I'm with Philip on this one.
...edited

No doubt the argument will drag on ad-nausium with nether side stopping to consider the purpose for which the end product (the picture) is to be used. I cannot help but feel however, that those who insist 'I'll only shoot RAW because its better/more professional/the files are bigger/I've got a bigger and faster computer system than you', (Yah-boo sucks) are in the main, somewhat guilty of 'file snobbery'.

Best regards.

Phil.

I would agree with you Phil, but you will note that I never really said anything about bigger, better, faster, or more professional. I have said that it is up to the individual photographer to decide what to use and if it suits his purpose then that is really all that counts. I choose to shoot raw because it suits my purpose. If someone else chooses to shoot jpeg because it suits his purpose, then there is nothing wrong with doing that. I also said that regardless of what choice you make, part of making that choice is being able to live with the pros and cons of that particular choice. Because I shoot raw, I have to live with the fact that my files out of the camera will always be very large and thus I will require more "storage" for them and storage costs $$$.

By the way, I agree with your comment about "file snobbery". There are, I suspect, some who shoot raw because "that's what the pros do", when in fact certain pros shoot primarily jpeg because it suits the nature of the work that they do. I think this is like the Canon vs. Nikon argument and could go one ad nauseam and will most likely never be settled because everyone's requirements are different and as long as they are different, then they will make a choice dictated by their different needs. That's all.

WesternGuy

Hi Western Guy,

I've emboldened a part of your reply because I agree that YOU never suggested any of that part of my observation. However, that is all it was, 'an observation' and whilst you personally have chosen to primarily shoot RAW for 'frankly' all the right reasons, as I see it, there are many others who only do so because (as you highlighted) they think 'it's the thing to do'. In addition, your observation vis-a-vi Nikon v Canon is just as valid and many ignore the virtues of Pentax, Olympus, Sony or Fuji, all of which make great cameras and lenses.

Best regards.

Phil.
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#23
Phil, thanks for clarifying things. I suspect a some of us, me included, have continued with a specific brand of camera in the digital realm because that is what we were using in the film days. I still have my old Canon film camera and the set of lenses that I used with it. I also used the lenses with my first digital camera until I began to realize that 20 to 30 year old lenses just didn't cut it in the digital era, at least mine didn't. So, I saved my $$ and gradually accumulated more current lenses for my digital cameras.

One very good thing that the digital era has done is to create more and hopefully better competition between the major players from the perspective of technology not only in the final products, but also in the processes that go into manufacturing them. In the end, it is you and me, the consumer, who win.

WesternGuy
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