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Thread: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

  1. #1

    Default Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Hi all, I know that for JPEGs the settings are already applied to the picture that I shot while the RAW files are not.

    However, I am still able to adjust the white balance or exposure for both types of files in Lightroom. So can someone explain to me what exactly is the advantage of using RAW during post processing?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Hi all, I know that for JPEGs the settings are already applied to the picture that I shot while the RAW files are not.

    However, I am still able to adjust the white balance or exposure for both types of files in Lightroom. So can someone explain to me what exactly is the advantage of using RAW during post processing?

    Thank you!
    You can recover a lot more details when you do stuff like increasing exposure with the RAW file, compared with the JPG.
    The JPG has already been processed and saved in compressed format.
    Exploring! :)

  3. #3
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    You have limited freedom to adjust white balance on a JPG. Only a bit warmer or cooler.
    Exploring! :)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Hi all, I know that for JPEGs the settings are already applied to the picture that I shot while the RAW files are not.

    However, I am still able to adjust the white balance or exposure for both types of files in Lightroom. So can someone explain to me what exactly is the advantage of using RAW during post processing?

    Thank you!
    Raw is the data the image sensor "sees" while jpeg is the processed result of the Raw data.Jpeg drops some data from raw.While Raw format contains all data from sensor.You can save a badly taken picture from Raw but it is not so easy when it is already converted to jpeg.Most professionals shoot Raw or both.With jpeg you cannot retrieve shadows and highlights from Jpeg as the data is dropped.Raw files are bigger than jpeg.Although technology in cameras keep improving,photographers like the assurance of falling back to Raw in case they make a mistake.For the average user this does not matter but to those how want the best quality image,Raw is the standard.But you must convert to jpeg after processing for common image viewing software to see.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Look into the properties of each and you'll find out the difference.

    Give you a very layman hint, what's the quality when you take a photocopy of a document? And that what happens when you take a 2nd photocopy of the 1st copy? Then a 3rd copy of the 2nd and so on. The last copy is always going to look worst than the previous one.

    Jpeg is like using photocopy. And everytime you meddle with Jpeg file it's going to lose some detail. You mess it with a few times, your eye not sharp it maybe not noticable. Do more and more then it'll be worse la. If the operator doesn't mind then no problem lor.
    Raw is like using a scanner and printing a brand new sheet everytime. (Sorry I should add that the brand new sheet should be Tiff format and not Jpeg.)
    Last edited by foxtwo; 25th June 2011 at 05:38 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Hi all, I know that for JPEGs the settings are already applied to the picture that I shot while the RAW files are not.

    However, I am still able to adjust the white balance or exposure for both types of files in Lightroom. So can someone explain to me what exactly is the advantage of using RAW during post processing?

    Thank you!
    To use an analogy,

    RAW is like raw meat - uncooked, unedited RAW data that you can manipulate with a lot more latitude.

    JPG is like cooked meat - you can add sauce, you can tweak the taste further to a certain extent, but if it's been seared, boiled, etc... You can't undo a lot of things.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by edutilos- View Post
    To use an analogy,

    RAW is like raw meat - uncooked, unedited RAW data that you can manipulate with a lot more latitude.

    JPG is like cooked meat - you can add sauce, you can tweak the taste further to a certain extent, but if it's been seared, boiled, etc... You can't undo a lot of things.
    Perfect analogy.
    Inferiority Complex Behavior Signature: A900.D3x.M9..I have this and that blah blah...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    RAW is unprocessed.
    JPEG is processed.

    if you process processed food, it will become unsafe for consumption.
    AVA will knock on your door.

  9. #9
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Raw file is like uncooked rice, you can make porridge, chicken rice, nasi briyani or sushi etc.

    JPG file is like cooked rice, probably you can make fried rice out of it, but noting much.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  10. #10

    Default

    Raw is like flour jpeg is like bread....lol. ... you can continue the remaining portion by now....

  11. #11

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Is there really 0% processing done on the raw file being written.

    I thought I read somewhere there is some processing done on the raw file. Though it varies from different cameras.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky78 View Post
    Is there really 0% processing done on the raw file being written.

    I thought I read somewhere there is some processing done on the raw file. Though it varies from different cameras.

    AFAIK, the processing on the raw file you are referring to is probably the settings the camera writes to the RAW file. E.g. For canon raws, when you use DPP, you are able to get the picture as it was when you viewed it on the Camera LCD.

    The rest of the raw processing and color interpretation is dependent on the software used.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  13. #13

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Lol so many food analogies... They have given me a clearer picture now indeed! Thanks guys!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by eedwinn View Post
    Lol so many food analogies... They have given me a clearer picture now indeed! Thanks guys!

    "
    Raw file is like uncooked rice, you can make porridge, chicken rice, nasi briyani or sushi etc.

    JPG file is like cooked rice, probably you can make fried rice out of it, but noting much.
    "
    The above statement is correct...


    TS..depending on what you want, Cooked rice or Uncooked rice...

    Lets look at another direction, when you go to hawker center, you only look for the food that you want to eat...you buy chicken rice and get chicken rice...

    ..porridge, chicken rice, nasi briyani, nasi lamak, Vegetable Rice, fried Rice.... all are cooked rice.
    Do you want a uncooked Rice?
    Do you want to wait for the rice to cook and eat?
    Do you want to prepare all the necessary ingredient to put into the rice?

    My point is, there's lots of time wasted needed to prepare, cook and serve a plate of rice....something that your mum cook for you. Spend days to buy the veg, plan, prepare it, cook it....you just spend less than 10mins to eat it.


    Similar as JPG vs Raw...

    Takes way longer to process...considering if you are real shooter. Can you process 1000+ Raw files shot per day?
    Takes up too much storage space...
    Raw only able to open on specific software and is proprietary.
    You can't display Raw on the web.
    80-90% you upload to web/facebook.. is low resolution jpg
    One full frame raw is close to 20Mb or more...
    Your computer or notebook will need more hardware or graphic support this high processes...
    More memory card capacity is needed...


    In any which way, there's good and bad.

    But then, who cares you are using Raw or Jpg....

    You have to balance when to use Raw and when to use Jpg....


    I always like Cooked Rice....
    Get what you want in-camera...Remember
    Last edited by Dan; 26th June 2011 at 07:11 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Jpeg has only 2^8=256 shades for each value of rgb, this is why it's 8-bit.
    Raw has more than 8-bits. Earlier cameras use 12 to 14-bit, now i think all use at least 16-bits. You have more data to use. This is the reason why if your post processing program cannot take raw files you should always convert to tiff, or some format with at least the same bits.

    Think of it this way, when you do your curves/levels in ps, a jpeg pixel can only take integer values between 0-255, whereas a raw or tiff can take floating point values of between 0.0 - 255.0. (In reality, all pixel values are represented as integers, so it's really 0 to (2^16)-1 ).

    Hence, raw/tiff files offer higher precision in representation of pixel values. This helps when your post processing becomes too aggressive. It also helps when some form of wavelet processing is used, or when converting raster images to vector forms.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bonrya's Avatar
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    Default

    One of the seniors here asked me this: "do you really need to shoot raw just to have more control over the picture? What's your reason for shooting? Just for fun? Or to earn money?" all I'm saying is, if jpeg can do the job for you, do you need to consider anything else..? I'm still thinking about it myself.. But for convenience I shoot full jpeg now.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    Quote Originally Posted by bonrya View Post
    One of the seniors here asked me this: "do you really need to shoot raw just to have more control over the picture? What's your reason for shooting? Just for fun? Or to earn money?" all I'm saying is, if jpeg can do the job for you, do you need to consider anything else..? I'm still thinking about it myself.. But for convenience I shoot full jpeg now.
    That's cool, Bonnie.
    You've considered your needs and chosen accordingly. Nothing wrong with that
    Exploring! :)

  18. #18
    Member crystal1993's Avatar
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    Default

    If still unsure shoot both raw and jpg. Sure it takes up space but at least you won't be strangling yourself if your jpg is screwed and you have no back up.

    For me although i shoot raw + jpg but 95% of my shots are edited on jpg. I only touched the raw if the jpg can't be save.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    I had just personally suffer a disaster of shooting in jpeg (due to accidental change in camera settings -_-")

    I shoot and edit RAW almost all the time, but this time, I shot a handful of shots in L jpeg, and some have terrible lighting and are quite impt shots...
    I tried recovering by bring up the EV and reducing warm tones, it end up with red faces on the subjects
    The rest of the photos that was shot in RAW under the same lighting condition could be recovered without any flaws and issue...
    One hard lesson for me, I hope it serves as a warning for you guys.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Still don't really understand RAW vs JPEG post processing.

    One advantage of RAW is that it support 16 bits of data per colour channel while jpeg support only 8 bits. Thus, RAW allow more room for adjustment without affecting IQ.

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