Shooting JPEGS only.

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by philipward, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. This question is for those of you who shoot weddings on a reguler basis. What percentage of Raw vs. JPEGS do you shoot. I know of one very competant and succesful wedding photog who reserves RAW for only the most difficult lighting conditions. Have we reached a stage where JPEGS are "good enough"?.
  2. Storage (in the camera, and on the desktop) is fast and absurdly inexpensive. Shoot both, and avoid having to think about what is, or is not a difficult lighting situation. If it turns out it was a difficult situation, you can fall back to the RAW file with a couple of mouse clicks. If you're otherwise perfect while shooting, then all you've done is used up $3 worth of disk space. You'll never get more important insurance that costs so little.
  3. I've always gone back to shooting JPEG Fine. I shot RAW for awhile and just didn't see the benefits in the long run, except for more work with conversion and having to find a new program to organize and batch edit my files as the one I was using didn't support RAW. I liked my program, and didn't want to switch. So, I shoot JPEG and have no issues with loss of detail or editing. I just have to make sure I "get it right" when I shoot, to avoid too much post-process tweaking.
  4. Matt, thats the best answer to RAW vs JPEG I've seen, Gunna test it out in my next wedding insted of always using RAW
  5. I suspect that I will be chewed up and spit out for this, but I feel that JPEGs have always been good enough. When I am shooting for myself, JPEGs are all that I shoot. It speeds and simplifies my post processing. Means that I need less mass storage which makes my back up easier.
    Now, having said all of that: I have been photographing for going on 40 years. I understand exposure and lighting and know how to get it right. When I shot film, the vast majority of my prints where between plus and minus 1. If your exposures are good (they don't even have to be great) you can easily shoot JPEG.
    Probably the best way to determine where you are is to look at your current post processing. When you shoot RAW, how many of your images require changes from your standard "processing". If you are adjusting a lot of exposures, white balances, etc, from file to file then you can't shoot JPEGs. If you just let the conversion go and touch up a few images, you might as well be shoot JPEGs anyway.
    It will be interesting to see what others have to say . . . this discussion comes up quite often on these sites . . .
  6. Lots of people feel JPEG is good enough and it is if you expose/color bal corectly.
    For the formals and service pics, I would add raw files. Table shots and bride dancing, JPEG will do.
    Both can always be shot and the raw erased if not needed.
  7. 12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files. This cannot be emphasized enough. This has nothing to do with "getting it right" in the camera.
  8. Given the number of automated conversion programs and relative cheapness of media - there is no excuse not to shoot weddings in RAW.
    If I'm shooting a sporting event or something similar (where I want to swap memory cards as infrequently as possible) I shoot JPEG fine. Weddings, portraits, team photos, etc... All RAW. I don't even think about it anymore. And yes - it has saved my bacon a couple of times - when highlights were blown out and I didn't notice on the monitor... Much easier to recover from a RAW 12 bit then a 8 bit JPEG.
  9. The Library of Congress has significantly more information than my local library, but my son doesn't need to go there to work on his papers for school. I can shoot JPEGs and produce beautiful 20x24 inch prints. I don't know if I can produce a billboard, but I have never been asked to.
  10. 12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files. This cannot be emphasized enough. This has nothing to do with "getting it right" in the camera.​
    The question is if the added bits of information is visibile and the answer is that it is normally not (given that the exposure was correct). The reason for that is that the 12-16 bits from the camera is linear and the few bits that are present in the shadows are preserved in the jpeg (nonlinear).
    The very same principal applies for the visually lossless compression the Nikon and others use to keep the size of the raw files down. The only type of raw in Nikon's D90 and below are visually lossless compressed.
  11. No use risking wounding a photo when you can use the ultimate fire power for a humane and clean kill.
    (Did I just say that!)
    RAW always ... they pay us good money so we should give them the best that our equipment can allow. Not using RAW serves us, the photographer, more than it serves the bride and groom; why raise the risk factors? Isn't wedding photography risky enough already?
    Think of all the products you buy in life and pay good money for ... would you be upset if you found out the supplier had the same product in a higher quality but refused to give you his best quality for the same exact price? Most people would be upset ... but , if you've educated the bridal couple on your process then it's a style and product they are ok with so that is the only time I think it's ok ... when you have a fully informed bride and groom.
    Heck, the more information you can capture ... the more "creative" you can be with the image file. It even makes cropping a great option as well ... if I later prefer the shot to be in Portrait orientation then a quick crop of the RAW file from Landscape orientation to Portrait orientation still gives me a lovely image file. RAW gives the best image file as well as giving you, the photographer, greater latitude in creating a final product.
    The talented jpg shooter is an anomoly ... they are rare; yes, the exist but is it wise? And, imo, they do it because it serves their workflow but it denies the client the best possible image file i.e. size and creative tweaking in post processing which is the "after-the-click" part of the photography process.
  12. [[The question is if the added bits of information is visibile and the answer is that it is normally not (given that the exposure was correct).]]
    I strongly disagree with such a blanket generalization.
  13. I do what I hope to be "creative" edits to my raw files and have printed large gallery wrap copies that turned out beautifully. All from a JPEG.
    So, I think maybe the real answer is you do what works for you, I'll do what works for me and everyone will be happy.
    Some of the best "celebrity" photogs still shoot JPEG (Jasmine Star has admitted to in many instances).
    This is a tired arguement, much like the Nikon vs. Canon arguement. There are pros and cons to both.
  14. Sorry for the repeat post
  15. Most everything has already been said, but we shoot RAW only. You just can't dicount the control it gives over the images in post. With some of the presets you can get and the control over all the little details, not to mention the easy of workflow within Lightroom. It makes everything easier for us and gives us what we feel is a higher level of creativity with our images.
    Being able to sync settings across a large group of images makes everything incredibly faster as well. Ceremony and Reception pictures tend to be our biggest bulk of photos and when you can sync the changes to one across the board it makes everything much easier while still having that control to fine tune your photos.
  16. I leave it up to the B&G ---We charge accordingly ---RAW is always a surcharge ~! With Jpeg there is no editing in our services. Luckily, over half of our weddings : are RAW this year, so far.
  17. See . . . I agree that we should all just do what works for us. When you talk about capturing more information to make cropping easier, you are talking about resolution, not the bit depth of the capture. There is no difference in resolution when shooting RAW vs. JPEG.<p><p>Your brides don't care if you shoot RAW, JPEG, MF digital or with a 1M camera. And they shouldn't care. All they care about is the quality of the prints that you produce. That is your product, not a bunch of bits captured on your CF card. If you convince them that RAW is better (and that is what you are doing by making it an extra cost option) who are you really serving the interests of? You think that it is the best way to work, but you charge your clients extra for it. ;BTW: RAW doesn't capture "more" information. It just doesn't process the information until later.
  18. RAW doesn't capture "more" information. It just doesn't process the information until later

    I think you know, Ed, that that's something of a misrepresentation of how it works, in practice. A RAW file does indeed record more information, providing substantially more latitude with which to deal with either mis-exposed or more highly dynamic images. While the actual bit-depth of the image file headed to the printer may ultimately be the same, the point is that with 14-bit files, you have substantially more flexibility to dodge, burn, and color-correct images before sending them to their final destination. If you never take anything but the camera or editing software's default conversion to 8-bit images, then that's another issue. But who does that, or who wants to limit themselves to only doing that?

    You can still batch process 14-bit raw files, as is, straight through to what the camera would have produced as a JPG if you had shot straight to JPG. But by having those RAW files to work from, there's room for substantially more work (with less damage) as needed. It's not like it's all a placebo effect or something - it's plain as day from the first time you actually do it. To each their own, of course. But when folks who are new at something are asking for some guidance or for other's experiences, it does seem appropriate to be accurate about what those larger files are good for.
  19. We shoot only RAW, and after going from shooting only jpg to shooting only raw, I would never go back to only shooting jpg.
    I like the fact that I can open a raw file as 16 bit and with a larger color space than I can with a jpg. I like the fact that raw doesn't clip my file, so if I need to squeeze just a bit more detail out of the shadow or adjust the saturation of a particular color to get the exact final print I want, I can. With jpg there is nothing to squeeze any more information out of- its been clipped. And I'm not talking about fixing something I didn't get right in camera, I'm talking about, for instance, being able to adjust a curve exactly how I want without having the limitations jpg's impose.
    I like being in control of my work. I shoot manual focus and manual exposure, so I do not want the camera making any descisions for me, especially when it comes to actually throwing out information that I just worked to get. To me it makes no sense to shoot jpg. We have a very solid workflow, so proofing images that are raw is only slightly more time consuming than it was with jpg. Then when I go in to print a 24x30, I still have the maximum amount of information available to get the precise results I want. To me, that is worth the extra space and the extra 5 minutes that raw requires.
  20. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    As Matt noted, you capture more dynamic range with RAW files. Even if I set the contrast on my camera to its lowest setting (which generally produces flat, dull-looking images), the jpegs lose highlight and/or shadow detail in high-contrast situations compared to the RAW files.
  21. Consider JPEG & RAW like print vs negative.
    Did Ansel Adams not "shoot it right" when he spent HOURS in the dark room dodging and burning the print?
    The negative, like a RAW file, contained more information than was visible at any given exposure of the print. Ansel dodged and burned to bring out the details that would not have been visible with a straight ("JPEG") print.
    Would you make copies & enlargements from the print or the negative?
  22. I think the same arguments pro and con can be seen in past threads on this subject. So I will just answer the questions. I shoot RAW only, and have for a long time. I don't find the conversion workflow all that bad, and I like the control. I don't think JPEGS are 'good enough' in comparison to the flexibility of RAW files--never did. However, I can see logic in using JPEGS for some kinds of workflow. I just happen not to be candidate for those workflows. Hopefully, Philip, you are taking a poll and not wanting to start yet another war.
  23. Why did we keep shooting film after Polaroids came out? What a great tool for wedding photographers: Shoot it, check it (re-shoot if not good), give it to the client, DONE!
    Ever wonder why Adobe called it the "Digital Negative" (DNG)?
  24. I thought we beat this horse to death last year...oh well...thwwwwap! thwwwwap! thwwwwap! thwwwwap! thwwwwap! Yep, he's dead alright.
    JPEG mostly, except RAW for critical portraiture or difficult lighting. Particularly, lighting situations with a light source aimed at the camera, or a high dynamic range situation. RAW will capture a higher dynamic range and allow greater adjustment to retain more highlights or bring up shadows. However, with 19 megabyte RAW files, I simply do not need a file that size for every little toast and table shot. I don't want to have to store it, and I durn sure don't want to have to process it unless it buys me something.
    No bride has EVER asked for RAW files, and as far as I know, most don't even know what they are, much less have the software to deal with them. No bride has EVER complained there was not enough quality, detail, or resolution in my shots.
    Hey, this carcass is starting to stink...
  25. I use RAW all the time as I can ignore white balance issues. The camera white balance setting is not used when producing RAW images. That information is only stored in the RAW file to be used as a starting point for the RAW processor. Using RAW I don't need to worry about the hassles of setting a custom white balance everytime when the light changes. I just photograph a digital target and move on with the rest of the images. One less thing to worry about.
    I have also found that some whites that clip in JPG are recoverable in RAW. Once a white area has been maxed in JPG there is loss of detail. With RAW I have some headroom to recover some of that detail. Mixing 12 bits of information into 8 bits is going to result in something that has to give and be lost. I can't always nail the exposure and any extra help I can get is welcomed. It's like using wide latitude color reversal film.
  26. We shoot 99% of the time in JPEG. Only occasionally will we shoot in RAW. It isn't a matter of 'good enough' it's a matter of whether or not the bride can tell a difference. With programs like Lightroom there really isn't much of a difference, if any, except that JPEG is usually faster. If you can NAIL (like 95% of the time) exposure and white balance SOTC then shoot JPEG and save yourself the trouble. We can nail it so we shoot in it. Everything is a tool, so just find which tools work best for you. Even Becker shoots in JPEG. If it's good enough for him it's good enough for me.
  27. Ditto Cathy & David...if it's good enough for Becker I'm pretty set (of course, that could have a lot to do with finding him pretty cute!)
  28. I think we should all nore that jpeg is a lossy format in that no matter how much you try each time you open and save a jpeg you lose information.
    Raw is bigger and harder to deal with but a friend showed me the amount of loss after 2 open and saves and it was major.
  29. Even Becker shoots in JPEG. If it's good enough for him it's good enough for me.

    The question isn't "Is JPEG good enough for the photographer?" The question is, "Is the photographer good enough for JPEG?"
  30. i recommend "Real World Camera Raw" i have the edition for CS2, 3-4 years ago was confused about the subject and this book was a good read. Matt is right about storage etc., you can even convert to dng to save some space if ya need...
  31. I just whent back to count how many Raw Vs JPG I shoot.
    It seems to be about 40% raw 60% JPG.
    I do JPG for getting ready, Raw for ceremony + portraits + romantics, and JPG for the reception except the first dance which I shoot RAW.
  32. As for the storage issue, I was just kicking this around in my head...
    67,108,864 images on a 1 Ter drive that I just bought for $140. Actually 2 drives mirrored (instant backup) so that's $280.
    Now, If I shoot 500 16 megabyte RAW pix at a wedding, that's 134,217 weddings that I can store on this mirrored pair, costing me a big $.002 (yep TWO THENTHS OF A PENNY) per wedding.
    How many of you cheapskates were buying the $2/roll film to shoot a wedding? Not me. I think I was paying about $8/roll and shooting 216 pix per wedding ($48 in film plus another $4/roll for processing with NO PRINTS).
    What exactly is too expensive about RAW again? Apple's Aperture or Adobe's Lightroom pays for itself in pretty short order by my math...
  33. Howdy!
    If I were a perfect shooter, JPEG would be good enough. Since I'm not perfect, JPEG isn't good enough. And since I never know when a moment of imperfection will rear it's ugly head, I shoot all RAW, all the time. In post, I adjust as much as possible in ACR, process down to JPEG using Noise Ninja and Imagenomic Portraiture, and apply finishing touches with Photoshop.
  34. let me state that i am a convinced dedicated jpeg shooter. my jpeg are as good as anybodys raw images. i put a great deal of effort time skill knowledge and experience into getting a high quality jpeg. and most importantly i have been getting the good results.
    however, there are 3 situations where i would switch to raw in an instant without any second thought. they are- 1. where i do not have the time to properly setup the shot 2. where something is in the images that needs correcting and the raw converter is the easiest place to do it. and finally 3. where the lighting conditions are such that the shooter has no idea of what the lighting really is and the type of light is or the light sources are mixed. this means that the wb is very difficult to get in the field at the moment of the shots. under these conditions the wb is best left to the pc and the raw converter. and number 3 is definately speaking about wedding photograghy.
    the proper technique would be to use a known white card and take test shots of each individual set of the different light conditions, and later run that test shot in the raw converter to get it right, and then all other shots done under those light conditions. you would need to run them through the converter in batches under the different sets of light conditions. this is precisely what tjhe raw ability to work under different and unknown light conditons that the raw system was made for. i realize that the jpeg is far more convienent but you are talking about a professional paid photographic job, and not a hobby. you MUST get it right and that includes all the colors exactly are they really are/were in the real scene. that is what the b+g or the bride's mother is paying for.
    i have been shooting with a slr/dslr since 1970, this is my 39th yr, and i know absolutely how to get a extremely high quality jpeg. so good that you cannot tell it from a raw shot when printed. BUT, we are talking about a paid photo job not a hobby. raw gives you that degree of wb that is needed. under professional conditions and requirements you cannot afford not to shoot raw. ytou simply need it for the accurate wb.
  35. I now shoot raw and max-rez JPEGs simultaneously. I didn't always. Dumb mistake.
    I've never regretted shooting both. I use the JPEGs straight from the camera when they're perfect. That's usually my goal. But I've had occasions to regret not having shot raw to accompany my JPEGs. Too late, I discovered the persistent problem with magenta casts and occasionally horrible greenish shadows in faces, from my D2H in some artificial light. Not easy to correct with only JPEGs to work from.
    When I first got my dSLR CF cards were very expensive and even with a 4 mp dSLR I could easily fill up a 1 GB CF card, so I occasionally shot JPEG only. It was a practical, if not ideal, compromise then. Now it doesn't make sense unless you're absolutely certain the JPEGs will be perfect right out of the camera.
    The only time I shoot JPEG-only now is for experiments and high volume, low quality stuff, like rapid fire sequence shots that will be converted to lo-rez animated GIFs. I don't need raw for that.
  36. Just to keep things in balance a bit ... there are several "famous" photographers out who used to brag about how they can do great with jpg that have more recently converted to using RAW and regret waiting so long. Life is interesting.
    One well know wedding photographer, Parker Pfister, used to proclaim loudly that he shot all weddings in jpg. Parker has recently switched to using RAW because he realized there is more that can be done with the file and it's just about the same as dealing with a jpg with very little, if any, downside at all.
    Here's some of his work:
  37. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I shoot RAW + JPEG (L) for everything. It suits me and suits my workflow. I have to make one fewer preliminary decision - in this regard it is set and forget: digital memory is soooooooo cheap: so is digital storage.
    For the Weddings I shoot - the RAW file is usually used. For everything else, mostly I use only the JPEG file.
    Although I always capture with the intention of nailing the exposure and the WB 100% perfect, I am human, and, more importantly I am in business. I like the insurance that RAW capture provides for my Wedding Clients - kind of like why I never would shoot a Wedding on Ektachrome Professional but rather exploit the insurance of using a Professional Negative film.
  38. Camera only shoot in Raw. That whats comes out of a sensor. There is a processor in the camera that converts the image to Jpeg for storage on the card. I am convinced that good software on a computer will do a better job of creating a Jpeg.
    Couple that with the fact that you have more data available to make post processing corrections. These corrections are made before the Jpeg is made.
    And if I'm not mistaken, don't Jpegs deteriorate a little , each time their edited.
  39. For events and weddings I usually shoot a compressed raw format. I do this because I find it much easier and faster to process files and white balance in Lightroom with the raw capabilities. Exposure adjustments look a lot better also.
  40. I hope Philip's intention was not to start up the RAW vs JPEG debate again coz there have been quite a few already.
    It really depends, most of the time I shoot in RAW. Because its the closest I can ever get to a film negative, although I still think film is a lot more flexible.
    If I'm doing shoot and burn (please don't flame me for this), I shoot in JPEG because I have to burn the images on disc(s) right after the wedding.
  41. "One well know wedding photographer, Parker Pfister, used to proclaim loudly that he shot all weddings in jpg. Parker has recently switched to using RAW because he realized there is more that can be done with the file and it's just about the same as dealing with a jpg with very little, if any, downside at all.
    Here's some of his work: ..." -William Morgan
    IMO Parker is the best in the business, I also defended shooting JPGs because he did as well...... Personally, I won't weigh-in on the RAW -vs- JPG debate, it's all been covered many, many, many times before. I think the reference to Parker is likely the most useful information in the thread.
  42. I think shooting raw is cheap insurnace. So why not do it. You have so much more latitude and editing optoins wiht raw files. I actually shoot raw + jpeg. I use the jpegs for quick proofs and the raw files for editing and prints.
  43. 100% Raw. I shot jpeg for the first 2 years after I switched from film to digital, but now all Raw with no regrets. I process all files in Lightroom with no problems. I recently shot a dance competition and processed over 8,000 Raw files in just a matter of days. For me, it just works.
  44. This issue drives me crazy.
    We spend a lot of hard-earned money to buy cameras with the very best sensor technology, and lenses that can transmit light to the sensor with the highest fidelity.
    Then we throw a great of that information away by only saving a highly compressed jpeg. Even the best quality jpeg has a high degree of information loss compared to a 14 bit RAW image... just look at the difference in file sizes. The jpeg is smaller because it has less information content. Why wouldn't everyone want the most information possible in each image?
    Computer technology (especially storage) is inexpensive compared to camera bodies and high-quality lenses. Why anyone who is paid to produce photographs of a once in a lifetime event (ok, maybe two or three times in a life) would shoot only jpegs is a total mystery to me. But then people also spend money for high-performance auto tires and then drive for years without maintaining the correct tire pressure. Their tires perform like inexpensive ones and their safety is compromised as well. Go figure.
  45. I Shoot only Real RAW and Real RAW+ ;)
    (Inside Joke - those who have beenh to Ken Rockwells site will understand)
    Seriously though, if I were a wedding shooter, I would have a stack of large capacity CF cards and shoot JPEG+RAW. Use jpegs to save time, RAW for important fixes/as a safety net.
  46. My reply to the use of jpegs:
    Shooting jpeg is one of those things that makes me say "hmmmm".
  47. "What percentage of Raw vs. JPEGS do you shoot?" 100% JPEG :) For now at least ;-)
  48. When this topic often pops up I cringe! You always get the same responses! For events, such as Holiday parties, when you have a backdrop setup, with strobes and umbrellas set to the proper exposures and you are printing on site, 5x7's and/or 8x10's, jpegs works great for me. With this one exception I shoot everything else in raw. Heck, I have the dang 1Ds Mk3 so why not get the most out of this beast of a camera, or for that matter any camera.
  49. Raw.
    Because it is better than jpegs.
  50. Dismissing RAW for JPEG being good enough is like saying a straight print opposed to a custom print from a negative is not noticeable.
    The advantages of a RAW file can make or break an image. If JPEG's are good enough for you, and your exposure regimen is accurate and consistant, good for you. But many photographers come from film based exposure techniques that need more "adjustability" than JPEG will allow. So RAW files can help alleviate that error factor. Not to mention the high bit versus low bit argument. TIFF's from RAW are common, but JPEG's are 8 bit from the get go. Details are lost.
    Convenience. Or quality. These choices are the difference. And a choice is subjective at best.
  51. Postings on the RAW versus JPEG debate always kill me! All you have to do is shoot up a card with RAW + JPEG fine, download to your computor and do some experimenting. Take an image you really like, tweak the RAW file and then tweak the JPEG, make an 8x10 print and see if you notice any difference. Keep making bigger prints and see where the line of demarcation is and then decide what to do. RAW only or JPEG only seems silly, do what works for you.
  52. This seems to be one of the more civilized raw vs jpg debates we've had in a while. Good work all. So, hopefully I won't stoke the fires too much by saying the following. I feel there needs to be a change in mindset concerning exposure when talking about raw versus jpg. A common theme that emerges in these debates is concerning "correct" exposure. The wisdom being that if you expose "correctly" then jpg is fine, and raw is only really helpful in cases of "over-exposure". This is flawed thinking. The reality is that "correct" exposure is in the first instance determined by the image captured on the sensor, not by the image as spat out of the processing pipeline. And what does the sensor capture? The raw data. Raw files can contain greater dynamic range than the jpg files spat out by the camera. Expertly processed that raw file can be converted to a jpg that contains the same dynamic range as the raw file. In effect, the common tagline "highlights can be SAVED in raw processing" does not serve the case of raw as well as it should. The phrase should really be... "highlights are SACRIFICED in jpegs". When you correctly view it this way, one soon realises that the raw sensor data is capturing highlights that would otherwise be sacrificed in a jpg conversion, and therefore is probably MORE "correct" in terms of exposure than the jpg. The term "correct", as misapplied in these debates, really means more "correct" in terms of ones particular workflow, not in an absolute sense.
  53. I've never had a bride say to me, "Y'know, I paid you a lot of money...couldn't you have retained more of the highlights in that shot?" or "I don't see enough dynamic range in this shot.". My point being, does it really make a difference in the end? If you're the photographer, apparently it does.
    Photographers tend to be a lot like high-end audiophiles, stressing and straining over the oxygen-free composition of their speaker wire, placing machined billet aluminum pointy feet under their equipment to eliminate resonance, or denouncing transistor-based amplifiers as "unpure" (and wasting TONS of time, effort, and money in the process).
    Photographers in general tend to be somewhat fussy and unforgiving about details that most clients don't even notice (and expending TONS of money, processing time / power, and storage space in the process). I guess it comes from their committment to ultimate image quality and perfection, which is fine, that's our purview. But if a tree falls in the woods...
  54. Steve: Just because a bride doesn't have the training to articulate the nature of the underlying difference between a shot where the lace detail on her dress is lost in blown out highlights and one where it is not, or where the texture of the groom's tux is more handsomely revealed as opposed to blocked up in the shadows... doesn't mean she can't see the difference. But the difference between retaining those details or not can be the difference between shooting straight to JPG and rendering a JPG from RAW with a little more care after the fact.

    And how many photographers operate on the plan that the only person who will see their work is the one customer for whom it was done? Even if the customer is a color blind myopic who only cares if her mother in law's wig is on straight in at least one shot, isn't it better for the work to stand on its (best possible) merits when it might play a role in landing new work from a more discerning audience? The bride's cousin or boss might be an avid or pro photographer. How other people react to those images in the bride's presence can add a lot of baggage, later, that will impact how that bride serves for you as a reference down the road.
  55. I said I shoot 100% RAW, but that is not totally true. I do shoot jpeg(raw+jpeg) for school dances where I print on-site as well as when I am shooting for fun (such as vacation).
  56. Raw since I bought a D90 and the prices of the cards got down. For my old D50 camera, I only have jpeg's. When processing those pictures with Elements 6, the result with jpeg is most of the time far less then form the raw-files.
  57. Maria McManamey Says....
    Consider JPEG & RAW like print vs negative.
    Did Ansel Adams not "shoot it right" when he spent HOURS in the dark room dodging and burning the print? The negative, like a RAW file, contained more information than was visible at any given exposure of the print. Ansel dodged and burned to bring out the details that would not have been visible with a straight ("JPEG") print.
    Would you make copies & enlargements from the print or the negative?​
    I really like this way of putting it. I think it says it all.
  58. Rob wrote, "12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files. This cannot be emphasized enough. This has nothing to do with "getting it right" in the camera."
    Ditto, ditto, and ditto again .
    5-6 years ago this might've been OK to shoot all JPG (storage on disk and CF card not so great and computers were slower - Raw processors.) Now that it's 2009 no reason to never shoot RAW for all Pro work. What you do on your own time is your thing. You have nothing to gain from shooting JPG only (unless you're a klutz at post processing and need the camera-supplied JPG only "color slide").

    RAW: everything to gain, nothing to lose. JPG: Nothing to gain, and more to lose.
  59. Matt, again, fussing over these details is our purview, and I can respect your thinking, I just think we're kind of straining over minutia. I shoot mostly JPEG, and It's not my habit to blow whites or render tux's in murky blackness (because I understand lighting and how to augment it properly with flash), but I see a lot of very prolific and successful wedding shooters that shoot only with available light, and they nuke grass to a chartreusy-green color or blow dress details all the time, and clients seem to eat it up. I don't shoot that way, but apparently the practice sells.
  60. Shoot RAW, deliver jpgs after all the post is done. Once the jpgs are burned to a read only disk they become lossless no matter how many times they are opened.
    Here's a simple test. Shoot a scene in RAW and Jpg and overexpose the dress. Unfortunately, none of these cameras can record the full range of tones, so the dynamic range is limited ... especially so in contrasty conditions. Summer weddings are notorious for this. Now take the files into LR or whatever you use, and see which format allows you to restore the blown dress the best. This is also true for other more subtile exposure latitude issues. It has nothing to do with getting it right in the camera, the medium is simply limited in its range, and can be helped if you are really good at artificial lighting ... which few are.
    "Good enough" is a slippery slope IMO. Fussing over details is what a lot of other people call "craftsmanship."
  61. I find that convincing people to shoot raw is pretty easy. I have them shoot for a while in raw+jpeg, with them shooting with their normal care. I then show them what I am getting using their raw files compared to their out of camera jpegs.
  62. Here are the rules for how to shoot good photos. Just remember there are exceptions.
    Shoot in raw. But wear sunscreen.
    Spot meter. But if Spot is a black lab, don't meter to zero.
    Expose to the right. But not if you're covering Al Franken.
    Use the zone system. But watch out for players running out of the end zone.
    Always use a tripod. I'm not going to tell you what to use it for.
    Keep a filter on your lens, but don't believe what they say, it won't reduce tar or nicotine.
    Seriously, I think I do about one and a half of the above.
  63. A couple times I''ve shot Raw + JPG -- not once was the JPG worth keeping compared to what can be done, and what was done to the Raw--to the final JPG img of course). That alone taught me the time-waster (and data waster) of ever shooting JPG only (except for happy snaps) again.
  64. And then their is film.......
  65. And then their what is film?
  66. The pursuit of perfection is what keeps things from getting done.
  67. "This question is for those of you who shoot weddings on a regular basis." Well, I have to confess right now that the last time I shot a wedding was on film, but if I was still shooting them today I would definitely be using a RAW + Jpeg workflow. The Jpegs would simply be there as a quick proofing method.
    Surely shooting weddings should be about security and insurance, since you don't get a second chance. You owe it to the clients to ensure that everything possible is done to make sure that the pictures are of the best ARCHIVAL quality. Jpegs just aren't IMO, since one bit of data corrupted in a Jpeg file means that the whole image may be rendered totally unreadable.
    Regarding jpegs.. What does it save? A bit of memory card space? Some post-processing time? Any one among the guests can be shooting Jpegs, and might even be getting more exciting shots than the "official" photographer. As a professional you ought to be giving your clients the best technical quality that your equipment is capable of, and that means shooting RAW or at least TIFF IMO.
  68. One would think this topic has been beaten to death, but plenty of photographers still appear to need convincing of the obvious benefits of RAW IMO. Unless you need to dump photos from your card to a device or customer after a shoot for hasty printing or publication, JPEG is inferior IMO.
    When I got a Canon G2 in early 2002, I shot JPEG for two months. I went on a vacation, and had a revelation. I was banging into walls during processing. White balance issues, inability to recover some highlight and shadow detail, and annoying artifacts in bigger prints convinced me to switch to RAW. RAW images also write to the card faster.
    Today, with software like Lightroom, excuses are invalid. I process and upload directly to Smugmug without ever exporting to disk, except to work something further in Photoshop or burn discs for a customer. RAW workflow is fast, efficient, and delivers a superior product. End of argument. ;-)
  69. Rick, I can see how you'd have those problems shooting JPEGs on a G2. No comparison to CMOS cameras of today.
  70. It has been beaten to death.
  71. And will continue to be beaten to death no doubt.
  72. Here's a thought on the whole argument: Who CARES what someone else is doing? Honestly! If you think RAW is the way to go, go for it.
    At this point in time my workflow works with JPEG. I may change someday, I may not. But I've never come across ANY issue with JPEG. So if it ain't broke....well, you know the rest.
    Again, this is a really old, overdone argument that will never be resolved.
  73. Agreed Tim. Which is why I've said my peace and will let people continue arguing over that which does not matter to their business or their clients.
  74. Is this thread now a jpeg?
  75. My guess is, it has now reached TIFF proportions.
    Thank goodness it CAN'T go RAW, as doesn't allow that sort of language here.
  76. (for the record, I always speak from my own perspective and opinion, and try never to make declarations. The original poster asked to hear from each of us on what we do, and what our own policy is on JPEG/RAW)
  77. Choosing JPEG is about whether or not one can see significant difference in the outcome of what one does, or not. I KNOW RAW can capture more highlight detail in high contrast situations. Most of the time, other than such a situation, I can see no meaningful difference, if I auto-convert RAW with the supplied software which preserves the camera image settings for contrast, WB, etc. If I do not auto-convert, and attempt to do all my own adjustments, I can fool around for-everrr and the camera's JPEG looks BETTER to me out of my camera model, than my efforts with RAW. Other camera models may not be so.
    Some photographers are not computer/darkroom people. I am one. I am not trying to be Ansel Adams, though I admire the kind of work those who do this are sometimes capable of. I am satisfied with trying to capture the moment as accurately as possible right up front with no post-processing, or as little as I can get away with. That is the way I like to work, but I can understand how others feel differently. I generally dislike having to manipulate volumes of images at a computer, while others enjoy doing it. A high-quality JPEG can undergo moderate adjustments post process if needed, but not to the degree of RAW. For me, the most satisfying post process is no post process.
    I bought Adobe CS pro and rarely use it. It wound up being a waste of money. If I must, I use PSE. It is easier, quicker, and more efficient. I am not likely to invest in Lightroom because most of the time it will just sit there unused. I'd be better off putting the money into an outboard hard drive with a good storage filing program.
    For me, I use RAW when the situation indicates I may benefit from doing so. If unsure, I shoot both. My camera has a dedicated RAW button for instant access. 90% of my shots are JPEG, require little or no post processing, and I am happy with the results. That is all that counts. Other people, who have other shooting interests, other equipment, or enjoy doing volume image manipulation, may well have another outlook and that is fine.
  78. I shoot RAW, it works for me. You should try RAW and Jpeg and see if you can find a difference. And then do what works for you.
  79. RAW all the time, even on non-wedding assignments where i am on deadline. I just convert using Aperture, and get better saturation and vibrance. Not really too much longer of a workflow. Since I bought a 5D MKII, I always travel with lots of cards and space on my laptop to transfer. Last wedding I shot took up 20 GB of storage. But then afain, I have 2.5 Tb of storage at home.
  80. All I know is that I just got in from a wedding. I shot from noon until 9pm, and have about 12 gigs of images to deal with, and all but a handful are JPEG. Most of them will need little or no processing. I'm so glad I don't have 30 or 40 gigs of RAWs to contend with, each one having to be batch or individually adjusted and processed as JPEG.
    When I put them in a slideshow at the reception and projected them on the wall, the slideshow was able to run smoothly. With 19 meg RAW files, it is sluggish on the transitions. Everyone loved it!
  81. You know what, ya gotta keep an open mind. Some cameras do a respectable job at converting to jpgs in camera, some don't. It's best to try it in different conditions to see what works for you with your specific camera.
    If you investigate the different post processing programs and the plug-ins or pre-sets available for them on the internet, you may find that your computer is more powerful than your in-camera processing. In other cases, it may be that jpgs from the camera are all you want or need.
    I tend to shoot RAW and use Light Room Presets to batch/sync process whole sets of images in similar conditions.
    However, Lightroom will process jpgs and or tiffs in batch/sync also.
    There is no right or wrong, only personal preference and habits which are hard to break once you have them down pat.
    I also use all three types of file formats ... I save all keeper images as corrected LR RAW files which the client never gets; All those corrected keepers are processed as jpgs for the client's use. Of those Keepers, I select maybe 200 to 300 prime images in a LR collection for light retouching like obvious facial blemishes, and perspective corrections, application of actions, etc. ... those are saved as tiffs to preserve the 16 bit color ... these are the images most likely to be ordered by the client as enlargements. The final step is selection of the album images from the prime grouping ... 100 or more may be in this selection depending on what album they choose.
    However, I have a super powerful computer and 15 TB of Firewire-8 off computer storage designed for our commercial photography using 39 meg digital backs. So speed and storage of wedding images isn't an issue.
  82. I couldn't possibly read all the above responses, but here's my opinion on a couple of things.
    First, in response to Bob's comment that "12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files." This is true, but once you convert your files to jpg to send to your lab you're back down to 8-bit, so it's a mute point. And no one sends their lab 12-bit or 14-bit TIFF files for printing. Even if you did, the results would be exactly the same since labs only print in the sRGB color space, which is very small and will not accommodate the color range of an Adobe RGB color space.
    As for whether to shoot jpg or RAW files, it mainly depends on your experience and confidence level. I've been shooting documentary-style weddings for 18 years and shoot jpg's 80% of the time at weddings. Unless you have a tremendous amount of extra time on your hands, it is much more efficient to shoot jpg files when you ultimately want jpg files. But when the lighting conditions are mixed, or difficult, it's definitely best to shoot RAW files and fine-tune it in the lab. So I often shoot RAW files during the ceremony and occasionally at the reception.
    Basically, time is money and processing requires time. So if you ultimately want jpg files, shoot jpg files, unless you're not able to get the exposure and light temp fairly close. Here's a great article from one of the best (Will Crockett) when it comes to getting advice like this:
    By the way, I shoot primarily corporate and commercial photography and shoot exclusively RAW for that. But that's because my clients want RAW and/or TIFF files. And as a result I now have six 750GB HD's on my desktop and another 6 at a friends house that mirror them!

    Happy shooting!
  83. And contrary to what some of the above people have said, there is no more information in a jpg that was converted from a RAW file and a jpg that was shot in-camera. None. They are exactly the same.

    Even if you want to crop from a "landscape" to a "portrait" there will be no difference in the quality.
    And the bride & groom are not getting an inferior product because their photographer shot jpg's rather than RAW. Because in the end, they are getting jpg files, regardless of how or when they became jpg files.
  84. And contrary to what some of the above people have said, there is no more information in a jpg that was converted from a RAW file and a jpg that was shot in-camera. None. They are exactly the same.​
    Actually - every RAW processor is different. Some apply curves, so the colors will be different. Noise reduction. White balance schemes, etc are all applied differently.
    True - there is no MORE information in one jpg vs another (assuming loss-less compression), BUT the information that gets thrown away between RAW & JPG will be different based on what did the conversion.
    once you convert your files to jpg to send to your lab you're back down to 8-bit, so it's a mute point. And no one sends their lab 12-bit or 14-bit TIFF files for printing.​
    Maybe I'm spoiled because Matt has been involved in printing, print shops, and presses for so long that it's part and partial to how we process things around here. ALSO - this may be the "art" side of things coming out also, as opposed to someone who is more concerned about the colors and exposure.
    YES, we are sending 8bit JPG to the printer, BUT... It's what can be done to those jpgs BEFORE they become jpg. Without as much information, you can't control as much, your final result IS different.
    Two examples - first recent in our portrait experience. We've been shooting some rather large groups lately - 12+. We go ahead and use a backdrop because we're inside where there just isn't a good space to use existing decor. But, there's maybe 2 of the grand kids who's shoulders JUST came off the edge of the backdrop, or you can see our stands, but cropping is only going to remove 80% of the problem....
    Exporting (from Aperture to Photoshop) TIFFs, keeping the 16bit color is going to allow Matt to clone and expand the backdrop and the wood floor in a way that will look much more natural. Can it be done in JPG? SURE!! But it looks much better done in TIFF & compressed down after.
    Ok, 3 examples. I want an art print - just for me even, not with the thought of going into an album. I'm going to keep the colors at 16bit and play. A lot. The difference in control means I can put that print just exactly where I want it, not just something close. And it's that control that is all-important. Obviously there are people who don't care about having that much control, or don't miss having it. There are plenty of us who do, and aren't scared of "storage" sizes or "speed" (because the software isn't slow to start with....).
    Last example - equate this to the world of sound. Ever see the sound board in a recording studio? Ever ask a sound engineer why they need so many controls?
    I'm sure their results would be "just as good" if they only had generic control over bass, treble, and mid-tones. Surely they don't need to control each level depending on it's Hz... surely they don't really need to record each voice, each instrument individually and control their volumes and mixing individually. I'm POSITIVE that the end result would be just as good if they "did it right in the first place."
  85. What people seem to be forgetting is that we're documenting weddings here. And capturing beautiful & important moments is by far more important than deciding what will be a better file; a jpg shot in-camera or a jpg processed from a RAW file in the lab. I can assure you that in the end you can make an 11x14 print from either and even a professional won't be able to tell the difference. And the client definitely won't see the difference, or care.

    The real reason so many wedding & portrait shooters choose RAW as their primary file is because they are too far out of control to shoot JPEGS. This will offend some people, but it's true. You need to have exposure and color under control to shoot in JPEG, you don't in RAW. If you can learn to master exposure and color balance before the shutter is released, you can shoot in JPEG and get great files in a fraction of the time to shoot and process RAW.

    If you can shoot jpeg, you will make more money. It's that simple. The less time you spend in the RAW file processor the better, right? Well, if you can get in control of exposure and color balance, you can shoot jpegs and get GREAT print quality"

    As for being able to do so much more with a file BEFORE it's converted to an 8-bit jpg and sent to your printer, well, I would suggest you do a comparison sometime and see for yourself. Shoot something in RAW+jpg, tweak the RAW file all you want and convert it to a jpg. Then tweak the jpg file shot in-camera as much as you'd like and have prints made from both. Stand at 3 feet and see how many times out of ten you can point out the print made from the jpg that was originally a RAW file.

    Then decide if it's worth spending 16 hours editing a wedding or 8 hours. ;-)
  86. The topic of of RAW-vs-JPG is certainly not dead, as made evident by the recent responses in this thread. Well-thought contributions continue to make my visits here worthwhile.
    In the meantime, technology marches on. As noted before, RAW work flow was a more a time-consuming and storage-consuming process just a few years ago, but the process has become remarkably streamlined by faster computers and better software. My output may ultimately be an 8-bit JPEG destined the photo lab, but it all goes through Lightroom whether it began as a Canon CR2 or an in-camera JPEG. My effort is the same. The difference is knowing I have more headroom and latitude when I need it or want it . If I don't want to bother with any special effort, having CR2's instead of JPEGs on my NAS causes no pain. I export to a web gallery or disc and the job is done.
  87. The real reason so many wedding & portrait shooters choose RAW as their primary file is because they are too far out of control to shoot JPEGS.​
    Sooo.... Was Ansel Adams out of control? Is that why he did so much "post-processing" in the darkroom?

    If you can shoot jpeg, you will make more money. It's that simple IMO.​
    You use a $600 PC, don't you? 5 years ago, RAW was a pain in the butt. I agreed with David Ziser when he said "RAW is Wrong." Today, if processing RAW files takes you appreciably longer than jpegs, you have a serious workflow issue.
    My bottom line: The time and cost related to shooting RAW over JPEG is negligible. The only time I notice is when I'm capturing images from one of my class 6 SD card into Aperture. That's it. No other drawbacks for me. Hardly a reason to voluntarily throw away my 'negatives.' If I were shooting JPEGs, I'd still own the same Macs that I own today, I'd still use Aperture for organizing, editing, and archiving photographs, and I'd still have 2 8 gig cards in each camera. I haven't spent a dime extra to support RAW shooting.
  88. By the way, I shoot primarily corporate and commercial photography and shoot exclusively RAW for that.​
    I see my wedding customers to be as important as any other customers. I think they want me to treat them in the same manner as well. Interesting that we can determine that corporate and commercial is more at an importance level that dictates we use on RAW for them but for a wedding we can downgrade to shooting jpg.
    Why not offer the same service given the ease of processing for RAW these days? I understand that the day is long and some photos aren't deemed "important" by wedding photographers but I'd be willing to venture that the families who spend good money for wedding photography do see thier photography as important and if educated they would ask that their wedding photographer shoot using the best image files possible if the photographer is using the same camera. Obviously, most photographers feel it's important to use RAW for imporant customers so why are the wedding customers seen to be "less than".
    Not at all being argumentative: not my intention ... it's more a thought in how we seem to decide our process based less on what our wedding customers might want as opposed to what our corporate and commercial customers might want. Shoot the way you want ... the way that works for you but if you use RAW for commercial and corporate all the time there must be a reason you do it that way: it's a better process to insure good results. That's the reason, right?
  89. William, the criteria for commercial work is a bit different than for wedding photography. An image may be used on the web one day, and be cropped and sized for billboard the next, then used as a wall display to be viewed at arm's length the next. This is partly why clients require larger, higher resolution files with full bit depth color space. Many of these shots are done with Medium Format Digital systems up to 60 meg.
    What IS revealing when using commercial work as a comparison is that none of the MFD cameras shoot jpgs. They are all proprietary RAW files that have a final destination of lower resolution printing in the truncated CMYK color space ... yet are originally shot as RAW and processed as 16 bit (or more), in the large Pro RGB color space. The argument that we shoot more images is not correct either ... many commercial jobs yield thousands of shots also.
    The fact is that the processing engines inside a camera are no match for the much more powerful RAW processing programs and computers available today. There is only so much they can stuff into a small camera body, where that restriction is all but eliminated with-in a modern computer.
    In a sense, color fidelity should be of as much concern to us as a fashion shooter. Brides spend endless amounts of time selecting Bridesmaids dresses, flowers and accents ... not to mention skin tones. More bit depth going in helps preserve true color. And even tough the end result may be sRGB 8 bit prints, what is being worked with going in is more accurate. There is a reason that Canon and Nikon offer the choice of 12 or 14 bit & Adobe RGB capture ... better color accuracy. And those MFD systems I mentioned are all 16 bit capture ... there is no other choice until you get to the processing engine in the computer.
    Just some food for thought if one is NOT satisfied with their image fidelity and color reproduction ... if you are satisfied please ignore the above : -)
  90. Posting here and getting informative feedback is valued, thanks Marc for clarity. I want to advocate for bridal couples when I "think" they are being shorted.
    (I am just coming off my Saturday wedding ... I'm carrying residue from observing a DJ and venue operator run the timeline in order to serve their own selfish interests instead of thinking of the bride and groom and the families; it makes my day shorter but it really doesn't serve the bride and groom and the families and it burns me to no end. I shouldn't have let it pour over into this thread.)
  91. Sooo.... Was Ansel Adams out of control? Is that why he did so much "post-processing" in the darkroom?​

    Not a good comparison. Ansel Adams did not have digital technology. He HAD to do all his enhancement work in the darkroom by default. Plus, most of his work was B&W. But, I'm sure he did get it as "right" in camera as possible.
  92. (I am just coming off my Saturday wedding ... I'm carrying residue from observing a DJ and venue operator run the timeline in order to serve their own selfish interests instead of thinking of the bride and groom and the families;
    Did we shoot the same wedding?? I had a similar DJ issue.
  93. Isn't interesting that most of the JPEG shooters say, "I shoot JPEG because it works for me." Many of the RAW shooters insist that RAW is the "only way to work". I always get nervous when someone says that their way is the only way . . .
  94. it is more interesting that this thread has become a jpeg vs raw thread. and THAT IS NOT WHAT WAS ASKED BY THE OP. he wanted to know which of the 2 formats is the way to shoot a wedding. period. not which is better based on a pile of preducies.
    i wrote my reply far above based on which i would use to shoot a wedding and why, and not which i shoot all the time. and that is jpeg by the way. i stated at the outset in my reply that i get jpeg images that as good as anybody's raw images and i am a dedicated convinced jpeg shooter. but i answered the op's question based on the situation of shooting a wedding which is not the same thing at all as a raw vs jpeg debate.
  95. Most readers should be able discern the mostly-JPEG team from the mostly-RAW team in this discussion. Learning a shooter's RAW/JPEG ratio, however, answers only a simple question. The OP asked for what , and most of us have also responded with why , providing a far greater and more useful amount of fact and opinion.

    Answering the OP's questions only , with no exposition, I submit the following:
    • What percentage of Raw vs. JPEGS do you shoot?

      100% / 0%
    • Have we reached a stage where JPEGS are "good enough"?

      No (or, if you prefer a gracious response, "No, in my opinion")
    Without a healthy debate, all we have is a poll. ;-)
  96. I don't see where the OP asked 'which of the 2 formats is the way to shoot a wedding'. I just answered the questions, way above. However, since we do seem to be having a healthy debate, I would like to say the following.
    I am tired of hearing the JPEG supporter's line about getting it right in the camera (if you shoot RAW, you must be a sub par photographer). I am also tired of hearing the RAW supporter's line about shortchanging the client (if you shoot JPEG, you must be a sub part photographer). I am also tired of hearing the line about 'so and so using JPEG/RAW so it must be the best way'. Ditto for the person who stands on his or her supposedly illustrious background (either for or against).
    If you go back and read through this thread, leaving out all the proclamations based upon ego, you will find a bunch of facts and a bunch of workflow options that a thinking photographer can use to construct a valid workflow suitable for his or her particular quality standards--with either JPEG or RAW. I sincerely hope that the OP's intention was just to conduct a poll, as I stated above.
  97. Well Ed, some on both sides of the debate sound pretty shrill to me.
    It is pretty much a well established fact that photography is a blend of science and art. Perhaps more today than in past because many of us are doing the job the labs used to do.
    Some offer claims that their jpg work is as good as anyone's RAW processed files ... which is a subjective answer from a jpg user and has zero mathematical or scientific facts to back it up. Were is there scientific proof that an 8 bit s RGB jpg from a camera processor holds the equal amount of data that a 12 or 14 bit RAW file processed in a program such as C1 or Lightroom?
    If we look at the progress of photographic processing programs, a vast majority of innovations in recent years have been to squeeze more and more Image Quality of each file. More and more Photoshop Tools have been made workable in 16 bit which is not available for 8 bit jpgs.
    It is also interesting to note that if you create a correction layer in Photoshop on a jpg file it cannot be saved ... the file is flattened or a second copy has to be made. With a RAW file the original is always preserved, and if worked on in Photoshop the correction layer is preserved separately.
    So, if one wishes versatility they can have it ... it's simply a matter of preference and choice. I personally think it is nice to have a choice.
  98. Nadine, that was a very well thought-out and lucid statement, and one with which I concur. Well said.
    Marc, I concur with you as well, that we all have a choice based on our own needs.
    There is really no need for sarcasm or elitism in this debate, we simply use what works best for each of us.
  99. I used to shoot both and used raw for the tough lighting photos that I had trouble balancing in jpeg. I found that I didn't use the raw much so I went to jpeg only. When I changed from CS2 to CS4 I liked the ACR better and I am able to do a better job of raw processing with it, so I am shooting raw only. I don't think it takes my anymore time than strictly working jpegs and more importantly I am producing better looking images.
  100. Now those of you with a lot of photoshop-fu should know the answer to this, regarding bit depth.
    JPEGs are an 8-bit logarithmically scaled image, yes? And RAW (as nonstandard as they are) are either 12 or 14 bit linearly scaled images, yes?
    So it seems to me, then, that the benefit of a RAW vs a JPEG is not so much in recovering blown highlights, where most of the information in a JPEG is "stacked" anyway as it is in recovering the underexposed shadows, where the JPEG might have an arbitrarily low number of levels (say, 4) whereas the RAW might have several (an order of magnitude more).
    I can see that maybe RAWs have more resolution all around, but the ratio of RAW levels vs JPEG levels is much higher in the dark portions of the photograph (again, unless I'm backwards and turned upside down).
    I suppose the real interest in highlight recovery would be to see how many RAW levels there are between the highest JPEG color (or is luminance the word I want?) levels (say, JPEG 254 and 255). Any mathematicians in the group?
  101. "I don't think it takes my anymore time than strictly working jpegs..."​
    Every RAW must be processed as a usable filetype, such as JPEG, and in many instances, multiple aspects of the RAW image must be adjusted (color, noise, sharpness, exposure, etc.). Not every JPEG requires processing. In many instances (if you shoot properly), JPEGs may require no work at all. By definition, RAW does take longer.
  102. Steve C. [​IMG], Jun 30, 2009; 04:38 p.m.Every RAW must be processed as a usable filetype, such as JPEG, and in many instances, multiple aspects of the RAW image must be adjusted (color, noise, sharpness, exposure, etc.). Not every JPEG requires processing. In many instances (if you shoot properly), JPEGs may require no work at all. By definition, RAW does take longer.​
    Raw takes less of my time, not more. If I get it "right" in the camera then I simply convert all the raw files at once as a batch, which takes my computer time but not me. However if I have even one photo that needs adjustment to its copy temp then I find it is so much easier making that adjustment using a raw file that raw take less effort on my part.
    Raw also helps me take less time when shooting. In the past when I shoot only jpegs the only way I could get the white balance really right was to shoot a white card and set the white balance on that card. As the light would change I would have to redo this. Shooting raw I still try and get close to the right color balance, but I find it takes far less of my time to get it close in the field and adjust it that last 100 or 200 degrees when converting the raw files.

    The other thing I find is that when I shoot in raw mode I don’t chimp, I know I have a good photo when I push the shutter button. When I am shooting jpeg I find I often chip. Not only does this chipping take time but it is taking time when I should be concentrating on taking photos.
    If other people would rather shoot jpeg only more power to them, as long as I am not the one paying for the photos.
  103. Tim, I'm not a mathematician but I have a fairly good understanding of how it works.
    The sensor get exposed to light and each pixel now holds a charge, a voltage that is converted to a digital value with an A/D converter (analog/digital). The bit depth is the resolution of the A/D converter and each bit can be either 0 or 1. With 12 bits you get 2^12 (4096) combinations representing a value between 0 and 4095. So a value of 0 is 0% light (black) and a value of 4095 is 100% saturation of the pixel (white).
    The problem is that our eyes react to light in a non-linear way. Twice the amount of light is not perceived as twice the brightness. Actually twice as bright is only one stop brighter.
    While the raw value from the A/D converter is totally linear these values are converted by the camera or raw converter into brightness values in the jpeg or tiff. The jpeg has a resolution of 8 bits and since we get 2^8 (256) possible combination from 8 bits it means values ranging from 0 to 255. So black would be 0 and 255 would be white.
    If we shoot a scene that has ten stops of brightness this how the raw values and jpeg values relate to each other: (zone V is mid grey)
  104. As you can see the 8-bit jpeg has no problem representing the shadows and the eye can only differentiate about 100 levels of brightness, not a problem for an 8 bit jpeg.
  105. The reasons why highlights can be "recovered" in raw and not jpeg are basically two.
    The first reason is that the camera boosts the contrast with a tone curve to make the image look more photographically pleasing. That has the side effect of making the near white white and the near black black. So basically the camera is blowing out the white in the jpeg not because it was blown out but because the added contrast did it. Since most people don't screw around with their cameras this is what they get.
    You will blow more white in the raw converter or photoshop as well if you boost contrast there. My inside tip is to set the contrast to low in your camera even if you shoot raw because it will make the histograms and the "blinking highlights" more accurate.
    The second reason has to do with white balance and the red, green and blue channel.
    The sensor is really monochrome but it is covered with a multi colored filter (bayer filter) where each pixel will transformed into either a Red, a Green or a Blue pixel. Since the camera or raw converter knows which pixels are which it can calculate a full range of colors for each pixel by combining information from the surrounding pixels. So for color images each pixel will consist of three colors (red, green and blue) that can be added to represent any color we like (almost).
    When we set a white balance in the camera we change the proportion of these three colors so the image will look natural to our eyes. This is similar to using a color filter over the lens when shooting film or using color filters at the time of developing film.
    For instance if we shoot under tungsten lighting the color temperature is lower and as such there will be a shortage of blue in the image. To compensate for that the camera/raw converter multiplies the blue raw values on all pixels with a factor of 3.
    This means that we can get clipped highlights in an image where the underlaying raw values are not clipped. So when we lower the exposure in the raw converter the values don't clip anymore. We have "recovered" the highlights.
    If we want more recovery and the information is really gone at the raw level the raw converter can reconstruct color information based on the data in the other color channels. For instance if the red channel is clipped but the blue and green are not the software will guess what the color should have been based on the other pixels that are not clipped in the image. This can introduce strange color cast in the recovered highlights so depending on the algorithm in the raw converer it can make the recovered highlight monochrome instead. This is of course good for us because when we blow out the dress and we need to recover the highlight they might turn grey and that looks perfectly natural since shadows are grey on a white dress. When we blow out faces it is usually harder for the raw converter to recover without color artifacts.
    Some recovery of highlights can be made for jpegs as well. But since jpegs already are white balanced the range is not as great.
  106. I'm a raw shooter but just to show you what the quality difference between in camera jpeg and raw looks like I have made a 100% crop below so you can compare yourself.
  107. And here the raw file, converted to a 16 bit TIFF, cropped and then converted to the highest quality jpeg.
  108. I don't know about you but as far as I can see this in-camera jpeg is as good as the raw file. So I would say if the exposure and white balance is good shooting jpegs with a current pro body is not a quality compromise. If there is a difference it would be impossible to see even in a huge print.
    The reason a camera can produce a good jpeg comparable to your PC or Mac despite it's small size and humble power consumption is that it is using different technology. Your computer has a CPU good for all kinds of task with generic software while the camera has one or several DSPs (digital signal processors) where both software and hardware are optimized for one job only.
  109. Sorry, but Scott Wilson's argument about RAW taking less time simply does not hold water. He's welcome to shoot all RAW, but every one he shoots needs fiddling with, whether by batch processing or individual processing. JPEGs shot right need no work at all. It's as simple as that. And as he admits, he's using RAW as a crutch so he can be sloppier at capture. I'm not attacking him, just stating facts.
  110. Sorry, but Scott Wilson's argument about RAW taking less time simply does not hold water. He's welcome to shoot all RAW, but every one he shoots needs fiddling with, whether by batch processing or individual processing. JPEGs shot right need no work at all. It's as simple as that. And as he admits, he's using RAW as a crutch so he can be sloppier at capture. I'm not attacking him, just stating facts.
  111. This is a debate that will only end when the next technolgy begins. It is a personal perferance based on many factors depending on the shooter and what they are shooting. I shoot weddings, but I also do commercial work. I also have a stong background in post production film and processing in my early years and the RAW format fits better with my brain in that regard - I personally work hard to get the photo spot on every time... and just as a point of correction I just went to one of David Ziser's workshops and he only shoots in RAW now - most of the big name hold outs have converted for their own personal reasons - Jessica Claire just outed herself as a RAW convert... so it's really a matter of personal choice - just like lenses, camera bodies and shooting style... I personally don't think there is a right or wrong here...
  112. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    As a counterpoint to Pete S.'s examples showing subjects dominated by midtones to upper midtones, I have a few samples demonstrating differences when there's a higher dynamic range: a black dress and a white bag (more representative of a white gown and black tux than orange flowers and green leaves are). These were shot on a Canon 5D, with the JPG capture set to the lowest contrast possible (to better preserve detail in the shadows and highlights). The first comparison is the unaltered JPG from the camera compared to the RAW with default settings in Bridge (no adjustments made).
  113. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    In the second set of examples, I adjusted the curves of the JPG file to bring up shadow detail and make the highlight detail a bit more distinct. I also made minor adjustment to the curve of the RAW image along with a minor "fill light" and "recovery" adjustment. These weren't actually necessary; I just wanted to demonstrate that there was still plenty of room for adjustment with the RAW file. When the subjects aren't evenly lit by a uniform light source, you'll get a greater range of tonal values; the RAW still had room to cope with greater dynamic range.
  114. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    A final note: You're free to shoot JPG only if you choose, but if you're choosing JPG because "if you know how to expose properly, there's no difference between RAW and JPG," then you're operating under a false premise. There are clearly demonstrable differences between JPG and RAW capture in situations that are quite common when shooting weddings.
  115. Matthew McManamey [​IMG] , Jun 24, 2009; 06:52 p.m.
    Now, If I shoot 500 16 megabyte RAW pix = 8GB
    1TB = 1000GB
    1000/8 = 125 weddings
    280/125 = $2.24 per wedding.
    What exactly is too expensive about RAW again? Apple's Aperture or Adobe's Lightroom pays for itself in pretty short order by my math...
    Not expensive but not 0.2c either.
  116. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "There are clearly demonstrable differences between JPG and RAW capture in situations that are quite common when shooting weddings."

    I think I will keep this thread. It will be good to link to, as an answer when a question of “why do you . . ." comes up in a few months time. :)

    Seriously though, it contains very interesting nuts and bolts stuff, with examples, thanks to you, to Pete, and others.
    I did write: "kind of like why I never would shoot a Wedding on Ektachrome Professional but rather exploit the insurance of using a Professional Negative film." . . . now I have a lot of the equivalent of that comment, with all that digital nitty gritty stuff.
    Thanks guys.

  117. Mike Dixon's example is more in the realm of the reality of what we photograph for hours in a wedding day celebration, imo. I can actually see the difference too ... especially in the face area!
    Straight jpg conversions always felt "heavy" and a bit more "murky" to me so I changed to RAW several years ago and could "feel" the difference ... I didn't do a test but I could "feel" the difference: yeah, that's my scientific contribution to the thread and I was ok with adding more time to my workflow to "feel" I was giving the bridal couple a "better" image file, again, imo.
    There are many former jpg shooters now moving to RAW ... I did know about David Ziser but forgot to mention him but it's no surprise to hear about Jessica Claire to add to the list along with Parker Pfister and others. There's a reason they are changing over and it revolves around getting a better jpg image file to present to the bride and groom.
    Honestly: doesn't is seem "odd" to hear a person talk about the virtues of shooting with "great glass" attached to very nice camera bodies who won't use the best image file conversion process available ... if this is a judgmental statement I'm ok with it on a forum that discusses such things! It's an observation and it's a fair one on a thread such as this, imo (always have to add that!).
  118. Also, there is a misconception (or mis-information) that a RAW file is not affected by how you set your camera controls, and that every file has to be fiddled with.
    This is not true. The RAW file carries the settings data and will appear in the RAW processor under the title "As Shot". So, if you set a specific temperature for white balance, and expose correctly, the file will appear that way when opened in the RAW processor. Each RAW processor program has various preset Profiles and the ability to alter the default for the characteristics of a specific camera/sensor. So if a specific camera tends to produce reds that affect the skin tone in a way you do not like, you can alter the default. The RAW program C1, from Phase One, actually provides a wide range of skin tones you can choose from.
    The other misconception is that of speed. When the RAW program generates a proof file to see on your camera's LCD or on your computer screen, it is a jpg., not a RAW file or a tiff. That is why they load so fast. When you make adjustments the information is added to the RAW file for processing reasons, but it doesn't actually change the RAW file. The RAW file is like a film negative and stays intact to be altered any way you wish in future. Basically, even after closing a Processed RAW file, you can reopen it and start over from scratch.
    Programs like Lightroom are getting very close to being a stand alone processing program by combining RAW processing with many new tools for retouching. IMO, we will see no need to use Photoshop except for radical retouching needs and multi-laying needs in the not to distant future. It is almost there now.
  119. Mike, I like your example shots because as you say they show a real life scenario.
    The problem is that your camera was set for low contrast but looking as the scene you'll see there is still too much contrast in the unaltered jpeg compared to the unaltered raw file. Look for instance at the shadow density on her face. If I'm not mistaken different picture styles have different tone curves so another picture style would have been beneficial in this case.
    One purpose of shooting jpeg is to get what you want without spending time at the computer. As I hope I showed above, the rendition of in camera jpegs in current pro bodies are very good and up to par with standalone raw converters. What you have showed is that the tone curves and picture styles are very important to get right if you want a good jpeg. Because in most cases that is what both raw shooters and jpegs shooters strive for - a good jpeg.
    I'm not a Canon shooter but I assume that you have the same adjustment posssibilies that Nikon has. In that case I'm sure you can get the image that you tweaked from the raw file straight from the camera as a jpeg. But since the postprocessing of the raw file is done in the camera your parameters and settings needs to be right for the scene. In a bright high contrast outdoor scene like this a picture style that has a low contrast tone curve and highlight priority enabled (active d-lighting on Nikon) would have been much better.
    Keep in mind folks that everybody is really shooting shooting raw. The question is only when and how we turn that raw file into something usable. At the time of capture using the camera or at the computer when we get back.
  120. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    Pete, the picture style used was based on the "Faithful" setting, but modified to have lower contrast. That's about as low-contrast an image as the camera could produce under those conditions. Newer cameras may be able to compress the data into a JPG more effectively. Can you provide examples from your camera of a high-contrast scene?
  121. Mike, I was under the impression you could make any kind of picture style with the picture style editor and then download it to your camera so it would apply it when shooting?
  122. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    While the Picture Style Editor gives a great deal of control over color adjustments, it doesn't appear to have any means of changing contrast or overall curves beyond what is provided in the camera Picture Styles menus.
  123. Look at this:
    Besides all kinds of color tweaks it appears you have a curve with up to 8 points of tonal adjustments.
    What looks good (and is similar to Nikon) is that you can take a raw file, adjust and tweak it with the picture style editor until you like the result. Then you download your custom picture style to your camera and have the camera do the same tweaks to produce great looking jpegs in the field.
  124. Here is a test I made a few years ago to test highlight recovery from a D70
  125. The flower is very typical of the kind of tones we get at wedding. Imagine that flower was a wedding dress that you blew out shooting jpg. While the recoverd RAW file is not perfect it is better than the blown out JPG
  126. I think we should all nore that jpeg is a lossy format in that no matter how much you try each time you open and save a jpeg you lose information.​
    There is certainly information discarded at the time the JPEG was created in-camera. Beyond that, this can be mitigated--If you're using software like Adobe Lightroom, your changes are applied in a single operation at time of export; the original is always preserved, along with a list of edit directives. You can also convert the file to something lossless like TIF or PSD if you have to make edits beyond what LR can do.
  127. I guess, reading the original question, it would come down to this...what percentage of images did you shoot negatives vs. slides when you shot weddings on film?
    I think the inherently difficult nature of contrast with white dresses, black tuxedos, low existing light, and mottled outdoor light under foliage canopies, and delicate skin tones would necessitate shooting in negative films or RAW. Ever see people photographed with Velvia film? Yuck! It's good-enough for glossy magazines because it's editorial in use, and not meant for end-result portraiture like wedding photography.
    Is JPG usage bad? Of course not... But you need to recognize why you use each format over another. Why did magazine photographers shoot chromes? Because art directors wanted to accurately see large numbers of images at once on a light table. Did it make the photographers' lives any easier using slow, narrow dynamic range emulsions? No. But that tradeoff was acceptable.
    While it is true that RAW converters can batch-process large numbers of RAW files now so the import workflow isn't any slower than JPG, it isn't true that those processed-by-computer files are ready for print immediately. I find that software-processed RAW images look great on-screen, but terribly low in contrast on paper in a print. So, in my view, JPG files are much faster to get to the print stage. If I were to shoot anything which required a large run of prints (traditionally like family events, where each image is a "keeper"), I'd shoot JPG with no regrets. The imaging engines in the current-generation dSLRs are even superior to RAW files from 2005. So, I never will pooh-pooh shooting in-camera JPGs from my D700 for this type of end-result. However, if I'm shooting with the knowledge that I'll be printing selects, I can be more liberal in the time-consuming process of tweaking each individual file for print.
    I think broad statements like "I ONLY shoot RAW" or "I ONLY shoot JPG" demonstrate a lack of understanding of the process and the requirements of the end result. I believe that would be tantamount to a film photographer saying that he or she only uses Provia 100, conditions or end use be damned. And while some will be quick to point out that X or Y photographer made their whole career using X or Y emulsion, the truth is probably closer to the fact that they spent their career shooting the same TYPES of images. James Nachtwey, who is by any measure a brilliant photographer, shot Tri-X almost exclusively (almost...). If he shot a family vacation, don't you think he'd consider something more appropriate? He'd probably want to say with his pictures "this is not war is a happy, bright affair."
    Don't be afraid to shoot what you NEED. And for the "what if I need to do something with it later?" crowd...don't you think usage could have been more flexible if the Afghan Girl photo was shot on a portrait emulsion instead of Kodachrome? It didn't stop that image from becoming an icon. "Gee...I wish I would've shot that in RAW, so I could've cleaned up the shadows..."
  128. i shoot both simultaneously -- RAW for final images, plus smallest jpg setting. i do the latter because 1) jpgs are easier to browse, and 2) in the event of memory card failure, sometimes jpgs can still be recovered even if the RAW files can't.
    that said, if i were to spend thousands of dollars on a film camera and lenses, i'd shoot Fuji or Kodak, not generic chain-store film.
    The question was to wedding photographers...Please try to load images that are wedding images. Normally that is a hard and fast rule here but in this case I think the uploaded images are important to the discussion so I'll leave them up.

    On another note:

    We are not accustomed to rude and uncivil comments towards others with a different ways of doing things here on the Wedding Forum. I've weeded out and edited out the comments about arrogance, and other completely unnecessary insults peppered throughout this thread.
  130. David Manning - with all due respect. I worked for a pre press shop and they wanted chromes for scanning because a chrome produced better images for the film for printing. MUCH easier to work with and fix especially. It was Not because they fit on the light table ;-) My prepress boss - in the business for 40 years would groan when people brought in negs.
    Also - you say:
    "Don't be afraid to shoot what you NEED. And for the "what if I need to do something with it later?" crowd...don't you think usage could have been more flexible if the Afghan Girl photo was shot on a portrait emulsion instead of Kodachrome? It didn't stop that image from becoming an icon. "Gee...I wish I would've shot that in RAW, so I could've cleaned up the shadows..."
    There is a big difference between journalism and weddings ;-)
  131. Sigh... I apologize for some of my earlier commentary which may have been construed as rude. My attempt to encapsulate typical anti-RAW attitudes into a few sarcasm-laced bullet points may have appeared clever, but appears to have been peceived by some members as a personal attack. That was not my intention, I assure you. With vocal inflection, much of it could have been taken as tongue-in-cheek, but the nature of text filters out such nuances.

    In the meantime, I continue to enjoy the information and opinion this thread has generated. RAW rulez. ;-D
  132. Yet still no-one seems to grasp the main failing of JPEGS. 1) The fact that any afterwork degrades the image irrevocably. 2) A JPEG file is not as robust as RAW or TIFF.
    Here's two versions of the same image: Left a JPEG, deliberately corrupted by just one bit chosen at random; Right the same picture in RAW, again with one bit changed at random; both opened in Photoshop CS3. Ooops! Where's my JPEG gone?
    The chances of finding the corrupted bit and correcting it are, well one bit in about a 24 million bit file. But don't worry, it can NEVER happen to you can it?
  133. I really don’t think that the possibility of a corrupt image file is a good reason to shoot raw over jpeg. I would hope everyone has their photos backed up so that if one bit of a jpeg did flip it would not be a problem. I have to say I have not lost a jpeg image yet. I am also not at all sure that a corrupted bit in a raw file will not cause a rather large problem, it is after all compressed, just lossless compression, but still to loss a bit would be a pain. I have to ask Rodeo Joe if his images are really ones with a corrupted bit or if they are what he believes would happen in both cases?

    IMO there are a lot of reasons to shoot in raw, but corrupt files is not one of them, at least for me.
  134. Well,
    see it this way. With film you had 2 options. Either you developed it yourself or you give to someone to develop. If you want to have more control over the final image you develop yourself(raw). When you shooted weddings in film times did you send it for developing or did you do it yourself?
    In my eyes with raw you can play more in post processing. Maybe you shooted all the wedding in punchy colors but now you want very desaturated images.Jpeg tend to get worse the more you retouch and save them.Raws not.If you have a clear workflow and how you want the pics to look you can shoot jpg or set up settings to process al raws with the same settings.
  135. For me Mike Dixon's examples are a reverse confirmation. Upon careful inspection, I see VERY little difference between the two. Even in the highlights of the white bag, which is a surprise. The little difference I do see is a slightly richer skin tone in the JPEG image. There is nothing I see here that would cause me to waste any time whatsoever in post-processing, which is a necessity for RAW. In fact, in this case, though it is a matter of preference, I like the skin tone and general look of the JPEG better.
    There is no question that RAW presents superior opportunity for post-processing image alterations, if that is a need or a goal. Under some circumstances, it can exhibit better highlight detail, without altering the converted image, from what I have seen.
  136. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    A quick glance (i.e. not detailed analysis) of the low resolution images of the woman posted above . . . I can see in the RAW versions:
    > significantly more detail in folds of the dress, especially at the groin level and below
    > more detail in the white bag specifically: top narrow face left & bottom narrow face left.
    > more detail and texture in skin on the face, especially forehead and left cheek, also left hand
    > more detail in the skin which is under hard shadow on the neck
    > more detail in the dark car, camera left of the subject
    > more shadow detail in the shadow on the yellow bus, camera right of the subejct
    ? Different monitors ? ? different degrees or definitions of "significant" and or "detail" ?
  137. IMO
    I shot 31 weddings in one year two years ago shooting JPEG only. Previously i shot RAW. I never really had any exposure issues; within the tolerances that a professional should be able to shoot in, both formats should be fine in terms of exposure, regardless of the light available or conditions. My findings at the time were, and continue to be, JPEG produces better color even when White Balanced and corrected in ACR in outdoor or indoor consistant lighting. However, when shooting in natural heavy mixed lighting, or when bouncing off colored walls/celings, white balancing in post became a huge issue for me....regardless of how well or accurate my exposures were. It's simply hard to beat the WB capabilities of a RAW file. Therefore i switched back to RAW. I do a little bit of extra work to get the best of both worlds now. When i dump my RAW files, i quickly open all of them up at once in ACR and do a WB auto adjustment on them then I batch convert them all to JPEG. I then open all the JPEGS up and do another auto WB in ACR and begin fine tuning the adjustments. Maybe it's just me but when i do this procedure, i see the color casts almost completely disappear and am left with minimal adjustments and natural well balanced color. Like others have said, it's hard to argue against RAW being a cheap insurence in the event something unpredictable does happen. JPEG is a great format and has it's purposes; i still switch to JPEG when i want to maximize my buffer burst mode for sequences ie..exiting etc..
  138. Regarding Mike Dixon's running lady example:
    Although I agree there is more detail to be observed in the RAW eye immediately goes to the JPEG. I prefer the rich colors of the JPEG, honestly. Despite the loss of minute detail.
  139. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I agree the richness of the blue especially captures the viewer's eye, mine too, but I do not believe that colour, is the point of the comparison.

    And also, the (lack of) details in a Black Dinner suit (Tux for you guys) is not IMO, "loss of minute detail" - again this is perhaps just different meanings of what each of us considers is actually: "detail".

  140. Yes, the sky color to me is better with the JPEG image. It also has more contrast, which accounts for darker blacks. Contrast could be adjusted for less. In the RAW image, to me, the skin has a more hard and shiney look.
    In the above 5D image, the exposure in the JPEG image is obviously over by a wide margin. Perhaps post processing adjustments compensated for over exposure in the RAW version.
  141. mike dixon

    mike dixon Moderator

    A clarification: In my examples, I was focusing on differences in dynamic range of recording images in JPG vs. RAW. It would have taken only a few seconds to adjust saturation to give the RAW images a more-colorful look (an adjustment that could have then been applied to hundreds of images quite quickly).
  142. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    :) Yes. Thank you.
  143. difference between raw a JPEG really is all about being able to fix your inadequacies in post process. if you think you can nail it in camera, then shoot JPEG. if it was really a question about quality, then we'd all be shooting film with Carl Zeiss or Leica glass.
  144. "difference between raw a JPEG really is all about being able to fix your inadequacies in post process."
    i would not have said inadequacies. but if you nail the shot in thr dslr then what are you pping? the shot is already right. it can be said far better-the more you desire/wish/need/do pp your images, the more you need to be shooting raw. there are people in this world who like/love pping their images, i am not one of them. to me pp work is akin to root canal and as pleasurable.
    as for the 5d shot above that is so obviously overexposed. why was it overexposed? poor technique, bad working meter, lack of photographic knowledge, or other shooter error. the taking of a poorly done image is no arguement for or against raw vs jpeg. it simply states that the shooter blew it when he took the shot. in that case, he would be better off shooting raw due to raw being far more foregiving in fixing the mistakes in the field.
    the other unknown question in this long thread is how many users have setup their dslr to shoot the high quality jpeg? or, are they simply accepting what some engineer in japan, who put in the default settings, thinks is the best setting for what he thinks is the best image. in setting up my 2 dslrs it took me about a couple hours each to get the settings so that the cameras would shoot a high quality accurate jpeg. in comparing raw and jpeg images if they were shot with the raw+jpeg and factory default settings means that the jpeg is at a heavy disadvantage before the shots are even taken.
    below is a raw vs jpeg that has appeared on dpreview. take a look at the images, if you were not told which is which could you tell?
  145. This has been a great and educational thread. Marc Williams point about high contrast made the most sense to me. I have, at my weddings, shot in a lot of high contrast noontime outdoor venues. Much of my phototagraphy, now is in high contrast areas. As Marc said, simply too many zones for the capability of the camera. Other than that I have no opinion except for the credibility and sensibiltiy of Nadine O'Hara.
  146. Ahh.. a few seconds to bring up saturation, a few seconds for this and that, is the time I like to avoid. And besides, I am slow. Seconds for some is minutes of doing and re-doing for me. In 99% of my cases not worth what for me is a hassle, but for others is a satisfying experience. On top of that, my efforts in RAW often do not look as good overall as the JPEG version. For high-contrast shooting, setting the camera in a "natural" image mode reduces contrast and saturation as well. Otherwise, if in a situation where substantial post-processing may be needed, I hit the RAW button. When in doubt, shooting both can be a way to deal with it. When using RAW, I have lately just employed the supplied software to "auto" convert, which preserves the camera's settings, making the results the same as the JPEG, except for potentially greater DR and my ability to make substantial PP adjustments. But different people have various ways of approaching these issues, and that is why we have these tools at our disposal.
    There is no question in my mind that RAW is capable of capturing more dynamic range than JPEG, but how often will that capability make a difference? When it does, it is indeed an advantage. Some cameras, however, now even have newer tools to deal with that, in terms of DR enhancement. But RAW affords greater precision and control for fine-tuning an image which may especially require this attention. Some people prefer to exercise this PP control over most or all of their images.
  147. i would not have said inadequacies. but if you nail the shot in thr dslr then what are you pping? the shot is already right.​
    Only if your "right" is the tone curve and color settings that the camera used to create the jpg. The camera takes the raw file you shoot, applies the camera settings you chose, and saves that as your jpg image. It has absolutely nothing to do with being an inadequate photographer. The camera cannot read my mind and decide what exact tone curve I want for that particular image, and one out of three color saturation modes is not a final choice that I want to be stuck with for every image I shoot.
    That is not controll to me, and it is very nearly never right .
  148. jen l-my right is when the image looks as close to the real scene as is possible to get. i do not want it improved in any way later in pping. i simply want tjhe dslr to reproduce the scene as faithfully as possible. this is not a tone curve as such. to tone curve some image means that you are changing the "look" of the image(s) each time you shoot and later in pp. i do not do that ever. i simply wish that the camera record the image as faithfully accurate as is posssible to get it.
    that is why i have already setup my dslrs to record the images they take as accurately as possible. this is also why i apply no tone curve later, the camera is already doing it at the time of the shot by rendering an accurate image, which is what i want. my dslr setings are set to make the real scene appear on my calibrated monitor. and i do not change them. why would i? they are already giving the accurate image.
    all this depends of course of what the photographer wishes from his images as a final product. if he wishes a image that would lend itself to further and inventive pping then that is what he shoots. but i do not. to me, as i said above, pping is the same as root canal and is as pleasurable. some people like/love it, i am not one of them.
  149. i went from shooting weddings with two d3's to shooting with 135mm film and my work fow has gone from hours and hours, to minutes! hdr, don't need it, i go plenty of dr straight out of the camera, and i rate my 400h at 200asa. but i can't do a slideshow at the reception :) if or when i shoot digital again, i will not go back to raw.
  150. OK, since we're back to civility, I'm going to add even more text to this thread.
    The first thing I want to say is that the superior quality (or even equivalent final quality) of JPEG or RAW cannot be proven since, as we see, there are opposing views on which image of the woman above looks better. If we cannot decide what quality is, there is no way it can be proven either way, whether by visual tests or science.
    The second thing I want to say is that the choice to shoot JPEG or RAW rests more upon shooting goals, methods and purposes than anything else, IMHO. Let's not forget that this thread is in the Wedding Forum. I wonder how many respondants above are wedding photographers? This latter is not an elitist insinuation that only wedding photographers can reply or have valid input. The reason I bring this up is because most (I admit not all) wedding photographers strive to be photojournalistic to some degree, meaning some percentage of total images taken were taken without posing, and many, without prior intent. A lot of these photojournalistic images are not repeatable in the exact same way. Some are restageable, and can look similar, but not all.
    Take Emin's examples, above. I can see myself following the bride out of the hotel and noticing how cool the reflections are around the door. Without stopping the bride, I might just shoot, maybe not even raising the camera to my eye. I sure don't have time to notice what settings are on my camera--maybe I had it on manual camera mode, maybe on an automated mode. I am guessing this is how Emin might have shot this--off the cuff. So lack of photographic knowledge, shooter error, or metering (who would have time to meter a shot like this unless it was purely staged?)--sloppy technique has nothing to do with it, all of you who argue that RAW shooters are lazy.
    The above is just one of the reasons I choose to shoot RAW for weddings. However, I have also shot JPEG for weddings. I know it can be done, and well. I can see shooting JPEGS for formals, for instance. I usually have everything nailed down precisely, and when it comes time to converting my RAW files of formals, I am doing almost nothing to the files in Lightroom beyond marking them for conversion. What would I have done IF I shot the same thing in JPEG? I would have looked at the LCD and histogram and seen that it was blown out. I probably would have tossed it and forgot about it. If I were Jeff Ascough, I would have been able to save it and turn into a great image (from a JPEG). Whether that image would have the same quality as Emin's is subject to opinion. And whose opinion? The photographer's or the client's?.
    While I don't agree with the idea that JPEG wedding shooters are lax for not caring to give their clients the utmost in quality, I do think clients are far less critical of the technical end. If the image does not suffer from obvious technical flaws, and the image is cool, or makes them look good, they are happy. This in no way is an insult about clients' intelligence. I say this after years of client dealings.
    Because the choice to shoot JPEG or RAW depends upon goals, methods and purposes, and because we wedding photographers all have different ones, there is no right or wrong about the choice. These goals, methods and purposes also go right through from the camera to the business end of a photographer's business. If someone thinks you make more money shooting JPEGS--he could be right--FOR HIM. If you have shot a number of weddings, you will soon know what you want to do about this choice. While it is interesting to toss about the science of it all, why are we arguing?
  151. sRGB and Adobe RGB colour spaces both use a gamma 2.2 encoding. Gamma encoding reallocates encoding levels from the upper f-stops into the lower f-stops to compensate for the human eye's greater sensitivity to absolute changes in the darker tone range. This means an 8 bit JPEG file has just 47 brightness levels available in the bottom two stops

    if you want to see the difference between JPEG and raw try this on a JPEG and then consider what the result is like when using a 16 bit native file:

    Now that we all have 8 bit files, open the levels command by pressing Control-L on a PC, or Command-L on a Mac. Move the middle slider to the left until it reads around 4.0 instead of 1.0 and click the OK button. Open the
    levels command again and move the slider to the right until it reads .10 and again press OK. Now open the levels command once again and adjust the central slider until the image looks as good as possible. Explain the changes that have taken place, both to the image and to the histogram. You may need
    to look at the image at a 100% magnification as well. IMAGE, MODE, 16 BIT You are now working in 16 bit mode. Repeat the exercise and report your findings and conclusion!
    With an 8 bit/channel file any subsequent image manipulation in Photoshop including basic stuff people generally do - rotating an image,levels/ curves, converting from a colour space to an output profile, and in particular sharpening - can cause damage to the file. With an 8 bit per channel image, such data manipulation around the margins, means no headroom to absorb errors. Worse, because sRGB and Adobe RGB encoding reallocates encoding levels from the higher f-stops into the lower f-stops the total number of brightness tones available - 255 - means that JPEG shadow levels will have considerably less than this - e.g. 47 in total for shadow levels 9 and 10.

    The effect of this can be seen on the 8 bit image: by blowing the gamma from 1 to 4 and then back from 1- 0.1 and back to 1, shadow information shown on the Histogram has been turned into mid tones and then back the other way one is trying to make mid tones become shadow. GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) there will be coarse graduations/sharp transitions from light tones to almost instant black along with some ugly artifacts in mid tones. By comparison, the 16 bit image, while damaged by this destructive process, manages to retain more shadow detail. While one would (hopefully) not abuse a file like that, it demonstrates the inherent danger of doing too much manipulation on any image unless its RAW. (of course duplicating a layer is a safer bet but its a time bound activity).
    human eye's greater sensitivity to absolute changes in the darker tone range. This means an 8 bit JPEG file has just 47 brightness levels available in the bottom two stops
  152. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Nadine Ohara (Jul 02, 2009; 06:28 p.m.):

    Top essay - best of yours yet, IMO.

    (and I have both: shot a lot of Weddings; and read a lot of your commentary).

  153. as for the 5d shot above that is so obviously overexposed. why was it overexposed?​
    It is clear that the image WASN'T overexposed on the sensor, or else the photographer wouldn't have been able to make such a wonderful second image. It is simply false to continue to say that an image like that is overexposed, without first qualifying what you are saying. It could be considered "overexposed" in the context of jpg shooting, but in the context of an experienced raw shooter it was a near perfect exposure.
    jen l-my right is when the image looks as close to the real scene as is possible to get. i do not want it improved in any way later in pping. i simply want tjhe dslr to reproduce the scene as faithfully as possible. this is not a tone curve as such. to tone curve some image means that you are changing the "look" of the image(s) each time you shoot and later in pp. i do not do that ever. i simply wish that the camera record the image as faithfully accurate as is posssible to get it.​
    Jen's post was spot on the money. The jpg you accept out of the camera is based on the same raw data that a raw shooter would use as a starting point. Why is it you think your camera processed jpg is any more accurate than the raw data straight off the sensor? The raw data captures more dynamic range than the camera jpg conversion can, so in that case the raw data is MORE accurate than the jpg data. I'm not a wedding photographer, but I would have thought that greater dynamic range would have been something wedding photographers would desire given the traditional black and white outfits.
  154. In the 5D JPEG shot, I could see the point if the interior was normal or dark, while the outside area was blown out white. That is a DR problem then of exreme proportions. And the RAW example looking better- with NO PP adjustments- would indicate superior performance. With SOME PP adjustment, it is possible to retrieve more highlight detail than with JPEG. But that is not the case here. The interior is rather blown out as well! Everything in the frame is over. I can say with certainty that if I were shooting that scene in JPEG, at least with my equipment, by spot metering a mid-tone area or grey card, the exposure would NOT turn out exposed that way. In the JPEG result shown here, exposure is so high there are virtually no mid-tones left in the frame!! I find that odd with the outside bright light in the center coming straight in along with a bright overhead light and light walls. I would expect the metering as shown might render the interior somewhat too dark! That is why I'd spot meter such a scene in Manual, or using the AE-L.
  155. Nadine - from your first succinct response to your last exposition, you have encapsulated the debate and poured some needed water on the firery posts (and my own sarcasm).
    Funny you mention Jeff Ascough, because I thought to go back and re-read his interview with MaryBall. His perspective on RAW-vs-JPG is an intelligent one, and would fit well into the discussion here. Jeff had to become satisfied enough with the speed and results from RAW workflow - and conversion software in particular - before he could move away from JPEG. I'm curious to know what his ratio is today. The great results he gets from minimal flash and noisy high ISO speak volumes for what he can do with either workflow. I'm not worthy!

    While I remain a committed RAW shooter for my own practical and technical reasons, I will try an experiment during my next wedding: I'll shoot RAW+JPEG. My new batch of Flash cards arrived today. :)
  156. Mike's shot of a woman above is not really a comparison between jpeg and raw and it is interesting how many fail to see that. It's a comparison between the settings in the camera and the settings in ACR - both used to convert from raw to jpeg.
    Cameras of today have highlight tone priority, auto lighting optimizer, automatic d-lighting and what not. Just as raw converters have fill light, shadow and highlight recovery. A few years ago the raw converters didn't have that and the cameras didn't either.
    The jpeg shooters are right when they say that the reason to shot raw is to be able to fix mistakes in post. But on the other hand what is bad about that?
    I'll leave this thread with an example of how Emin's great but severely overexposed shot could have looked if one tried to recover it in jpeg. I tried to match overall look somewhat as it has some postprocessing applied as well. With some more time and most importantly a high resolution jpeg, I think it would have been an equally strong shot in jpeg. You'll find Emin's original jpeg a couple of posts up in this thread.
  157. Cameras of today have highlight tone priority, auto lighting optimizer, automatic d-lighting and what not.​
    Mine doesn't. And either does Emin's.
    It's a comparison between the settings in the camera and the settings in ACR - both used to convert from raw to jpeg.​
    Exactly. And a user has far greater control in a raw converter than in a camera jpg rendition.
    Your recovery of highlights in Emin's jpg, doesn't disprove the argument for the use of raw. The argument fundamentals still stand. Raw can capture a greater dynamic range than a camera converted jpg (unless there is a camera out there that allows user control of white balance multipliers, or at the very least uses multipliers of less than one). I could post an excellent example of the benefit of raw over jpg, but cognisant of the warning above restricting posts to more specific wedding examples, I won't unless asked otherwise.
  158. Bernie, we are actually in agreement here. But I wasn't trying to disprove the argument for raw. I was trying to show that all is not lost just because it was a jpeg. For some reason people just seems to assume that it is.
    The reason I mentioned cameras of today is that the dynamic range is greater than ever but also because the in camera processing of that raw data is greater than ever too. The active d-lighting does the same thing to the raw data as you when you use the shadow and highlight recovery sliders in your raw converter.
    Sure you have more flexibility in the raw converter but there is a lot of unexplored flexibility in the cameras as well. Besides new features like I mentioned there are also customized tone curves and color adjustments that can be changed on the fly by the photographer depending on the situation.
    If you want to compare the latest raw converters with in camera jpegs isn't it fair if you do it using the latest cameras as well? And that you put as much time into learning how to tweak the camera settings as you do learning the raw software?
    If shooting jpegs is a better approach than shooting raw and do corrections afterwards is a different matter. A matter of workflow and personal preference. The question was, for wedding work, have we reached a stage where JPEGS are "good enough"? I'd say yes.
  159. right now, i wonder how many readers of this thread even read my first reply. i stated that i am dedicated jpeg shooter. and the quality of my images are as good as anybodys. but, i also said that for a wedding i would switch to raw instantly and use white test card shots. this is due to the constantly varying lighting and light sources. i would then use the white test shots to determine the wb later. this is fitting the format to the job. not that raw is better BUT for a wedding, in which there is no possibility of reshoots and the wb has to be right, raw would give the advatage due to its wb ability. of course, this means taking the white test card shots in the varying lighting.
    the other issue is the setting up the dslr to shoot the accurate high quality jpeg. i have 2 dslrs; it took me about 2 hrs each to set them up to shoot a jpeg. i wonder how many users who criticize jpegs so easily have gone to the trouble and effort to set them up to shoot the good accurate jpeg. or, are they just using the dslr with the factory settings, or changing the settings for each shot, for what reason i do not know, then saying the raw is better? the test is being made from a situation that is the raw is always giving its best due to the work in the raw converter, but the jpeg is coming from a very noneoptimized group of settings, guerenteed to produce inferior images. the simple fact is that to shoot a jpeg well means more effort and work in the filed and that the shooting MUST be done with a dslr that is already setup to shoot the accurate high quality jpeg. the jpeg is harder to shoot than the raw, since the raw shooter KNOWS that there is a fudge factor in the raw image. while the jpeg person has to get to get it pretty much right because there is no fixes but only touchups. why would the raw user make the great effort to get the shot dead on when he knows that an accuracy of a stop or stop and a half is plenty good enough and that the converter can fix the stop or stop and a half? whereas the jpeger has to hit the exposure within a 1/4 of a stop or he blows the highlights and cannot get them back. the jpeger has to put more effort and skill into the shot just to break even with the raw shooter.
    much has been said here about the dr range of raw vs jpeg. and that jpeg is only about 5-6stops. i come from a background, as do many many others, who shot film slides, i did it for 32yrs. a slide only has a dr of 4.5-5.0 stops. to me getting the dr of 5-6stops with jpeg is terrrific. not to mention i never had a problem getting the scene recorded with the slide. neither did all the commercial photogs who shot their billions of slides of the last hundred yrs or so. it was simply a matter of adjusting the technique to get the shot. you learned how. also since there is only about a 1/2 stop of headroom with a jpeg, what is the problem? with a slide there is ZERO headroom. if you overexposed at all the info was lost with no possibility of ANY recovery. you tossed the slide. with slides you learned how to shoot accurately or else(you tossed the slide into the waste can, and you had nothing for your efforts).
  160. Whether or not a jpeg is harder to shoot is something that cannot be proven one way or the other, like much of what has been said above. However, I can say that as a RAW shooter (for weddings), I strive to get my files dead on, exposure wise. I do not accept a stop and a half as a fudge factor. If I have any kind of control over a lighting situation, I shoot my files to be dead on or within 1/3 to 1/2 stop margin. I shot that way with negative film. I shot that way with slide film. As I said above, my formals shots are hardly 'fixed' at all before conversion to jpeg.
    However, I am certainly grateful for that exposure fudge factor in situations such as the one I described above, because the most quality can be mined from a RAW file (IMHO), in these situations. I also sometimes use the increased ability to recover highlights to my advantage, such as in bright sun conditions. In these conditions, I deliberately overexpose up to maybe 2/3 stop and recover highlights in post. The advantage is not having to pull the shadows up so much, resulting in less noise. Fill flash balance is nicer too--backgrounds don't go as dark as they would if you shot jpegs to achieve zero blown highlights.
    "Why would the raw user make the great effort to get the shot dead on when he knows that an accuracy of a stop or stop and a half is plenty good enough and that the converter can fix the stop or stop and a half?"
    Because it is good photographic technique to do so. I would not assume that all RAW shooters use shooting RAW as a crutch or because of fudge factors.
    I have shot weddings in jpeg, and I shot them the same way I shoot my RAW files now. The only difference is that I do not tune color balance in precisely, in the field. Now here, I do rely upon a certain fudge factor, because I find you cannot precisely get that dead on, accurate color balance (actually great skin tone) with jpeg files in difficult mixed lighting situations, ON THE FLY, such as at events like weddings. And there are lots of mixed lighting situations at most weddings.
  161. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    FWIW, Gary, I did read your first post. At a Wedding I use two DSLR's and have a third as back-up. Yes I have set the JPEG Picture Styles (or similar) in each camera and they follow a set of four lighting "types" which I have defined and give JPEGS which suit me: I have mentioned this in detail on a few threads, before.

    I find this JPEG "tailoring" exceptional useful for pulling and printing (or posting) JPEGS very quickly at repeat venues I often work. I also have shot positive film (slides), but never for a Wedding, as far as I can recall.

    So yes, I for one do very much understand what you are saying: but I still also shoot RAW + JPEG (L) for everything - that suits me - it is really simple and I like simple. As I first stated - it is one fewer preliminary decisions I have to make.

    Remember "simple" does not necessarily mean "sloppy"

    You seem like a very reasonable fellow so I hope you will not be offended if I take you and me as an example and set us both up at the same Wedding, shooting exactly the same scenes at exactly the same time. . .

    Having read all that you have written I see it this way: we are both aiming for perfect JPEG capture - we are both getting equal scores and batting and equal 99% each.

    But we come across one of those "3 situations where one would switch to raw in an instant without any second thought" . . . well it seems to me I immediately have the upper hand, because I am all-ready in RAW mode - you gotta firstly think and secondly make a change: all else being equal between us, I just gotta shoot.

    That's just the way I see it.

  162. The following is not directed towards any one person nor any group of persons.
    RAW, it is not an acronym; do we write “uncooked meat is RAW”. I have sat on both sides of this raw vs JPG debate now firmly I sit with JPG Fine; it works best for me. In photography it is the result, never the process. About our work it matters how the client feels not whether we shoot raw or JPG. Is the client is satisfied, nothing else matters. Pinhole camera shots I made for the client they loved. So this raw vs. JPG debate matters for what?
    Both raw and JPG deliver outstanding results to quite large magnifications. Whether it is raw or JPG, only photographers care not clients. It has become an ego thing, "I shoot, raw or JPG, I'm better than you, I know more, I care more than you do, see I produce more detail, blah blah blah". Prints set side by side one cannot choose whether they started as raw or JPG. The photographer knows the client doesn't, the client doesn't care. Most times the difference is at best subtle in minutiae: the print chosen is a judgement call. Use the workflow that best fits you. My belief is today's JPG produce pictures better than raw did a few years ago. Our shooting style, lens, lighting, have infinitely more to do with picture quality than raw vs. JPG. Truly to me this raw vs JPG is majoring in minors.
    Raw is not a digital negative. Today one can print a one hundred year old negative. Into the future one hundred years I doubt today's raw files will be able to be opened. There is not an ISO raw file standard. The raw file is indigenous to the version of camera, firmware, vendor, an ever changing proprietary file format. Though Adobe has the DNG, to date not one vendor uses it as their default raw format. Where is that standard, the so called digital negative? There isn't any. The phrase, Digital negative, is a non sequitur, possibly a platitude.
    This raw and JPG saber rattling is not between photographer and client but, a meaningless futile exercise of photographers. This reminds me what Shakespeare wrote: Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an id10t, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  163. It's not what's best: RAW or jpeg?
    It's what works best for a fast paced environment where potential exposures change fast and there's not time to have a discussion with your buddy over what exposure might be interesting.
    We all have different approaches but that doesn't change the fact that the majority of weddings do not wait around for the exact exposure all the time so it makes one wonder if the right "tool" to select is the one that gives you the most latitude: seems to me that it's just a matter of being sensible more than a macho thing that serves as a subtle form of bragging.

    What's the tool that gives you the most latitude in a fast paced environment in a one time event? I'd pick RAW even though getting a good exposure is not a true challenge for me. What's the best tool to use for the task at hand? What's the wise tool to use if your style is rather hectic and active? The wise choice, imo, is to be responsible and pick the tool that fits the task in a fast paced environment.
    If your style is laid back and you're taking calculated even paced shots then jpg might be a perfect fit for you: excellent; but, the tool for me in a fast paced environment that's a one time event is RAW. Why be hard headed about it when you can be safe and the processing is about the same?
  164. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member


    Right capture mode Always for Weddings = RAW
    it is only a bit of levity :)
  165. William W. You did well, I like it. Thank you for the levity and humor needed. :)
    Side note: Folks use the phrase, a one time event, as though at will other events can be recreated. In my minds eye using the term, one time event, is meaningless. All events are one time events.
    Exposure should not be the issue, white balance may be. During a fast paced event correct WB can easily be accomplished in camera. In PP the minor adjustments either with raw or JPG will provide equally satisfactory results. When WB or exposure is off the mark the photographer has other issues. The choice of raw or JPG is for the connivence of the photographer not the client.
    Shoot raw or JPG best fitting your style, both have great value. Debating which one is better is meaningless, futile, mind deadening, boring, accomplishes nothing, is never ending, rattles too many cages. The same as debating Canon vs. Nikon vs. Sony, vs., etc.
    Have fun out there.
  166. ?
    Personally I am amazed. I would have never thought there would be such a disparity amongst professionals? To answer the question we shoot Raw + JPEG. In part because of the Golden Rule: do unto others... Frankly, I would be quite upset to learn if any service provider I hired took shortcuts using the rationale that I would never "see" the difference. I hired the service to do something that for whatever reason, I couldn't do. But I have an expectation for that provider to do their best (all within the no margin no mission philosophy of course!). A Raw file has billions of color possibilities. A JPEG has millions. Either has more color possibilities than the human eye can see. But if you are a serious professional do you want to choose from a palette of a billions of colors or from a palette of millions of colors? If the JPEG is indeed "good enough", you have lost nothing by shooting Raw as the software that came with the camera will produce the same JPEG the camera would have (or you can simply shoot Raw + JPEG and have the best of both worlds). THere are plenty of examples of the Power of the Raw file. The bride running down the hall was one. Is the JPEG correctly exposed, no. Had it been correctly exposed would it have been a better shot, yes. But as someone else pointed out- it was a great candid shot. You don't get to do those twice. You don't get to whip out a meter and meter the scene, you are relying on the camera meter to some degree and you simply don't get a 2nd chance. I actually envy those that get it right the first time every time. In well controlled situations it might still take me a few test shots to get what I am looking for.... let alone a wedding shoot where every second counts. So for me, my conscience won't let me sleep at night if I am not doing the best I can do when someone pays me to do something. And my best means choosing from billions of colors- even if the client (or me with many images!) can't "see" the difference. All of that said, I can certainly understand there are times you may need to shoot JPEG only. A sports shooter who needs to shoot as many images as they can as fast as they can is one example. And I think this is such a heated debate because it illustrates two diverging attitudes. And as I said, I would hate to hire a provider laboring under the "they will never know" attitude.
  167. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Ric Donato: I am glad. To be truthful, my finger actually poised over the [Confirm] for a moment, before posting that Acronym comment - which is an unusual procedure for me. And . . . I did read and digest, all the rest of what you wrote, too.

  168. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have now flogged the ghost of this poor horse to death.
  169. R.I.P.
  170. Oh, I don't think we have seen the last of this ghost. I can predict that within the next 6 months, another opportunity will present itself.
  171. The 5th Horse of the Apocalypse ...
    It makes it's dramatic entry to the tune of "Ghost Riders in The Sky."
    A grim two headed rider sits astride the gossamer horse ... each head arguing with one another ... for all of eternity.
  172. Yeah, some day processing raw files would be as necessary as coating your own glass plates are today :)
    No, the images will just look great without human intervention.
  173. Well, you know, one other aspect that hasn't been touched upon is that some photogs. mind the lesser quality of jpgs, and others either don't mind it or don't notice it. I think, just to give one example, about how a "JPG studio" I know of gets banding of blue/green areas in some of their skies, which they don't seem to care about (or perhaps haven't noticed) but which I wouldn't deliver to a client.

    So just because some photog. says JPG's good enough if you get it right in the camera, doesn't mean that someone else may consider JPGs as sufficient even if they're blessed at nailing the exposure/getting the WB correctly in camera. It may have to do with how critical your own eye is going to be on yourself.

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