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RAW vs JPEG

jimsaloha
Contributor

I normally shoot in raw.  Just got my 7D and been experimenting.  The only advantage I see is if I need to make some major adjustments in LR.  Quality seems the same.

What's your take?

Jim

Canon 7D
Canon18-135 STM, 70-200 F2.8
2X Extender
580EX
Canon Elph 330HS
Canon Elph SD750
3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Skirball
Authority

Yes, the quality is the same…  if you got your exposure correct and the white balance, sharpness, color settings, etc are what you would have chosen in post anyway.  The latter examples can be changed to some extent in post without any major effects on the quality, but the additional dynamic range and recovery of shadows/highlights are why most people shoot Raw.  You can’t do that with jpg.

View solution in original post

TCampbell
Elite

RAW does a vastly superior job at preserving details that JPEG might flatten.  I use JPEG only as a final-output format and shoot only in RAW.

 

The exception is if you're shooting action.  If you put the camera into continuous shooting mode, the buffer will fill quickly when shooting RAW.  But if shooting JPEG, the smaller file sizes means it doesn't take as long to transfer JPEG to the memory card.  As a result you can shoot VASTLY more frames before the buffer fills and for some cameras the, the images transfer to the card faster than the buffer can fill -- which means you're able to shoot JPEG in continuous mode at full frame rate as long as you haven't run out of space on the memory card.

 

But back to that point on adjustments... I have been burned on adjustments where a JPEG flattened tones that were "very close" such that all detail was lost when I went to adjust it... but in RAW I've never had a problem.  Disk drives are cheap.  I'd rather have the detail than the storage space.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

View solution in original post

The thing about RAW is that all the data is there, as opposed to JPG where the file has already been processed and compressed with the resultant data loss.  You can't get that data loss back, but with RAW it's always there, ready for you to play with it in Photoshop, etc.  Shoot in RAW.

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5

Skirball
Authority

Yes, the quality is the same…  if you got your exposure correct and the white balance, sharpness, color settings, etc are what you would have chosen in post anyway.  The latter examples can be changed to some extent in post without any major effects on the quality, but the additional dynamic range and recovery of shadows/highlights are why most people shoot Raw.  You can’t do that with jpg.

TCampbell
Elite

RAW does a vastly superior job at preserving details that JPEG might flatten.  I use JPEG only as a final-output format and shoot only in RAW.

 

The exception is if you're shooting action.  If you put the camera into continuous shooting mode, the buffer will fill quickly when shooting RAW.  But if shooting JPEG, the smaller file sizes means it doesn't take as long to transfer JPEG to the memory card.  As a result you can shoot VASTLY more frames before the buffer fills and for some cameras the, the images transfer to the card faster than the buffer can fill -- which means you're able to shoot JPEG in continuous mode at full frame rate as long as you haven't run out of space on the memory card.

 

But back to that point on adjustments... I have been burned on adjustments where a JPEG flattened tones that were "very close" such that all detail was lost when I went to adjust it... but in RAW I've never had a problem.  Disk drives are cheap.  I'd rather have the detail than the storage space.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

The thing about RAW is that all the data is there, as opposed to JPG where the file has already been processed and compressed with the resultant data loss.  You can't get that data loss back, but with RAW it's always there, ready for you to play with it in Photoshop, etc.  Shoot in RAW.

Thanks all.
Jim
Canon 7D
Canon18-135 STM, 70-200 F2.8
2X Extender
580EX
Canon Elph 330HS
Canon Elph SD750

Also another important thing to note, RAW processing software keeps getting better and better. I have some so so images from way back. But with new Lightroom, it gives my image a whole new life. There may be some information in the raw file that current software may not be able to decode yet, but who knows in the future. Look at how LR4 recovering highlight and shadow compare to LR2, a huge different. That's why it's a good idea to keep your "trophy" shot as RAW. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to do something even better in the future.

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