Sunday, 26 August 2007

RAW or JPEG? RAW!

Well, I use RAW because I want more freedom while shooting pictures. I really love that I can worry about WB after I take a picture. If it was only because of WB, I would still shooting RAW. What about exposure? You can easily correct exposure in post production without ruining your picture. OK, if you blow your highlights, you can't do much about it. With JPEG you must be very careful in post production, since "post production" is done, when you squeeze shutter release button. There are some geniuses, who will like you to think, that using JPEG is for ones, that know how to use their camera. Rubbish. Next statement is, that using JPEG is like shooting with slides. But with slides you did get better image IQ and selecting right settings is a must. It's not an option. Maybe they will also throw in that you will spend less time in post production with your pictures. Of course you will, since you done that in the field! Oh, really. But let's be honest here. Shooting JPEG does not mean, that you are done with post production. True? But what about those pictures, that are "keepers" and they turn bad, because you choose wrong settings or conditions were changing without you noticing it or simply you didn't have time to change your settings? You could spend a lot of time trying to rescue only one ruined picture. If you could rescue it at all! But, who told you that you will spend a lot of time with editing RAW pictures anyway? You can change WB and/or exposure with only one move for as many pictures as you want! After you done, simply select as many pictures as you wish and click on "batch conversion" and program will export those picture as JPEGs, while you can take your cup of tea. I now I do less editing now, than when I was using JPEG. Why am I so "pro RAW"? I owned KM 5D before and I was shooting exclusively JPEG. I was listening to one of that geniuses, and I was editing like crazy! Don't believe them and don't believe me either! Try it for yourself. Choose one simple but reliable RAW converter and shoot some pictures in RAW and then decide. I didn't mention any details and IQ until now. When you will open those RAW pictures and see all those details, you will realise, what did you throw away with every press of shutter release button on your expensive camera. With how many Megapixels?

Here are some examples. All the pictures were taken with Nikon D80 and Sigma 50-150 f/2,8.
Left pictures are RAW, right ones are JPEG out of the camera, with these settings: WB auto, sharpening +1, tone compensation -1, color mode IIIa, saturation enhanced, HUE adjustment 0. No post editing was done with JPEGs. We are saving time, aren't we?

150mm - ISO400 - f/2,8 - 1/250sec
I could play as much as I like with RAW picture on the left, but I like it this way. It's impossible to correct WB or colours on right one-JPEG. Best way to correct it is to convert it to BW...


What about that purple fringing? Click on picture to see it in full size. Difference is obvious. Needles to say, that left one is RAW. Anybody said sharpness?

Below are 3 sets of pictures, showing difference in details and sharpness. Click on 1:1 crops to view it in full size.
- Set1
Below 1:1 crop. Click to see the difference in sharpness and details.


-Set 2
Below 1:1 crop. Click to see the difference in sharpness and details.


-Set 3
Below 1:1 crop. Click to see the difference in sharpness and details.


Well, it's up to you to decide, but I want to get what I have paid for. Whit JPEG I certainly don't.

3 comments:

Mih@ said...

What makes you think, that you cant edit JPG picture the way you do the RAW one? You can do exactly the same with JPG: WB, color, purple fringing, "exposure",..., everything you can do with RAW you can do with JPG. Why do you compare post production RAW and no post production JPG? Compare both post produced or no post produced.

Of course RAW has its advantages, but i personally take JPGs compression bigger advantage :)

stane c. said...

RAW files in my post were just converted with C1LE. No PP whatsoever. You don't count converting RAW files as psot production? Of course you can edit the JPEGs. Purple fringing on my "camera&hand" picture is a result of in-camera JPEG processing.

sekundek said...

You can edit some amount of data in JPEG but you definitely have more raw power on RAW files.

But some things it's impossible to edit. Especially if you have camera setting wrong. I really don't have time to decide what to set when you need to take a moment. This is job for post production.

As for image size. I think memory cards are nowadays very cheep and I see no problem with that. Maybe there is a bit slower processing in camera but if you need more than 5fps you should buy video camera.