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Author Topic: Convince me to shoot in RAW  (Read 20214 times)

rpt

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #45 on: November 09, 2012, 01:41:16 PM »
Thank you all for the overwhelming amount of responses!

Maybe I should preface my situation a bit: I call myself a "professional" because I once read if I want to actually be a professional I should act like one. I know there is a massive difference between the seasoned professional who takes photos in his sleep and me, someone who has one or two sessions every other weekend and only six weddings planned for next year so far (which I think is great for having started this business in June). Simply because I'm not shooting seven days a week though, doesn't mean I can't be providing a professional service where I strive to give my clients the best product that I can and learn as much as I can to better myself.

Also, when I typed "convinced" I really meant "I've already decided to take the plunge but would still appreciate personal experience."

I greatly appreciate the advice about using LR with RAW. I tend to push exposure a lot for my own style and to accommodate changing light situations as much of what I do is outdoors. In that sense, I'm sure I'll notice the benefits immediately. I'm sure I'll also notice that I'll be needing a new HDD pretty soon, but that's a minimal cost compared to a new camera which I'm already saving for.

I shot an engagement session this morning entirely in RAW. Perhaps this will convert me for life.
Great! I just started shooting RAW after I got the 5D3. Till then It was all JPG. Once I tasted blood - er - the power of editing RAW, I have stopped shooting JPG. Yes, it is a bit more work but I think it is worth it. I shoot a lot of impromptu shots and so nailing everything is not always possible. With the 5D3 I have shot a lot of shots with ISO >= 6400. These would be very difficult to edit as JPG...

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #45 on: November 09, 2012, 01:41:16 PM »

RobT

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #46 on: November 09, 2012, 01:43:59 PM »
I actually have a bluray burner. I'll probably start backing up every handful of sessions to a disk and remove them from HDD space.

Newegg has a 50 pack for $42 at the moment. That's 1250 GB of space not prone to electronic or hardware failure.

rpt, what you've described is my goal. I was going to wait until the glory of full-frame to start RAW, but something tells me I should get used to it before that day comes. I always want to get the absolute best out of the equipment I have, so I'm sure my days to come will be full of RAW files.

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #47 on: November 09, 2012, 01:44:43 PM »
@awinphoto

Your points about the time/money/storage/etc. involved with shooting RAW are well taken but the counter point is that you could still shoot RAW and auto-process your images in LR/DPP with the standard settings you like and not have to do any further PP.  The computer will run through thousands of images while you're off spending time on any of the other things you mention.  So you've lost nothing but gained something very important... if, as you go through your normal workflow of reviewing all the JPEGS to select the best shots to present to your clients, you happen across a shot you love but feel it needs a little more processing you've got the RAW file to work with.  If not, fine, delete all the RAW files so you don't have to save all the large files.

Meh, your suggestions are welcome but frankly, with my 5d3, i know the native sizes are nearly a 14x20, 16x20 traditional...  If I know files are going to 11x14 or smaller, odds are you will not, in print, see ANY difference in quality... you are downsizing... sharpness, clarity, NR, detail... A full large jpeg vs raw does me no difference...  plus, processing (in the wedding scenario), processing 1800 or more shots... you can have a speedy processor, but it will chew up time and efficiency....  This goes into where I was saying, I can process a wedding in hours, or I can process them in days (or weeks)...  Some of my commercial clients demand a 24 hour turn around... not going to happen with raw... It is what it is... Someone asked world famous Sue Bryce why she shoots with the 24-105 because it isn't as sharp as comparable primes... She replied because she's shooting PORTRAITS and sometimes they do not NEED to be as sharp.  I tailor my shooting and my approach per job, per client, per price point, and per work needed to get the final product. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

rpt

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #48 on: November 09, 2012, 01:46:42 PM »
I actually have a bluray burner. I'll probably start backing up every handful of sessions to a disk and remove them from HDD space.

Newegg has a 50 pack for $42 at the moment. That's 1250 GB of space not prone to electronic or hardware failure.

rpt, what you've described is my goal. I was going to wait until the glory of full-frame to start RAW, but something tells me I should get used to it before that day comes. I always want to get the absolute best out of the equipment I have, so I'm sure my days to come will be full of RAW files.
my 2c - just go for it. There is one one graceful way to get into a pool - dive! :)

Meh

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #49 on: November 09, 2012, 01:51:52 PM »
@awinphoto

Your points about the time/money/storage/etc. involved with shooting RAW are well taken but the counter point is that you could still shoot RAW and auto-process your images in LR/DPP with the standard settings you like and not have to do any further PP.  The computer will run through thousands of images while you're off spending time on any of the other things you mention.  So you've lost nothing but gained something very important... if, as you go through your normal workflow of reviewing all the JPEGS to select the best shots to present to your clients, you happen across a shot you love but feel it needs a little more processing you've got the RAW file to work with.  If not, fine, delete all the RAW files so you don't have to save all the large files.

Meh, your suggestions are welcome but frankly, with my 5d3, i know the native sizes are nearly a 14x20, 16x20 traditional...  If I know files are going to 11x14 or smaller, odds are you will not, in print, see ANY difference in quality... you are downsizing... sharpness, clarity, NR, detail... A full large jpeg vs raw does me no difference...  plus, processing (in the wedding scenario), processing 1800 or more shots... you can have a speedy processor, but it will chew up time and efficiency....  This goes into where I was saying, I can process a wedding in hours, or I can process them in days (or weeks)...  Some of my commercial clients demand a 24 hour turn around... not going to happen with raw... It is what it is... Someone asked world famous Sue Bryce why she shoots with the 24-105 because it isn't as sharp as comparable primes... She replied because she's shooting PORTRAITS and sometimes they do not NEED to be as sharp.  I tailor my shooting and my approach per job, per client, per price point, and per work needed to get the final product.

Honestly you are missing my point... your computer can batch process thousands of files and covert to JPG in a few hours while you are doing something else.  When that's done you would have all your shots in JPG exactly as if you shot in JPG.  You can now go through your usual workflow and if you're happy with the shots no further processing is necessary and you can delete the RAW files or back them up permanently or temporarily.  You have lost nothing.   BUT... if there was even one shot that would be GREAT with some additional PP you can go to that one RAW file and do what needs to be done.

For commercial clients with 24hour turnaround I presume you are not shooting 1800 frames so time/efficiency is negligible and you already stated that for big jobs/clients you would shot RAW.

A wedding would normally not be 24 hour turnaround so my point stands... your computer can churn through thousands while you're doing something else.

To each his own but that point is that you can shoot in RAW and lose next to nothing in time/efficiency but gain something just in case that one shot needs some processing that would be challenging if all you had was the JPEG.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 01:58:15 PM by Meh »

awinphoto

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2012, 02:02:46 PM »
@awinphoto

Your points about the time/money/storage/etc. involved with shooting RAW are well taken but the counter point is that you could still shoot RAW and auto-process your images in LR/DPP with the standard settings you like and not have to do any further PP.  The computer will run through thousands of images while you're off spending time on any of the other things you mention.  So you've lost nothing but gained something very important... if, as you go through your normal workflow of reviewing all the JPEGS to select the best shots to present to your clients, you happen across a shot you love but feel it needs a little more processing you've got the RAW file to work with.  If not, fine, delete all the RAW files so you don't have to save all the large files.

Meh, your suggestions are welcome but frankly, with my 5d3, i know the native sizes are nearly a 14x20, 16x20 traditional...  If I know files are going to 11x14 or smaller, odds are you will not, in print, see ANY difference in quality... you are downsizing... sharpness, clarity, NR, detail... A full large jpeg vs raw does me no difference...  plus, processing (in the wedding scenario), processing 1800 or more shots... you can have a speedy processor, but it will chew up time and efficiency....  This goes into where I was saying, I can process a wedding in hours, or I can process them in days (or weeks)...  Some of my commercial clients demand a 24 hour turn around... not going to happen with raw... It is what it is... Someone asked world famous Sue Bryce why she shoots with the 24-105 because it isn't as sharp as comparable primes... She replied because she's shooting PORTRAITS and sometimes they do not NEED to be as sharp.  I tailor my shooting and my approach per job, per client, per price point, and per work needed to get the final product.

Honestly you are missing my point... your computer can batch process thousands of files and covert to JPG in a few hours while you are doing something else.  When that's done you would have all your shots in JPG exactly as if you shot in JPG.  You can now go through your usual workflow and if you're happy with the shots no further processing is necessary and you can delete the RAW files or back them up permanently or temporarily.  You have lost nothing.   BUT... if there was even one shot that would be GREAT with some additional PP you can go to that one RAW file and do what needs to be done.

But you are missing my point... I shot a recent wedding... cameras were 5d3, 5d2 and 7d... We had a total of like 5 cards full of images...  yes, you can transfer each card, you can make one master folder, which will take a few hours, batch process the master folder which will take another few hours if not majority of a day, and it's lost production...  even if you decide to use dpp, so it frees up adobe photoshop or lightroom, it still taxes part of your ram... now, you can process right off the card, but then you have to babysit the cards as they process so the next card can go right afterwards, which is expected anyways, but theres a lag where dpp or adobe camera raw can process out of the card reader, and EVEN IF you just process right away with no adjustments, with my experience for anything 11x14 or under, the difference in quality just isn't there.  Yes... for my creatives... for my formal portraits... for my family group shots... anything where I look through the VF and get goosebumps when i'm shooting it, yes, I'll shoot raw... but for everything else, it just doesn't matter if i know the image will just end up in an album or such... the difference in quality, for how I shoot, doesn't justify the means... I've done it, i've tried it, i've tested it... I hope you get where I'm getting at... Plus i'm not the only pro that does it...  many other top grossing pro's in the industry is saying the same thing... the juice has got to be worth the squeeze. 
Canon 5d III, Canon 24-105L, Canon 17-40L, Canon 70-200 F4L, Canon 100L 2.8, 430EX 2's and a lot of bumps along the road to get to where I am.

AmbientLight

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2012, 02:08:06 PM »
In any case, if required you can also switch to RAW+JPEG, so that you have the JPEGs ready as soon as you unload your shots from camera.

As soon as you find something, where you know you will benefit from postproduction, you take the RAW file. Lightroom will load RAWs automatically, if you provide RAW+JPEG files.

You can decide by deletion of files, if you want to keep only one or the other or mix as you go along. It helps to shoot with two memory cards, one for RAW and one for JPEGs.

This may be a waste of memory card space, but it it s certainly a way to be fast and have a backup possibility for RAW processing, if required.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2012, 02:08:06 PM »

Maui5150

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2012, 02:17:51 PM »
Ummm.... Where to start.

1) Data management.

HDs are CHEAP.  In fact at $99 for a 1TB even some 2TB drives, you can easily have a large drive and keep a full back up for cheap.   There 1TB drives will hold roughly 40,000 25MB files. 

I frequently will go through my photos when importing as well as after a review or two and trash the images that really were bad. 

2) Workflow time with only RAW files.

Workflow is easy with JPG because the image is crap, and what you can do with the image is crap.  I had an event I was shooting a few months back and by mistake had hit the dial on my 5DMKII and went from TV to M and before I caught the change, had about 8 images that were 8 stops over exposed.  While not perfect, I was able to bring these shot back into usable photos in Lightroom.    Just a week ago, I was trying to work with a sunset photo my dad took with a Nikon and he shoots in JPG and I could do very little with the photo.  Really nice shot... had it been shot in Raw... it would have been stunning.... in JPG... Meh.

Does it take more time to work with raw?  Yeah.  It also takes more time to paint on canvas with oil paint than it takes to scribble on paper with crayon.

You just have to decide what you want to create. 

PackLight

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2012, 02:26:23 PM »
The is why you should use JPG over RAW;

You like the fact that you can buy a huge card and only occasionally need to format your card
You don't have to download to the computer as often
You can down load your pictures delete the few you don't like and forget it
You don't have to spend time in PP and waiting on your computer to finish processing your images.
You only need 1/4 of the memory the RAW heads need on their computer.
You like the random automatic WB that most of Cameras offer, never knowing if you picture will have a blue tint or red tint to it. (Granted that if you get a 1D body some of this joy goes away)
You like the way many canon bodies taking pictures of something with primarily red in it over saturates your picture.
You’re ok with blown highlights and pictures that are either to sharp or need sharpening.
Your confident in your abilities and know that your picture will never be 1/2 stop under or over exposed because after all, you are perfect.

I am sure there are a few more reasons to use JPG over RAW, just need to think on it a bit.

Policar

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« Reply #54 on: November 09, 2012, 02:33:51 PM »
If you shoot a lot, particularly as a professional who doesn't want to be mired in PP, JPEG is the way to go. The flip side of that is since you'll be supporting yourself off your work, you can probably afford to invest in a fast rig and storage and Lightroom and Aperture, for instance, should have good file management and fast processing. But for whatever reason if you shoot a lot and don't want to spend time processing in post, go JPEG. Especially if you're a good shooter.

If you don't shoot much and want either the best image quality (Canon's JPEG engine is softer than Adobe's and DXO's) or want to recover blown highlights, RAW can be great. Plus some of the tools available in Adobe's developer are super useful.

Meh

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #55 on: November 09, 2012, 02:40:24 PM »
But you are missing my point... I shot a recent wedding... cameras were 5d3, 5d2 and 7d... We had a total of like 5 cards full of images...  yes, you can transfer each card, you can make one master folder, which will take a few hours, batch process the master folder which will take another few hours if not majority of a day, and it's lost production...  even if you decide to use dpp, so it frees up adobe photoshop or lightroom, it still taxes part of your ram... now, you can process right off the card, but then you have to babysit the cards as they process so the next card can go right afterwards, which is expected anyways, but theres a lag where dpp or adobe camera raw can process out of the card reader, and EVEN IF you just process right away with no adjustments, with my experience for anything 11x14 or under, the difference in quality just isn't there.  Yes... for my creatives... for my formal portraits... for my family group shots... anything where I look through the VF and get goosebumps when i'm shooting it, yes, I'll shoot raw... but for everything else, it just doesn't matter if i know the image will just end up in an album or such... the difference in quality, for how I shoot, doesn't justify the means... I've done it, i've tried it, i've tested it... I hope you get where I'm getting at... Plus i'm not the only pro that does it...  many other top grossing pro's in the industry is saying the same thing... the juice has got to be worth the squeeze.

I'm not missing your point at all and I get what you're saying which is that processing RAW files takes time and it's not worth that time in certain circumstances for what you're shooting.  That is fine and work how you want. 

However this thread is a little more general than that so let's clarify a few things...  it does not take "a few hours" to transfer 2000 RAW files whether on 1 card or 5 and you still have to transfer the files whether they are JPEGS or RAW...  the difference in time is not as much as you're implying.  And the batch processing can be done overnight while you sleep for example.

So you think there is not difference in quality for small prints.  For some aspects like sharpness that's possibly true.  But for other aspects I respectfully disagree such as exposure, white balance, etc.

You're premise, which I'm not saying is outright wrong, is based on certain assumptions about a particular situation and workflow.  For example, you state that the processing of uploading would interfere with using LR (taxing RAM etc.) but that is not necessarily the case... once the RAW files are transferred they can be batch processed while you do something else (PR, marketing, play with kids, sleep) so it is not lost time.   If it's a rush job or 24 turn around where every minute counts then that is not likely a wedding with 2000 images.

As for your statement  that some other pros also shoot JPEG... so what... many Pros also shoot RAW so that doesn't tell us much and is a rather weak support of your position.

Meh

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #56 on: November 09, 2012, 02:41:26 PM »
The is why you should use JPG over RAW;

You like the fact that you can buy a huge card and only occasionally need to format your card
You don't have to download to the computer as often
You can down load your pictures delete the few you don't like and forget it
You don't have to spend time in PP and waiting on your computer to finish processing your images.
You only need 1/4 of the memory the RAW heads need on their computer.
You like the random automatic WB that most of Cameras offer, never knowing if you picture will have a blue tint or red tint to it. (Granted that if you get a 1D body some of this joy goes away)
You like the way many canon bodies taking pictures of something with primarily red in it over saturates your picture.
You’re ok with blown highlights and pictures that are either to sharp or need sharpening.
Your confident in your abilities and know that your picture will never be 1/2 stop under or over exposed because after all, you are perfect.

I am sure there are a few more reasons to use JPG over RAW, just need to think on it a bit.

:)

kubelik

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2012, 02:43:58 PM »
I think there's valid reasons to shoot either JPG or RAW, and it sound like the OP has gotten the feedback that he/she was looking for.  I'm not sure it's necessary to try and convince people who have clearly established a functional workflow for themselves that their workflow is not ideal - everyone shoots their own way and manages their files their own way.  while I shoot RAW+JPG always, I appreciate what awinphoto is saying regarding shooting JPG-only for certain jobs, and it certainly looks like it works well for him/her.

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #57 on: November 09, 2012, 02:43:58 PM »

PackLight

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #58 on: November 09, 2012, 02:49:23 PM »
I think there's valid reasons to shoot either JPG or RAW, and it sound like the OP has gotten the feedback that he/she was looking for.  I'm not sure it's necessary to try and convince people who have clearly established a functional workflow for themselves that their workflow is not ideal - everyone shoots their own way and manages their files their own way.  while I shoot RAW+JPG always, I appreciate what awinphoto is saying regarding shooting JPG-only for certain jobs, and it certainly looks like it works well for him/her.

Yes but where is the fun of Forum's if we can't try and convince everyone to think and do as we do.

Meh

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2012, 02:53:47 PM »
I think there's valid reasons to shoot either JPG or RAW, and it sound like the OP has gotten the feedback that he/she was looking for.  I'm not sure it's necessary to try and convince people who have clearly established a functional workflow for themselves that their workflow is not ideal - everyone shoots their own way and manages their files their own way.  while I shoot RAW+JPG always, I appreciate what awinphoto is saying regarding shooting JPG-only for certain jobs, and it certainly looks like it works well for him/her.

Yes, you're right.  Awinphoto is welcome to shoot how he wants and there is nothing wrong with that.  But this is a forum discussion and I find some of his arguments to be inaccurate and/or based on very specific circumstances and assumptions that aren't generally applicable.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2012, 02:55:28 PM by Meh »

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Re: Convince me to shoot in RAW
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2012, 02:53:47 PM »