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Old Sep 23, 2009, 10:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
I have never worked with RAW images, so this is pure ignorance speaking. I would imagine that one downside of doing everything in RAW mode is that you might have difficulty getting consistent color balance across the set of images if you're hand-tweaking each one. Is that a problem, or do you both get the freedom to tweak and it makes no difference in actual color balance? Or is this a mater that separates the men from the boys, so to speak and a good photog gets the balance uniform while a newbie makes the wedding party pale as death in one photo and deeply tanned in the next?
Most raw converters can still used the "as shot" white balance (either the way you have it set, or the way the camera's auto white balance interpreted the scene).

So, if you set it properly to begin with to match the temperature of the lighting, shooting raw should not present a problem (as far as needing to tweak each photo), anymore than you'd have a problem with it shooting jpeg.

But, if it's way off, raw has it's advantages. For one thing, RGB multipliers related to white balance have already been applied to a camera produced jpeg file (making it harder to correct white balance errors without unwanted side effects like increased noise and blown channels). These multipliers have not yet been applied to a raw file (even though most raw converters can use the RGB multipliers as set by the camera if desired for the conversion)

That can be especially important if you get it *very* wrong. For example, shooting indoors without a flash using a tungsten white balance, then forgetting to change it back if you shoot with a flash (or move outside and shoot in daylight), leading to blue photos due to the way the camera is applying multipliers using a tungsten setting designed for warmer lighting.
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 11:07 AM   #12
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IOW, nobody is perfect (you're going to make mistakes with both exposure and white balance from time to time, especially in rapidly changing conditions). So, shooting raw can allow you to more easily recover from those mistakes.
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 11:14 AM   #13
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thats why id choose to shoot jpg+raw
hopefully id not have to use the raw images, unless some of the pics were over or under expossed or the white balance was off.

its like shooting with a safety net, the only drawback being you need more memory cards.
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 11:19 AM   #14
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It should be noted you can do batc conversions of RAW. You can convert applying the setting in-camera (inccluding the camera's WB). Or you can make a change to one image and apply that same WB to ALL images.

RAW is a good safety net. Especially for someone just getting started. Which is why, for instance, I still use it when I do flash work. I'm confident in other situations with my exposures and WB. But when I use flash I still get situations where the WB gets thrown or flash output is off. RAW helps me correct those few images where I need it. If I shoot 100 images maybe only 1 needs the RAW file. But, especially for a wedding, I'd hate for 4 or 5 critical photos to be damaged - especially when RAW makes it easy to correct these problems.
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 11:22 AM   #15
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thats why id choose to shoot jpg+raw
hopefully id not have to use the raw images, unless some of the pics were over or under expossed or the white balance was off.

its like shooting with a safety net, the only drawback being you need more memory cards.
I almost always shoot raw + jpeg. That way, I've got a ready to use jpeg file, as well as a raw file I can convert for even better results.

Also note that some cameras are better than others at applying noise reduction, tone curves and more. So, you can usually get better results from a raw file in many conditions from a number of camera models (especially tougher conditions with harsher lighting, or conditions requiring higher ISO speeds, even if your exposure and white balance are very close to optimum).

As for memory cards, I keep a 16GB card in my camera more often than not. You can find even larger cards now.

But, one thing to watch out for is how a specific camera performs shooting raw, as write speeds to memory cards, the size of the internal buffer and more can impact results. IOW, you want to make sure you're not going to miss shots because you're waiting on the camera (because it's internal buffer is full and it can't take more photos until it finishes writing one to the memory card).
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Old Sep 23, 2009, 9:20 PM   #16
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Unless your lighting color temperature is changing dramatically from one shot to the next, this isn't really an issue. The raw converters I have used have the ability to copy settings from one shot to another, so if you determine a good WB for a series, you can use it on all in the series. This also applies to other settings as well, so most of the work is done on the first pic, and the rest are pretty much automatic. This presupposes fairly consistent lighting, of course.

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Old Sep 24, 2009, 12:06 AM   #17
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I'm a RAW fan for everything I shoot but especially for formal pictures. Don't like taking chances with other peoples memories. RAW files are easy enough to process and correct any minor (I don't make big mistakes, yeah right) mistakes. Then transfer the keepers over to a photo editing program to finish, cropping, cloning or anything other changes that are required, that is then saved as a TIFF 16 bit file for printing. I like working with TIFF files for printing but that is another subject.
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