Raw vs JPeg.

2007 Feb 2 at 23:07 » Tagged as :photography, wordpress,

The RAW versus Jpeg religious debate continues to rage. I don't believe in any religion and I have had a chance to see both sides of the coin since getting my D70S. I started off shooting nothing but jpegs. Even experimented with the various bracket settings. Then someone threatened to hit me with a stick, if I continued to shoot jpegs so I decided to try my hand at raw photography.

After shooting a few hundred NEFs I gave up on it because processing raw photos on linux is such a pain. Heck, Konqueror cannot even show you thumbnails of these pictures. Then in December, I got a macbook and tried processing RAW photographs on it. It's a sight easier than on linux but that's only becaus I have been using Lightroom. Lightroom is still in beta and it's not available for linux. To make matters worse, it's not open source! But I have a feeling that I will end up buying a copy when the start selling it.

Even though working with camera raw is a lot easier on the macbook than on linux, In the end I decided not to take any sides in this debate. Both formats have their pros and cons. It's a just a matter of choosing the right horse for the right course or choosing the right format for the right light conditions.

When the light is very bright so there is no light to speak of, I switch to raw. If I am shooting indoors, or when the light is just right I always capturing JPGs. When starting off with an empty CF card, I will more often than not capture NEFs because space is not a worry. When running out of space, I switch to Jpeg no matter what the light conditons are. I have never been good at flash photography so if I have to use the flash, I shoot raw.

Sometime I forget to switch and capture Jpegs when I wanted NEFs and vice verce. But it doesn't really matter. Camera raw allows you to make big changes to white balance, exposure and some other settings without obvious distortion, Jpeg allows you to make small changes without artifacts or distortion showing up. But the key is that you shouldn't have to make drastic changes to any of the settings because it simpy means you haven't shot a good photograph in the first place. The best way to adjust such photos is with the delete button.

If you want to see some of my photos please visit photos.raditha.com