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Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?

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Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« on: 22 / April / 2008, 02:51:07 »
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I am new to digital imaging. With trying so hard and consuming precious time in processing RAW images, which even fail to match the excellent quality of JPEG's produced by in built state of the art DigicII or DigicIII processors of Powershots, I wonder if saving in RAW is really necessary. Even for minor corrections in the JPEG's there are excellent lossless softwares like Photoline and Lightroom.

It is debatable and has been debated for some time. In bygone era when built in processors of cameras were not so efficient, saving in RAW had some merits. There are pros and cons. For a miniscule additional detail in the highlight or shadow area, which, to the untrained eye is not visible, I think devoting or wasting time in RAW processing is not worthwhile. It is like skinning a hair.

Please don't flame. I know there are die hard RAW users, but this is only my personal opinion. I would rather use my time in capturing images. Processing of images should be minimum.

Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #1 on: 22 / April / 2008, 02:58:50 »
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Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #2 on: 22 / April / 2008, 07:40:54 »
Then there is the matter of how large you print.

If you are looking at 4x6 or even up to 8x10, an 8 megapixel jpg is fine.

Once you start to display at 16x20 or 20x24, I think you'll notice a substantial difference between what you can get from a jpg and what you can get from a properly processed RAW image saved and printed as an uncompressed tiff file.

Note: all dimensions are in inches.
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Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #3 on: 22 / April / 2008, 07:44:51 »
I think you'll notice a substantial difference between what you can get from a jpg and what you can get from a properly processed RAW image saved and printed as an uncompressed tiff file.


Are you referring to CHDK's 10-bit raw images from small-sensor point-and-shoot Canon cameras or are you referring to 12-bit raw from large sensor DSLR's ?

I think all CHDK raw processing features are a waste of time but I do not have the nerve to remove them from SDM   :-)


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Offline DataGhost

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Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #4 on: 22 / April / 2008, 07:54:59 »
The real gain is when you DO want to do post-processing, you're able to work with a format that has much more detail and options for processing. Granted, 10-bit isn't a whole lot but you'll still be able to correct some lighting conditions and apply proper white-balance, in case you chose the wrong one (or the camera did). There's a variety of other stuff you can do, all with the advantage that you're working with the original source, not with some compressed-and-artifacted format you'll compress *again* when saving.

Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #5 on: 22 / April / 2008, 08:16:43 »
you're able to work with a format that has much more detail

In the case of CHDK, can you provide proof of this ?

Quote
not with some compressed-and-artifacted format you'll compress *again* when saving.


I don't compress again when saving    :)



David

Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #6 on: 22 / April / 2008, 08:22:29 »
I should mention that I am referring to capturing full-resolution images with the minimum compression.
Canon firmware does an excellent job in creating those files as far as white-balance is concerned.

Someone who tried raw told me that they thought the Canon firmware did a better job.



David

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Offline DataGhost

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Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #7 on: 22 / April / 2008, 08:33:09 »
As far as I remember, RAW provides the option to bump the exposure a bit after shooting, which is not possible with jpeg. That's what I was referring to by 'much more detail'. Also, when you save a jpeg file, it is recompressed, especially the bits you edited. Try opening, saving and closing the same jpeg file a couple of times and you'll see.


Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #8 on: 22 / April / 2008, 08:38:07 »
Hello,

I changed from shooting JPG to RAW with my S3 IS. It takes some time to change them to DNG files, but that's a batch.
Cropping, some whitebalance tweak, some lowering of dark areas for more contrast and some more colors doesn't take a lot of time I think (I use Lightroom).
If I like how the photo is, I just batch convert it into a small JPG that fits my screen.

Maybe JPG can be edited also, but why not shoot JPG in the first place? Or shoot both.

Re: Is RAW really necessary? Or are we skinning a hair?
« Reply #9 on: 22 / April / 2008, 08:39:40 »
when you save a jpeg file, it is recompressed


Only if you save it as a JPG file.

I do not.
I also do nat apply sharpening to that 'master' file.

I have not been convinced   :)


David

 

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