JPEG vs RAW

Discussion in 'Photography' started by SoCalRich, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    I'm coming from the film side and I must confess I'm not really sure what the difference is between the 2 digital formats.

    I think the RAW has more image info for more complex processing??? What are the advantages/disadvantages of either?

    I'm looking at various camera's and some are able to process RAW images. I would consider myself a serious amateur and don't want to make a mistake in selecting a camera that would be limited in potential. I plan on using Photoshop Elements 6 for my Mac for post quality adjustments etc.

    I've been looking at some of the UltraZooms but might consider and entry level DSLR... maybe... I know, it's only money... :rolleyes:
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Raw images are not affected by the camera's processor (which tweaks color, sharpness, contrast, etc.) and are more detailed than JPEG images. Raw files are larger than JPEG's and slower to transfer to the memory card, leading to slower shooting. Raw files are good for people who enjoy tweaking their photos with Photoshop. If you're not a heavy Photoshop user, raw shooting is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you like spending lots of time with Photoshop, you might enjoy playing with raw images.
     
  3. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again Andy.

    Your key words for me were "are more detailed than JPEG images." I can work with RAW images using Bridge in Elements 6. The shots I usually keep I work on anyway. Something to think about.
     
  4. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    I think if you have access to Lightroom, Photoshop or any RAW processing tool, then definitely go with RAW, there's no reason not to other than that they take up more room.

    RAW is the digital equivalent to the negatives in film; nothing is set in stone and during the development process you can manipulate brightness and contrast, etc. based on how you develop it. With JPEGs, you are basically using a "Polaroid", the image comes out as is, and still can be edited with Photoshop, but will look edited afterwards, because, yes you can edit a developed photo but its not the same as working with a negative!
     
  5. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    That explanation makes it real easy to understand. I just bought a Panasonic FZ28 that is capable of shooting both RAW and RAW+JPEG and I like the option of increased post manipulation possibilities.
     
  6. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    I definitely have to disagree with Sam for the most part. He is technically right that RAW has more options for manipulation, but how often are you really going to use it. File sizes are gigantic, cameras slow down, and is it worth it? I would prefer to shoot more and faster than be slowed down with RAW files that give me little or no advantage in post processing 99% of the time. In Lightroom I can edit a JPG just the same as a RAW file, so I see no use in shooting RAW
     
  7. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    OK... Thanks Caleb... Lightroom eh???

    My questions would be; Does that $300 program work in conjunction with Photoshop?; or can you use it as a stand alone?; Will it interface with Photoshop Elements 6?;

    Sometimes it just seems that film is SO much easier... :)

    I will have to go to the Adobe web page and check this out.

    Thanks... I sure have a LOT to learn and I appreciate EVERYONE's input and advice. My wife keeps telling me I need all the help I can get... :eek: :rolleyes:
     
  8. CalebSchmerge

    CalebSchmerge Super Moderator/Reviewer News/Review Writer

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    Lightroom will function perfectly on its own. Lightroom is designed for workflow - not major editing. You can work on things like color, cropping, red eye, but you won't be removing backgrounds or "photo shopping people in" in Lightroom. It will interface with any photo editing program you want. Some better than others, but I would consult adobe about that.
     
  9. SoCalRich

    SoCalRich Well-Known Member

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    Ok... So if it's designed for work flow it would be comparable to Apple's Aperture 2? I think it is also designed for work flow with some added features?.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB673Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDAzOA&mco=MjE0NTM4OA#overview

    I will have to do some research comparing the 2 software programs. Maybe I'll start another thread.

    Thanks again Caleb.
     
  10. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Aperture and Lightroom are direct competitors! Caleb is right, these are mainly a "toolbox" for photographers; they allow photographers to import, manage, file, edit metadata, edit brightness/contrast/many other settings, and offer different export settings as well. Really powerful photo editing is still really done by Photoshop!

    Caleb, I definitely understand where you're coming from, and of course we have different opinions on it and that's fine with me! I personally side on shooting RAW, I know the file size is large (about 10 MB per photograph, and my 20D is only 8 megapixels), but I find its flexibility in post-processing a lot better; as you noted Lightroom can also edit JPEGs but in my opinion direct edits on JPEGs don't look as great as editing with raw files (with the use of raw meaning the original, and not a pun on RAW :p); this comes from my years-long usage of Photoshop and working with PSDs over JPEGs!
     
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