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RAW versus JPEG

edited October 2013 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
I have been shooting with my 60D for close to 2 years, and all that time I have been shooting in JPEG. A year ago I was going on vacation and asked the guy in the camera shop the same question; he said shoot in JPEG. I did with no problems, and had my usual amount of keepers versus trash and was able to edit in Lightroom.

Now a year later I am going to Central Europe, and I'm wondering weather to shoot in RAW. I have read many pros and cons about the two. Yes, more detail in RAW is good, but not if it's going to cause problems in processing. Also, I read that RAW files have data that the human eye cannot distinguish; is that true? For the record I use Lightroom5 as my editing program. I know many of you would say shoot in both but why?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Comments

  • edited November 2013
    Hi Harry6,
    This is a topic that comes up time and again on these forums. If you do a search you will find many threads. However, to cut to the chase.
    a) RAW files retain every piece of data that the sensor collects.
    b) There is no in camera processing carried out at all.
    c) The data is infinitely editable.
    d) RAW is good for the professional, photo manipulation and printing out, because you can correct lens faults (chromatic aberrations and many other aspects).

    A) JPG files are actually captured as RAW files and then processed in camera.
    B) Limited further editing is possible.
    C) File sizes are considerably reduced by compression algorithms.

    RAW cons:
    1) File sizes are very large.
    2) There is no standardization between manufacturers so RAW files need to be converted if you wish to share your photos.
    3) You can spend a great deal of time in editing and actually end up with a result the camera would have produced in a Jpg.

    JPG cons:
    1) Limited editing available
    2) Data discarded by compression and processing.

    So to answer your question and this is my opinion only, for 98% of your photography if you are a hobbyist like me, JPG works just fine. On my last trip to Italy I shot over 300 pics in RAW + JPG. As I examined each side by side, I ended up deleting the majority of the RAW files because there was no discernible difference from the JPGs.
    As I said, this is my opinion only and I just know someone will come back to you with an alternative viewpoint.
    Best regards, PBked
  • edited November 2013
    @Harry6,
    Not just for the depth of data and advice should you appreciate PBked's lengthy response to your query!
  • edited November 2013
    Pbked, thanks for the comments. You're right when you said there were many opinions on RAW versus JPG. I am currently using Lr5 and I have had no conversion problem with RAW. I am not sure if it has issues when sharing (email, facebook, etc). Actually, I thought Lr5 was doing a good job editing my JPG files. I think I might fool around with RAW before my trip and see what the talk is all about. Also, what are the benefits in shooting both RAW and JPG? And how quickly does a 16mb card fill up in RAW (if your able to get a 1000 JPGS how many RAW can you get)?
    Thanks and have a great day!
    H
  • edited November 2013
    Hi again,
    One thing I forgot to mention. When you are done playing around with your RAW files, be sure to save them in a different format like Tiff or Jpg. This leaves the RAW as virgin as before you started so you can always return to it and play again. The problem with other formats is you have to remember to rename your files after editing. If not, then once saved, there is no going back.
    Do indeed play around with RAW. It's good fun, but when you see how long you can spend on just one file, you will realize what I was saying in my last post.

    As for RAW+JPG, I have a friend who is semi-pro and he always shoots like this. He saves all the RAWs to an external disk, but admits that he rarely looks at them. However, he is happy in the knowledge that he has backups.
    As for the card, turn your camera on with quality set to JPG and read the number of shots shown on the LCD. Now change quality to RAW and read again. Finally set RAW+JPG and read again. I could have told you the answer, but that is too easy!
    Happy shooting!
    Regards, PBked
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