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Photography Question 
Scott Johnson
 

What's Best: Raw or JPEG Capture Mode?


I understand the differences between RAW and JPEG image format and how an increasingly higher compressed JPEG has a smaller footprint at the expense of increased permanent loss of image quality. That said, I'm new to digital photography and I like dealing with the smaller file-size JPEG's (more storage capacity and faster loading/rendering on computer) and am inclined to keep the highest res JPEG setting on my Canon Digital Rebel and not capture in RAW format at all. Here's the question: Will I eventually regret that I did not capture all my photos in pure RAW format? I mean I'd hate to find out down the road that I messed up. Also, what do the pros do?


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3/23/2004 8:05:59 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Depends. You later on want to make an old photo into a huge poster, then you'll say, Wish I woulda shot it RAW. If you keep everything 8x10 or 11x14, if it's a large JPEG, then you won't have to worry. What pros do depends on which pro you're talking about. There's a guy who had a show of his pictures he takes of the reflections in windows. He actually works for Newsweek or Time, and he stops over in New York and shoots windows reflecting the street scenes. He gets them blown up to around 4-feet wide, and they're good enough that people think he's done some manipulations to them ... but he shoots them all RAW with a D60 or D10. It's in a magazine right now but I don't remember which one. If you mean pros for a newspaper or news magazine, they shoot everything JPEG, unless it's some kind of special fashion thing.


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3/23/2004 8:47:22 PM

 
Scott Johnson   Great, that answers my question. I think I'll stay in the high-quality JPEG mode, and if I ever feel like I might want to do some larger scale/poster-sized printing I'll switch to RAW. Thank you!


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3/24/2004 7:35:50 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Make a correction to what I said. It may have been the Canon 1Ds that he used to make the pictures of window reflections. Point is, though, he did use RAW for them.


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3/24/2004 12:21:50 PM

 
Gary Knox   I also shoot RAW anytime I have an unusual exposure situation (Sun Rise or Sunset for example) as you have much more flexibility in processing. I can adjust my exposure by a couple of stops or change the color temperature.


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3/30/2004 4:52:07 AM

 
Dan W. Shallenberger   I agree with Gary...that's why I switched from JPEG to RAW for my professional shooting. I love the latitude that shooting in RAW gives me. If I over/under expose (gasp), then it can usually be corrected in processing the RAW images, as well as the color temperature (which happens more frequently). It doesn't really make up for bad exposures, but it helps save otherwise unsavable shadows and highlights.

So I use JPEG for general family shooting, birthdays, fun stuff, etc. But for my pro-oriented work, I switch to RAW. Slower and larger, but a lifesaver in some situations.


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3/30/2004 9:35:55 AM

 
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