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Photography Question 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 

RAW processing vs JPG processing


Due to some recent discussions, I have a question for the RAW shooters out there.

Can you show me an example of a shot that you took where you were able to adjust it during processing in a way that you could not have done with a JPG source?

Are there certain situations where RAW processing shines? Like with under or over exposed images? Maybe you can save them much easier with RAW processing vs adjusting a JPG from the camera.

I'm not contrary here, I just want to see it in action because so far I'm not skilled enough to use RAW processing to make any real differences that I couldn't get with JPGs.

Thanks!

4/28/2005 4:17:27 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  I was just trying to do some more experiments myself but I'm not seeing a way to say desaturate an image to B&W with the Zoom browser RAW processing software that came with my camera. Is there not a way to do that with their software?

4/28/2005 4:29:26 AM

 
Robert Hambley
rlhambleyphotography.com

member since: 2/2/2004
  Greetings,

Consider this analogy.

The RAW file is the equivalent of the film, before being processed.

The JPG is a wallet sized print from that negative.

The JPG has already had multiple processing items done to it. And image data has been tossed out during the JPG compression.

The RAW file can be reprocessed over and over using different white balance, saturation, brightness, shadows etc.

I stopped using the file browswer that came with my camera and used the Photoshop RAW processing.

Robert

4/28/2005 5:00:37 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  I actually switched to PS 7 just for that purpose, to try the RAW processing everyone is talking about... but it's not there. It's a plugin that you have to buy extra... or am I missing something?

And I do understand the analogy, but that's all I keep finding is analogies. My own tests haven't SHOWN any difference.

I know that there can be differences by definition because of the reasons you cited, but I'm trying to see that in action.

4/28/2005 5:06:58 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  Visit my website @ www.mhcphoto.net.
In the "Fine Art" section I have images from film as well as digital. All the images that were taken with the Fuji S2 were shot in RAW.
In the "Jury Services" section, ALL the images are from the S2 camera, shot in RAW mode.
FYI - Here's some differences between RAW and Jpeg shooting in-camera:

RAW allows you, that is, "requires" you to do ALL editing in a post editing software such as Photoshop. RAW files have NO color corrections (other than white balance) or enhancements, and are in a "raw" mode. They require your FULL attention afterwards. For many photographers, especially "fine art" photographers who want 100% control over the appearance of their images, RAW is the only way to go.
Raw files are larger in size, thus yielding larger file sizes which equal better potential quality and larger print sizes.

Jpeg allows you to "edit" in-camera. It is useful for those with no post editing software, or with no skills on how to use it, or who are in a hurry to finish an image, or who just don't want to bother with PS. It is very useful for going straight from the camera to the printer. As you can imagine, Jpeg control in-camera does not come close to the control you would have in Photoshop with a RAW file, but still, it does afford you some. Jpegs are more convenient no doubt, but your final image may suffer due to the compression involved, and your print sizing will be smaller than with a RAW.
Hope this helps.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net

4/28/2005 5:34:48 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  The one thing I'm trying to do to run some tests with, I can't find. Is it not possible to convert to B&W during the RAW processing? I'm only getting limited saturation controls and not the ability to totally de-saturate.

I tried with the Canon software with no luck, and then I tried Capture One Pro 3.6. Capture One seems to have more control, but I still can't get my picture B&W until after it's processed.

Any ideas?

4/28/2005 5:45:38 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  Here's an idea... tell me what you think of this.

I don't know much yet about just what to change in the RAW image, but would I be doing a big step up if I simply use the default settings to convert the RAW file to a 16bit TIFF. Would that be a mile ahead of using the standard JPG?

In my tests, the camera JPG turned out a 3.13M file, the RAW conversion to JPG turned out a 4.67M file, and the TIFF turned out a 36M file!

Knowing that I'm taking 6MP images, and that the largest I'm printing is 8x10, which way would you suggest for me to start with? Is the extra image information in the 36M TIFF really extra information or is it made up info?

4/28/2005 5:58:22 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  When you say "convert to B&W during the RAW processing" I'm not quite sure what you mean?
If you are referring to in-camera processing, some cameras allow B&W shooting in-camera, and others don't. Are you sure your particular camera has a b&w function?
If, on the other hand, you are referring to "processing" in PS, then "true" b&w, ie, 100% desaturation, can be produced in many ways: Desaturation, converting to Grayscale, or using individual Channels (red, blue, green). If you are wanting full control over your b&w, and own PS or something similar, and want to spend the time afterwards working on each file, then I would shoot in RAW, convert from color to b&w in PS, and enhance/correct from there.
If this doesn't answer your inquiry, try again. I, and I guess the other responders, are just having a hard time trying to understand exactly what you are asking. Don't give up!
Michael H. Cothran

4/28/2005 6:02:19 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  I do have PS, I'm on 7 now.

What I mean is that I was looking to be able to have the RAW conversion program do the desaturation, not PS.

Keep in mind I don't have the RAW plugin for PS yet so I'm using the canon software at this point and I'm trying out some third party stuff.

My thought was that the absolute best quality B&W I could get would be shooting in RAW, then using the RAW processing program to do the desaturation.

It seems that's not possible so it's a moot point.

What I do now is shot JPGs and use PS to desat. them. I'm just looking to move up a little to make sure my 8x10s are as good as they can be while I still don't know much about RAW processing.

4/28/2005 6:07:53 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  OK, now I'm a question behind. So here's in response to your latest question about 36MB TIFF file:
RAW is smaller at first, but will ultimately be the largest size your camera can produce. The reason TIFF is large out of your camera is because of all the editing stuff your camera does to it before it is uploaded. When you open the RAW in PS, you are going to have to SAVE it as a PSD or TIFF. Either is ok, but TIFF requires that you flatten your file. I would save a "master file" as a PSD with all the layers intact, so they are available should you need to go back to rework it. Once you save your RAW file, your 6MP file size will be about 36MB with a 16 bit color depth, or 18MB with an 8 bit color depth. FYI - the 16 bit file holds more color depth (or "gray" depth in your case) than an 8 bit file. Truth be told, my eyes have never seen any difference between a 16 bit and an 8 bit color file, but, in reality, it is there somewhere.
Michael H. Cothran

4/28/2005 6:25:58 AM

 
Michael H. Cothran

member since: 10/21/2004
  Now it's making more sense to me. We are a step ahead/behind each other. So delete all the above information from your mind. Your latest post gives more detail, and I think I can offer you a concrete answer. First - yes - shoot in RAW mode in your camera.
Since you have PS7 without the RAW plug-in, you are absolutely correct in that you must allow Canon's proprietary software to convert your file to a TIFF, which should be 35-36MB @ 16 bit or 17-18MB @ 8 bit. This is the way to go.
From here, simply open your new TIFF file in PS7, and do your b&w converting there. Rather than just desaturate, try going to your Channels palette, and select each of the individual channels - red, blue, green, and see if any of these look better than the others. If so, use that channel as your starting place to work on your image. You'll need to read the Help area to learn how to use Channels, but many say this is the best way to produce b&w images.
As an alternative, under Images, you can convert your file from RGB to Grayscale, then use Levels or Curves to control your contrast.
Working with your file in PS (as a tiff or psd) from a RAW file is the absolute best way to enhance the quality of your final image.
Michael H. Cothran

4/28/2005 6:40:08 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  We're making progress... *smile*

Although you said you didn't see a difference between 16 and 8 bit TIFFs, if I'm gong to print 8x10s do you think I might see the difference in the print at that point?

For the B&W conversion, I've been reading a lot to see what the 'best' way to do it is. Personally I've liked the desaturate method much more than converting it to grayscale simply because you can stop your desat. at a level not quite 0 and you get a blueish grey that I like a lot more than the totally gray of grayscale.

I am moving on to playing with chanels though, I've found a great many people who swear by channel methods.

Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated!

4/28/2005 7:00:40 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 
 
 
I did a comparrison, abeit a rather shallow one, and submit it here.

I took a picture in RAW mode, then the same scene as a JPG. Then processed the RAW image to JPG with default settings, and to a TIFF with default settings. The three pieces you see are those images magnified in PS.

With default settings, the only thing I really see is a little more saturation in the camera's JPG image, but that's easily matchable so maybe my test is flawed in it's execution.

(Those three images are 4M, 36M, and 3M respectively.)

4/28/2005 7:47:34 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  Oh, and it's a picture of an embroidered pillow - that's the reason it's a blocky pattern looking thing.

4/28/2005 7:51:36 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Shawn,
That's a good test method. You might want to try it again with a color chart, or a test chart with colors and lines so you have more to judge.

I know CorelDraw comes with some sample images like this. I don't know if PS comes with any.

4/28/2005 7:57:43 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  I've got a test pattern, it's a recreation of the ISO_12230 resolution chart but it doesn't print perfectly to begin with and getting it perfectl level along with the camera so straight lines are really straight is quite hard.

I'm always testing and learning though, I'll post anything I find interesting.

4/28/2005 8:31:24 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  OK, here are some more technical comparisons...

In the following 4 test images, the 4 samples are as follows:

1. Camera JPG
2. RAW Processed to JPG
3. RAW Processed to 8 bit TIFF
4. RAW Processed to 16 bit TIFF

Order is top to bottom or left to right.

The RAW processing was all done using default settings.

4/28/2005 9:36:12 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  The final JPG image was saved at 100% quality so it's as close to no loss as I can get.

4/28/2005 9:38:43 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 
 
 
Image 1

4/28/2005 9:39:07 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 
 
 
Image 2

4/28/2005 9:39:45 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 
 
 
Image 3

4/28/2005 9:40:13 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
 
 
 
Image 4

4/28/2005 9:40:48 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  My conclusion at this point - at least with this B&W test pattern:

RAW to JPG has a visible increase in quality from the camera's JPG. Mainly it's a contrast thing I think.

The rest though, RAW to TIFF, both 8 and 16 bit, have VERY subtle differences if any at all, at least visually to me.

There may be advantages for prints that you can't really quantify at this point like color saturation of photo paper may be affected differently.

One thing to note though is that I couln't do anything with the 16 bit TIFF in PS. I had to downsample it to 8 bit before I could even copy any of it. I don't know why that is, but that's what happened for me.

I think that for most snapshot 4x3 prints the camera JPG will do great.

For formal shots like weddings or photo shoot portraits, even if they are small, one should step up to a RAW to JPG Process.

If the picture is to be blown up to an 8x10 or larger, maybe going with the RAW to TIFF would be best to make sure the most image information is available for the print.

That's all the squinting at details I can do at the moment... Hopefully others get as much benifit from this as I did.

4/28/2005 9:52:17 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  One thing I didn't like about those pictures is how gray they look. That's a white piece of paper.

I even did a custom WB and it didn't change. I could have fixed that in PS, but I didn't want to compromise the test.

I guess that's something I need to learn a little more about to get it right.

4/28/2005 10:08:11 AM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Terry
Terry 's Gallery

member since: 1/4/2003
  Adobe Used To Make A Raw File Converter For Ps7(It Was Free But It Didnt Come With PS7 It Was a Download) After PSCS Came Out They Made A Different File Converter For That Program Its Free Also But Only Works In PSCS.
1 Forget Jpeg,s The Compression Really Destroys The Image Over Time.
2.No Raw File Converter Is Designed to Turn Your Image Into A B&W Thats What Your Photo Editing Program Is For.
3.Printing Images In 16bit As Opposed To 8bit Will Produce A Better Image To The Trained Eye.
I Have Jpegs In My Files Now From Years Ago Back Then It Was Said That If You Edit A Jpeg And Save Changes It Would Loose Quality But If You Didnt Edit The Image It Would Be Just Fine!
Well Guess What Thats Not True:-) Just By Opening And Closing Them They Detoriate At An Alarming Rate,This Is My Experience With Them And My Honest Anwser To Saving You Pain Latter On In Life!!

4/30/2005 7:05:18 AM

 
Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/11/2005
  Shawn, which Canon camera are you using? Personally I don't find the RAW editing software from Canon to be all that great. Photoshop CS or CS2 (trial now available) RAW editor is much better. You might want to look into upgrading. The price for an upgrade version of PS CS2 is very reasonable, and from what I can see thus far with CS2 you won't be disappointed. I'm currently taking Ben's Photoshop course in which he covers RAW processing and beyond. Maybe that too is something to think about. Personally I was sceptical to RAW because it seemed like such a pain. The other day I shot RAW&JPEG and compared the two shots side-by-side; the difference in quality was enormous. If I had just seen the jpeg I would have been pleased with the shot, but after comparing it with the raw, well, let's just say that the jpeg looked blurry.

I'm also taking Jim's Fundamentals course. Both instructors have said that they always shoot colour, and then change it to B&W afterwards if desired. Michael mentioned a few methods. The method that Ben has mentioned is to remove all colour while processing the RAW image; this is down with a quick slide of the mouse. /howie

4/30/2005 9:26:32 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  (I shoot with a Digital Rebel currently)

I'm sorry Terry H, but your impression of JPG files is quite wrong and quite impossible. Files deteriating over time just by opening and closing them is quite the technical impossibility. In fact, the only deteriating that can happen would be the magnetic surface of whatever media you have them stored on, and in that case we're talking decades before even the most sensitive instrument could pick up any change and the file FORMAT wouldn't matter. Unless we're talking about floppy disks maybe... then they could die in a few minutes (haha, but they're really not very reliable). Even so, magnetic deteriation wouldn't change your file. As long as it could be read at all, this is binary data so it's reading a series of 1s and 0s. Even if it reads a poor quality 0 magnetically, it's a 0 none the less and will produce identical results.

What you suggest by your comment, is that a JPG format file is inturpreted differently each time it's opened and that the data is then re-written over the file each time you open it. That is simply crazy. JPG files are 'lossy', yes. What that means is that image data is lost when it is created. The result is a mathmatical representation of the original picture. That aproximation is written to the file and is decoded exactly the same way every time it's read. How in the world would a JPG file survive for even a day on a webpage if it got destroyed a little every time it opened? Many sites have millions of visitors every day. Under your version of how files are treated, no web server would last very long at all before all it's files were gone. WOW.

Those comments are the kind that I fear less techncally minded people might believe. Just apply a SECOND of thought to the possibiliy of a file on a hard drive being damaged just by reading it... Life as we know it on computers would be cease to function.

My point with this thread is, that like you, many people just SWEAR by RAW processing and say the same kinds of things. They say that their RAW shots are WAY different than their JPG shots. I would submit that it must be your camera making crappy JPG shots, because as I've proven above, there is little difference. But the difference does matter in some cases... don't misunderstand me.

In tests since the ones above, I have been able to make my camera JPG shots look identical to the RAW to JPG converted ones. The difference there was simply a sharpness issue and by turning down the sharpness setting on the camera, my in camera JPG shots are identical to my RAW to JPG processed ones.

There's a big point though... just because you shoot RAW, doesn't mean your to the best picture yet. Like in my case, if I shoot RAW, yet process it to a JPG, I end up with a picture that is only .2% different than my camera JPG by a mathmatical comparison of the pixels the file contains. Visually, it's so near identical is easy to miss. A PS difference analysis will barely show dark gray lines in places. Even though the file is a full MEG larger, I submit that unless you are printing it say, poster size, even a trained eye wouldn't notice.

It should be noted though, that one HUGE important point is one I haven't discussed. EVERY JPG shot I make is saved at the best quality possible. In PS, that's the 12 setting (not 10). In the RAW conversion, that's 100%. Moving this down to 90% or using PS 10 instead of 12 will make a HUGE difference. I would bet that most of you, if you've actually compared at all, have used default settings which are much lower than the best possible. You have a choice with JPG compression. If you don't pay attention to it, then sure you'll have crappy results when it uses a default of 50% quality.

4/30/2005 12:18:27 PM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  Bottom line, like I stated above... for a standard 4x6 print there is no way you'd tell the difference unless maybe you took a small section of your original pixels and blew it up WAY bigger than the source. If you simply shoot and print, there's no way you'd see a difference if you have your quality set right.

For large prints, say 8x10, then you'd see a difference, and I'd say RAW - 8bit TIFF is your best bet. I might say 16bit, but I can't work with it in PS so I can't produce proof. Until I can, it's a moot point.

The only reason I've come to that conclusion though, is because of the final file sizes. Surely, with the TIFF being 18Megs, it's got more information and will produce a better large print. Visually, it's identical to my 2.5Meg JPG. And every time I've said visually, I mean both at 100% zoom, AND at 500% zoom.

You cannot just SAY that something is better than the other... you must PROVE it. I have given plenty of examples to support my conclusions, and I'd be happy to give more. I'm not going by some opinion that I have... I had no opinion in the beginning, merely a question. Then I did actual shots and compared them. You can see for yourself how they came out.

4/30/2005 12:18:39 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Terry
Terry 's Gallery

member since: 1/4/2003
  People Like You Always Learn The Hard Way Shawn:-)

4/30/2005 12:27:41 PM

 
Matthew Slyfield
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/5/2005
  Terry,

I am an IT professional. Shawn is correct in saying that jpg files can not deteriorate simply from opening and closing the file. Now a jpg will deterorate from opening and re-saving the file repeatedly. This happens because each time the file is re-saved to disk, the compression algorithym is re-run and more information is lost. However, there is no reason to re-save the file unless it has been edited and some (not all) newer photo editing programs are smart enough to not re-compress the image if you do re-save an unmodified file.

The degridation you described is the result of one of two things. One possiblity is operator error. That is, the user keeps explicitly re-saving the images when closing them even though no changes have been made. The other possiblity is a design flaw in the software you were using to edit the files. No editor whether it is a work processor, spreadsheet software or an image editor should re-save an un-changed file simply because it was closed.

4/30/2005 6:48:48 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If you only want to make 4x6's, stay with large jpeg setting if you don't want to save 20+ megabyte files.
If you look at a histogram of a jpeg after it's had several things done to it, and do the same things to a tiff from a RAW file, you'll probably see less holes in it. Much prefered, but if you're still going to make it a 4x6, most people won't be able to tell. But you may see, if you're used to looking and are more critical, a little more noise in shadow areas. Tone transitions not as smooth.
Have a tiff from RAW, and same photo taken as a jpeg, bring it up to 200-300% on your monitor, you'll see the RAW looks better.
If you plan on doing lots of altering, or if you need to do lots of interpolation to make a 18x24 or something like that, RAW will make a better final picture.
One thing I did notice early is that sharpening a jpeg starts to get those lines between areas of tonal change sooner than RAW. My conclusion, that lost information that the program has to estimate on.
16bit's, for some reason many printers don't print 16bit, only 8bit. Don't know why, but that's the way it is. In 16bit, all you can do is levels and curves in photoshop. If you shoot the picture right, don't need much else.

4/30/2005 8:51:58 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Part two before it timed out
Anybody's old jpegs not looking as good as they thought may be they just got better at taking pictures.
RAW isn't a magic bullet, as said in a digital photo magazine. The sensor info starts out as analog, and has to be converted to a digital file by the analog/digital converter, that all digital cameras have. So as a line in the article says, "if a sensor isn't seeing a scene clearly because of poor exposure or lighting technique, it can't present a good stream of analog information to the a/d converter". So regardless, you still have to shoot it right.

4/30/2005 9:03:42 PM

 
Howie Nordström
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/11/2005
  Shawn, have you seen these?

The Edge of Raw
The Power Of JPEG
Raw vs JPEG experiment
Raw Reviw

5/1/2005 4:19:45 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  PERFECT Howie N. !

That would have been a great first response to my post. *smile*

Basically, the conclusion is that the situations that call for RAW are ones where either large format printing is involved, cropping a very small part of the original picture and blowing it up, or like the experiment you linked - when a large amount of manipulation is going to happen afterwards.

I regret not having a color resolution chart to test how color saturation is effected, but my black and white tests have basically come to the same conclusion that most have come to.

Just for the record, I don't think people who only shoot RAW are wasting their time or doing anything un-neccessary. I'm just the type of person who needs to KNOW exactly why things are the way they are, and why it is 'best' to do one thing or another.

It has nothing to do with whether or not I WANT to shoot one way or another, only whether I'd have any real world benifit for doing one thing or another.

Thank you all - I think we can be done with this, at least for now. I would suggest that we drop this and move on.

And Matthew S., if you make it back here, I too am an IT professional. Going on 9 years for my own development, training, and IT support company. My jaw just dropped when it was suggested that merely opening a file caused file degredation. It was like I was looking at a real life witch hunt type situation with JPG as a target. ... if this file opens, it's a JPG witch! ... click ... yep, it's a witch!

Thanks again everyone, and good luck out there!

5/1/2005 4:59:55 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/28/2003
  Shooting RAW is better, but not for the reasons people think. JPEG is great for 99.9% of what people want to do with their images.

The image quality between JPEG and RAW is equal. It's just nonsense to say that an 8x10 falls apart when shot in JPEG mode. That's totally ludicrous. Even with a 3 MP camera I can pull that off. I can't understand why people keep saying this here. I am part of some other pro internet boards, and they go nuts when people talk like this because many of us are JPEG shooters and make posters from those that are immaculate.

When you process your RAW image for printing, what do you process to? Oh, that's right, a JPEG. HMMMM.

I understand the science. But, if you were really all that into the science and what gives you the BEST image, you would not be shooting digital at all.

Just something to think about.

Cheers,
Jerry

5/1/2005 5:50:11 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  ... and Jerry F steps in with... who cares, it's a moot point anyway, you should all be shooting film. *smile*

That made me smile.

5/1/2005 7:08:54 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  ... I smiled because of the truth in that statement... just to be clear.

I re-read my comment and thought it might come off as sarcastic or something...

5/1/2005 7:13:56 AM

 
Richard 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/28/2005
  I use Photoshop Elements 3.0. What format is the best to print photos. On my camera I shoot best quality. With my software, I was doing a save as with JPEG at med compression. What can I do to get better quality for printing. I use a Canon i960.

5/1/2005 9:38:07 AM

 
Shawn Wilson
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/25/2005
  I lot will depend on the size you are printing at, and whether you are printing them yourself or having a processor print them. I've seen a lot better results with a low quality picture printed by wal-mart, than with that same picture printed on a home photo printer.

But as a rule, I use the absolute highest jpg quality setting possible at every step.

You mentioned medium compression... use the smallest compression possible - none if possible.

I think the best thing to do though is to take a test shot, say with some shiny things, a lot of color, and a really busy frame.

Then another shot with a pretty simple frame, say a person in a creative pose with drastic dark tones and pretty light highlights.

Then take those two pictures and save them at a couple different quality settings, and print them at a couple different sizes.

We can suggest things till we're blue in the face, and all the suggestions will be valuable, but only you'll be able to see how the settings you use look when printed and decide if that's good enough for you and your purpose.

It should only take you maybe an hour of time and a couple dollars at wal-mart to get a couple 4x6 prints and a couple 8x10s. And the pictures don't have to be full pictures, they can be sections of different pictures put together in PS to make one print. (feel free to ask if you don't understand what I'm trying to say)

If you are currently seeing a 'poor' image, then step your quality up at least one step.

Lastly, if space is your concern and your reason for using lower quality in the first place, then I would suggest that you bite the bullet and solve your space issue. The hit you'll take for increasing your card size or hard drive size is a far smaller price to pay than looking at poor quality pictures for years.

5/1/2005 1:14:05 PM

 
FNU BRAWIJAYA

member since: 9/28/2005
  I think the only reason to use RAW format is to manipulate the image over and over again, i.e. to work on our "masterpiece". If we only need to make adjustment once and make a print either 4x6, 8x10, or 10x12, I think JPEG is adequate.

As for me, after I got bigger CFs I shoot RAW + JPEG Basic. For most of them, I just use the JPG (although in BASIC format), and upload or print to share with friends. For a masterpiece that sometime only one out of 100 (sometimes none, oouch...), I use RAW and save it in PSD to keep all those layers. I will never go back to TIFF. The other 99 out of 100 RAW files will rest in peace in my DVDs to be used after I got retired in 20 years, hehehe...

10/25/2005 5:55:00 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  one reason, not the only. but psd or tiff, raw still has to be converted over.

10/25/2005 8:47:16 AM

 

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