RAW or JPEG on my D50?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by buffalo, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. buffalo macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Should I be taking my photographs in RAW or JPEG mode? My D50 is currently set to take the highest quality JPEG photos which allows for about 290 photos on my 1GB card. If I set it to RAW, I can get around 130 pictures on one card. I never take more than 130 photos at a time, so memory card space isn't an issue. I'm just wondering which is the most pratical setting...


    Thanks!
     
  2. asherman13 macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

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    #2
    It depends what program you plan on using to organize and/or edit them with. If you use Aperture or Adobe's Lightroom (currently a free beta), go with RAW. If you use iPhoto, use JPEG (iPhoto does, however, have good support for RAW, so it's really up to...)

    ...how much space you have on your computer, and how much time you will really spend editing the pictures. Personally, I say if you have the room, go with RAW, because you can change nearly anything about the picture on your computer, and that will be really helpful at least once in the future.

    So, I vote RAW, but only if you don't mind photos taking up 15-20MB or so (I think).

    Hope that helps! :)
     
  3. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #3
    Get a 2 GB card and shoot raw plus fine JPEG (both) and use your 1GB card as a back-up for another 70 shots. I use my fine JPEGs most of the time - like with fillm, I like to have the shot captured at the shutter actuation. I have my saturation, contrast, etc. set up to mimic my favorite films. I do shoot a RAW copy in addition to the fine JPEG as a digital negative. If space is an issue and I'm card limited, I go with fine JPEG because that's what works for me. On my 8MP 30D, with a 2GB card RAW + fine JPEG, that's around 134 shots or so. A 6MP Nikon D50 should take up less room.

    Your D50 is set up in Nikon's color mode three as a default to produce some nice saturated colors (which you can bump up even more using your camer's vibrant setting). If you just shot RAW, you might be left with a stack of photos where you're going to have to photoshop each and everyone. RAW files are going to look very bland, and you're going to want to play with color saturation, sharpness, contrast with each because no camera settings have been applied. The upside is that you can do a lot with a RAW file - adjust white balance, change all sorts of parameters as if you were back at the time of taking the photo - for this reason I keep a RAW negative in addition to my fine JPEGs just in case.
     
  4. buffalo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    I use iPhoto and occasionally Photoshop Elements 4. I've got a 160GB HDD on my iMac with 104GB available. I don't take tons of photos... 1499 over the last two years, but the number has increased lately since we have switched almost completely from film to digital.


    [EDIT] If I'm not very good with PSE and like to have good photos without doing lots of work on the computer, should I just stick with JPEG? The D50 also has a setting for RAW plus a basic JPEG. How much would a good 2GB card cost? I'm thinking that I'd rather invest in a telephoto lens before purchasing a new card, but depending on the cost, the card could come first.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #5
    I've never noticed on my d70 that I can shoot raw and fine jpeg at the same time. I know some canons had been able to do this, but where is this setting on the d70? I have options, but not an option to choose both.
    Then again I use my large format and f4 more often because why mimic my favorite films when I can use them? :)
     
  6. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #6
    Jessica - I'm shooting a EOS 30D where I can make any combination selection of JPEG level plus RAW (so I shoot the large/fine JPEG plus RAW), but it's a common option on the whole EOS line - XT/350 and up.

    The D70s is limited to shooting just RAW (NEF - Nikon RAW) + Basic JPEG (low quality). This is at Page 41 of your Nikon users manual. Shame on you for not looking this one up. ;) But a helpful Canon user located it for you on-line in case you've lost your copy: http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D70S_en_noprint.pdf

    If you can only select RAW + JPEG Basic, then my suggestion to shoot both is not so helpful for a Nikon user because you can only select a lower level JPEG quality when shooting with RAW - at least on a D70s.

    The D50 has the same RAW + JPEG Basic limit - page 31 of the D50 manual. http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/noprint/D50_en_noprint.pdf

    D200 users can shoot RAW + JPEG fine - page 28 of that manual.
     
  7. jsfpa macrumors regular

    jsfpa

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    Oct 26, 2003
    #7
    I use RAW when the photos are important to me. Photos that you will not be able to go back and retake. You don't have to worry about white balance on the RAW photos, you can always fix it later. Dose the Nikon come with software for the MAC to handle raw?
     
  8. HckySo macrumors 6502

    HckySo

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    #8
    The newest iPhoto handles RAW.

    I use RAW, no question, never JPEG compression.
     
  9. buffalo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    another question:

    Should I download the software the came with the D50 or is the iPhoto + PSE combination fine.
     
  10. jsfpa macrumors regular

    jsfpa

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    #10
    I went to the Nikon School earlier this summer. The 2 photographers giving the coarse really seamed to like the software that Nikon provided. I just wasn't sure if they had Mac versions. Here is a link to one of the photographer's web page that has some Nikon resource links.

    http://www.michaelschwarz.com/digital/
     
  11. HckySo macrumors 6502

    HckySo

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    #11
    I never installed anything that came with the Nikon D50. iPhoto and Adobe can handle it fine RAW or JPEG.
     
  12. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #12
    I have started reading RealWorld Camera Raw with Adobe CS2. If you are serious about learning and understanding how raw files work, I think this is a good book. Camera raws are like a negative for the traditional film camera. Even though JPEG files are smaller, Raw files can contain more data you can use when you do editing.
     
  13. Pistol Pete macrumors 6502a

    Pistol Pete

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    #13
    KEEP IN MIND: iphoto doesnt actually edit the raws, the pic you are actually editing is a tiff or a jpeg.
     
  14. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    #14
    Simple. RAW.

    You should buy Aperture, totally worth the expense. I have the exact same camera and I have Aperture and iPhoto. And, of course, Aperture is better, duh, but OMG it's just so awesome and much more options to work in with RAW images. :)

    My photos usually take 30-40mb. :eek:
     
  15. ipacmm macrumors 65816

    ipacmm

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    #15
    ^ is that for each photo? because my photos are between 10-20mb each.




    I always shoot in RAW and I use Aperture which I also recommend picking up.
     
  16. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #16
    Shoot RAW and you'll have more options when you process the image. Just remember that RAW image does NOT sharpen the image so you'll get different results for RAW or JPEG image; iow, JPEG is ready to go, but you'll need to process the RAW images pic by pic to suit your needs.
     
  17. Gwardys macrumors member

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    #17
    By shooting RAW with iPhoto, it's a pain in the ass to be honest.
    RAW images have no adjustments applied to them, so you have to manually white balance, sharpen, and apply other effects to make a picture look good.
    Using iPhoto, the feature set for handling these images is reduced. You cando the above mentioned things, to each and every one of your pictures. But it will take a very long time.
    I use Aperture and love it. Lift and stamp is a life saver. You can edit one photo to the way you want it to look, and with a few more clicks, apply it to photos that look similar. The organization into stacks is another great thing, and I love being able to make multiple copies of an image I'm adjusting, and compare them side by side.
    Using Aperture, right now I'm running off a 15'' MBP, and a 19'' Dell CRT. Using two monitors is one of the perks about using Aperture. Being able to select and edit pictures on my MBP and see them blown up to full size on the second monitor has made it a lot easier.
    In the end, it's a personal choice. By shooting RAW, you have to do more work to get the pictures you want. By shooting JPEG, your photos are done except for minor adjustments. Using iPhoto with RAW, it will take you a while. If you shoot hundreds of images at a time, prepare to be playing with your photos a bit more. Aperture is the way to handle RAW photos, I love it, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to shoot raw.
     
  18. buffalo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Would you still recommend Aperature for the family event photos that comprise most of the photography.
     
  19. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #20
    Definitely. It's a great all-around program. Just make sure you have the hardware to run it.
     
  20. monkeydo_jb macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Shoot RAW because memory is cheap, but memories are priceless.
     
  21. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

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    #22
    Per shot... :cool:
     
  22. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #23
    For family event photos - keep shooting your fine JPEGs and use iPhoto. The advice you're getting is from serious hobbiests and perhaps some making their living using a camera and for you it sounds counter productive. There are pros - Vincent Laforet for example (a canon shooter who uses Apperture), who shoot mainly if not exclusively JPEG, and JPEGs aren't a bad thing. http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-6454-6928

    It sounds like you got your D50 to have a good camera - correct? And now you want to shoot nice looking photos and want to know the best setting for that. Fine JPEG and iPhoto are exactly what you need.

    Here's a test - if you were shooting film, would you set up a dark room in your basement or use a professional finish shop where you could do consultations about color preferences and the like, or would you scan your negatives in and spend time manipulating the image?

    Or would you shoot on your film SLR and take them to the local camera / 1-hour photo shop to get developed? If this is more likely, I'd go JPEG.
     
  23. buffalo thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #24
    G5 iMac with 512mb RAM...??? Might be pushing the requirements a bit


    I never knew you could do stuff like this...

    ...so I will go with this option.
     
  24. fireball jones macrumors member

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    May 31, 2006
    #25
    I have a D50 and a 1gb card, given the option of shooting 80RAW pics or 300odd JPEGs of the same subject(s), I'd rather shoot 300 and try different things than worry about having to adjust them after the fact. As far as that goes, most of my favorite photos were not tweaked at all after they were shot.

    On the other hand, there are a few that I wish I had in RAW, because I definately messed up the WB. IMO, if you're shooting in straight daylight, or conditions you are familar with, go for JPEG. If it's indoors, strange lighting, or say a family portrait you really really really want to get right, change it to RAW just for those pics.

    Also, if you use RAW+JPEG Basic, don't plan on using the JPEGs for much besides e-mailing them or previews, the quality really drops at basic.
     

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