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Gear Talk => EOS Bodies - For Stills => Topic started by: lexonio on May 21, 2012, 08:33:54 AM

Title: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: lexonio on May 21, 2012, 08:33:54 AM
Well, it seems mkIII's JPEG engine is vastly improved compared to the previous model.
That's why I'd like you to share your views and opinions regarding the classic RAW vs JPEG debate.
Is it worth shooting RAW in everyday conditions? Is shooting JPEG no longer a crime considering the mkIII's improvements? Is RAW worth the extra space while JPEGs are so good?

What do you think?
As for me I found mkIII's JPEGs much more forgiving when it comes to shadows/highlights recovery, and I no longer consider a shootout failed when I take a glimpse at my LCD and notice that I shoot JPEGs.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: wockawocka on May 21, 2012, 09:22:49 AM
The camera still gets it wrong, it doesn't take long to convert to Jpg from Raw and storage media is cheap.

It doesn't matter how good the conversion is, most will want as much information as possible for the edits.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Janco on May 21, 2012, 09:25:58 AM
It doesn't matter how good the conversion is, most will want as much information as possible for the edits.

My opinion too.

I guess the same points that were valid are still valid.

1. It depends on your needs. If you need to deliver your product as fast as possible (news etc.) then jpeg is fine.
2. jpg is always a compressed/lossy file format. Editing jpg and saving as jpg again (and maybe the customer too??) induces/enhances jpeg artifacts.
3. Now this is my personal opinion: If you edit your photos anyway, it's better to have them in RAW. There are many possibilities to batch process them depending on ISO, camera model etc. so you could do the conversion with your postproccessing tool and make changes to the photos where they apply... If you can have the best, why not have it. Unless point 1 applies to you...
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Shawn L on May 21, 2012, 09:38:36 AM
If you need to shoot and get the image to client/end-user ASAP, and you like what you're seeing/getting with JPG, then that's the way to go. I've read that sports photographers often do this. Otherwise...

Unless the in-camera JPG conversion benefits from data the camera has at capture time but doesn't stored in a RAW file (not sure what this data would be), RAW still seems the way to go:

* with RAW, you can convert to JPG later; this means you can take advantage of better algorithms when they come along

* RAW has 14-bits of data per channel (16,384 values) versus JPG's 8-bits (256 values); this gives much greater flexibility in editing; some have used this to fake HDR by taking a single image, creating copies of it, pushing/pulling the low/high ends of the copies, then reassemble them into a single HDR image

Shawn L.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 21, 2012, 10:19:11 AM
If you can get away with it, there's no reason why not to try jpeg...  But with jpeg it's harder to alter where raw you can rerender sharpness, NR, etc...  It's a nicer starting point, but more cumbersome than getting a nice jpeg OOC so horses for courses...  I shoot professionally and some clients I shoot raw, some jpeg, just depends what I'm doing, what the end product will be, and what latitude I know i'll need in post to pull the shot off. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: tomscott on May 21, 2012, 10:25:34 AM
Unless you are shooting for a newspaper or general journalism where the documentations and speed are the most important. I dont see any other reason to use jpeg. Exceptions being space but theres no point in having a good camera without having a good storage solution.

All good photographic workflow programs accept raw and jpeg, but with raw you always have that option and if the camera does get it wrong, lets be fair even when it looks good on the camera LCD it doesnt always mean it does. It can be quite tricky in different light to see. In this case raw is useful. Also I always shoot raw simply because I may not use the shot straight away but I may in the future. Raw conversion software gets better and better, brought up a shot from my 40D at 3200ISO, back in the day it was just not useable but the other day and made it useable with the latest codec. Noise correction and lens correction in software is becoming fantastic.

Whats most important to me is the ability to change the white balance, when you are in a situation where different temperature lights are used and change constantly like in an arena where they cycle it can be a god send, its just so much more difficult with jpegs.

So in my opinion its worth having the original negative if you will to use in the future. The possibilities with jpegs are quite slim in comparison.

If in doubt shoot both.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 21, 2012, 10:48:09 AM
Its personal preference, workflow, and final application.  Professionally, I've got clients I shoot jpeg and others I shoot raw... For me personally I shot jpeg unless it's something i know i want to keep then i shoot raw.  Raw is nice but in the end, for high quantity shooting, unless I know my client is going to want large prints or will need every ounce of data possible for what we are doing, then it is what it is.  No sense in shooting raw, processing, and spending any unnecessary time on a file where I know the client is going to show it max screen size on their website... 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: lola on May 21, 2012, 11:19:00 AM
I seriously don't get this...
Why settle for 'good' when there is 'better' ?
16GB CF cards are $25 !!!
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: K-amps on May 21, 2012, 12:49:33 PM
To answer your question (and not push anyone's preferences on to you)...

Yes the 5Diii's jpegs are very good for normal use. And unless LR fixes their noisy 5diii RAW conversions, I intend to keep the RAW's in storage and play with jpegs. (I shoot both anyway)

Now if there is a certain jpeg that needs a RAW treatment, then I go to the RAW archive and use DPP to convert it.

But this does not work for all images due to workflow limitations of DPP. ... so yes jpegs are a workable option, albeit not the best possible for IQ purposes, but ok for 60-70% of normal images.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: dadohead on May 21, 2012, 01:30:41 PM
I've worked with digital data of all kinds for many years. I only "bake in" settings at the very last step with a copy of the master file. With JPEG, you're baking them in right at the get go. Not only that, but you're letting the camera bake them in. Looked at another way, any RAW photos you take today could benefit in the future from improved processing algorithms, and they are certain to improve. The JPEGs? Not so much future benefit.

You shoot RAW and you're future-proofing your work at the small expense of very, very cheap disk drives and some extra time in front of the computer. I believe that is a small price to pay if you value your work.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: mitchell3417 on May 21, 2012, 02:26:51 PM
I think JPEG is great and time saving. I don't think it should be used for critical client work such as weddings, portraits, landscapes, etc...

I never shoot JPEG, but I have to say that I'm considering more and more because it does save time. Even if that time doesn't add up to much in one day, it does over the span of years..
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Dylan777 on May 21, 2012, 02:40:45 PM

Keep in mind:

You can always convert Raw to JPEG, but NOT the other way around. ;)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 21, 2012, 02:59:39 PM
I think JPEG is great and time saving. I don't think it should be used for critical client work such as weddings, portraits, landscapes, etc...

I never shoot JPEG, but I have to say that I'm considering more and more because it does save time. Even if that time doesn't add up to much in one day, it does over the span of years..

One of the top celebrity wedding photographers in the world Mike Colon shoots JPEG and he charges over $20,000 per wedding and I am sure his work would be classified as "critical client work".  I am a wedding photographer and when I started out I only shot RAW but as I got better I started to shoot part of the wedding in JPEG and now I shoot only in JPEG and have never looked back.  I have post processed hundreds of thousands RAW and JPEG files and I really don't see a benefit of shooting RAW unless you mis the exposure or WB big time.  If you take the time to figure out how to use the camera to it's fullest potential then you can make a great looking JPEG.  That includes not only nailing the exposure but really getting the correct WB.  I use Kelvin and I also adjust the WB shift for each setting I am in to properly correct color casts.  For example when I have a bride and groom in a park under the shade of green trees I bring in magenta to the image to balance the green cast the trees will leave.  I even take it a step further and adjust the picture style to get more or less contrast or correct the tone of color.  Doing those things you can make your JPEG look as good as a converted RAW file.  It takes a little time to get used to but I can make those adjustments in seconds now and it has also made me a better photographer because I see and read light better.  I am not saying that there is no reason for RAW and if you were going to be doing a lot of heavy editing or creative dodging and burning then RAW is going to help but for.  RAW may capture all of the data possible but if you don't need that data then it is a waste.  Just my opinion.     
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Janco on May 21, 2012, 04:07:11 PM
There are also some printer and paper combinations that provide a bigger gamut then sRGB. If I want to work in a larger colorspace I prefer not to work in jpeg since it would stretch the different tones of colors too much due to 8bit limitation.... So for prints it's a nice thing to have the RAW. As said before, it depends on your needs!
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: drjlo on May 21, 2012, 04:15:40 PM
One fantastic feature Canon rolled out with DPP without much hoopla is the Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO), which IMO is one of the biggest reasons to shoot RAW, as it does not work for JPEG. 

The venerable 85L II has tons of color fringing at f/1.2, and even stopped down to f/2.8 there is substantial amount. First photo is f/2.8 shot with sharpening set to 0 in DPP, no DLO applied.  These are ~400% crops.

I have tested similar results with 50L as well, which argues for sticking with Canon branded fast lenses since DLO only works for Canon lenses. 

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8152/7244106420_2b715710c5_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244106420/)
C2.8S0 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244106420/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr

Second shot is same settings, sharpness 0, with DLO applied at 60 (out of 100).

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7211/7244108394_fb62c0826c_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244108394/)
C2.8DLO60S0 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244108394/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: nikkito on May 21, 2012, 04:16:41 PM
I always shoot RAW. But when you're shooting sports and you have to send the photos ASAP, then using jpg is a no brainer.
I've made the mistake of shooting a football game (real football, not American :P) in raw and then downloading the pics took a very very long time. The guys from the newspaper were calling me all the time: hey where are the photos??? And they were still downloading... Haha

I hate shooting sports, by the way

 :)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: bycostello on May 22, 2012, 05:40:02 AM
really is apples and oranges....  i want to be able to adjust exposure, white balance etc etc so i shoot raw, if i was taking snaps of the kids i might use jpgs
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 22, 2012, 11:06:26 AM
I think JPEG is great and time saving. I don't think it should be used for critical client work such as weddings, portraits, landscapes, etc...

I never shoot JPEG, but I have to say that I'm considering more and more because it does save time. Even if that time doesn't add up to much in one day, it does over the span of years..

One of the top celebrity wedding photographers in the world Mike Colon shoots JPEG and he charges over $20,000 per wedding and I am sure his work would be classified as "critical client work".  I am a wedding photographer and when I started out I only shot RAW but as I got better I started to shoot part of the wedding in JPEG and now I shoot only in JPEG and have never looked back.  I have post processed hundreds of thousands RAW and JPEG files and I really don't see a benefit of shooting RAW unless you mis the exposure or WB big time.  If you take the time to figure out how to use the camera to it's fullest potential then you can make a great looking JPEG.  That includes not only nailing the exposure but really getting the correct WB.  I use Kelvin and I also adjust the WB shift for each setting I am in to properly correct color casts.  For example when I have a bride and groom in a park under the shade of green trees I bring in magenta to the image to balance the green cast the trees will leave.  I even take it a step further and adjust the picture style to get more or less contrast or correct the tone of color.  Doing those things you can make your JPEG look as good as a converted RAW file.  It takes a little time to get used to but I can make those adjustments in seconds now and it has also made me a better photographer because I see and read light better.  I am not saying that there is no reason for RAW and if you were going to be doing a lot of heavy editing or creative dodging and burning then RAW is going to help but for.  RAW may capture all of the data possible but if you don't need that data then it is a waste.  Just my opinion.     

Couldn't agree more.  By now when I shoot, I have a good knowledge of my clients needs, my portfolio, and my business, and know when i'm shooting how a shot could sit with my clients, my portfolio, and my business, and if I feel I'm going to be able to use it commercially or promo or portfolio, damn right i'm shooting raw... If it's something for a client who wont need all that data or will be downresing to 1080x1920 or smaller for internet, then there's just no need for the end product in mind, unless that is where i have that feeling it can be so much more.  Back in the day of the D60's D30's and the 10D's of yester years in the early 2000's, CF cards, for 128, 256 and 512 MB cards cost as much as 16GB, 32GB and 64GB...  you just, back then, didn't get much for your money as you do now... If you had a  256 on you or 512, you maybe got 30-50 Raws to the card, and that's being generous.  Likewise you go to Jpegs and you can get 100-200 to a card...  Being on a strict budget and a 1GB card costing nearly $150 at the time and coming from a film background, you learned to nail exposure, nail white balance, get the best file possible and use RAW sparingly to maximize your cards.  Now the digics are getting so good, the detail, overall is so good, the Raw's will always have an edge, but it's to the point where it's a decision I dont even sweat anymore.  I now dont have to worry about how many RAW's i can get in the card, but I know I can get a shot 80-90% perfect in camera that my need for post processing forgiveness doesn't require all the RAW detail to get commercially sell-able shots.  Different needs for different people and CLIENTS. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: KeithR on May 22, 2012, 12:01:26 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on May 22, 2012, 12:18:07 PM
I am not aware of any debate?  If you want the best possible image you use RAW.  If you do not need the extra high quality, you use jpeg.  I use both according to my needs.  No matter how much better the jpeg rendition gets, RAW is better for the highest possible quality.
 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on May 22, 2012, 12:23:03 PM
One fantastic feature Canon rolled out with DPP without much hoopla is the Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO), which IMO is one of the biggest reasons to shoot RAW, as it does not work for JPEG. 

The venerable 85L II has tons of color fringing at f/1.2, and even stopped down to f/2.8 there is substantial amount. First photo is f/2.8 shot with sharpening set to 0 in DPP, no DLO applied.  These are ~400% crops.

I have tested similar results with 50L as well, which argues for sticking with Canon branded fast lenses since DLO only works for Canon lenses. 

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8152/7244106420_2b715710c5_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244106420/)
C2.8S0 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244106420/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr

Second shot is same settings, sharpness 0, with DLO applied at 60 (out of 100).

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7211/7244108394_fb62c0826c_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244108394/)
C2.8DLO60S0 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7244108394/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr

 
Why not turn DLO on in your 5D MK III and take a jpeg shot??  Your post processing a raw converted to jpeg seems like you are trying to distort the facts.
 
This is about in camera jpegs. The lens profiles you need can be installed in your camera in a process similar to that used for DPP.
 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Janco on May 22, 2012, 12:31:06 PM

........
 
Why not turn DLO on in your 5D MK III and take a jpeg shot??  Your post processing a raw converted to jpeg seems like you are trying to distort the facts.
 
This is about in camera jpegs. The lens profiles you need can be installed in your camera in a process similar to that used for DPP.

Nope, Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) is not available in camera. The different lens (assuming more than one lens) profiles are several 100MB's to download, available only through Canon's DPP. It works ONLY for RAW. In camera is only the "old" vignetting (also distortion?? nope...) correction thing.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 22, 2012, 01:56:27 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.

Not necessarily, a few wedding photogs mentioned with the 5d3, they shot jpeg to sd and raw to cf, and took out the sd and plugged it into a monitor/laptop/etc to display ceremony pictures during the reception...  One of my clients whom I shoot product photography, their catalog photos get saved at 1200x900 pixels and then resized down the 640x480 for web from there and usually they expect a few hour turnaround per batch of photos...  jpeg for that is more information than they can even use for those applications.  Every month we do printed publications in which Raw+jpeg are used for print and web purposes...  I also have other clients that are nationally known companies, their photos are resized once again down to 640x480...  I can shoot raw but in the end, photos are not going to be any better than a jpeg shot correctly in those applications, and quicker and for what it is, the companies couldn't be happier.  In the professional arena we got to weigh time spent shooting, time spent post production, money charged per shoot and gauging how much work is needed to pull each shoot off...  Ideally RAW is the best medium for everything, but business wise, sometimes it is, sometimes it's not.  Doesn't make it right or wrong, it is what it is. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Abraxx on May 22, 2012, 02:22:16 PM

........
 
Why not turn DLO on in your 5D MK III and take a jpeg shot??  Your post processing a raw converted to jpeg seems like you are trying to distort the facts.
 
This is about in camera jpegs. The lens profiles you need can be installed in your camera in a process similar to that used for DPP.

Nope, Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) is not available in camera. The different lens (assuming more than one lens) profiles are several 100MB's to download, available only through Canon's DPP. It works ONLY for RAW. In camera is only the "old" vignetting (also distortion?? nope...) correction thing.

This is not about vignetting only, but CA and the 5D3 has in camera CA correction.
Its doing this quite well.

Personally I usually shot RAW and JPG.
But before going for shooting I typically know what I'm going to shoot, I then decide wether I shoot RAW, both or JPG only. I'm flexible.

But back to the OP question.

I was able to test and try the 5d3 now 3 times (UK, Spain [Mallorca] and recently in Germany);
and with this Cam, I could certainly imagine to shoot more often JPG only. Also because I have the impression, it does AWB quite well.... And even if I would be in doubt, I would choose the "correct" WB myself and shoot still quickly in JPG with the good lense correction. For Street, Wildlife and Travel its really nice... (I usually don't shoot sports, only sometime some fast moving objects like planes or, well hmm, similar.....)

Then again, I don't earn my money with shooting. :)
I don't restrict myself and why should I nail myself down to one selection, I decide shortly before "reaching" the target. :)

Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 22, 2012, 04:29:24 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.

That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.  If you don't need as much flexibility in post processing if you are correcting exposure and WB or creative dodging and burning then RAW it is a waste.  You can't use information you don't need.  If you need RAW that is great but it is not going to give you a better image just because it has more information.   
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jrsforums on May 22, 2012, 05:14:16 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.

That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.  If you don't need as much flexibility in post processing if you are correcting exposure and WB or creative dodging and burning then RAW it is a waste.  You can't use information you don't need.  If you need RAW that is great but it is not going to give you a better image just because it has more information.   

Lesser photographers than you are not able to "nail" exposure and WB 100% of the time....so RAW buys us the ability to recover that "great moment" that might have been lost.

BTW...a "nailed" shot takes almost no time to PP from RAW to JPEG or print.  It just "costs" a little storage and minimum time/effort....but the flexibility for us mortals is invaluable.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: callaesthetics on May 22, 2012, 05:51:49 PM
i find myself shooting more jpeg lately with the 5D3. I did a prom shoot this past weekend and shot RAW + JPEG. I decided to use the JPEG's and honestly i don't think my RAW conversions would have turned out any better/different.

(http://camxiong.smugmug.com/photos/i-47ZpG4h/0/O/i-47ZpG4h.jpg)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: drjlo on May 22, 2012, 06:15:09 PM

Nope, Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) is not available in camera. The different lens (assuming more than one lens) profiles are several 100MB's to download, available only through Canon's DPP. It works ONLY for RAW. In camera is only the "old" vignetting (also distortion?? nope...) correction thing.

And even DLO could be in-camera, it would completely slow down the camera, as even with DPP in computer, DLO takes a while to process. 

Below is Chromatic Aberration correction in DPP turned up to max (200), and I still prefer the DLO results by far.  CA correction *IS* available in-camera, and there's no reason not to turn it on if you shoot jpegs.

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8163/7251900370_e0e41612ef_c.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7251900370/)
C2.8.200S0 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/drjlo1/7251900370/#) by drjlo1 (http://www.flickr.com/people/drjlo1/), on Flickr
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 22, 2012, 06:20:09 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.

That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.  If you don't need as much flexibility in post processing if you are correcting exposure and WB or creative dodging and burning then RAW it is a waste.  You can't use information you don't need.  If you need RAW that is great but it is not going to give you a better image just because it has more information.   

Lesser photographers than you are not able to "nail" exposure and WB 100% of the time....so RAW buys us the ability to recover that "great moment" that might have been lost.

BTW...a "nailed" shot takes almost no time to PP from RAW to JPEG or print.  It just "costs" a little storage and minimum time/effort....but the flexibility for us mortals is invaluable.

I am really not trying to elevate myself as being a superior photographer and saying that everyone who shoots RAW is in somehow incapable of taking great pictures strait out of the camera. I am just saying that it isn't necessarily better and does not create an image with better IQ.  JPEG is not just for speed and ease of storage and it can be just as good as RAW in a lot of circumstances. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jrsforums on May 22, 2012, 06:57:04 PM
Unless speed at the expense of IQ and control is your only priority, jpeg on a DSLR is a pointless option.

I usually put it like this: if you shoot jpeg you start with as much image "information" as you end up with if you shoot Raw and convert the files yourself.

I'll say this too: there's not an in-camera jpeg engine in existence that can process a Raw file as well as I can, and there never will be.

That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.  If you don't need as much flexibility in post processing if you are correcting exposure and WB or creative dodging and burning then RAW it is a waste.  You can't use information you don't need.  If you need RAW that is great but it is not going to give you a better image just because it has more information.   

Lesser photographers than you are not able to "nail" exposure and WB 100% of the time....so RAW buys us the ability to recover that "great moment" that might have been lost.

BTW...a "nailed" shot takes almost no time to PP from RAW to JPEG or print.  It just "costs" a little storage and minimum time/effort....but the flexibility for us mortals is invaluable.

I am really not trying to elevate myself as being a superior photographer and saying that everyone who shoots RAW is in somehow incapable of taking great pictures strait out of the camera. I am just saying that it isn't necessarily better and does not create an image with better IQ.  JPEG is not just for speed and ease of storage and it can be just as good as RAW in a lot of circumstances.

I know...didn't mean to make it sound personal, but was trying to make a point.

Essentially, I do not...generally...disagree with you.  However...it....IQ...depends on what you are doing or trying to do.

Most of these are at the "edges"....capturing saturated colors not contained in aRGB, maximizing dynamic range, optimizing exposure to reduce noise in post processing...many more, not worth going through at this time...but available techniques while shooting and in PP.

Basically, if one is happy with jpeg...do it.  I shoot raw.  With Lightroom, if the shots were "nailed" and I just want to go to the web or print out 4x6s, I can just batch them and step away for a few minutes until done.  However, if I want to maximize the output, particularly for larger prints or tight crops...I have the essentials needed.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: digiitch on May 22, 2012, 07:01:41 PM
Here is my $0.02 worth...

I'm not a professional photographer.  I am into photography because I enjoy the challenge of trying to create visually interesting photographs that are of the highest image quality I can.  I'm improving all the time in composing, camera control, and post processing.  I've thought long and hard about Raw vs. Jpeg and here is my view:

Raw files are essentially like negatives from film days.  I can use the same negative to print a bunch of different versions of that captured moment.  A favorite quote of mine, from Ansel Adams: "The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance.  Each performance differs in subtle ways."  I believe this still holds true for Raw and Jpeg which are like negative and print.

If all I ever wanted from my new 5D3 was raw files, I wouldn't need all of the camera's features for white balance, picture styles, sharpness, contrast, etc.  However, it does have those features and I want to use them.  I think the 5D3 does an amazing job at it and I really like the results most of the time.

So, based on those things, I like to shoot Raw+Jpeg whenever possible.  The only time I typically shoot Jpeg only is when I need the higher burst rate and longer sustained burst I can get from dropping raw out of the equation.  I look at Raw+Jpeg as a way of getting my "negative" while also producing a quick "print".  In fact, my workflow includes separating the Raw and Jpeg images into two distinct areas ("raw" and "processed") before I even start post processing the Raws.

If I've used the features well on my camera, I'll get some pretty good initial "prints".  In fact, there are many times that I will post process a raw only to find out that I like the jpeg from the camera better.  There is often a certain quality to the OOC jpeg, that I can't quite put my finger on, and I can't reproduce in post.  And, if I can get quality I like without post processing, that's cool for me.  The only thing that sucks is when I see an OOC jpeg that I like a lot but think I can do better, only to find out I've wasted some time trying to improve it but later decide the original jpeg was better.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: pwp on May 22, 2012, 07:21:17 PM
Sheesh this is an old chestnut of a subject. There must be a billion or so words written on the clear benefits of shooting RAW. For colour critical work you wouldn't even think about JPEG.

My 5D3 certainly delivers good looking JPEG files, but frankly I'd prefer to do the RAW conversion myself. Every digital image starts out as a RAW whether it's in your phone camera or your 90Mp MF LEAF back. In camera JPEG files are created by software in the camera that "best-guesses" for an optimum result. It's often very close.

I used to dogmatically use & defend JPEG shooting, but the RAW advantages quickly shone through. If I need a deep burst rate when shooting action I'm more likely to shoot mRAW on the Mk4.

JPEG shooting has plenty of 100% valid scenarios, mostly for shooters with awesomely tight deadlines where every lost minute counts, measured either by potential earnings or being first with breaking news for example.

I shoot RAW.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: wickidwombat on May 22, 2012, 07:23:21 PM
i'm confused  :o , the jpeg files out of camera are soft mushy over processed and all round terrible. I cant see why you would want to use them when you have RAW format available. why buy a $3500 camera to shoot jpg files?
I dont quite get it
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 22, 2012, 07:26:45 PM
Here is an image from a recent wedding that I shot in JPEG.  It is the screen shot of the before and after in lightroom so you can see what it looked like strait out of the camera and after the edits.  Even in the details of the extreem contrast of the almost blown out highlights on the white flower in her hair to the dark shadows on the suit JPEG captured all I needed.  I warmed it up just a tad and recovered a little of the highlights.  I could have recovered more but I wanted the image to look more natural.  There is nothing I could have gained from shooting this RAW and I consider it a very important client image that needs to have the highest IQ possible.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaayres/7252240410/#in/photostream (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaayres/7252240410/#in/photostream)   
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 22, 2012, 07:32:48 PM
i'm confused  :o , the jpeg files out of camera are soft mushy over processed and all round terrible. I cant see why you would want to use them when you have RAW format available. why buy a $3500 camera to shoot jpg files?
I dont quite get it

They are definitely not mushy and are very sharp indeed.  Why not shoot JPEG if you can get just as good results?  RAW is not magic and you have a lot of controls in the camera that will allow you process your JPEG with very precise results.   
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: pwp on May 22, 2012, 07:40:47 PM
Here is an image from a recent wedding that I shot in JPEG. There is nothing I could have gained from shooting this RAW and I consider it a very important client image that needs to have the highest IQ possible.

Yes that's a very nice image. No question. But keep shooting JPEG only and the day WILL come when you kick yourself hard for not shooting RAW. Why do you think photographers with the deepest experience shoot RAW? It's not to be cool. It's professional. RAW gives you a lot more headroom and that will either save the day for you in a big way or just mean better images for your client.

I remember once not getting a job I quoted on because I was too young. It was nothing to do with my portfolio or bad breath. The client said they only hire photographers aged 45 or over. Why? They never stuff up. Now that is a very narrow viewpoint, but there is something in it isn't there? Evolved professionalism has many subtle dimensions. Shoot RAW.

Paul Wright
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: digiitch on May 22, 2012, 07:44:37 PM
why buy a $3500 camera to shoot jpg files?
I dont quite get it

The camera should cost a whole lot less if it only produced raw.  Perhaps you can convince Canon to produce a Raw-only camera that has no white balance, picture styles, sharpness, contrast, etc.  All you need is exposure control.

Personally, I just look at all those other features as just one more tool towards a possible post-processing path (alliteration!), and then can still use other tools as well, but the in-camera path is a quick one.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: wickidwombat on May 22, 2012, 07:53:21 PM
Perhaps you can convince Canon to produce a Raw-only camera that has no white balance, picture styles, sharpness, contrast, etc.  All you need is exposure control.
no kidding! ditch video too lose the AA filter all together and I think they would struggle to keep up with demand
i'd probably say keep the white balance settings though since the raws baseline off the as shot WB and being able to set custom WB is important

Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 22, 2012, 07:54:08 PM
Here is an image from a recent wedding that I shot in JPEG. There is nothing I could have gained from shooting this RAW and I consider it a very important client image that needs to have the highest IQ possible.

Yes that's a very nice image. No question. But keep shooting JPEG only and the day WILL come when you kick yourself hard for not shooting RAW. Why do you think photographers with the deepest experience shoot RAW? It's not to be cool. It's professional. RAW gives you a lot more headroom and that will either save the day for you in a big way or just mean better images for your client.

I remember once not getting a job I quoted on because I was too young. It was nothing to do with my portfolio or bad breath. The client said they only hire photographers aged 45 or over. Why? They never stuff up. Now that is a very narrow viewpoint, but there is something in it isn't there? Evolved professionalism has many subtle dimensions. Shoot RAW.

Paul Wright

I know there have been a few times I wished the image was RAW but those times have become fewer and further between.  One day it may come back to hurt me we will see.  There are, however, very experienced professional wedding photographers that shoot only JPEG.  Mike Colon is one of them and he shoots three million dollar celebrity weddings.  He charges over $20,000 for a wedding and he feels comfortable enough to shoot JPEG throughout the wedding.  I think it just comes down to a preference and style. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: wickidwombat on May 22, 2012, 08:00:20 PM
each to their own I say it would be a pretty dull world if everyone did the exact same thing
if jpg works for you go for it
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Abraxx on May 22, 2012, 08:50:36 PM
Hm
DPreview just rated the 5D3 as "not so good for jpeg only shooters".
 ;)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: westr70 on May 22, 2012, 10:42:44 PM
My experience with the 5dIII has been that my raw files need less work in post than on my 7d or t3I.  I don't shoot jpeg because I like the option of maximizing the potential of each photograph.  I don't have any deadlines and so time isn't an issue.  I suspect that it might be a big issue if I had to process a 1000 photographs by Wednesday. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: te4o on May 22, 2012, 11:51:03 PM
I started exactly the same thread topic a month ago (being surprized how good the JPEGs look like on the camera own LCD) only to find out later that I continued shooting only RAW after that - big advantage in image quality in RAW. If you don't care about IQ but care for workflow speed instead, OK - go JPEG, but no other reason.
The only advantage of JPEG is that I had to become a lot more skilled with custom WB, metering, lighting etc because JPEG doesn't tolerate that much PP correction... Not that I managed but it is worth trying. ::)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: pwp on May 23, 2012, 12:13:31 AM
After reading DP Review's 5D3 review it's clear the RAW vs JPEG debate has taken a definite, unsurprising move to the RAW argument.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/23/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-review-posted (http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/23/Canon-EOS-5D-Mark-III-review-posted)

End of story?

Paul Wright
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: samueljay on May 23, 2012, 03:33:04 AM
From what I understood of it, their problems with the in-camera Jpeg processing were to do with the default settings for noise reduction and sharpening which could be turned off? Personally I shoot just RAWs, but I don't have any special reason for doing so, except that it's easier in post to alter stuff if I messed up when shooting.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: KeithR on May 23, 2012, 07:06:42 AM
Ho hum...

Not every photgrapher has the ability to control his subject matter; or where it is in relation to the light; or the quality of the light itself: no offence to wedding 'togs or studio shooters, but in terms of what you shoot, you've really got it pretty easy.

For those of us who have no such control, and who often have to take "the" shot within a second or less of seeing it - regardless of how or where the light is - the use of Raw is the epitome of the "no brainer".

I shoot natural/available light birds, sport and indoor gigs, and every single time I come home from a shoot I thank the Gods of photography that I've got Raw files and excellent converters like Lightroom at my disposal.

If your photography doesn't - literally - need Raw, that just tells me that your photographic circumstances aren't particularly challenging.

For myself, I simply could not achieve the standard of quality that I aspire to (and although I'm not a pro, my efforts are pretty well regarded by several pro bird 'togs in the UK and the US with whom I'm acquainted) without Raw.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: KeithR on May 23, 2012, 07:21:24 AM
That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.
You shoot weddings - you've got it easy. Yes, I'm very well aware of the pressures of wedding photography, and the photography itself is way down on that list.

You've got all the time in the world (comparatively speaking) to put your subjects where you want them; to get the light right; to take a ton of frames, chimping between shots to check the histogram, to get the shot you want.

Come back to me when you've successfully tried shooting uncooperative, tiny, hyperactive birds that are inviariably in the wrong place for the (routinely crappy) light I deal with in the UK, and get back to me...
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: KeithR on May 23, 2012, 07:26:50 AM
One of the top celebrity wedding photographers in the world Mike Colon shoots JPEG and he charges over $20,000 per wedding and I am sure his work would be classified as "critical client work". 

And yet, having just looked through his entire site for "insight", I find that it's utterly banal, technically adequate (at best) photography...

In short, it really makes my points for me.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: Janco on May 23, 2012, 07:33:58 AM
That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.
You shoot weddings - you've got it easy. Yes, I'm very well aware of the pressures of wedding photography, and the photography itself is way down on that list.

You've got all the time in the world (comparatively speaking) to put your subjects where you want them; to get the light right; to take a ton of frames, chimping between shots to check the histogram, to get the shot you want.

Come back to me when you've successfully tried shooting uncooperative, tiny, hyperactive birds that are inviariably in the wrong place for the (routinely crappy) light I deal with in the UK, and get back to me...

I don't see how RAW helps more with those hyperactive birds than at weddings, I think there's more the AF that needs to be top notch. I still think most important reasons to decide between RAW and jpeg shooting are the desired output speed and also the target of the image. Fast output/small prints/web jpeg is as fine or better suited than RAW. With large prints or if you have the time to tweak your image to the best, RAW is certainly better. I also don't think it's right to say weddingers have it easier than birders. A wedding is a one time event and there's lots of pressure from the clients.... not saying birding is easy of course!
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: jaayres20 on May 23, 2012, 08:24:42 AM
That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.
You shoot weddings - you've got it easy. Yes, I'm very well aware of the pressures of wedding photography, and the photography itself is way down on that list.

You've got all the time in the world (comparatively speaking) to put your subjects where you want them; to get the light right; to take a ton of frames, chimping between shots to check the histogram, to get the shot you want.

Come back to me when you've successfully tried shooting uncooperative, tiny, hyperactive birds that are inviariably in the wrong place for the (routinely crappy) light I deal with in the UK, and get back to me...

Out of a 10 hour day I have control of about 30-45 minutes to put my subjects where I want them and find the best light.  The rest of the time I am usually challenged by the worst lighting possible and I have no control of the subjects in relation to bad or worse light.  Most locations have mixed light sources and low or no light.  There is hardly ever time to do any chimping between shots because you can't miss anything important at a wedding and nobody is going to slow down while you check your histogram.  If you miss a shot you get to try again.  If I miss an important shot I could get sued.  I have respect for your photography and I have never tried it but don't bash mine because you think I have it easy.  I am sure if you ask 5 wedding photographers you know they will all tell you how difficult it is. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: briansquibb on May 23, 2012, 09:14:36 AM

Out of a 10 hour day I have control of about 30-45 minutes to put my subjects where I want them and find the best light.  The rest of the time I am usually challenged by the worst lighting possible and I have no control of the subjects in relation to bad or worse light.  Most locations have mixed light sources and low or no light.  There is hardly ever time to do any chimping between shots because you can't miss anything important at a wedding and nobody is going to slow down while you check your histogram.  If you miss a shot you get to try again.  If I miss an important shot I could get sued.  I have respect for your photography and I have never tried it but don't bash mine because you think I have it easy.  I am sure if you ask 5 wedding photographers you know they will all tell you how difficult it is.

I do both - you can always wait for another bird to come along ....
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: scottkinfw on May 23, 2012, 09:29:13 AM
I think that is the point here.  Raw gives more latitude to correct sub-optimal pics.  That is not to say that the photographer is not technically good, it is to say that in the event where you may not have good lighting etc., this is a lifesaver. 

If you have ideal conditions, jpeg may be the way to go, maybe not.  Raw will give a lot more options to be creative in pp.

Regarding the debate wedding vs. nature, they are different, and both have challenges.  On the whole, however, shooting in the wild is way different, and raw is a lifesaver. 

If you can shoot jpeg at a wedding and get 20K/per, I want to be your assistant. 


sek

From what I understood of it, their problems with the in-camera Jpeg processing were to do with the default settings for noise reduction and sharpening which could be turned off? Personally I shoot just RAWs, but I don't have any special reason for doing so, except that it's easier in post to alter stuff if I messed up when shooting.
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 23, 2012, 10:26:31 AM
That is simply not true.  The IQ of a good JPEG with a nailed exposure and manual WB is just as good as the IQ of a RAW processed image.
You shoot weddings - you've got it easy. Yes, I'm very well aware of the pressures of wedding photography, and the photography itself is way down on that list.

You've got all the time in the world (comparatively speaking) to put your subjects where you want them; to get the light right; to take a ton of frames, chimping between shots to check the histogram, to get the shot you want.

Come back to me when you've successfully tried shooting uncooperative, tiny, hyperactive birds that are inviariably in the wrong place for the (routinely crappy) light I deal with in the UK, and get back to me...

Keith, I got to say your stretching to say he's got it easy with weddings... Afterall it's not like he can put studio strobes and softboxes up their at the alter... It's not like he can have assistants with portable lamps running around with him to light custom lighting ratios on the bride and groom while they are dancing...  I have shot weddings before, needless to say I dont make my living shooting weddings and if I did, I would have burnt out a long time ago.  Heck, with my studio and product photography, you can say that I dont push the cameras limits and have it easy, but then again with everything being so deliberate.... Yes i have 100% control of my lighting, but it's not to say I dont work my butt off to get lighting just right, get the overall scene staged just right and deal with sometimes thousands of dollars in products or budgets, both with sales managers, marketing managers, art directors, CEO's and such breathing down my neck in studio making sure I get the best image for their needs. 

Also my other branch of photography, architecture, shooting for companies like wells fargo, they want their pictures like yesterday, and if I cant deliver, they find someone else... It is that cut throat and that quick.  I agree RAW gives you more detail, more quality, and gives you the better overall product, but what I am also saying is sometimes, given the situation, time of production, time of post, sometimes you get the luxury to do heavy post and muck around with images, sometimes not.  Sometimes you need every ounce of resolution and detail and file, and other time most of all advantage you get will be thrown out once they downres the file, clip out backgrounds, shove it on their websites...  Ideally we all should be shooting raw, but sometimes it's just not practical. 
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: PhilDrinkwater on May 23, 2012, 10:36:31 AM
Ahhh... RAW vs JPEG.... The religion of digital photographers  ;D

The funny thing about these discussions is that they DON'T tend to concentrate on the pros and cons and they DO tend to concentrate on convincing people that what "you" use is right.

However, just like a lens or a camera body or a composition choice, there's no right and wrong, just a cost / benefit analysis based on your needs.

One of the oft missed benefits of RAW is the ability to profile cameras and make different bodies look like each other, as well as produce "correct" colours. Other than that I'm sure we've all been around long enough to know the pros and cons by now... if not, feel free to ask and I'll list them all ... again ;)
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: K-amps on May 23, 2012, 12:48:54 PM
I shoot RAW.

Paul Wright

http://blogs.ubc.ca/timblonk/files/2011/04/Fro_1.jpg (http://blogs.ubc.ca/timblonk/files/2011/04/Fro_1.jpg)    ;D
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: awinphoto on May 23, 2012, 12:53:46 PM
I shoot RAW.

Paul Wright

http://blogs.ubc.ca/timblonk/files/2011/04/Fro_1.jpg (http://blogs.ubc.ca/timblonk/files/2011/04/Fro_1.jpg)    ;D

awesome haha
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: lexonio on May 23, 2012, 02:29:56 PM
Well I wasn't initially saying: "I SHOOT JPEG! (we should make such a t-shirt as well btw) PROVE ME WRONG!", it's just that I'm so used to using Lightroom, and since I didn't have any important work to do, I shot JPEG since LR didn't support mkIII RAW at the time, and I wasn't specifically disappointed with the outcome. But I switched from T2i to 5DmkIII, so the lack of disappointment may have been due to this quite substantial fact :P

I just wanted to hear what you guys think, since I value the opinion of CR's community. Since, well, the site is awesome, the community's awesome and people taking part in discussions are awesome as well.

Sorry for abundance of positive emotions, I'm still thrilled by my MKIII :<
Title: Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
Post by: PhilDrinkwater on May 24, 2012, 06:38:24 AM
Well I wasn't initially saying: "I SHOOT JPEG! (we should make such a t-shirt as well btw) PROVE ME WRONG!", it's just that I'm so used to using Lightroom, and since I didn't have any important work to do, I shot JPEG since LR didn't support mkIII RAW at the time, and I wasn't specifically disappointed with the outcome. But I switched from T2i to 5DmkIII, so the lack of disappointment may have been due to this quite substantial fact :P

I just wanted to hear what you guys think, since I value the opinion of CR's community. Since, well, the site is awesome, the community's awesome and people taking part in discussions are awesome as well.

Sorry for abundance of positive emotions, I'm still thrilled by my MKIII :<

Sorry if you thought my post was directed at you ... not if you thought it was, but it wasn't :) It was a general comment :)