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Author Topic: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements  (Read 29610 times)

digiitch

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #30 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.

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2012, 07:01:41 PM »

pwp

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #31 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

wickidwombat

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #32 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
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jaayres20

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #33 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   

jaayres20

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #34 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.   

pwp

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #35 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
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 07:45:54 PM by pwp »

digiitch

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #36 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.

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2012, 07:44:37 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #37 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

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jaayres20

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #38 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. 

wickidwombat

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #39 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
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Abraxx

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2012, 08:50:36 PM »
Hm
DPreview just rated the 5D3 as "not so good for jpeg only shooters".
 ;)
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westr70

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #41 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. 
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te4o

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #42 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. ::)
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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2012, 11:51:03 PM »

pwp

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #43 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

End of story?

Paul Wright

samueljay

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #44 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.
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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2012, 03:33:04 AM »