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Shoot in RAW, Always!

Is it feasable to focal or spot edit a RAW image and save it back to a RAW image?

Fri, 23 Sep 2005 11:00:41 -0700

Excellent piece!
Additional advice from past experience: immediately make an original copy (CD, DVD, etc.) of the un-touched / pre-processed photo files, and store someplace safe. Work ONLY with copies, never with the original files!

Geo. Lawson
Wed, 30 Nov 2005 09:24:43 -0800

RAW is very good if you want to change the white balance after the fact or want or need a lot of manipulation with curves or exposure etc.

However, RAW (compared to JPEG) has drawbacks (numbers taken from Canon 20D):
- huge: ca. 90 per 1 GB card versus 600-700 per GB. You also need to archive the RAW originals later.
- needs post-processing (unless your camera also creates a JPEG, or you can have some RAW software do that)
- most cameras can cache a large number of JPEGs (44+) but only a small number of RAWs (6). This means an 8 or 9 second long burst of 5 images/s (think a flock of geese flying over you), versus one just over a second --- and waiting much longer for the next available shot.

Wed, 15 Feb 2006 04:54:53 -0800


if you had the pix in 3.2 mp jpg format, you could have just downressed them to 2 mp TIFF, and never told the publisher about it.

"oh, yeah... I found those on an old CD-ROM!"

Especially with the down-res, they would never have been able to tell.

Wed, 15 Feb 2006 15:44:03 -0800

I totally agree with the article.

In the 1990, most images were 320x200 and 256colors were sufficient to make it look like a photograph. No one would have dreamed that in 15years, we would be sporting "monitors" with resolutions of 1600x1200 at 24bit color.

Perhaps in the future, 24bit is not sufficent. PhotoshopCS already uses 48bit colors (16bit each channel R,G,B).

We don't know what technology will bring. We don't know what our children will be using to view our photos.

Sun, 03 Dec 2006 22:30:08 -0800

...raw is simply not necessary for all cameras at all ISOs. With some it's not even a good idea. And you can adjust jpeg WB and anything else that you can do with a raw file. What you can't do is recover highlights that have been blown out in a jpeg, or undo the destructive effects of in-camera NR. But if these are not a problem then there's no advantage in shooting raw.

Don't believe me? Just put the camera settings on default for jpeg shooting, then shoot raw and covert the raw files, process them as you like and then extract all the embedded jpegs from the raw files and compare the two sets and see which ones look better and when. Remember that not only have you spent an hour, or two, processing all those raw files, they ate-up all that space. If you cannot automate your raw processing then raw is hardly worth the time and effort to use all the time. Save it for your medium-ISO shots, at least, and just turn down the in-camera sharpening and contrast for the rest.

Sat, 17 May 2008 06:16:43 +0000

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Title: Confused about RAW
Weblog: Camera Hacker
Excerpt: You know, this RAW thing has confused me forever. I still can't make sense of it. For instance, I have the Rebel, and when I use the Canon Browser to select photos from my camera... and when I view the photo properties, it's always described as a jpeg. I have the option after I open it to save it ma . . .
Tracked: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 11:35:02 -0800

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