Advantages of RAW format?


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Sep 12, 2005
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#1
Besides being able to adjust the white balance, what other benefits does shooting RAW bring? Can it fix exposure problems? If your photo is over or under exposed by a lot (details already lost), then can you fix it in RAW format?
 

ReiszRie

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#2
RAW files can bring back highlight details and shadow details up to around 1 EV stop.
 

wind30

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RAW files can bring back highlight details and shadow details up to around 1 EV stop.
For fujifilm sensor you can bring back around 3-4 EV stops.
 

zac08

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#5
Besides being able to adjust the white balance, what other benefits does shooting RAW bring? Can it fix exposure problems? If your photo is over or under exposed by a lot (details already lost), then can you fix it in RAW format?
It can help ONLY if you got the basics right and missed it by a stop or so... if the details are totally burnt (either over-exposure or under-exposure), nothing can save it...

You still need to know the proper exposure control for the shots.

It's not a magical format to save everything...
 

ReiszRie

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#7
i personally avoid using raw as my computer slows to a crawl everytime i open a raw file =(
 

Sep 12, 2005
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#8
i personally avoid using raw as my computer slows to a crawl everytime i open a raw file =(
Time to upgrade your PC man! ;) But it's quite true, I edit the RAW files on a 1.5 Ghz laptop and it's quite slow. On my 800Mhz desktop, it intolerable!
 

Artosoft

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Aug 31, 2005
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#9
Time to upgrade your PC man! ;) But it's quite true, I edit the RAW files on a 1.5 Ghz laptop and it's quite slow. On my 800Mhz desktop, it intolerable!
No problem with my pentium 2.8GHz and 2GB memory :bsmilie: .

Regards,
Arto.
 

zac08

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#10
i personally avoid using raw as my computer slows to a crawl everytime i open a raw file =(
You need a better PC.. seriously.. Now with the added versatility of RAW, I rarely shoot JPG anymore..
 

ortega

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#11
Besides being able to adjust the white balance, what other benefits does shooting RAW bring? Can it fix exposure problems? If your photo is over or under exposed by a lot (details already lost), then can you fix it in RAW format?
don't need to worry about what to do with your time
good excuse to buy another HDD
good excuse to buy another momory card
good excuse to buy more ram
good excuse to buy a faster computer
PS skills improve

shooting skills henta kaki
 

espion

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#12
In RAW you bypass entirely all the inbuild camera processing, eg with CANON, this is that in their DIGIC II processor.

It will then be entirely an manual process interpreting what the bits collected by your sensor means, including what what is red and how bright is bright etc, ie the colour balance and exposure. Also camera processors do saturation and sharpening, and again these are all now left to you to decide.

So you can think of RAW data as the data as it leaves the camera sensor, and you manually - with tools provided by the camera manufacturer or third party, like Photoshop - construct a "picture" from these bits and bytes.

You can do these same correction without a RAW file, but you working with "second hand" data in a sense, and with JPEG you working with lossy ones. With RAW you have the maximal amount of data without any prior interpretation at all.

In other words you do RAW if you think your constantly adaptive and context sensitive unexpressed algorithms in your head is far better than what programmers have coded in the camera processors.

(Some do RAW for lossless image, but then you can do TIFF for that.)

And I say "picture" as you must get away from the idea that what comes off the camera is the closest to reality, if not reality itself. There isn't and never was such a thing.

What you get is what is interpreted from numbers, either dumbly by some algorithm in a black box (your camera), or manually by yourself using what you see on the computer screen. Even in film photography days the picture is the outcome of chemical reaction between light and chemicals.
 

ipin

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Nov 21, 2005
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#13
Can preserve/capture more details in the shadows/mid tones region than compared to JPEG. :)
 

grantyale

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#14
Raw is basically the original data, without white balancing, gamma correction, demosaicking and JPEG compression. The main advantage is it being linear in intensity instead of gamma 0.45, and this allows better highlight/shadow adjustments. Note that Nikon D80 has a mildly lossy highlight compression in NEF, so it's not strictly RAW but practically flexible enough.

The new Camera Raw 4.0 with either Photoshop Lightroom 1 or Photoshop CS3 can apply most of the adjustments to both RAW and JPEG. In CS3, use OPEN AS... and choose Camera Raw. The result is largely limited by JPEG compression and the headroom is very little but it's a nice way to adjust tonality even for JPEG.
 

Ansel

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#15
Shooting in RAW has many benefits, most of which have been pointed out by the posters above. Regarding highlights recovery, put it simply, it is much better than if you had shot the same scene and made the same exposure mistake with a JPG image.

As a general rule of thumb for me, I will shoot RAW in either of the folowing situations:

1) I am creating a masterpiece and I want to have the maximum image manipulation bandwidth available. I require the best possible result in terms of noise control, resolution, colour range, tone range, etc. I want to take full advantage of AdobeRGB or ProPhoto colourspace in a 16bit imaging environment.

2) I am shooting in a very low light environment and I don't have my 58mm f/1.2 Noct-Nikkor with me. I can't use flash. I need to bump my ISO all the way up to 1600 and beyond. I know I have to work very hard afterwards to make the images usable. I want to squeeze all the available data out of the CCD because I can't afford to lose anything due to image processing in the camera.

In any other situations, I just shoot in JPG fine/large.

The disadvantage of RAW is that to work comfortably with the files you need at least a Pentium IV 2.4 Ghz with 1 GB of RAM. That's what I have. ;) Most of my friends have 2GB to 4 GB of RAM.

And of course you need to have enough Harddisk storage for the files. Each uncompressed RAW image from my D200 is 15MB in size!! That's 15 mins worth of CD quality sound for those who are into MP3 music. I must confess I am only willing to shoot in compressed RAW, which still takes up around 8MB per image, with very slight loss in quality.

Just my 2 cents.
 

ReiszRie

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#16
haha guess it'll be sometime later in the future till i could actually start using raw.... tried doing HDR yesterday with a single raw file and my frickin comp just crashed =(
 

ipin

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Nov 21, 2005
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#17
haha guess it'll be sometime later in the future till i could actually start using raw.... tried doing HDR yesterday with a single raw file and my frickin comp just crashed =(
single raw file? :think: You need at least 2 mah. Besides, if your computer crashed just by opening 1 raw file, you can almost forget HDR liao. :sweat:
 

#18
like everyone else has said, it just gives more flexibility in the post processing stage as the human is doing the processing instead of the camera processor using preset code.

i'm running a 2GHz Centrino Core2 Duo with 1GB of ram. My only problems is HD space...time for external storage =S
 

ReiszRie

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#19
single raw file? :think: You need at least 2 mah. Besides, if your computer crashed just by opening 1 raw file, you can almost forget HDR liao. :sweat:
1 raw file, saved into 3 jpegs with different EV and merge them in HDR

it crashed half-way through the HDR merging process =(
 

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