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Author Topic: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements  (Read 12962 times)

lexonio

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RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« 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.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 08:36:43 AM by lexonio »

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RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« on: May 21, 2012, 08:33:54 AM »

wockawocka

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #1 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.
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Janco

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #2 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...

Shawn L

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 09:40:18 AM by Shawn L »

awinphoto

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #4 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. 
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tomscott

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 10:27:39 AM by tomscott »
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awinphoto

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #6 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... 
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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 10:48:09 AM »

lola

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2012, 11:19:00 AM »
I seriously don't get this...
Why settle for 'good' when there is 'better' ?
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K-amps

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #8 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.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 12:51:36 PM by K-amps »
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dadohead

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #9 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.

mitchell3417

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #10 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..
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Dylan777

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2012, 02:40:45 PM »

Keep in mind:

You can always convert Raw to JPEG, but NOT the other way around. ;)
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jaayres20

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #12 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.     

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2012, 02:59:39 PM »

Janco

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #13 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!

drjlo

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #14 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. 


C2.8S0 by drjlo1, on Flickr

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


C2.8DLO60S0 by drjlo1, on Flickr

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Re: RAW vs JPEG debate in the light of 5DIII improvements
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 04:15:40 PM »