Does Nikon have an sRAW equivilent?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jefffitz, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Hello!
    Does Nikon, have a small RAW feature like Canon does? I can't seem to find any information on the web about it. And if so, does the D7000 have it? Thanks!
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As far as I know, the way Canon sRAW works by throwing away pixels so that your 16MP original may appear to have only 4MP or something like that.
    Nikon has that mode only for JPEG. If you shoot RAW, you always get the full number of pixels in your image. Nikon provides two levels of RAW compression on the current DSLRs, but you don't lose pixels.
     
  3. Ahh Ok. I'm asking because I work for a high volume portrait studio and am trying to convince them to shoot raw so they don't blow out as many kids faces (they shoot everything outside natural lgiht with a fill flash). I read that a D7000 RAW file ranges from about 16 megs to 20 megs per file. Do you know what the file size would be for the 12 bit version? Their main reason for not shooting RAW is the storage, so I'm trying to crunch some numbers to see exactly how much space it would require. Thanks!
     
  4. You could use 12 bit compressed RAWs, which will result in approx. 13.6 MB files according to the user manual.
    Shooting RAW gives more room for control but will impact in post processing time. Since it is a high volume operation you should consider the impact.
    If the problem is blown out faces, another option is to perform tests with the active D-Lighting funcion.
     
  5. I'm certainly not the expert on this, but I do not think the Active D-Lighting works in RAW, since RAW is a digital neg.
    Another option to blown our faces is adjusting the f/stop, shutter speed and ISO (shooting in manual of course). For data storage, consider converting to DNGs, which will save you a little bit more space.
     
  6. The Active D-Lighting could help avoid the blown out in JPegs. It will not do anything other than a slight underexposure to the RAW.
     
  7. You want the full data of RAW and you want tiny files?
    This is known as a "contradiction".
    buy a 5 MP camera and your problem will go away.
     
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Usually, I shoot 14-bit lossy compressed RAW on the D7000. I just checked and my RAW file size varies from 12M to 18M. (I shoot lossy compressed instead of lossless compressed to get smaller file sizes so that the write speed to SD cards is faster, to avoid buffer full situations.) If you shoot 12-bit lossy compressed, you can bring the file size down by another 15% or so.
    But given how cheap memory card and hard drives are in these days, storage shouldn't be an issue any more. I buy 3T external hard drives from Costco. When Costco carries them, you know that a lot of people are buying those.
     
  9. gdw

    gdw

    Better yet, why don't they learn how to properly expose with fill flash outdoors and that will solve the blown out kids faces problem without creating a storage problem. How is going to change file formats going to solve an exposure ineptitude problem?
     
  10. I agree, if they are blowing out the faces in JPEG then blowing them in RAW will only increase their storage size.
    Try secretly applying -2/3 compensation to their strobes and say nothing. ;)
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Assuming that you are using i-TTL flashes for fill outdoors, I would dial the flash back by 1 to 2 stops to reduce the amount of fill flash.
    But having RAW around is always an advantage.
     
  12. gdw

    gdw

    I agree with Shun that shooting RAW has advantages--when you have the time to do the extra processing. In a business operation time is money and they obviously have a jpeg workflow. It is not only a storage problem that should be considered, there is possibly a matter of additional software as well as increased processing time, when properly exposing will solve the problem without distrubing the workflow. Changing to RAW in no way will correct the stated problem. Until they correct exposure the problem will be there regardless of the file format. It's a buy a sledge, drive a tack, bust a finger solution.
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am glad that Gary and Clive pointed out the real solution to the stated problem. If it is bright outdoor sun, I typically dial back 1-2/3 stops. I mentioned 1 to 2 stops depending on the exact lighting and the amount of fill effect you, as the photographer, want.
    I can't imagine that storage is still an issue now in 2011. If you don't want to process RAW over and over, one solution is to shoot RAW + JPEG fine and only use the RAW file if necessary. Or you can always just shoot RAW and use LightRoom or Nikon View, etc. to batch covert the RAW files to JPEG.
     
  14. Another sneaky trick to "fix" the problem is to turn up the LCD brightness by a click or two. If images are regularly blown out, this could be because shooters are using the LCD image, and not the histogram or the 'highlight' function, to check exposure. Turning up the LCD brightness will make it more obvious that they are shooting incorrectly.
    If the sneaky fixes don't work, then I think it's time to have a meeting with all your employees to make sure that they understand exposure. At the very least, that they understand that when shooting digitally, too dark is better than too bright.
     
  15. Hey guys, thanks for all the responses. The problem is that the "photographers" are instructed to shoot on program mode to keep things simple. Give them too many settings to fiddle with and they'll screw it up. That's the company's view anyway. If it were my choice, I'd have them all shoot in manual and just take several meter readings throughout the day and adjust. They supposedly already shoot at -2/3 of a stop but even so, kids wearing dark clothes get their faces blasted with light. I recommended the active d lighting and they did some tests but they said it didn't help. I'm going to see if I can take a look at the test shots though. The results I've seen online looked quite impressive.
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Jeff, I am among one of very few people who advocate Nikon's Program mode because I fully understand how flex program works, but even I would never mix the Program mode with flash. Program seriously limits the shutter speed option you may use with a flash on. You are asking for a disaster with that combo.
     
  17. I wish it was up to me but unfortunately, I'm just a grunt worker who does the data entry and retouching. They say they're experimenting with using manual mode but I doubt that will get very far. :/
     
  18. Set the metering to centre-weighted, that should reduce the tendency for the metering to be overinfluenced by clothing etc. Pity that using spot metering automatically switches off i-TTL BL mode (silly decision Nikon!). You could also try to get them to put a big diffuser on the flash and not get "greasy-skin blowback" from the kids' cheeks, noses and foreheads.
    Or you could get a job with a company that knows and cares something about photography.
     
  19. Jeff,
    You mention both "a high volume portrait studio" and "they shoot everything outside natural lgiht with a fill flash" ... these two rarely mix. Most high volume studios shoot indoors with strobes and everything is locked down (full manual ... no auto/program exposure). The camera settings are tweaked to produce JPEGs that are ready to use with little to no post-processing.
    About shooting outdoors in program mode, sounds like you're dealing with too much contrast. Shooting under a white silk is a simple way of dealing with this and can eliminate the need for fill-flash. Program mode is probably the worst choice as it automatically changes all the variables. At least consider aperture priority mode where aperture stays constant (this will help overall quality as you can keep the aperture in the "sweet spot" and also ensure sufficient depth-of-field).
     
  20. Personally, I would be thrilled to have a Nikon sRAW format at my fingertips. With resolution (and therefore file size) increasing to tremendous levels, I would love the flexibility that RAW provides without the insane levels of detail for every shot. I would switch to "full RAW" when doing professional or print work. Storage is not so much of an issue for me, as that is pretty cheap these days, but it would also speed up my workflow by cutting way down on processing time.
     
  21. Nikon D100 (6.1 mp only)? It's very inexpensive now. And it's a pretty good camera.
     

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