Re: RAW vs. JPEG
by Doc Lotus - 9/10/04 8:23 AM
In Reply to: Re: RAW vs. JPEG by jeanne--2008
Regarding RAW vs JPEG Formats...
There seems to be a general growing consensus...
RAW takes up entirely too much memory which severely limits the number of shots you can take.
RAW is too slow to load into camera memory which means no action shots can be taken.
Many camera functions such as Bracketing, Multi-shot, etc are not available when shooting RAW which again means no action shots can be made.
Using noise removal software such as Noise Ninja 2 works better on JPEG files as RAW has to be processed before you get an image...
- Noise removal software works best on images that have not been processed in any way as the processing makes changes to the pixels that distorts the noise removal process.
- Generally speaking, noise removal is usually not as successful with RAW files as it is with JPEG.
- As there are no standards for RAW (each camera company does it slightly differently) noise removal software does not work on RAW files.
- The RAW file has to be converted to a TIFF (or JPEG) before the noise removal software will work and then the file has to be converted back to RAW.
- Why go through all that for some slight, very small, hard to detect improvement that RAW is supposed to give?
Yes, RAW does allow you to make all changes to the image with RAW editing software but why spend a lot of time doing that when the camera will automatically do it for you with JPEG?
Most people are hard-pressed to tell any real difference between RAW & JPEG images after they are processed.
Other Thoughts About JPEG...
The general feeling is that if you always shoot in the Fine (highest quality) JPEG mode, that a few saves after editing the JPEG file will do no real noticeable harm.
After Noise Ninja 2 becomes available as a Photoshop plug-in, I will be able to do all editing to the image with just one save after all the editing is done. This will not effect the image in any noticeable way.
Another thought is to never edit the original JPEG image... work on a copy only. This way you will always have the original to go back to if you somehow mess up the copy. Good advice for any format.
RAW does have its place and some very advanced users may find it very rewarding to spend a lot of time manipulating a RAW image to get that very last ounce of detail out of it; however as they say... "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".
RAW is not so much about the format as it is about the kind of person that uses it.
There are certain users that may indeed find the advanced features of RAW to be very rewarding.
However, for someone like myself (advanced amateur) who wants all of my cameras features to function most of the time, takes hundreds of photos at a day outing, does not want to forgo action or spontaneous shots, does not want to have to keep changing back and forth between RAW and JPEG to get ALL my shots, does not want to carry 5 to 6 times the amount of memory, does not want to wait most of the afternoon to download hundreds of 17MB RAW images, does not have endless amounts of time to take and process hundreds of images, does not like constantly transferring from one image form to another (RAW to TIFF to JPEG) and is not an aspiring Ansel Adams, then RAW is simply not my cup of tea.
Most amateurs do not have PhotoShop CS, but like myself simply use as many of the automated features in a simpler (and cheaper) program like PhotoShop Elements II.
My camera is a Sony 828 8 mega pixel. At the Fine quality and 8 mega pixel settings this is the first thing I run into with RAW...
The time to store mages on my MicroDrive... 2 seconds (JPEG) vs. 15 seconds (RAW).
The size of file... 3 Mb (JPEG) vs. 17Mb (RAW).
I view all of my images with ACDSee image management software but, all of the RAW files in SRF format (that is what Sony uses) are not nearly as clear as any of the JPEG's, in fact, most are downright blurry; this I believe is due to the RAW interrupter that ACDSee uses (as there are no standards for RAW) and most likely is not the fault of RAW itself. This does however put one more roadblock into the use of RAW (for me) as I am not giving up ACDSee as it is one lovely program.
I also see a lot of hype about the RAW format...
Case in point...
One of my friends just bought a new Olympus 770 digital 4 mega pixel pocket camera. For last Christmas I gave him a one year subscription to a wonderful magazine called PC Photo which he loves to read. The other day he said he was thinking about shooting all his images in RAW. I was shocked! Now here is a guy that is still using the 16 MB memory card that came with his camera as memory is too expensive. He has absolutely no imaging processing software on his computer as he does not have any time to use it. He is a total novice, never makes prints, all shots are only for viewing on the computer or for e-mail yet he wants to shoot RAW. Now that is industry hype working at its best.
If, and when RAW conversion technology improves in the future, I hope that one area of improvement will be a standardization of the RAW format; maybe then there will be some real advances in the format as all developers will be working on improving only one version of RAW. When that day comes I will take another look at RAW.
Until that day arrives, I will stick with JPEG.
But, that is just me.
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