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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Advantages of RAW...Hi Folks, I am completely new to photography and my questions to you all will soon reveal just how inexperienced ...
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Old 26-08-2009, 19:28   #1 (permalink)
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Advantages of RAW

Hi Folks,
I am completely new to photography and my questions to you all will soon reveal just how inexperienced I am. However, my boyfriend bought me a Nikon D40 a couple of years ago and I've had such fun with it experimenting.
My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking pics in RAW.
I know that one disadvantage is that sometimes my computer can't download them so I guess they must be pretty large files.
Thanks for any advice
Bev
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Old 26-08-2009, 20:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Quite a few advantages in shooting raw instead of jpg, white balance for example. If you shoot jpg and your WB is wonky because of lighting conditions and ruins the photo then your pretty much stuck with it. With Raw you can alter the WB with a appropriate editing program. Raw is like a digital negative, you can tweak more out of your photo than you can with jpg.

There are millions of sites offering good info on Raw Vs Jpg for example ---> Click Here
I'm sure others will come along with more techy terms.
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Old 26-08-2009, 20:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Hi Bev and welcome to Pixalo.

I am not going to give you a definitive answer to this as I am not sure there is one. Many people here and at the camera club I go to think raw is great and only use that. I am not so convinced and almost always use jpeg. The only exception is when I want to photograph a scene with a huge amount of contrast and in that case raw has some slight advantages,

The disadvantages are the very much larger file size and the fact that there is no standard RAW format. Each camera make has a different sort of raw and different models from the same maker can have different formats as well. This makes it difficult for image processing software to keep up with all the changes.

I am sure that you will get more replies but my main suggestion to you is to try it out for yourself. You do not say what camera you have but most these days can save one image in both raw and jpg format. If you take some pictures in both formats you can look at them afterwards and see what you think the advantages and disadvantages of each are.
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Old 26-08-2009, 21:01   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Welcome... and you just asked the never ending and polemic question RAW vs Jpeg.
LOL
I'm sure there will be a few answers on that.
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Old 26-08-2009, 22:19   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Raw is a bigger file so that has a lot of disadvantages in terms of speed, buffer sizes and numbers of images on a card or you hard drive. Plus it needs more specialised software to view and edit and you can't do much straight out of the camera.
In terms of image quality a processed raw file will always be no worse and usually better than a Jpeg (It has a lot more information so you should expect that.) It also depends what you want to do. If you want to view on a high gamut display or a good printer then you will gain more from raw.
I shoot both at the same time. Best of both worlds it just fills the card up slightly more quickly.
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Old 26-08-2009, 23:17   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

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Best of both worlds it just fills the card up slightly more quickly.
Slightly Now that is an understatement .

With my camera jpgs are usually about 5 MB and raw about 15 so combined 20 MB disappears with each shot when if I take both.
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Old 27-08-2009, 07:17   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Wow thanks folks.
I think I am going to learn lots from you guys. I only have two lenses at present, the one it came with 55mm and have just recently purchased a 200mm. So I have been experimenting with them both. I am going to be doing some portraits for work soon so I will go and look on this site and see if there are any tips.
Many thanks for your advise.
Bev
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Old 27-08-2009, 08:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

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Originally Posted by AQ View Post
Slightly Now that is an understatement .

With my camera jpgs are usually about 5 MB and raw about 15 so combined 20 MB disappears with each shot when if I take both.
On one of mine the Raw file alone is 30MB+ but I meant slightly more than Raw obviously a lot more than Jpeg only. But cards and storage are pretty cheap now and lossless compressed Raw helps.
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Old 27-08-2009, 09:10   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

its what suits you, i never shoot anything but raw......... not because its ALWAYS better than JPG, but simply because i am too lazy to switch between both. and i dont really see the point in having hte camera waste space by shooting both at once.
comparing a jpg to a raw file isnt really an option cos its not going to give you a true comparison, a raw is a data file and designed to be processed so therefore wont give you the finished product to look at before u process it, a jpg file from camera is an image file and has already been edited incamera and is therefore a finished product. a bit like comparing the ingredients of apple crumble to the cooked crumble........ nothing like each other.

although im my case the evidence of the finished apple crumble has now been dealt with in the time honoured way............eaten! lol

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Old 27-08-2009, 11:17   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

D40 compresses the RAW files so they aren't even close to those double figure file sizes being bandied around. In fact they aren't that much larger than the JPG files tbh. My D50 ranged from 4MB - 6.5MB

Also given the cost per MB in disk space and memory cards, storage shouldn't really be an issue either. And that's coming from someone who is mucho skinto!

imo anyone into photography as opposed to using their camera for memories needs their head examined for using JPG.
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Old 27-08-2009, 17:27   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Just one point in favour of shooting a JPEG as well as a RAW file is that when my offspring clamour for the days shots to be uploaded to Facebook I can just do it and forget about it. Otherwise, you have to process each file in order to do that small task!
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Old 28-08-2009, 08:00   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangepeel View Post
imo anyone into photography as opposed to using their camera for memories needs their head examined for using JPG.
Summed up in a single, concise sentence
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:33   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

JPEG, its a "Suits you" fits all format that hasnt been changed much since the 1990's... (1994 approved for use)

I have a camera that would have been someones wet dream in the 90's, but has been superseded by a number of newer camera's since, such is the progression of technology, and in each progression, the format it saves the pictures in, is also "Updated", in that, the codec and format used to transfer the files is an almost WYSIWYG format with zero compression, its the "RAW" data, (hence the name,) from the camera sensor..... its the simplest way to get what your camera can do to your screen without using any compression.

For me, I would take the RAW data over any other format any day, as it allows greater manipulation of the photograph in editing software...

I do not know everything about editing... I am still learning, hence my reason for being here... this place is a gold mine for information...
So in saying that, for those who believe the do not know enough to make use of the difference between JPEG and RAW, think this way...
Stick around, learn from these people.... if you reading this, you have taken the steps to join a site where its all about getting the best from what you have.
If you camera HAS the ability to go RAW, and you dont use it, you will get one of those "Did I take that?...." shots sooner or later, and to find that you could have improved it to be even better if you had used RAW............???

We all start somewhere... I started with a Kodak Instamatic, (which I still have....) but the Pentax my Dad had (which I also still have....) was contagious, I now have a Canon 350, and when I have learnt all what that can do, may look upon the bigger ones with envy, but I look upon RAW (or CRW for Canon owners) as the height of ability of what my camera can do...

If I wanted JPEG, I would use the (Excellent) Fuji point-and-shoot the missus has....
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:08   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangepeel View Post
anyone into photography as opposed to using their camera for memories needs their head examined for using JPG.
On your advice I have booked an appointment with the Shrink.

Last edited by AQ; 28-08-2009 at 20:16.
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Old 08-09-2009, 17:25   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Advantages of RAW

As a relative newcomer to all this I've only started to use RAW recently. One of the biggest advantages for me is to be able to edit using Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop. It's a revelation, honestly. I now only use Jpeg for family snapshots.
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