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Author Topic: tips on getting started shooting in raw?  (Read 8871 times)

cheeseheadsaint

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tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:09:03 PM »
I've always shot in JPEG. I've considered shooting in raw many times but based on things I've read like it will slow down continuous shooting mode and the hassle of of needing special software to edit/view and stuff made me avoid it.

But since I spend so much time editing anyways and reading all the pros about RAW is making me reconsider it.

Does it really slow down continuous shooting?

I haven't installed DPP yet but will processing raw images be better in DPP or Photoshop Elements 7.0?

any tips/resources on getting started in shooting in raw?
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tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« on: January 02, 2012, 03:09:03 PM »

traveller

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 03:28:13 PM »
If you spend that much time editing your photos, then you may as well shoot RAW.  Assuming that you are shooting your jpegs quite neutral with the aim of maximising your options in post, shooting RAW will add only one more short step to your current work flow.  The benefits are an increase in the amount of information available in your camera's files, which gives you more options for post-processing; this is especially true with exposure and white balance latitude. 

The disadvantage (from what your needs appear to be) is that the cameras buffer will fill up far quicker shooting RAW images.  If this is a big problem then you might want to shoot high speed action in jpeg, or invest in a 7D...

As to which RAW converter to use, this is probably a matter of personal preference rather than a clear winner.  I'm sure that the likes of Neuroanatomist will be able to expand upon this further...!

In the meantime, try starting here:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/RAW-file-format.htm

handsomerob

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 05:42:38 PM »
Does it really slow down continuous shooting?

No, continuous shooting speed will remain the same, until your buffer gets full.

But of course, the buffer will be full much quicker with RAW than shooting JPEG only because RAW files are around 3 times bigger in size. So you'll get a lot less shots before the continuous shooting speed actually slows down.

Depends on what you are shooting (for action/sports shooters this is a nightmare) but normally you should get enough shots in one burst shooting RAW. Make sure you use a fast card to clear out the buffer asap to make room for new images.

Don't forget that your SD/CF card will hold a lot less RAW files than JPEGs so it's a good idea to invest in high capacity cards (which got a lot cheaper lately). Oh, and your hard drive fill up much quicker as well  ;D

That said, I would recommend always shooting RAW, if you are spending time editing your photos anyway. RAW offers lot more possibilities and flexibility. You'll notice a great deal of difference once you're done with the editing.

DPP is good, a lot of people use it. Alternatively you can use ACR (Lightroom/Photoshop), Aperture (for MAC), DxO Optics, etc. Everyone has a favorite so I recommend you try them (almost all offer fully functional trial versions) for yourself and choose the one that suits your workflow best.

TexPhoto

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 06:54:47 PM »
Does it really slow down continuous shooting?

Why not try it on your camera?  Seriously, it would take like 10 seconds to try both ways. Then you would know what it does to your camera with your memory card.

And shoot RAW+jpg, Use the RAW when you want to get into heavy precessing and the use the jpg when you are happy with that.  Also, when you are new to RAW processing, the jpg can be a good mark of your skills.  In other words, you want your final image to look better than the camera's jpg, so if you shoot RAW+jpg, you have the jpg to compare.

JerryBruck

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 07:24:41 PM »
If you've found yourself fussing with color, including tone and saturation; if you've wanted to sharpen or (say, for a portrait)  soften the surfaces; if you've wanted to rescue a spontaneous photo which you've badly exposed, even by a couple of stops in either direction -- if you've wanted any of these and a whole list of such things to be available to you organically, without leaving traces that something was wrong to start with, then I predict you will be astonished at the power of RAW, and wonder why you didn't take advantage from the start.  The files will be much fatter; house-keeping will be required; I can't think of any other downside, if you're already an editor.  DPP conversions seem pretty fast, and pre-conversion you'll see these photos RAW in DPP and ZoomBrowser  almost as if they were .jpg;  DPP requires 10 or 20 seconds to reach "hi-quality preview," I think they call it.   The corrective power of film negative over slide/reversal is another way to describe it.

neuroanatomist

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 07:56:30 PM »
...shoot RAW+jpg, Use the RAW when you want to get into heavy precessing and the use the jpg when you are happy with that.

The progression begins.  Many people start out shooting JPG, then learn about the benefits of RAW (such as changing white balance with no IQ penalty, better noise reduction, etc.). So, they switch to RAW+JPG, keeping the JPG if it's good enough, processing the RAW if the image needs work.  Eventually, most switch to shooting RAW only. 

So, maybe just jump into RAW with both feet?  Converting to JPG with the default settings in DPP will be nearly the same as shooting JPG.  Or take the RAW+JPG intermediate step. But...one suggestion if you do.  Save all your RAW files, not just the ones you work on.  One day in the future, you'll want to go back to one of those images where you liked the JPG well enough, and use your well-honed RAW processing skills to improve it. 
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DanoPhoto

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 08:10:52 PM »
What are recommended PP softwares that the group recommends?  I am using the DPP and Photoshop
 Essentials (on PC) right now, but I know it is very limited capabilities.
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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 08:10:52 PM »

JR

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2012, 08:53:01 PM »
any tips/resources on getting started in shooting in raw?

Yes, just start shooting RAW in confidence!  I started shooting RAW myself only a little over a year ago and man does it make a difference.  A easy setup that worked for me was to use Adobe Lightroom instead of DPP.  I find it has more options, better noise reduction and better picture library capability.

I actually spend less time working on my RAW image than before using only JPG.  I use custom presets in Lightroom such that every I import pictures I apply a certain sets of action to my pictures.  After that I only need to apply minor correction as I review them, but it is so much better!

Just to get the correct white balance alone it is worth shooting in RAW...anyway.  For me Lightroom worked, but I did start with DPP to get into it.  Try it out, and try downloading a few software in trial version to see which you prefer.  Good luck.
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mitchell3417

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 09:04:37 PM »
Shooting RAW is the best. Why give away a ton of data every shot? It makes white balance corrections so simple. It's also great for bring info out of highlights and shadows. I never shoot jpgs. NEVER.

Adobe Lightroom makes shooting RAW a joy and should be considered by any serious PPer.
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pwp

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 09:07:23 PM »
I've always shot in JPEG. Any tips/resources on getting started in shooting in raw?

On the occasions I need to go back to my archive images and see that the files pre-date my switch to shooting 100% RAW (approx 2002) I get that sinking feeling of having to deal with a JPEG. The factors that delayed my switch to RAW were an ignorance of the facts, laziness and a very poor choice of software to do the RAW conversions. Like a lot of photographers I got on board the RAW workflow with Capture One Pro. Right now I convert in Lightroom.

Every single digital camera from the cheapest point & shoot makes a RAW file that is converted in-camera to make your JPEG file. At it's most basic level it's a simple algorithm that takes a broad based guess at what's best. Consumer DSLR's have "Picture Styles" or other menu settings  that with deliver a different look JPEG. In perfect conditions they can be quite adequate.

The benefits of shooting RAW over JPEG are thoroughly documented. If in-camera JPEG's delivered perfect files, professional photographers would shoot JPEG. But a straw poll would reveal that an extremely high percentage of professionals and advanced amateurs will shoot 100% RAW. Why do you suppose this is? It's more work but once mastered the results are comprehensively improved.

Yes, your buffer depth is reduced when shooting RAW compared to JPEG, and this can be overcome on a camera like the 1D4 which can shoot highly useable commercial quality files on the medium RAW setting. It's a reduced file size which extends the buffer depth a lot. I sometimes switch when shooting swimming or track & field events.

Just jump in the deep end. You'll quickly see it's easy going and find your photography a great deal more satisfying. DPP's GUI looks cute but is very clunky if processing a large number of RAW files. Canon don't make great software. If you have Photoshop there's the very well sorted ACR, or Lightroom is an inexpensive, highly flexible program. A few years ago I test drove every RAW converter on the planet and with hindsight it was a monumental waste of time. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. Some people will be dogmatic that their choice of RAW converter is the best. Yawn...

My experience has shown that Lightroom is fast and flexible and delivers files I'm happy to send out to clients. Others will have their equally valid favourite. If your volume is low and there are financial constraints, DPP will deliver beautiful conversions. Just do it.

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TexPhoto

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 09:13:52 PM »
When I shoot a pro sporting event, I will take between 1-4 thousand images.  I shoot RAW+jpg because I need the jpg to send to publishers.  RAW because when I settle down to sort the 5-10 best images of the day, I want the best image I can get.   Do I keep all 4K RAW images... No.  The shots of the Ref's back will never improve.

The reason I am the photographer of my local pro soccer team is because the last guy did not show up.  When a reporter approached me on the sidelines at 7:45PM, he wanted one image to email to his publisher by the 8PM deadline.  He did not have DPP or any other RAW image processor on his powerbook, but the jpg was fine for the newspaper.  So by all means shoot RAW only if that works for you, but consider that jpg and RAW are just tools, ignoring one (or wearing I shoot RAW t-shirts, and beating your chest) does not make the other better.

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 09:18:56 PM »
If you are editing the color, contrast, sharpness, etc in jpeg, you are making thw IQ of your images deteriorate.  With raw, they can get better.

I use lightroom.  I adjust a typical image as to color, contrast, NR, sharpening, and set lightroom to always make those adjustments for that camera model at that ISO setting.  That gives me a starting point, and its done as images are imported,so it takes no more work from me.

Since lightroom does not change the original file, I can always undo it and apply different adjustments now or 10 years in the future when some improved lightroom can do a better job.  With jpeg from the camera, your images are cooked and it can't be undone.  Any further adjustments merely tends to decrease the IQ of the image.

However, there are valid reasons to use jpeg too.  If you need to send a image straight to a editor to post on the news where time is mooney, thats the best way.  If you are taking a snapshot to post a item on craigslist or ebay, it will be 1000 times better than most, even if its jpeg.

I use the jpeg or raw mode based on what I intend to do with the image.  Most of the time, I use raw.

bigblue1ca

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 02:32:30 AM »
My best tip on shooting RAW is if you are going to shoot RAW, get Lightroom.  When you load all of your RAW images into LR post processing is painless.  You can get all the benefits of RAW for adjusting images and from there you can export your image(s) at anytime in JPG, TIFF, PSD, whatever you need to suite your needs.  As mentioned previously, the best part is you can step back and undo changes at anytime or even go back to the original RAW image and start over, all without changing the original file.  I used Photoshop alone for years and finally discovered LR and it has made my workflow 100% easier.

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 02:32:30 AM »

willrobb

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 03:47:40 AM »
If you are editing the color, contrast, sharpness, etc in jpeg, you are making thw IQ of your images deteriorate.  With raw, they can get better.

I use lightroom.  I adjust a typical image as to color, contrast, NR, sharpening, and set lightroom to always make those adjustments for that camera model at that ISO setting.  That gives me a starting point, and its done as images are imported,so it takes no more work from me.

Since lightroom does not change the original file, I can always undo it and apply different adjustments now or 10 years in the future when some improved lightroom can do a better job.  With jpeg from the camera, your images are cooked and it can't be undone.  Any further adjustments merely tends to decrease the IQ of the image.

However, there are valid reasons to use jpeg too.  If you need to send a image straight to a editor to post on the news where time is mooney, thats the best way.  If you are taking a snapshot to post a item on craigslist or ebay, it will be 1000 times better than most, even if its jpeg.

I use the jpeg or raw mode based on what I intend to do with the image.  Most of the time, I use raw.

+ 1, a big weighty 1. Some wise words of wisdom from Mt Spokane Photography here.

As has been said be several people above, if you have time to spend editing, shoot RAW. Once you take your RAW data and edit it up, you can create something really special. With jpeg, no matter what editing software you use you  are just going to get loss in quality with each adjustment you do. 

If you are needing images asap to send to editors for print/online news outlets shoot jpeg as you can download and send them quicker.

Shooting RAW fills up your buffer more quickly than shooting JPEG. Depending on what you are shooting it could make a difference. With sports where you are following intense action and something could happen any second o et an hour or two JPEG would be a good option. If it's wildlife and you want to rattle of shots of an eagle leaving it's perch and starting it's flight RAW would do the job.




smirkypants

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 04:55:08 AM »
I don't necessarily agree that it takes that much longer to process RAW files. I have about 100 presets in Adobe Camera Raw (same as Lightroom) but I have six each for my three main lenses that I call BASIC 70-200 1, BASIC 70-200 2, etc. These have common adjustments for lens, light, conditions, etc. If I need to be fast I can basically look at the image and see what it needs, then save it quickly in JPEG and it will almost always look better than straight from the camera. Seriously, takes seconds.

Also, this cannot be stressed enough... if you need to shoot fast, you need fast memory cards. I have half a dozen Lexar 600x 32gb cards. The difference between these and the whatever-is-cheapest cards is considerable: you can literally shoot two to three times faster.

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Re: tips on getting started shooting in raw?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 04:55:08 AM »