PDA

View Full Version : A case against RAW


ZiggyB
12-06-2005, 06:21 AM
So before people kill me :) I just want to say I do understand the advantages of RAW images off of a digital camera. You get the digital negative which allows you to do all sorts of things in post processing.

The biggest one for me is fixing the white balance, but also you work on highest quailty image before converting it to your final JPEG version for public display. Even with low compression JPEG you'll lose some quality just because JPEG is a lossy compression format. I've even heard of people that are able to squeeze a few stops out of an image using RAW when the highest ISO setting on the camera still can't cut it.

However for me, the advantages just don't outway the disadvantages. For me that disadvange is the size. RAW is great, but the file sizes are just huge.

For instance, on my Canon 350D/Rebel XT, using a 1 gig CF card, I can take about 300 images using the lowest compression JPEG. But with raw, that goes down to almost half of that number.

Now I'm already taking about 300 pictures per day at a convention. Then that doesn't even include the storage needed later for backup and just processing the photos after a con.

If I switched to RAW in my workflow, I would basically need to double, almost triple my hard disk and flash memory requirements.

Personally, I think that the low compression JPEGs still do everything I need. I'm still able to fix the white balance and do all of my post processing with JPEGs and keeping my HD space and flash requirements low.

Now I'm not saying to never use RAW, but I just wanted to say that you don't HAVE to use it to get really great photos. :)

staereo
12-06-2005, 08:41 AM
Of course, I feel the need to reply here.

I would never, ever use jpeg again. Seriously.

I shoot only in raw, because of how much it allows you to take care of post processing that you missed when taking the shot. Furthermore, you can archive the image and rework it later if you choose. The jpeg compression is not at all an issue for me on the first shot, because it still looks fantastic from my 20d. However, the tools lost when going raw makes it worth the lost memory from a card. If you have the money, buy more cards. If not, bring the computer with you. Even if I didnt have a laptop to bring with me, I would certainly bring my desktop to a hotel if I didnt have any other options.

Furthermore, as canon users, our first choice below the raw is a compressed format, which of course uses less room. But something to consider is, our cameras, when shooting raw, use VERY LITTLE space for what is uncompressed data for use in the future.

Take a look at some camera's that use lossless compression or uncompressed file formats. A good example is TIF. Take that raw picture, and go ahead and convert it to a mere 8 bit TIF file and watch it jump to around 2.5 times the size. Convert it to a 16bit TIF and watch it shoot to 4 or 4.5 times the size.

Your raw format is an uncompressed file that is in relation EXTREMELY small. For every DVD of pictures that I burn from a shoot, I put 1 copy of the picture in its raw form, before the post processing, and 1 copy of the picture in its final form in TIF. The rest of the images I discard. Just in this form, on average the final TIF images take up 3 times the space as the RAWs that accompany them.

Sure, jpeg is fantastic, but raw is truely mind boggling when you compare lossless to lossless. It is an incredibly small file for the quality and usability that you save.

I am not trying to discard the uses of jpeg. Heck, if Im just shooting my daughter running around the yard for myself, nothing wrong with jpeg. If my photos are going to at any point leave my hands, or have a possibility of doing so in the future, RAW is the format of choice.

I dont like the idea of closing doors when its art and not just snapshots.

If all a person is doing is snapshots for their own scrapbook, and would prefer not to invest in the materials for shooting raw, then thats completely understandable. But many of the RAW capable cameras out there are a pretty penny to begin with, and arent usually used by people just snapping a few pics here and there.

Since I have already made that initial investment into equipment, and I shoot raw for the work I do for others; I choose to always shoot raw. Perhaps if I didnt already have that equipment, I may shoot jpeg when it was just for my own snaps.

Either way, TIF vs RAW, RAW seems pretty small of a file to me. It just happens that most canon users have jpeg as the next step down in quality so going from a tiny lossless to a lossy compression like jpeg, you notice a big storage size difference.

But its kind of like buying a ferrari. If you bought the ferrari, why even ask how much it is to insure, or what it gets for mileage. Lets face it, if you bought a ferrari, dollar sensability took its first stride out the window right then. hehe...

Bruce

jtnishi
12-06-2005, 10:48 AM
And somewhere in the middle is where I land, it appears. Of course, that means I have the worst storage requirements of all, since I shoot both RAW + JPEG now.

Both sides of the argument are sound, which is why both are correct. In a high speed workflow, RAW is really an inconvenient format to work with, because it always requires a conversion step. In most instances, the gain you get from starting from RAW vs. starting from JPEG is relatively minimal (it does really pay off when you screw up the starting color balance or exposure, though). And when you're aiming for a web sized image, any artifacting that comes from originating from JPEG gets knocked out almost immediately just on a pure resize action. Whenever I'm trying to get a web gallery knocked put up on a page, I always work from the JPEGs, because they simply handle faster.

However, Bruce's arguments for RAW are very sound. And in low speed, quality oriented editing, like when I work for print, I love starting off with the RAW files, because I have a lot of non-destructive power available to me before I work in Photoshop. The quality difference is quite noticeable at the lowest level.

So I have high storage requirements. So what? Storage is cheap, DVD media is plentiful, and my camera can still shoot RAW + JPEG fast enough that I'm never waiting for the camera. My old 707 used to take about 15 seconds to process a TIFF image onto a memory stick, which is why I _never_ shot in the uncompressed mode on that camera. But the modern D-SLRs can create the files quickly. It's best to just suck it up, buy a few extra CF cards, and maybe a hard drive vault or a laptop, and shoot them both. It creates a lot more data in the end, but the benefits of having both outweigh the disadvantages for me.

Ami Yuy
12-06-2005, 03:26 PM
Reason I don't shoot in RAW:
- Don't have the storage space.

Reason I don't have the storage space:
- I have 1 1GB camera card and a 256MB card, that's all I'm getting anytime soon, so I just have to work with it.
- I have a 30 GB laptop that suffers from a chronically full hard drive because I just can't get things off fast enough (even with a DVD burner).
- I have a 75 GB external hard drive with the same issue.

Reason I don't buy more:
- I'm a poor college student who uses the money from working for either cosplay (minimal) or putting towards a car and has to wait for Christmas or birthday (thankfully both of which are coming up) to get more computer or camera equipment via presents from parents.

Has nothing to do with the editing time for me, since I spend enormous amounts of time doing it already, it's the fact that I just can't get enough space to actually DO the editing. The number of times my internal HD has filled when I'm trying to edit files from the cons this summer is just not cool. -_- I take waaay to many pics. ^^;;

Admin
12-06-2005, 03:51 PM
The $180 solution to RAW storage space at cons:
http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=17_66&products_id=444

Blazing fast (dump a full 1GB card in around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes), and one set of 2500mAH rechargable batteries will last 20-30 of these transfers before needing a recharge. USB2 for transferring back to the work computer.

ZiggyB
12-06-2005, 04:00 PM
Ok perhaps a need a little more education.

Besides having a very high quality original image to start with and ease in which to fix white balance, what are the other things you can do with RAW that you can't with, say, high quality JPEG?

Detailed instructions in Photoshop would be nice too. :)

Ami Yuy
12-06-2005, 04:05 PM
The $180 solution to RAW storage space at cons:
http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=17_66&products_id=444

Blazing fast (dump a full 1GB card in around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes), and one set of 2500mAH rechargable batteries will last 20-30 of these transfers before needing a recharge. USB2 for transferring back to the work computer.

Wow, that sounds awesome. Thanks for the link! I'll definately point that out on my Christmas list. ^^;;

jtnishi
12-06-2005, 04:28 PM
Ok perhaps a need a little more education.
Besides having a very high quality original image to start with and ease in which to fix white balance, what are the other things you can do with RAW that you can't with, say, high quality JPEG?

Well, in RAW, you typically can get one more stop of latitude toward the highlight clipped end. That is, in general, where you might be reaching the white clipping point in a JPEG file, you can actually pull a bit more detail on the high side out of a RAW file. If you've ever had a shot come out too bright, this can be a slight saving grace.

Also, in issues like in law enforcement or copyright issues, where there is a clear need for verification of an original, a RAW file is going to hold more water than a JPEG will. However, I'll grant that this is a very minor point for 99.9% of us.

RAW workflows tend to be non-destructive. That is, any change you can make in a RAW file will generally be reversible if you stay in a RAW file format. If you accidentally overwrite your JPEGs, you're in trouble. If you accidentally save your settings for a RAW file into the RAW file, no sweat: just change the settings back to the shot based settings.

However, don't ignore the significance of the two very items you've mentioned. The ability to correct white balance after the fact using RAW can be very powerful, because try as you might, it'll probably be near impossible to get white balance as good from manipulating a JPEG. I've tried a number of times to correct at least a few pictures where I only shot the JPEG, and completely screwed up the white balance. It's damned painful, and the result rarely ever looked that good (I have at least a couple of shots of Rinnie @ PMX that have this very problem, and it drives me nuts that I shot only JPEG then).

And starting with a high quality original is big if you manipulate the photo in any way, shape, or form. The JPEG compression on most cameras isn't big, but it's enough to create artifacts of some sort. And many manipulations that bring out detail in some way (brightening shadows, sharpening) will bring out those artifacts, too. They aren't many, but they do exist. Now granted, in the cases where this is important, in general, it doesn't really matter too much that you start with a higher quality original.

If all you can reasonably afford to do is shoot JPEG, then shoot JPEG. It is always preferable to have enough storage space to shoot without running out than it is to shoot with RAW. But... if you can afford to get the extra storage space, then there should be enough compelling reasons to shoot RAW that it should be a consideration.

staereo
12-06-2005, 04:31 PM
Great find, Admin!

Ziggy- Youre right on with exposure and white balance being the hot items when it comes to main motiviations for shooting raw. The reason is, youre sacrificing no image data to change those items when its shot in RAW. When you change those items in PS, youre actually modifying the picture and reducing the quality of the final product, and it takes much more work to do so. ( http://www.lonestardigital.com/shooting_raw.htm )

That said, there are other benefits.

I would rather give you this link to a wonderful article about shooting raw. It is a 7 page article, careful to find those little page links at the bottom of each page, dont think the first page is all there is.

http://www.pixelpixel.org/helpinfo/35_rawor-1.stm

That should help quite a bit. For me to re iterate it would just be stealing this guys well conveyed thoughts.

I hope it helps,
Bruce

Edit: In an effort to save an extra post, to add to Jason's last post about copyright. I know my 20d adds the serial number of my body to the raw. So if someone had picture other than raw, and i had the raw, and the raw has my body's serial number on it, it makes it VERY clear who took the picture. I am not sure if that info carries through a jpeg flow or not.

Shiro MS08th
12-06-2005, 07:42 PM
I would also give my opinion here too.

RAW file is great, lotsa of editing can be done with it, like white blance aswhich is very important, and brighten and darken far more than JPEG as you guys have said it.
Size is one factor, but for those who have been using RAW normally don't find it a problem, just buy another card or just use a compactdrive.

For me, at the start I used RAW alot, but it's more troublesome and my HDD ain't that big.
And the one big thing, everytime I use RAW, I don't really care about my white balance and exposure settings anymore, which is bad, since I'm on my way to learn how to see and use in manual settings. (But still most of the time I uses D70 Cloudy -1 & Auto -2 and still unable to set the right settings upon seeing the sunlight aka human light meter.)
And if everything can be changed in photoshop, not much difference using a P&S and a DSLR.

didjiman
12-07-2005, 05:41 AM
Shoot less pictures :-) Q.E.D.

didjiman
12-09-2005, 03:53 AM
...
And the one big thing, everytime I use RAW, I don't really care about my white balance and exposure settings anymore, which is bad, since I'm on my way to learn how to see and use in manual settings. (But still most of the time I uses D70 Cloudy -1 & Auto -2 and still unable to set the right settings upon seeing the sunlight aka human light meter.)
And if everything can be changed in photoshop, not much difference using a P&S and a DSLR.

You may have a misunderstanding here, but perhaps I misunderstood you :-) Anyway, RAW data is data directly off the sensor, minimally processed (there has to be some processing, but it's minimally). The idea is not to fix mistakes per se in Photoshop (although you can). The idea is that this gives you the most flexibility and most potential to work with with respect to what the camera captures. Anything else has extra processing done for you.

So if you want to learn manual everything, RAW is the way to go too (amongst other reasons).

Shiro MS08th
12-09-2005, 01:46 PM
You may have a misunderstanding here, but perhaps I misunderstood you :-) Anyway, RAW data is data directly off the sensor, minimally processed (there has to be some processing, but it's minimally). The idea is not to fix mistakes per se in Photoshop (although you can). The idea is that this gives you the most flexibility and most potential to work with with respect to what the camera captures. Anything else has extra processing done for you.

So if you want to learn manual everything, RAW is the way to go too (amongst other reasons).

We just look at each other statement at a different perspective only.
No worries.:cheers:

Ya RAW gives you flexibility.

Cause it gives too much flexibility, you can correct lots of things.
Like white balance is fully adjustable, brightness can be lighten up by 3 stops or so I think without spoiling the image.

Cause of some much flexibility, even I do a mistake, when I get home I can do edition and still can use it.

But on JPEG, you can't really edit much from a bad picture, and if that picture is something I want, I will regret.
So that mentality force me to train myself to think of the correct white balance, settings and etc before I press the shutter down.

So before I train myself to a decent-good level of technical aspect first, I won't use the RAW mode.
Or unless I'm on an assignment, use RAW mode to stay on the safer side.

Eriol
12-09-2005, 02:40 PM
The $180 solution to RAW storage space at cons:
http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=17_66&products_id=444

Blazing fast (dump a full 1GB card in around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes), and one set of 2500mAH rechargable batteries will last 20-30 of these transfers before needing a recharge. USB2 for transferring back to the work computer.

Oh wow, it accepts a variety of card formats without an adapter. That is very useful for a great many phtootgraphers with different cameras.

Bandit64
12-16-2005, 12:03 AM
Hard drives are cheap as hell, storage space shouldn't be an excuse. Just today you could've went to Bestbuy and gotten a 120 gig Seagate for $40 with no rebates, or pricematched it to Circuit City. If you want to use that with a laptop, just buy a cheap external casing for it.

I typically only shoot RAW, and don't see that changing anytime soon.

Ami Yuy
12-16-2005, 01:10 AM
Hard drives are cheap as hell, storage space shouldn't be an excuse. Just today you could've went to Bestbuy and gotten a 120 gig Seagate for $40 with no rebates, or pricematched it to Circuit City. If you want to use that with a laptop, just buy a cheap external casing for it.

I typically only shoot RAW, and don't see that changing anytime soon.

I'm a college student. $40 is a large chunk of money. Money/storage space are a perfectly valid excuse.

Also, today I accidentally got into RAW mode with my slow 256 card and it took several minutes for it to process the 5 images I took. I'm sure with my nice fast 1 gig one that wouldn't be as much of a problem, but I know form experience that it still takes awhile to process the image.

jtnishi
12-16-2005, 10:35 AM
I'm a college student. $40 is a large chunk of money. Money/storage space are a perfectly valid excuse.

Also, today I accidentally got into RAW mode with my slow 256 card and it took several minutes for it to process the 5 images I took. I'm sure with my nice fast 1 gig one that wouldn't be as much of a problem, but I know form experience that it still takes awhile to process the image.
No one ever said photography was cheap. It's still an expensive hobby, though I suppose in the long run, it can be cheaper than cosplay is at times.

There is that one downside of raw. If your camera can't write them out fast enough such that shooting moves too slowly, then there might be a compelling case against it. That said, it shouldn't take several minutes to write 5 RAW images onto almost ANY card, irregardless of model. RAW files don't generally exceed about 10-15 MB, except in a few really limited & silly cases (like cameras that don't use a compressed RAW format, or cameras that use TIFF files instead of RAW). 35-40 seconds on a slow card, I could perhaps believe. But not much more than that, generally.

ZiggyB
12-16-2005, 01:41 PM
Something else to consider is that, for instance, I'll be attending the upcoming Comiket. I swear there are more cosplayers packed per square meter then any other anime convention I've ever attended. :)

I'm taking 3 gigs in CF memory cards and I'm already worried that I'm not going to have enough memory. I normally shoot with very low compression JPEG and I'm already considering lowering that to the "normal" JPEG mode. :/

In this case, Dijiman suggestion of shooting less is just not an option. ;-)

Bandit64
12-16-2005, 02:24 PM
I'm a college student. $40 is a large chunk of money. Money/storage space are a perfectly valid excuse.

No, they're really not. If you can't afford $40, I'm a little puzzled how you managed to purchase the computer you're posting from, or the camera you're shooting with, travel/hotel expenses to cons, or tons of other costs I'm sure I could think of.

Storage is by far the least of any of those costs. I can see problems like "Well, I can't afford a flash unit for my SLR" (which I personally can't right now), because that's an actual decent hit to someone's budget. I can not stress enough how important it is to have a lot of storage, and when it's done to 33 cents a gig or so, it is absolutely worth it to save a few bucks to get more. Just go donate some plasma or something.

Ami Yuy
12-16-2005, 03:39 PM
No one ever said photography was cheap. It's still an expensive hobby, though I suppose in the long run, it can be cheaper than cosplay is at times.

There is that one downside of raw. If your camera can't write them out fast enough such that shooting moves too slowly, then there might be a compelling case against it. That said, it shouldn't take several minutes to write 5 RAW images onto almost ANY card, irregardless of model. RAW files don't generally exceed about 10-15 MB, except in a few really limited & silly cases (like cameras that don't use a compressed RAW format, or cameras that use TIFF files instead of RAW). 35-40 seconds on a slow card, I could perhaps believe. But not much more than that, generally.

And I never said I thought it was. But, that's why I don't have an SLR (yet) because I can't afford lenses and with my camera I can do a great deal of the things an SLR can, perhaps not as easy but it can be done.

Perhaps not several minutes, but it sure felt like it. I was trying to shoot my friend late in the afternoon and trying to take advantage of the little light that was left, so every second felt like it was forever. And it was frustrating to keep looking into the viewfinder and see it still working. It probably did take about 30-40 seconds, but when I'm doing a photoshoot of someone, I feel stupid just standing there and having to wait for my camera to process the photos.

No, they're really not. If you can't afford $40, I'm a little puzzled how you managed to purchase the computer you're posting from, or the camera you're shooting with, travel/hotel expenses to cons, or tons of other costs I'm sure I could think of.

Storage is by far the least of any of those costs. I can see problems like "Well, I can't afford a flash unit for my SLR" (which I personally can't right now), because that's an actual decent hit to someone's budget. I can not stress enough how important it is to have a lot of storage, and when it's done to 33 cents a gig or so, it is absolutely worth it to save a few bucks to get more. Just go donate some plasma or something.

Camera was graduation present. Parents are paying for college. Laptop leased by parents for me. I drive with friends to cons and only stay at a hotel for one a year (and that only started last year). I pre-register for cons months ahead of time (and in groups if possible) to save money. I spend very little on costumes and try to limit it to one or two new ones a year.

I have a small job that doesn't earn me a great chunk of money so I try to spend limited amounts of money from it and put the rest into savings. The camera and storage stuff that I do have (and hope to get soon) I have slowly accumulated through birthdays, Christmas, and just talking with my parents.

Yes, I'm spoiled, but also trying to be careful with my money and if my parents will still pay for computer and photography things, I'll take advantage of that, since anything related to anime and cosplay is on their list of things they won't buy. I'm obssesed with photography, but I'm trying to make due with what I have and limit the expensive costs for it as much as possible. Also, even though I don't really want to, I'm starting to charge people for photoshoots, since they do take so much time to do and process. Eventually I hope to earn enough through that to support my hobby without worrying, but it'll be awhile before I'm even close to that.

Also, some stats that help put it into perspective for me:
If I don't shoot in RAW and use high JPEG I can get on average 4.8 times as many pictures on a card. So, on my 256 MB I can get 21.333 photos in RAW and 102.4 photos in high JPEG. On my 1 GB card I can get aproximately 85.333 photos in RAW and 409.6 in high JPEG. HUGE difference and something that not only saves storage space, but also saves having to juggle computer software around at a con, something I don't do unless I'm staying at the hotel, which as I said I only do for one con a year.

Now, with the portable-harddrive-card-transfer thingy that Admin linked earlier, it would be a heck of a lot easier to shoot in larger formats and have a place to put them, but yeah, $181 is too much for me to want to spend out of pocket myself, hence why it's on the Christmas list this year. XD

Karisu-sama
12-17-2005, 02:43 AM
In the long run, it depends whether you want to shoot as many pictures as you can for photography-primarily-as-record-keeping, or go more for image quality VS. quantity, not recording everything and everyone, but trying to make the selective pictures you do take really "a cut above".

Both approaches have their merits. :)

Cicada
12-17-2005, 02:22 PM
i shoot RAW+JPEG; that way i dont have to process every single images if i want to preview them or get them out on the 'net quickly, and at the same time it gives me the advantage of working with the RAW files of the photos i really think came out well. the best of both worlds.

jtnishi
12-17-2005, 11:31 PM
Now, with the portable-harddrive-card-transfer thingy that Admin linked earlier, it would be a heck of a lot easier to shoot in larger formats and have a place to put them, but yeah, $181 is too much for me to want to spend out of pocket myself, hence why it's on the Christmas list this year. XD
Well, if you're shooting with a compact camera, admittedly, a portable hard drive device is overkill. And if you don't shoot for print, then the disadvantages start weighing significantly more heavily over the advantages. And RAW doesn't give much of an advantage to anyone who doesn't take a more active editing workflow (ie: someone who does at least some post processing on their pictures). I don't know if any of those cases apply to you, though your statement does point to a compact style camera, right?

The advantages tend to be few for RAW compared to the disadvantages. But for the obsessive types who want quality at any cost, they accept them since the disadvantages mostly tend to be the type that are fixed by throwing more money at the problem. :-P

Ami Yuy
12-18-2005, 12:34 AM
Well, if you're shooting with a compact camera, admittedly, a portable hard drive device is overkill. And if you don't shoot for print, then the disadvantages start weighing significantly more heavily over the advantages. And RAW doesn't give much of an advantage to anyone who doesn't take a more active editing workflow (ie: someone who does at least some post processing on their pictures). I don't know if any of those cases apply to you, though your statement does point to a compact style camera, right?

The advantages tend to be few for RAW compared to the disadvantages. But for the obsessive types who want quality at any cost, they accept them since the disadvantages mostly tend to be the type that are fixed by throwing more money at the problem. :-P

I shoot with a Nikon Coolpix 8700 (http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Nikon/nikon_cp8700.asp) which is an SLR-like camera. I can control everything, but it's a bit smaller than an SLR and doesn't change lenses. However I have 8 megapixels and an 8x's zoom with macro capability, so I'm quite happy for now.

As of now I'm not shooting for print, but I'm starting to head in that direction. Also, I do edit every-single-photo of mine that I post, because I'm a perfectionist and want it (and the subject) to look it's best (even though it takes forever to finish posting because of that *looks at her Anime Expo, Comic Con, and PMX albums*). If I get the portable storage device I might play around with RAW some next time I'm out, but otherwise, only getting RAW files (since my camera can't do RAW+jpeg, although that'd be awesome) would be a nightmare to weed through to choose best without the jpeg preview ability.

staereo
12-18-2005, 09:04 AM
Im still trying to figure out why its harder to sort through raw files than jpg. If Im looking at them on my laptop, it just means I am limited to raw conversion/browsing software, but lately more and more of your mainstream browsers are compatable with the raw files of most mainstream cameras. If not you can install plugins for compatability most of the time. Even if they are not, if you are shooting raw, you have raw conversion software, and almost all of the raw conversion software comes with browsing software that works in the same way as any other browsing software.

So I'm not exactly sure of any difference in browsing/sorting when the pictures are ont he computer. This leaves the camera. Theres no difference on the camera, as every camera I know of has a converter to view your raw pictures in the preview lcd.

I know when I shoot raw only, my camera can preview them in the lcd just like every other format it records. No different.

I am so lost in the harder to sort side of this, because as far as I can see they are identical in this form.

In addition, talking about going to print, RAW allows you to convert not only to 16 bit (which I rarely use) but you can choose AFTER THE FACT how you are going to create colors. sRGB or AdobeRGB. This is HUGE, because the color gamuts are specifically for different functions, and you may want the purist form of that picture either for the web (sRGB) or for print (AdobeRGB). There is no point in converting from sRGB to AdobeRGB because you are expanding the range of colors, when ou only have the limited range of sRGB to begin with. So you're really being inefficient. And its just a fact that when you convert from AdobeRGB to sRGB you are compressing your color range to fit in the narrower range of sRGB for pc viewing. Not that I dont do this, but if I wanted a pure form of both a print and a pc viewing picture, I would need to derive both from a RAW file. Jpegs ALREADY have decided on a color range, and now youre stuck in a format which you may ultimately not want for your finished product.

Bruce

Ami Yuy
12-18-2005, 05:43 PM
Im still trying to figure out why its harder to sort through raw files than jpg. If Im looking at them on my laptop, it just means I am limited to raw conversion/browsing software, but lately more and more of your mainstream browsers are compatable with the raw files of most mainstream cameras. If not you can install plugins for compatability most of the time. Even if they are not, if you are shooting raw, you have raw conversion software, and almost all of the raw conversion software comes with browsing software that works in the same way as any other browsing software.

I sort my files by using the Windows Explorer thumbnails and preview because it takes little memory to open them and is quick. If I try to use a RAW converter it slows my laptop considerably because processing several 12 MB files at once plus the program that runs it is hard on my laptop.

Don't jump on me saying that any new laptop should be able to handle it, I can't tell you in computer terms why but I can tell you that my comp (which is no older than a year and a couple months) can have trouble with running large programs + large files. I run into this with Photoshop all the time and it slows down editing considerably. Hence why I like to sort my files in Windows Explorer ahead of time, so I don't waste my time going through them in the editing software and finding out I don't want to use that one, I can just scroll from one to the next in the Windows Preview and then move the ones I want into a "Best" folder and only mess with them.

If you would care to point me towards a program that browses RAW files like Windows Explorer and lets me move them around folders like that, that would be great. I don't know if Adobe Bridge can do it or not, since I've avoided it like the plague since Adobe programs aren't the fastest running on my comp and I can just use Windows Explorer to do what I want.

Otherwise, I think I'm going to back out from this thread because I'm tired of arguing/explaining since I feel that I have perfectly valid reasons for not shooting RAW yet (I've never said I won't in the future when I have the resources).

staereo
12-18-2005, 08:30 PM
O.o Wow... Im not sure what got you defensive. I only mean to inform and if I came across belligerant, then I apologize. I had meant what I said in an informative manner.

I sort my files by using the Windows Explorer thumbnails and preview because it takes little memory to open them and is quick. If I try to use a RAW converter it slows my laptop considerably because processing several 12 MB files at once plus the program that runs it is hard on my laptop.

Many programs that compile images before sorting them (ACDSee, et al) run more effeciently after an initial inventory of the folder's contents. Perhaps checking into the freeware/shareware options here may yield even easier programs for your computer to run while organizing. I would be happy to help in finding this, should you be interested.

Don't jump on me saying that any new laptop should be able to handle it

What gave you the idea I would jump on you? I don't believe that I have acted in a manner that would make someone feel that I would be so egocentric as to assume everyones equipment is streamlined for high ram use operations. Ive been rich, ive been poor, and I dont begin to judge anothers access to equipment. Again, if I came across as being so rude as to tell you your equipment isnt at MY par, then I made a grave error. I have no par, and Im not in any position to judge anyone else.

If you would care to point me towards a program that browses RAW files like Windows Explorer and lets me move them around folders like that, that would be great.

Someone else here on cosplay.com had the same problem you are having now, except their computer couldnt handle raw files at all. I didnt judge them, either, I dont think. O.o I really am just trying to be helpful to everyone. I will give you the same link I gave to them, as it was very helpful to them and allowed them to begin using raw too. It is completely free for the basic version, and from what I'm told, very streamlined. http://www.pixmantec.com/products/rawshooter_essentials.asp
It is a life saver, I am told. Try it, and decide for yourself. Only you can decide if you enjoy it or not. It worked to help someone else discover the joys of raw, and maybe it will be of help for you as well.

Otherwise, I think I'm going to back out from this thread because I'm tired of arguing/explaining since I feel that I have perfectly valid reasons for not shooting RAW yet (I've never said I won't in the future when I have the resources).

I do apologize if its me that has chased you out of this thread. My intent is only to help out. Because raw is undisputibly a better format, I am just trying to help to show the way to utilize it for those that dont know or are a little overwhelmed to try. Shoot either way, jpg or raw. Lets face it, photography is about recording a visual stimulus, and if youre doing that, then noone can call you 'wrong'. I just want to help people understand. If Im somehow being mean, please feel free to post here or PM with what I've done to make you feel belittled or unwelcome, and I will correct my mistake in the future.

My apologies for how I've made you feel. I hope my post history speaks for my word when I say I had no intentions of treating you poorly.
Bruce

Ami Yuy
12-18-2005, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the link. ^_^

I just got tired of everyone choosing one reason I had and breaking it down and then feeling like I needed to explain why it was actually a good reason for me.

I wasn't directing the computer comment to you, just to people in general, because I've had people take comments like that and basically throw it back in my face and tell me I'm stupid and that any new computer should be able to do such and such. -_-

*sighs* Not your fault or anyone's really, I just really did get tired of explaining myself over and over again. ^^;;

staereo
12-18-2005, 09:53 PM
Well, for what its woth, I like your work, you do great pictures, and that adds to validation of any cause you choose to make.

Keep up the great work! ^^

Bruce

ZiggyB
12-18-2005, 11:44 PM
First of all, the reason I started this thread was just to share my experences and the reasons why, right now at least, I don't shoot RAW. Yes, RAW gives you many powerful options, but as with all things there are trade offs.

Right now, the trade offs, space issues, longer workflow, slower write times are not worth it.

I also wanted to share with others that you don't HAVE TO SHOOT RAW to take nice pictures. Sure, I forsee myself shooting RAW in the future, but right now, JPEG is just fine for what I'm doing.

Please, don't take it personally or state that, OMG YOU MUST SHOOT RAW OR YOU'RE NOT A REAL PHOTOG! type posts. That's just silly.

We all use tools differently to get different results and to fit our own situations.

jtnishi
12-19-2005, 11:01 AM
Sorry if it were my thoughts that put you too defensive myself, Ami Yuy. It's true that you have plenty of reasons to not shoot RAW at this point, and that you can do perfectly fine without it. I spent years shooting JPEG only myself, and did just fine with it. It was only relatively recently that I switched over to a RAW+JPEG workflow, and I admit to not using the RAW files 99% of the time, mainly because it consumes a ludicrous amount of time per picture. It's hardly a magic bullet. The only reason I do it is to keep the option open, and admittedly, keeping that option open is costing me a good chunk of cash in storage. I'm kind of weird and obsessive that way.

The good news in everything is that in the middle run (say within the next 3-5 years), memory prices look to still go down, and capacity still looks to go up. The bad news is that in the middle run, resolution is probably going to keep going up, too. :-P

Godly
12-19-2005, 12:42 PM
Really quick question, how does the compression quality differ between working with a RAW->JPG and a JPG? We all want to save our files (under size restrictions) at the highest quality JPG as possible. Here is the scenario:
You took a photo to work on and your restriction is to create a jpg under 100k in file size. Let's say the image size was going to be set at 640x480. Now how does shooting in RAW affect the end file quality in comparison to shooting in JPG? Since RAW's are converted to JPG's before you complete your imaging on it, would you end up saving at around the same JPG quality in the end? Like to keep it at 98k let's say you saved the original JPG at 72 quality (save for web). If you worked after a RAW using the exact same filters and changes, would it change the quality of saving at 98k to over 72 or not?

I'm also curious if it makes a difference if you took the RAW directly into photoshop and made all your changes on it while it's a RAW file, and then saved it completely the way you wanted it in JPG. I actually just did this recently with the first RAWs I took because I didn't know how to work with them. I had problems with the colors though because when saving it, it seemed to not reflect my color changes unless I converted it to CMYK and then back to RGB.

staereo
12-19-2005, 02:20 PM
Really quick question, how does the compression quality differ between working with a RAW->JPG and a JPG?

RAW=>JPG wouldnt really happen. You would go RAW=> "uncompressed image format here" => JPG.

JPG=> JPG would mean compression upon compression.. jpeg artifacts would become more numerous and more apparent.

Now, RAW=> "Uncompressed Working File Type" => JPG would mean your final image is only compressed once.

JPG (first compression) => "Uncompressed Working File Type" => JPG (Second compression) would be double compression. Problem as above.

See, no mater what you camera takes a raw. Whether you choose to retain this data, and or choose to create an image file out of it, ie: compressed jpg, is up to you.

Its a matter of your camera doing the converting from raw to jpg instead of you doing it later on your pc.

So basically, if you resize a jpg, and save it as a jpg again, you have double the artifacts and compression quality loss as you would with only compressing it once, at the end.

You took a photo to work on and your restriction is to create a jpg under 100k in file size. Let's say the image size was going to be set at 640x480. Now how does shooting in RAW affect the end file quality in comparison to shooting in JPG? Since RAW's are converted to JPG's before you complete your imaging on it, would you end up saving at around the same JPG quality in the end? Like to keep it at 98k let's say you saved the original JPG at 72 quality (save for web). If you worked after a RAW using the exact same filters and changes, would it change the quality of saving at 98k to over 72 or not


Ok, lets pretend you took 4000x3000 pixel raw picture. If you chose to use it in raw heres how it would work.

4000x3000RAW => *Computer* => Uncompressed 4000x3000 photoshop/tif/etc. => resize 640x480 uncompressed photoshop/tif/etc. (quality lost in deletion of pixels) => compression of file to 640x480 '72 quality' jpg file (quality lost in compression of image.

So you lose quality twice when retaining the RAW as your working image.

NOW, when you do not retain the raw, and begin work with your cameras pre compressed image, it goes like this:

4000x3000RAW => Compression of image to JPG format (quality lost in compression of image) => Uncompressed 4000x3000 photoshop/tif/etc. (or you may choose not to do this step, but whether you do or not matters none, you do not lose quality here.) => resize 640x480 uncompressed photoshop/tif/etc. (quality lost in deletion of pixels) => compression of file to 640x480 '72 quality' jpg file (quality lost in compression of image).

So, when using the camera to save as a compressed image, you have effectively added one stage of quality loss due to jpeg compression of the image.

So yes, even when just comparing a resize for web, you still lose quality when using jpeg as your choice of file export from your camera. For an example of this, you can exxaggerate the effect. Take a picture. Save as jpg. Then just keep opening and saving as jpeg over and over... after about 30 saves, compare it to the original.

I'm also curious if it makes a difference if you took the RAW directly into photoshop and made all your changes on it while it's a RAW file, and then saved it completely the way you wanted it in JPG. I actually just did this recently with the first RAWs I took because I didn't know how to work with them. I had problems with the colors though because when saving it, it seemed to not reflect my color changes unless I converted it to CMYK and then back to RGB.

Raw is data that is compiled by the sensors in your camera. It is arranged in such a way that your camera and your pc can unravel the data and create an image. Because of this, you can not effectively work on a RAW file as if it were an image. Your pc needs to think of the RAW as another file type before it can make changes. A better way to approach this, would be to convert the raw into an uncompressed file type to work with. Adobe, I believe, in cs2, allows you to go from RAW to a photoshop image in one shot. So if you have cs2, try that. If not, any other losless, uncompressed file type is perfectly acceptable to do your work with before saving it as a jpeg.


I hope I helped,
Bruce

Godly
12-19-2005, 03:14 PM
So tifs are one type of uncompressed formats? I didn't realize this (I knew it was less compressed than jpg though). I use PS:CS and when I loaded the RAW (20D, same as you. CR2), PS brings up it's own RAW handler which does the conversion portion, but doesn't change the file extension at all (neat huh). The problem I ran into from doing it this way was the whole color issue where I had to convert it to CMYK once and back to RGB even though it was RGB already. I'm probably missing something.

When I read the software that comes with the 20D, their RAW converter seemed default to JPG, which is why I thought it was always RAW->JPG. So RAW->TIF, imaging on TIF, TIF->JPG has just one conversion (no loss on RAW->TIF, right?). Yea that definitely helps the quality of the photo, but I do wonder if that'll change the final JPG saving quality on filesize restrictions. It still seems like it'll be saved at similar JPG quality rates. Just a matter of how many times it was JPG'd. I hope not though.

Eriol
12-19-2005, 03:40 PM
TIFF and JPEG can either be lossless (no data will be lost) or lossy (data will be lost to get a smaller file size).

In most commercial products, lossless JPEGs are non-existant. However, I have seen a commercial image software offer the choice between "uncompressed TIFF" and "TIFF [some compression standard]." I believe most implementations of the TIFF standard are uncompressed, so you can save the image infinite times without data loss.

staereo
12-19-2005, 04:14 PM
So tifs are one type of uncompressed formats? I didn't realize this (I knew it was less compressed than jpg though).

Yes, TIFs are lossless.

I use PS:CS and when I loaded the RAW (20D, same as you. CR2), PS brings up it's own RAW handler which does the conversion portion, but doesn't change the file extension at all (neat huh). The problem I ran into from doing it this way was the whole color issue where I had to convert it to CMYK once and back to RGB even though it was RGB already. I'm probably missing something.


You can modify RAWs as much as a raw file can be modified in any viewer, and the extension remains. But a RAW file is neither RGB nor CMYK, so you arent converting it either way. In fact, you can choose how you WILL convert the file's colors, the same way as how you will convert the exposure compensation etc. When you change a raw file using a raw file viewer, all you are doing is viewing a preview of how that RAW will be converted when it changes into an image file. This being the case, you are choosing which color set to use upon your conversion. Most popular out of raw are sRGB and AdobeRGB(98).

So RAW->TIF, imaging on TIF, TIF->JPG has just one conversion (no loss on RAW->TIF, right?).

Well, ANY converion out of raw will be lossy, because I *believe* the 20d records 24 bit color. Heaven forbid I could be wrong, because I'm not exactly sure. So you will lose information when going to TIF, because I believe TIF can be typically 8bit or 16bit. So yes, you lose some color depth. But if your final medium will be jpg, then you really neednt worry. You arent losing anything that you could have gotten in a jpg output. Not to mention, if your eyes can pick up 16 bit versus 24 bit in print (can this even be printed?) in your average picture, then you humble me and the rest of the art world. Sooooooo what does this all mean? Effectively TIF has very little loss when coming from a RAW file. VERY little.

but I do wonder if that'll change the final JPG saving quality on filesize restrictions. It still seems like it'll be saved at similar JPG quality rates. Just a matter of how many times it was JPG'd. I hope not though.

No worries. You can save that tif a bazillion times over. It is lossless so the quality will be identical, unlike that of a jpeg. This is why you should avoid working with jpeg in image editing when you plan to save at certain spots along the way. Because now youve compressed the image yet again. The only saving to JPEG that you should do is when you want a final output to be jpeg, for web viewing etc, and that would only be one compression to jpeg. Versus any countless others you could have when you choose to work with jpeg along the way. ^^

YAY! hehe

NOWWW...
I believe Eriol is almost 100 percent right here, but I would like to clarify a quick thing.

TIFF and JPEG can either be lossless (no data will be lost) or lossy (data will be lost to get a smaller file size).


TIF is typically lossless. I havent heard of a form of TIF recording that is lossy. However, the reverse can be same for jpeg. Jpeg is almost ALWAYS lossy. If I'm correct (and I can grab a website for more accurate info than off my head) the ONLY lossless jpeg format is JPEG2000. Which is kinda like beta. Not too popular.

TIF can compress losslessly. It can also be uncompressed. The difference between the two is not a giant savings in space. Because when a compression is lossless, it typically does not shrink nearly as well as a lossy compression format. A file type can be compressed or uncompressed. This doesnt necessarily mean its lossy or lossless. The thing is, typically when the word 'compression' is used, it is understood to be lossy, because the idea of lossless compression doesnt save hardly any room. What lossless compression versus uncompressed lossless is this:
An uncompressed lossless file will be slightly larger and take slightly less time to open.
A compressed lossless file will be slightly smaller and take more time to open as it is decompressed by the viewer/editor.

With some lossless compression, however, the compressed image will be larger than the original. I dont really understand the mechanics to why.

I hope I helped, and to add, I will find a website with more info on image file types, that is more reliable than my memory.

Bruce

staereo
12-19-2005, 04:33 PM
Here is some good reading on image file types.

More accurate than my memory, since its specifically about these things:

http://www.formatguide.com/fileformat/fileformat.asp


http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/graphics/formats/formats.html
http://www.scantips.com/basics9j.html

Some corrections to my piece:

I guess jpeg can record high color depth, just like TIF. I read some places saying 32 bit, but I cant imagine those file sizes. Typically 24bit is considered the standard cap to their depth.


I hope this was informative,
Bruce

Eriol
12-19-2005, 07:03 PM
Hi Staereo,
There was apparently a specification for lossless JPEG, but from reading articles on the internet, that format never took off. It could be JPEG2000, but none of my readings stated it was JPEG2000.

The TIFF format is incredibly flexible, which also gives some developers headaches, because there are so many things to write into image software. I agree with you that TIFF was originally designed to be uncompressed, but since the format is flexible, you could attach whatever compression scheme you want to the TIFF file, so you could get lossy TIFF. I just wanted to warn people that mannufacturers don't always disclose the exact format they support.

jtnishi
12-20-2005, 10:40 AM
There was apparently a specification for lossless JPEG, but from reading articles on the internet, that format never took off. It could be JPEG2000, but none of my readings stated it was JPEG2000.
JPEG2000 indeed contains a mode for lossless JPEG. And while Wikipedia sources (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jpeg2000) can be called into question in general, I'm pretty sure I did actually read something into that before on non-WP sources.

staereo
12-20-2005, 11:08 AM
JPEG2000 indeed contains a mode for lossless JPEG. And while Wikipedia sources (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jpeg2000) can be called into question in general, I'm pretty sure I did actually read something into that before on non-WP sources.


WAHOO! Thank you. hehe... I guess I got lazy and didn't bother looking that part up when I said I would.

I like it when I find out my memory works. If only I could remember to take the the trash out, I'd be all set. :bigtu:

skypirate
12-21-2005, 05:40 PM
Mine arrived today.

Thanks for the tip. I'm guessing you've used one? They did manage to raise the price over the past few days to $211 by adding a car charger and Sanyo NiMH batteries, my faves.

The iPod color I was using, besides being frighteningly buggy, just wasn't cut out for prolonged, high volume transfers.

The $180 solution to RAW storage space at cons:
http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=17_66&products_id=444

Blazing fast (dump a full 1GB card in around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes), and one set of 2500mAH rechargable batteries will last 20-30 of these transfers before needing a recharge. USB2 for transferring back to the work computer.

gmontem
01-05-2006, 11:07 PM
The $180 solution to RAW storage space at cons:
http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=17_66&products_id=444

Blazing fast (dump a full 1GB card in around 2 to 2 1/2 minutes), and one set of 2500mAH rechargable batteries will last 20-30 of these transfers before needing a recharge. USB2 for transferring back to the work computer.
That's what I used at last year's AX. Didn't lose a single file even as I moved around with the unit backing up my other card. I like this unit a lot more than my previous one (Tripper).