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  #1  
Old October 26th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Raw or JPEG

I just bought a Nikon D80. I was wondering if its better to shoot in RAW mode or JPEG. I am sure this is a personal choice, but am trying to get a feel if there are big differences between the two. This is the first camera that I have owned that could shoot in raw mode.

By the way chose the D80 over the XTI, just beacuse it felt better in my hand. The XTI was a little to small. I think they are both great cameras, but it just came done to how it felt in my hand.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Grant and Jodi did some testing regarding this. Obviously the end result would depend on a whole slew of variables but their consensus was that
RAW gave more depth to the photo (deeper shadows.. truer blacks).
This does of course come at a space cost and a few more steps in the processing area.
What it really boiled down to was what type of photos you were going to shoot. Just fun party shots then why not jpeg.. easier to email, everybody can view them.
I would also guess (my opinion only) that if you are going to use a lower end home inkjet (even photo type) for output, that the differences would not really be that noticeable.

If, on the other hand you want to make top notch reproductions for fun and profit then RAW would have to be considered.
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  #3  
Old October 26th, 2006, 06:49 PM
AKman AKman is offline
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RAW vs. JPEG

hikeinct, good afternoon:

Set your camera up so that you can shoot in both RAW and JPEG format at the same time unless you just want to shoot a whole bunch of JPEG's. This way you will have both file formats to choose from when you make your decision to start processing your images in the computer.

You will find that RAW image quality is far superior to the JPEG format when you get ready to make large prints.

Check your camera software and see if you can extract the JPEG's from the RAW/JPEG combination in your computer. Also, think about how you are going to convert the RAW to a TIFF, PSD or some other format.

I shoot both all of the time because it gives me loads of flexibility with both formats.

Just my humble opinion.

Patrick
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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:32 PM
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Depends on your needs/goals

RAW and JPEG aren't better or worse, right or wrong, good or bad, they're just different formats for different purposes. When shooting on assignment and I need to meet a deadline, JPEG is the only way to go. There's no time to be messing around with RAW. The trade-off is that WB needs to be dead-on because there aren't any "Mulligans" with JPEG. When I'm shooting for myself, I enjoy the extra flexibility of RAW.

As for lighter blacks with JPEG, that might occur if you shoot anything less than the highest JPEG quality and set Saturation/Contrast parameters to mimic a P&S. I believe the Canon DR defaults to more saturated, contrasty and sharpened parameters. The gray-black probably results from JPEG artifacts caused by crunching the data too hard.

I doubt that RAW offers better large prints. I regularly enlarge 6 and 8 MP images taken as Large/Fine JPEG to 20x30 or 24x36. Of course, these are sports photos, not fine art, portraits or landscapes so that might make a difference.

I shoot RAW + Small/Normal JPEG when I need to quickly get photos up on a web site. RAW + Large/Fine JPEG is a waste of memory card and HD space in my opinion. I'm not a wedding photographer (and never want to be one) but that's one place where I might shoot RAW + Large/Fine JPEG. Get most of the photos out ASAP as JPEG and spend extra time and care on formals shot in RAW.

Just my US$0.02 worth.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:12 PM
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Lee:

Being you brought up white balance .....

I shoot jpgs at the footbal games. It is now getting colder....last game it was 44 degrees. I noticed all my photos had a pinkish/redish cast to them. Someone mentioned that is probably my white balance.

So, If I am shooting jpgs, in Tv mode (canon rebel) with and ISO of 400, 800 or 1600, what do I do with the white balance??????????

I am really afraid of RAW right now. I've only had my Canon about 6 months and haven't even scratched the surface of all the different modes.....RAW will have to wait a bit!

I certainly don't mean to hijack the thread.....just a quick question....
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:33 PM
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Colleen
so glad you adked the RAW question. I do not think I get it per se...and am afraid of it. I guess the next photo lesson I have will be to test the waters there.
I also do not get the whole wb balance thing and changing of it. Afraid of that too, i suppose!
and this may be a real dumb question, but I am a florida gal...does temperature affect the picture??
Not trying to get off topic...just don't understand and have not heard about that one.
Still trying tolearn where I can.
m
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:16 PM
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It's not the cold but the type of light

The easiest way to set CWB is to set your lens to Manual Focus (so it doesn't need Focus Confirmation to fire), point it at a white sheet of paper so that the center reticle (circle) of the viewfinder is filled by the paper and release the shutter. It doesn't matter where your WB control is set at this time. That determines your reference point. Now, set the camera to CWB and select the white paper you just shot. That tells the camera to use that image as the reference point. Your camera is now set for to match the color temp of the stadium lights. Instead of carrying around a white sheet of paper, a white (bleached) Melitta coffee filter or Pringles can lid works just as well).

An simpler but less accurate way is to take a photo in one of the WB Presets (Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Fluorescent, Incandescent, etc) and eyeball for correct color tone. I don't recommend this unless you have plenty of practice. HTH.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:34 PM
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Nice simple instructions Lee, I could not have explained it better. My students carry around with them, in their lesson on white balance, a 3x5 index card. Not obtrusive and fits in shirt pocket or back pocket as some like to do.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:00 PM
sgeed4 sgeed4 is offline
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Raw Gets It Done

Gary,
The consensus seems to be that you should choose raw or jpeg depending on your need/preference. My 5-cents worth is if i had it to do over i wouldn't waste one clik on jpeg.
I bought my first digital (D70)) in May of '04 and for the first year shot exclusivly with jpeg. I was both afraid of raw and also didn't know the kind of quality I was missing. We took several trips that year and now when i go back to look at those several thousand cliks in jpeg, I end up kicking myself.
Raw is easy, fun and oh so excellent. The primer-style books are plentiful and inexpensive. Give it go!
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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RAw

I fine that RAW is just not worth the hassles. I know many profossional photographers that only shoot in JPEG. It simply takes more time, space and effort. I have found for me...just not worth it for me. Nothing is worse than trying to preview 100 NEF files.

Brent
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