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RAW vs. JPEG?
#1
Can someone please explain to me the difference between these 2 & why RAW is "supposed" to be better?

I just got a D50 & was asked to shoot my sister's wedding. I have heard that for editing purposes you should use raw... ??

Thanks!
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#2
hi jobows

raw is like looking through your view finder but on the computer, with raw if open it in photoshop you can chance colour temperature, exposure, and a few other things. im sure someone who shoots digital in here will explain more in detail.
also i think if you can post more details on what you have (photoshop? camear raw? or capture?) to process your images will help the next person on advicing you.
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#3
Raw captures more data and exposure, color etc can be corrected over a wider range than with jpg alone.

This is a very brief decription of the differences. Raw of course uses up much more space on memory cards.
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#4
Also Raw is considered lossless and jpg is a lossy file. Raw is uncompressed and jpg is compressed. Look at it this way. You have a 4" raw image that is made up of say 1000 pixels. 150 of those pixels are different shades of blue, 150 different shades of green and so on. What happens to the same image in jpg format, which is compressed is the same 4" images is now 700 pixels. This is because what happens is the 150 shades of blue become 80 shades of blue. The computer or processor takes the shades and eliminates or combines shades that closest resemble one another. These numbers are hypothetical. Make sense?
Sit, stay, ok, hold it! Awww, no drooling! :O
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#5
I sometimes use a mailing list which is used by several photography educators. One of them is Head of Photography at a College in Oman and I always look out for his postings because he always explains things very clearly.

Recently someone else asked a similar question and you can see how he explains it to his students HERE

I thought he'd summed it up rather nicely. Smile

Pol
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#6
Gee. That sounds the opposite from what I said. It doesn't make sense that a jpg has more colour information than raw as Herschel Mair puts it.:/ Oh well, he's the professor.:|
Sit, stay, ok, hold it! Awww, no drooling! :O
My flickr images
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#7
Petographer Wrote:Gee. That sounds the opposite from what I said. It doesn't make sense that a jpg has more colour information than raw as Herschel Mair puts it.:/ Oh well, he's the professor.:|
I must admit that particular list is highly technical and often does my head in, which is why I come and go from there and only take it in small doses! The list is owned and managed by Prof. Andrew Davidhazy, Dept of Imaging and Photographic Technology at The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) NY so they sometimes get very technical, but I imagine they're usually more or less correct ..... I suppose. Big Grin

Basically, as I understand it, the sensor interprets the image in B/W and the colours are 'mixed' later -- and RAW gives you greater control over mixing those colours and, as it's RAW, you're not degrading anything as you do your mixing.

Pol
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#8
I'd put it this way:

1. Processing
RAW: data captured straight from the sensor
JPEG: processing (sharpening, white balance, etc.) applied and saved with the file

2. Compression
RAW: uncompressed, larger file sizes. No information discarded
JPEG: compressed, smaller file sizes. Information discarded through compression

3. Workflow
RAW: Requires converter and additional work because processing has not been applied yet. However, gives greater flexibility and dynamic range.
JPEG: Easier to get a good result straight out, because processing already has been applied. But less flexibility


Hope that helps..
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#9
I always shoot raw and I definitely recommend you doing so too, if you are to shoot a wedding. Especially if your camera is new, you're not 100% familiar with the settings and you're not a seasoned pro, you could easily get the white balance wrong and ruin the whole set of pictures. Raw lets you set the white balance when you interpret it, that is when you load it into your image editor or convert it to TIF or JPG. That means you can set the camera to "Auto WB" and forget about it. You can concentrate on DOF, exposure, light and shadow, facial expressions, pose of the subjects, wedding guests and other distracting elements in the background and so on and so on. There is still enough left to worry about - "we don't need no steenking white balance." Smile

BTW raw needs a lot more space on the card, see that you have a computer close by to unload the card in between the shooting sessions. Or bring several cards. Would be a pity to run out of storage in the middle of the wedding, wouldn't it?
Gallery/ Flickr Photo Stream

Reality is for wimps who can't face photoshop.
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#10
Jobows Wrote:Can someone please explain to me the difference between these 2 & why RAW is "supposed" to be better?
Every image starts as raw format. This is the data as captured by the sensor, with minimal interpretation and no further processing.

Saving the raw data stops the process here. No further interpretation or processing is done in the camera.

Capturing a jpeg image continues the process by applying various settings, some configurable (sharpness, contrast, saturation) and some not. It then saves the interpreted data in the compression level you select, out of a range of options given to you by the camera. All of the decisions are made by the camera, without regard to their effect on the image. While you may modify the image that the camera produces, you can never undo the camera's decisions.

Which one is better depends on how much work you want to do to get the shot just right, and how much control you want to have. Sometimes the camera's settings are good enough, and you don't want to spend additional time developing the image. Other times you may want to have more flexibility, or be willing to spend a few more minutes - each - to get your photos just perfect.

I use jpeg for casual shots, and raw for ones that matter more. When my wife's doing a triathlon, I capture in jpeg for crowd shots and anything else that she (or friends) aren't in. I can shoot hundreds of these (I get bored). When I know she'll be passing me soon, I switch to raw, for maximum flexibility for the few photos that will actually matter. If you don't have enough card space for an entire wedding in raw, you might want to consider a similar approach.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#11
Thank you! That is now clear as mud! Big Grin

Seriously... thanks I understand... I have been shooting in RAW since I heard it was better- just didn't know WHY I should be shooting it! Big Grin

Now for another question..... what program is considered better to edit from? Jasc, PSP, Nikon or Adobe PS? I have heard PS- but why? I am doing the trials for the Nikon & PSP right now and don't care for the Nikon-- but I don't really know what I am doing & have come to realize I should get a book or take a course on it!

Thanks for all your patience!

Jolene
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#12
Understanding RAW files: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutori...iles.shtml


There are a few RAW processing software out there including Phaseone Capture1 and Rawshooter Essentials (I think Rawshooter Essentials is the FREE one SmileSmileSmile)

Out of the programs you have listed, I've only tried Adobe PS. Smile
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#13
okay, I shot in raw for the first time yesterday (caving to peer pressure!) but Photoshop CS wouldn't recognise the files. And I didn't like the canon raw processor- every thing was taking ages and I couldn't do that which I usually do in photoshop. So I've switched back to jpg. Does anyone know how I can get photoshop to recognise the files? My hubby recons its because the 350D came out after CS was released and that if I had CS 2 that it would work. Thoughts?
Canon 350D with Speedlight 580EX flash
EFS 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 II, EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8

http://www.inspired-images.com.au
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#14
Schellamo Wrote:Does anyone know how I can get photoshop to recognise the files? My hubby recons its because the 350D came out after CS was released and that if I had CS 2 that it would work. Thoughts?
I suspect you probably need to update your CS2 Raw converter to version 2.4. It's a small download and it'll update only the RAW converter within CS.

Go to the Adobe site link HERE and scroll down to version CS then click on the link that says
Adobe DNG Converter and Camera Raw 2.4 update and that will take you to the most recent update for CS. I'm pretty sure it supports the 350D - but there's a list of supported cameras on the download page so you can check.

You've nothing at all to lose by trying the update anyway - just keep a copy of the old version as a backup. the instructions are all there on the download page.


Pol
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#15
Schellamo, you can also use Rawshooter Essentials to convert to tiff. RSE is free, as Adam mentioned, and one of the best raw converters out there, IMO. The web site is www.pixmantec.com.
Gallery/ Flickr Photo Stream

Reality is for wimps who can't face photoshop.
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#16
As stated before, all JPG's start out life as RAW.
A common metaphore being that a RAW file represents a bunch of ingredients while a JPG file represents a finished cake. While it is possible to change a cake that is already baked (add icing, cream, etc) there are many things that are better to change before the ingredients are mixed or baked.

As also stated, RAW images are in fact monochrome images in almost all digital cameras (although they are not black/white). This is because the sensors on most digital cameras can only respond to the luminance of light, not its colour. A multi-colour filter called a "Bayer Filter" is used in front of the sensor to encode colour information into these luminance values, and then software tries to demosaic/interpolate/guesstimate the colour information based on what it knows about the filter colour in front of each pixel and the pixels surrounding it. There is a good article on Wikipedia that describes how Bayer Filters work.
Note that although a RAW file is effectively a monochrome image, a JPG image does not contain "more" colour information - simply the "decoded" colour information from the RAW.
Another lesser-discussed reason for shooting RAW is because the RAW conversion software on PC's is significantly more sophisticated than the software inside the camera, and can potentially do a much better job than the camera of this demosaicing/colouring process, not to mention the many other complex tasks in RAW conversion such as sharpening and noise-reduction. Added to that is the fact that RAW files are usually 12-bit instead of the 8-bit of JPG (each pixel can represent 4096 luminance values instead of 256 - albeit using a different scale), and that RAW files are lossless instead of lossy as already stated, and you begin to see many small benefits adding up to a subtle but significant difference.

Schell, Polly is correct about Photoshop CS2 requiring a newer version of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) to read 350D files. It seems the 350D just missed out on the deadline for getting support included in the initial release of CS2.
Incidently, the Canon software Digital Photo Professional (DPP) converts RAW files just fine... I normally hate applications that come bundled with hardware, but DPP is a definate exception to this rule in my mind. It might not be on top of the list for workflow, but the quality of its output is very highly regarded. I have tried about half a dozen others, and while I can see how they might appeal to other people, I keep coming back to DPP for the most consistent and pleasing results.
And Canon have just released a new version of DPP (available as a free download) which is even better than v1.6 which came bundled with the 350D. It is well worth the download.
But it seems that a favourite RAW converter is quite a personal choice. Be aware that the differences are greater than just the workflow or list of specs might suggest. Different converters really do give different "flavours" to your shots, and suit different ways of working. I'm about to have a bit of a play with SilkyPix - a new japanese RAW converter I've just read about on Rob Galbraith.
Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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#17
Polly Wrote:I suspect you probably need to update your CS2 Raw converter to version 2.4. It's a small download and it'll update only the RAW converter within CS.

Pol
Sorry, made a typo there. I meant to say "you probably only need to update your CS Raw converter" ......... then it probably won't be necessary to upgrade to CS2.

Pol
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#18
Sorry for the bad news Polly and Schell... but Adobe does not support the 350D in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) for Photoshop CS.. at all. Sad It's their nice way of "helping" their customers with the tough choice of whether or not to upgrade to CS2.

The not-quite-so-bad news is that the new version of Canon DPP (v2.1) has an "open in Photoshop" menu item which will allow you to semi-intergrate it into Photoshop CS (and it gives better results than ACR anyway IMHO)... and I'm sure many other RAW converters also offer this functionality if DPP isn't your thing.
I think ACR is overrated anyway.. Stick it to Adobe! Tongue
Adrian Broughton
My Website: www.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
My Blog: blog.BroughtonPhoto.com.au
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
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#19
Not so fast. I had the same problem with my D200 not being supported (I also have CS). Polly helped me solve it a while ago. Here is the thread that descibes what I did.

http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=4845
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#20
Toad Wrote:Not so fast. I had the same problem with my D200 not being supported (I also have CS). Polly helped me solve it a while ago. Here is the thread that descibes what I did.

http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=4845
You beat me to it, Toadster. Big Grin


Pol
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#21
Kombisaurus Wrote:I'm about to have a bit of a play with SilkyPix - a new japanese RAW converter I've just read about on Rob Galbraith.
Hey let us know how you get on!
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#22
Thanks dudes Big Grin
Canon 350D with Speedlight 580EX flash
EFS 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 II, EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, EF 50mm f/1.8

http://www.inspired-images.com.au
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#23
Hi,
pretty new to RAW here.. may i know between DPP and RAW Image Task (RIT), which is more preferred and with better output ?
thanx
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