View Full Version : RAW vs JPG

08-25-2009, 05:19 PM
Which one started as a RAW and which one started as JPG? I took virtually the same shot (sorry, didn't use a tripod) and cropped out a piece that was the same size of both photos and exported from Picasa at Maximum. Can you see a difference? Which one do you prefer?

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08-25-2009, 06:02 PM
Im going to say the image on the left is the RAW image. The image on the right seems more color corrected.

Correct me if I am wrong though, but true RAW files cannot be uploaded into the forum, so they are both really jpegs. HA! :wall-an:

Anyways, RAW files are not corrected by the camera which is why I believe the first is the RAW image. If it looks like a RAW, and sounds like a RAW, its probably a jpeg. :party:

08-25-2009, 06:06 PM
JJ is right, RAW images look dull and dreary out of the camera. Jpegs are processed so they may look better initially but they contain less data.

08-25-2009, 06:34 PM
Ok. You got me. They are both JPG images NOW. :p I exported the RAW from Picasa which seems to work OK. Can I expect better processing from the software that came from my camera? I've always said that all I need is JPG and that RAW which produces files that are 3 to 4 times larger (on my camera) are just burning up disk space and never looked that different to me.

I'm starting to see the difference now but I'm a little unsure about workflow. Right now, I stick my SD card into my card slot on my laptop and Picasa fires up and moves the images all over to my hard drive and then I can view them, upload them to Flickr or PicasaWeb or export to JPG for other purposes. Do I need to start processing with the Canon software. Will that produce better results?

And, yes, number 1 (taken a couple of minutes later) was the RAW shot as I turned it on after taking my usual JPG.

08-25-2009, 11:18 PM
Do I need to start processing with the Canon software. Will that produce better results?

What are you using to process the images (colour correct, crop, dodge burn, level), Picassa?

08-25-2009, 11:30 PM
This is just my experience and Im sure others will disagree.

I prefer to shoot jpegs for that reason. SPACE. RAW files take up so much more space, and they do require a little more work for a "final" product.

However, RAW files do contain much more data, which is obviously represented by their extremely large file size. Jpegs are RAW files that are converted through the software within the camera itself. This means that the camera is actually doing some of the "thinking" for you. It removes some of the creative control that you might have if you edit the RAW file yourself. Also, it is possible to recover more blown highlight and dark areas from RAW images. Converted RAW images tend to be sharper as well.

However, I prefer jpegs vs RAW because I can put soooo many more images on one memory card than if I were using RAW. I have never really had much of a problem dealing with the sharpness of an image as a jpeg either. They are much easier and faster for me to deal with. I also find the quality differences pretty negligible when realizing how much more workflow it creates. There are programs designed to minimize this but I do not own them and solely use photoshop w/o any plugins.

This is just my experience and opinions. Im sure others will chime in on the topic. This is a debate that has existed since the dawn of DSLR's and will continue for some time.

08-25-2009, 11:32 PM
What are you using to process the images (colour correct, crop, dodge burn, level), Picassa?

Yes, but it doesn't quite do all those things. It just does some basic stuff. I'm not particularly skilled with some of those types of tools either. Tried some dodging and burning in Gimp which is what I use when I want to get fancy and it looked terrible so I gave up on it. I try to get it as close as possible in camera as I suck at PP.

08-25-2009, 11:48 PM
I have sorry news for you my friend.:cry-an::)
It just doesn't work that way. Almost all photos need at least leveling, colour correction, dodging/burning and sharpening. This is essential stuff. Not doing this frequently dooms your images to be way less than they can be.
It's not that hard to learn but you should practice on 1 or two softwares. If budget is an issue, retry gimp. There's loads of free tutorials out there.
Hope that helps - Marko

08-25-2009, 11:51 PM
I shoot Jpeg because I just simply do not have the time to process the images. I try to get it right as possible straight out of camera so all I basically have to do is some sharpening, retouching, cropping and colour correction if needed which I mostly do in Picassa simply because it's faster and easy. I have PSE7 but I am still trying to learn it and it just takes up more time which in these days I don't have a lot of!
My issue is more of a time thing than anything else. I guess too this is fun for me and I'm not into the whole doing too much work thing after wards in PP!
Although it is fun using Orton and HDR! :highfive:

08-25-2009, 11:57 PM
I shoot Raw and Jpeg. Look through Jpeg and use Raw to edit final. Lots of space used but I got lots of cards and bought even bigger ones. Make sure you delete as you go!

08-26-2009, 01:05 AM
I shoot raw and download directly into Lightroom. I can quickly look at everything and do preliminary edits. Lightroom has built in presets that are no brainers that can be used for a starting point. You can even choose to auto edit everything as it is downloaded if you want to. :) Oh yeah, non-destructive editing means you can go crazy with edits and just reset if you don't like it.

08-26-2009, 06:18 AM
I battled this debate with myself for a while, but have found the range in RAW files save me a few times. I figure memory and hard drives are cheap so the size is not a problem for me any more. I find the ability to recover detail in nearly blowout or dark areas worth the extra space.

Its like when I got my first 6mp camera years ago. I though I would be clever to save memory and only use the full resolution when I thought I would want to crop or blow up an image. But the number of times I wanted to zoom in on something but lacked the resolution saw me quickly give this up. It is kind of the same thing. Trying to only use RAW when you think you need it doesn't work.

Lightroom handles RAW seamlessly, so that is not an issue for me. The only time RAW is an issue is burst mode when instead of a buffer of about 70 images it is about 17, but I rarely use burst mode even when shooting sports.

I am more ruthless in deleting dud images now.