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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 12/18/2005 6:07:49 PM EDT
I just got a gift of a D50 from my wife for a promotion and xmas gift!
Now I gotta learn more than I had to know for my last digital camera...
Can anyone explain, in simple terms, the difference between saving pics as a JPEG file (Large/fine) and saving as a RAW file?
I can tell from my quick read that RAW files use about 5 times as much space on the card, but that's all I know.
Thanks for any help!
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:11:07 PM EDT
JPEG files are compressed, some information is lost in compression. Jpeg quality is how much to compress the image, the higher the compression the more information is lost. At high quality settings the lost information should be unnoticable. If an image is compressed too much square artifacts of the compression process appear.

RAW files are not compressed, they save every pixel.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:17:07 PM EDT
RAW also needs conversion in order to use with most programs. You will get the software with the camera. I did with my Canon at least.

You will end up having a raw and a converted Tiff or JPG (your choice) and the Raw unless you delete one or the other.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:24:12 PM EDT
RAW images are HUGE in file size and absolutely lossless. Other formats are smaller but lossy, except TIFF which may or may not be lossy, I'm not sure.

unless your doing professional level photograhpy, I see no reason for anything other then JPEG EXCEPT in instances where you edit alot.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:30:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/18/2005 6:30:28 PM EDT by Grunteled]
In basic terms RAW allows you to tweak the photo in very specific ways before you commit to a final compressed file format. RAW is literally rhe raw data from the cameras sensor before any real processing has been done. This is great if you want to edit each photo and correct color casts, exposure and contrast, chromatic abberation, shadow depth, and other aspects of the raw picture. You then can edit further in an editor or save straight to JPEG.

With JPEG once the file is writen there are more limits to what editing you can do and what you can tweak. As a for instance. Lets say you are shooting a bunch of photos of your kid but you have the camera set for the wrong white balance. When you pull off the JPEGs and look at them they will all have a color cast that you may not like. To correct it you have to spend some time in a good editor fixing them and it's not dead simple to fix all the time. With RAW you just change the white balance on the PC and it's like the picture was taken with the new setting.

JPEG is great for quick photos or other situations where you don't think you will be tinkering much with them. It's less work and all you have to do is crop and save or maybe brighten or darken it a bit. RAW is good when you want maximum control and flexibilty. That comes at the price of more time and effort spent processing each photo.

I shoot RAW almost 100% of the time. I want that ability to fix minor problems and get the maximum out of each photo. I still shoot JPEG here and there though, when I know I don't want to spend much time on each picture.

Hope that helps, and enjoy the new toy!
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:37:27 PM EDT
Many RAW image types will hold more bits per pixel than any standard image file, allowing you to change certain exposure setting long after you've taken the picture.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:42:48 PM EDT
Simple answer: Unless you're a pro, just use JPEG.

RAW gives Pro Photogs an added level of control over their images in certain situations, but will add an unnecessary amount of processing and file management to anyone else. You'll end up with Gigs of RAW data, and will have to sort through and process them all in order to do "Normal" things with them (printing them, e-mailing them to family, posting on websites, etc...).
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:44:30 PM EDT
nice camera

Here is a site which may prove helpful
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:50:38 PM EDT
The biggest loss of quality with jpeg files isn't the compression, but that it is a created after the raw data has been passed hrough a number complex transformations(applying gamma curve, mapping color, etc..). w/o getting into details, that means if you want to make significant changes to WB, brightness, contrast, etc.., using a RAW file will result in a better image.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 6:57:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AshNH:
Simple answer: Unless you're a pro, just use JPEG.

Go to Barnes and Nobel, have a seat and look at a book called "Adobe Camera Raw For Digital Photographers". It does a great job of describing what you can and can't do with it and why you might want to use it. You can then decide for yourself if it's only for pros or if you might want it on occasion or more often. Only you can decide that.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 7:46:36 PM EDT
Thanks for the great explainations and suggestions!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:12:04 PM EDT
Being able to easily adjust the white balance in post-processing is VERY useful. And, the additional bits per channel can come in handy when color correcting an image. However, as others have said, RAW files take up a lot more space (less images per card, more space on your hard drive, slower response from camera, etc.).

I usually use RAW when shooting weddings, or anything that has tricky lighting. Of course, if white balance is your only concern, you can always do a custom white balance on the camera and shoot JPEG, but in some dynamic situations you just don't have time to fiddle with that.

The Canon 20D's I shoot with have a nifty feature... RAW+JPEG (the best of both words, or the worst, depending on how you look at it). If I know that I'll have ample card space, I shoot in this mode... gives me the "instant gratification" of a JPEG, while simultaneously saving the RAW file to the card just in case I need it in post-processing.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:17:31 PM EDT
Forgot to mention... with RAW you can also sometimes recover some slightly blown highlight detail.

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