Nikon dslr users - jpeg or raw?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by perry_coodin, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. For photos that will be printed mostly 4x6, some 8x12 - is hi-res
    jpeg good enough in your experience, or should I shoot in nef mode?
    I just got my new D70 and will be using it on a job for the first
    time this week, doubling my film gear. Thanks in advance.......Perry
  2. I'd only shoot RAW files, especially if you are shooting for a job.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I pretty much shoot RAW exclusively. RAW gives you a lot more flexability to tune your images on editors such as PhotoShop. A lot of issues such as over and under exposure can be corrected in PhotoShop. If you shoot JPEG, some of the information is lost in the compression, thus limiting your capability to make subsequent adjustments.
  4. Isn't there a mode to shoot both at once?
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Isn't there a mode to shoot both at once?
    Canon does this, but that doesn't really help someone who already has a D70.
  6. Perry-

    High-res jpeg is certainly good enough for 4x6s and the occasional 8x12. In fact, at 4x6 you would be hard pressed to see any difference between hrjpeg and a lossless format like TIFF. Also, hrjpeg allows faster write and review times for images. Finally, jpeg is fast and universal, allowing you to go into a drug or photo store with your CF card, download from the card into a self serve machine and get prints right away or email your images to you favorite photo store without having to Nikon Capture/Photoshop them.

    I mostly shoot on RAW because:

    1. I don't shoot that many images.

    2. I generally print from D100 images starting at 6x9" and leave off at 12x18". So, I want as high-rez a file as I can get.

    2. I'm enjoying shooting available light and the Auto White Balance feature on the D100 is awful- usually plus or minus 500 degrees Kelvin or more. Shooting in RAW makes it easy for me to totally rebalance the color if I have to. So, I don't have to worry about being locked into a crappy color balance that I can't correct my way out of.

    Regards, Eeee
  7. "Isn't there a mode to shoot both (JPEG and RAW) at once?"

    I may be wrong, but I believe I saw this feature mentioned in Moose Peterson's D2h review. But this would be the only Nikon DSLR with that sort of feature.
  8. the D70 has an option that allows the user to record both a RAW file as well as a BASIC jpeg file.

  9. Here we go regarding the D2h: "With the option of now being able to shoot RAW + JPEG, that's the capture mode I prefer and all I'm shooting now." -Moose
  10. The new D70 can be set to shoot raw & jpeg basic at the same time. You get two seperate files. In raw/jpeg mode, both files are compressed to a file about 5.5-6 MB...similar to a zipped file. Both files are uncompressed using Nikon's included software. This is a lossless information is lost. Actual raw file size is 17-18 MB uncompressed.
    Nikon's free...included with the camera...Picture Perfect software does all this for you, and places a Nikon NEF plug-in into Photoshop for you.
  11. Hires jpegs should be fine, and the better choice if are you going to be shooting fast-fire sequences like sports. You can only shoot 4 NEF files into buffer, then the camera slows to a crawl during writing. Shooting jpeg's, the camera should keep up with you.

    But NEF is a better file, especially when rasterized with Adobe RAW plug-in in PS7 or CS, has better interpolated resolution (but do you really need sharp 30x40" prints?)and also has 48 bit depth for better tonal reproduction in hires printing or offset printing. It is certainly the better image quality, but not the fastest mode on the D70.

    But you'll enjoy it in either mode, we tested the D70 alongside a D100 in the studio this last weekend, and the results were surprising, the D70 image quality in jpeg and NEF was a tad bit better than the D100, and is 1/3 stop faster at asa/iso 200, all at almost half the price.

  12. Thanks all for the great discussion. Yes, as somebody mentioned, the D70 can shoot RAW + jpeg, but only basic jpeg, which I would use only for screen display, not printing. And yes, installing the Nikon software did install a plug-in in photoshop, but I still can't seem to send the file to the photo store here for printing - I get a message invalid file. ie Photoshop opens the file, but then what?

    Can someone outline the workflow in getting a raw file ready for photo printing?
  13. After processing the NEF/RAW file you will need to convert a copy of it to a TIFF or
    JPEG file for printing.

    So why shoot NEF/RAW at all? lots of reasons mostly having to do with the ability to
    keep as much information in the file as possible for future use. Not all jobs need that
    kind of treatment so sometimes shoot large/fine JPEGs are a fine idea, just know that
    you are limiting your options down the line.
  14. have to "save as" your completed photo from an NEF file to a jpeg, or tif, or something else your printer recognizes.
    After opening an NEF file, my first step is to make duplicate file to work with. Then I close the NEF file. Just changing from an NEF to a jpeg will preserve your NEF, but I find it easier just to make a duplicate.
  15. Sorry, Ellis beat me to the answer.
  16. OK, I've opened the RAW file in PS7, done my processing, then go to "save as". The format choices PS7 gives me are PSD, RAW, and TIF. I've tried TIF and that's when my printer's software gives me the "invalid file" message. PS doesn't give me the option of saving in jpeg, which I know can be printed because I've sent jpegs (captured as such). I would shoot RAW because of the WB issue but have to work out this conversion. Thanks again guys......Perry
  17. I live and learn. That RAW/JPEG info will be good to know.

    We got some of the D70 kits and bodies into the store. I should take one out for a spin.
  18. Perry...I think you are possibly trying to save the file to the same location. Try saving to a seperate file.
  19. Jim - No, I opened the file on the CF card reader, and for saving I'm using "save as", specifying a folder on the hard disk. The "save as" dialog box gives me only those 3 options for file format.
  20. if you cant print Tiffs on your printer save it to a Tiff file and then open that TIFF and SAVE AS a Jpeg, you cant go from raw-jpg you have to do raw -> tiff or psd -> jpeg

    actually you should just do raw -> PSD and print from there. PSDs are uncompressed as well and they work pretty much everywhere
  21. I generally shoot in RAW mode using a D1x - it's the best quality available and fairly compact. I have enough CF cards that I'm not likely to run out of capacity.

    It's easy to convert NEF files to JPEG. You simply change to 8-bit mode before doing a save-as. This operation is easily automated by creating an action in Photoshop.
  22. OK, I've opened the RAW file in PS7, done my processing, then go to "save as". The format choices PS7 gives me are PSD, RAW, and TIF.
    You proabably are still in 16 bit mode. Convert to 8 bit. It is either that or you have to flatten your layers to save as a JPEG.
  23. To further expand on what Ellis said above, I've found that PS-CS will let you save a 16 bit
    file in JPEG without complaint - at least on a Mac. However, when you try and open it later,
    it complains and refuses to open the file. Scary, as it's easy to forget converting back to 8
    bit mode.
  24. That's interesting Brad. Sometimes I forget to convert back to 8 bit before trying to save JPEGs, and Photoshop doesn't give me the option like it does for you. I'm also using the Mac version.
  25. That's it - the 8-bit - 16-bit thing. As soon as I converted to 8-bit, PS let me save as a jpeg. Thank you all for all the valuable information........Perry
  26. James: PS-6 didn't give me the option. PS-CS does, which I think is a mistake - especially
    if I can't open the file afterwards!
  27. for 4x6 or 8x12 prints jpeg should be just fine. The NEF post processor in photoshop does not reduce the aliasing noise left in the NEF file to quite the same extent as the JPEG fine. By the time this further noise reduction is done, the raw file gets reduced to the same level of quality as the JPEG fine. If 16 bit processing is important, then NEF is the only way to go.

    The following article explains the extra processing that is required on NEF files, before they can be used.

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