October 25, 2014, 05:39:37 PM

Author Topic: Convince me to shoot in RAW  (Read 22586 times)

RobT

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 35
    • View Profile
Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 07:51:01 AM »
Now, I had always known there were distinct advantages to RAW, but hadn't thought about it much until recently since I was only a hobbyist on a Rebel XT for five years. I upgraded to a 50D two years ago and tried RAW once or twice but still didn't have much knowledge about photography.

Now, I've been doing photography professionally for several months, have learned a crazy amount, and am pushing to get the absolute best out of my 50D until I can save up for the MkIII.

This article: http://digital-photography-school.com/should-you-be-shooting-raw
Finally made it stupidly obvious to me why RAW will always be a higher quality then the camera-JPEG equivalent. Somehow I didn't realize until now that there is quite a bit more tonal data in a RAW file.

So I would really like to be shooting in RAW, but a few things are holding me back:

1) Data management.
I don't have the budget for a bunch of HDD's, especially while saving every penny for the MkIII. This is not my biggest concern, but it will be a greater task trying to back up 800 RAW files instead of JPEGs. I know there has got to be a way to delete all images in a folder not chosen for import when using lightroom. If someone could explain that to me or if anyone knows of a workaround, data management wouldn't concern me as much. I always import more than I truly end up with, and I don't want to add to my workflow time by deleting all the out of focus images outside of lightroom before starting the import process.

2) Workflow time with only RAW files.
I know I'll figure out the speediest way for me once I actually start taking on the beast, but some advice on getting started would be greatly appreciated. I advertise a photo-journalistic style for weddings, so I often come home with over a thousand images expecting to choose about half of them to process. Part of this is needing to be more selective in shooting, but I still feel much safer taking three shots of the same pose using the 50D and shallow DoF as there is such a razor thin margin for getting critical areas in focus.

Does lightroom handle RAW files in an efficient manner? With so many images per session, I'd prefer to keep all my work within lightroom. I'm just worried that processing RAW and then processing all the produced images will prove to be too time consuming. It may not be a problem if I did photography full time, but it is currently a weekend job on top of my normal full time job. Business is starting to pick up for me, and time management is starting to become a real issue.

Help please  ;D

canon rumors FORUM

Convince me to shoot in RAW
« on: November 09, 2012, 07:51:01 AM »

florianbieler.de

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
    • florianbieler.de photography
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 08:36:40 AM »
If you are doing "photography professionally for several months", you should have figured the advantages of RAW out by yourself a long time ago.

I will try to wrap it up anyway, it's not very hard to understand. There is a reason why RAW files are that big. They simply hold much, much more information than your standard compressed JPEG Image, thus allowing you to cover wider ranges of possibilities in post-processing. For example, is your picture too dark? No problem, brighten it to levels where your JPEG would throw out artifacts already. Wedding sounds like often indoors to me, so light would be a thing to keep in mind here and a RAW just grants you more space to get the picture you want later.

If you use Lightroom, then you probably know that it's not only an editing, but also an archiving tool. I don't really see why it would consume more time to look through RAW files instead of JPEGs, except if you got a low class computer that cannot access these files in an acceptable timespan.

When it's coming to backups, I also don't see a problem. I only shoot in raw, which grants me about 300 pictures on my 16GB SD Card in the 5D Mark III, and when processed, I save them as high quality JPEG. You probably wouldn't keep backups in RAW anyway, as it would eat your harddrive like crazy. When I am on vacation, I process the pics worth processing from RAW, the rest gets converted to JPEG via IrfanView without any processing at all.

Another problem for you would be the data speed of your camera. 1000 pics on one wedding? Sounds like burst mode to me. Your 50D won't be able to shoot more than 8 to 10 pics in a row without some room to breathe to save them first.

If you are going to switch to a 5D Mark III sometime in the future, the backup question would already be clear. Because it has got a CF and a SD card slot, you can shoot RAW and JPEG simultaneously and save RAW on the CF, and JPEG on the SD, that even crosses out the need to convert them later but allows you to process the much better RAWs in the first place.
EOS 5D Mark III · EF 16-35 4.0L IS · Σ 35 1.4 · Σ 85 1.4 · EF 70-200 4.0L IS · T 150-600 VC
EOS M · EF-M 22 2.0 · florianbieler.de

SwissBear

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 08:43:33 AM »
For Lightroom: after the import (actually after the first 10-20 images have loaded), i check in the "previous import" every pic and use pick [ p ] and reject [ x ] while having a first look at the pictures. everything that is obviously bad gets trashed.
then i select via attributes (top middle in the catalogue window) either all rejected pic or, depending on the projet, all that are not picked and the rejected. Then its easy: selet all, delete (also from disk).

Woosh, and you have only the pictures left on your drive that are "good".

Then make a new collection and put everything that i wanna keep in it and then the real work begins and however so often another pic gets an [ x ] and sooner, but normally later (that point when only 50GB are left on the drive) it gets cleaned ;)

I work on a 2 year old mid-class notebook, previewing is normally fast (1sec per picture to get full resolution, 2sec max to change to develop).
On my desktop (which catches dust at my parents home), a 3 year old i7-920 then-high-end-gaming machine, there is no visible delay.
So your computer should be able to cope quite well with RAWs, as also jpegs need to be decoded.
EOS 50D, 600D - 24-105L - 40f/2.8 - 85f/1.8 - 580ii - Lensbaby Muse, Composer with Plastic, Double Glass, Edge 80
Tokina 11-16f/2.8 - Sigma 150mm OS Macro
Flickr

sanj

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1561
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 08:49:35 AM »
In all practicality, if you do not feel the need for RAW, you do not need it.
If you are happy with JPEG, no need for RAW. It is generally an overkill and time consuming.


SwissBear

  • Rebel SL1
  • ***
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 09:00:41 AM »
RAW is that back-up mechanism that lets you correct the missed manual EV stteing to compensate the black tux or that bright window behind your subject.

Oh, and dont hesitate to underexpose 1-2 stops to get a more reasonable shutterspeed 8)
EOS 50D, 600D - 24-105L - 40f/2.8 - 85f/1.8 - 580ii - Lensbaby Muse, Composer with Plastic, Double Glass, Edge 80
Tokina 11-16f/2.8 - Sigma 150mm OS Macro
Flickr

canonball93

  • SX60 HS
  • **
  • Posts: 6
  • Canonball
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 09:07:41 AM »
The only person that will convince you to shoot RAW is YOU. As a "professional", you should realize the pros and cons of RAW and JPG files.  If you determine you really don't need to devote time to process RAW images, then use JPG.  It's your decision...you are the only one who knows what you are trying to achieve in your shots!
In my opinion, a true professional photographer wouldn't be asking this question.
Regards,
Gordon
5DMkIII, T3i with L-glass up the ying-yang!
5DMkIII, T5i, several tons of L glass

Crapking

  • Canon 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 350
  • "Whatever you are....be a good one." AL
    • View Profile
    • Crapking Photos
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 09:09:25 AM »
Good advice on LR data management is readily available (Scott Kelby, adobe tutorials, etc) as well as the brief outline above.

One word of caution - pick a strategy and stay with it. 

For example, you COULD use a separate catalog for every shoot, and keep each shoot / catalog / files together on an inexpensive and separate HDD.

Or you could use only 1 catalog and organize each shoot into collections as noted above. Eventually your catalog will become large and require more computing power, but this allows searching to be limited to only 1 catalog.

The real question is how long do you want / need to keep your archives.  Getting rid of the non-keepers is the easy part, but staying organized is better done in 'real-time'.

Learn to consistently use keywords or a rating system as you go through your shots!  This will make it easier to later find YOUR favorites (to post here, enter contests, compare techniques, settings, etc).

As to RAW file management, it is critical to use LR file management and not move the files outside of LR or else you will have hard time using LR fully to its' capability.  Once you post-process the RAW, EXPORT the JPG to use as both a backup and for commercial / personal use.  The RAW will always remain within the LR catalog you are working in. 

If completely satisfied, after exporting the JPG, you COULD delete the RAW files to clear space, but then you lose the ability to make future changes. It all depends on how much you anticipate returning to the project files.

Another time-saver - during import, apply basic camera/LR presets and render 1:1 preivews - and go to sleep/eat, etc.  Come back and then pick/choose/rate as noted above.  You won't have to wait to see each picture. Takes more time initially, but helps speed up the rating process.  Also, if you can, learn to use 2 monitors during your selection/rating.  On the second monitor, use GRID view and you can see what shots are coming next, use your eyes to move back and forth and you are not stuck trying to pick out keepers based on the thumbnails.

Good luck...
1Dx, 1DIV, 5D3, 7D, (Sigma 15 FE)
16-35/2.8; 24-70/2.8 II; 70-200/2.8 II, 100-400L
35/1.4, 40/2.8; 50/1.2, 85/1.2, 135/2; 200/2

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2012, 09:09:25 AM »

Dylan777

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 4197
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 09:12:50 AM »
My 2 cents:

Out of 100 pictures I took, I usually end up around 10-15. Those 10-15 will get PP through lightroom and save as JPEG + RAW.

My backup will always be RAW. I have 2 of 5T external HD. I usually wait for them to be on sale at Frys Electronic. Sometime you can get them for couple hundred dollars for 5T HD.
Body: 1DX -- 5D III
Zoom: 16-35L f4 IS -- 24-70L II -- 70-200L f2.8 IS II
Prime: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

Swphoto

  • Rebel T5i
  • ****
  • Posts: 128
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2012, 09:26:18 AM »
For Lightroom: after the import (actually after the first 10-20 images have loaded), i check in the "previous import" every pic and use pick [ p ] and reject [ x ] while having a first look at the pictures. everything that is obviously bad gets trashed.
then i select via attributes (top middle in the catalogue window) either all rejected pic or, depending on the projet, all that are not picked and the rejected. Then its easy: selet all, delete (also from disk).

FYI, once you've flagged the non-keepers via x (or shift+x - flags and then moves to the next pic) you can then hit ctrl+backspace to delete the rejected photos - saves a bit of time.

rpt

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2219
  • Could not wait for 7D2 so I got the 5D3
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2012, 09:35:39 AM »
If you nail exposure and WB every time (when it counts) and do not need to edit your jpegs forget about RAW. If you need to edit, you are much better off shooting RAW... My 2c...

kubelik

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 797
    • View Profile
    • a teatray in the sky
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2012, 09:52:57 AM »
since you're now shooting photography professionally, then it's important to think of photography as a business.  and in business your back-of-house / logistics is just as important as your front-of-house product.  to get 4 or 6 TB of storage nowadays should set you back about half a grand.  that's not an unreasonable investment (no different than purchasing a 50 f/1.4).  storage & backups are not really an "optional" part of running a serious photography business.

if you do have the time for it, you can go through and delete RAWs that will not be used for final p/p work.  but at the end of the day, there's a cost-benefit to that as well, you need to look at what your time is worth.  if you come back from a wedding shoot with three 16 GB cards full of photos each weekend in the summer, you may soon find that purchasing several RAID drives is in fact much cheaper than wasting time individually checking off photos from your cards as you download them.

awinphoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2002
    • View Profile
    • AW Photography
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2012, 10:04:24 AM »
For what it's worth... while RAW WILL give you more information, many of the top pros do not, ever, shoot raw... too much workflow...  Pro's such as doug gordon, joe bussink, and many more do not shoot raw...  I do not shoot raw for most my work...  We can get hard drives... but seriously... saving raws, saving final production outputs, etc...  In the end, unless I start charging storage fee's for my pictures, it's just not worth it...  Dont let anyone tell  you otherwise...  In the situation you find the loss in quality affecting your business or if you print a large 20x30 and become underwhelmed... dont sweat it.   
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

RLPhoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 3507
  • Gear doesn't matter, Just a Matter of Convenience.
    • View Profile
    • My Portfolio
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 10:10:36 AM »
Once I started shooting RAW, I found JPEG's to be absolute garbage. I use Small Jpeg + Raw so i can deliver the little jpeg file if needed ASAP but the RAW for real processing.


canon rumors FORUM

Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2012, 10:10:36 AM »

awinphoto

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *******
  • Posts: 2002
    • View Profile
    • AW Photography
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2012, 10:13:30 AM »
This is the same argument as those who say to be a pro, you must shoot with 1dx's and such...  I've heard these arguments all my career and likely will see them 20 years in the future, assuming jpegs and raws are still around.  Dont let anyone disparage your shooting style...  only you can judge your final quality...  Only you can judge how you want your quality to represent your business and your brand... if your cool with what you get by jpeg, dont sweat it... but if your underwhelmed and wish you had more information...  By all means...  Do what you need to do. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, Canon 85 1.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

Jay Khaos

  • EOS M2
  • ****
  • Posts: 200
    • View Profile
Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 10:22:42 AM »
One misconception that I hear people mention a lot is that it requires a RAW file to edit in adobe raw (changing shadows, fill light, exposure, etc).  You can do that with any image type... the difference is that raw is uncompressed so that the effects work more cleanly when done before compressed to jpeg, in general. 

One advantage of full frame over cropped is the better quality bokeh... isnt it?  Buying a 5D mkiii would kind of be like buying a top of the line HDTV just to watch VHS tapes.

Although it depends on your work mainly.  If your work is purely used for digital or relatively small print and time is more of a concern than nitpicking on IQ... maybe staying in jpeg is more valuable.  Although if that were the case, I would DEFINITELY not waste the money on the 5D mkiii.
5DIII | 85mm f1.2L • 70-200mm f2.8L IS II • 50mm f1.8 II

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2012, 10:22:42 AM »