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Old Apr 24, 2004, 5:09 AM   #1
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Default Do I really need the RAW format?

I am planning to get the Kodak DX6490 which stores pics in the Jpeg format. I have been told that being able to store in the RAW format allows much better postprocessing. I know that the lossy Jpeg format introduces some artifacts but I do not intend to do large blowups so I am not concerned. Nonetheless I want to be able to effectively postprocess the picture. Is RAW that much better than Jpeg in that respect?
The same person told me that the TIFF format is also a lesser format for PP. Is that true? (afterall it is an uncompressed format)
Thanks for the feedback
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 5:15 AM   #2
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Yes - RAW is superior in any way! Shoot in RAW, convert to whatever format you need. It's as simple as that!

You can read about the advantages of the RAW format on my website if you like...
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 5:56 AM   #3
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Many cameras have 3 levels of jpeg compression with the "superfine" version being virtually artifact free. The aggressive jpeg setting will yield the most shots. RAW provides best quality with more post processing options. TIFF is a large lossless compression format.

Kodak only has aggressive jpeg compression. No options to do what you want. It spoils an otherwise very nice camera IMHO.
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 10:50 AM   #4
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A RAW file captures the raw [duh] data straight from the camera's sensor without any in-camera processing such as white balance, noise reduction, or sharpening. Having the image data without being irreversably modified by in-camera processing is the chief advantage of using RAW.
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 11:25 AM   #5
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I'm still getting the hang of enhancing my pictures, but what I like about RAW (to me) is that it just seems easier to make a so-so picture a good one. In Nikon Capture, if you don't like you're edits you can just click a button to reset everything to start over. I find that handy. Of course RAW is also nice because you don't loose any data to compresssion. I do think that it can make a difference in your larger prints or in difficult to adjust pictures.

My only complaint against RAW is that is is a bigger file and that it is not a standard format such as jpeg.
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 12:36 PM   #6
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there are other factors to RAW also. your workflow from the camera is untainted by any real in camera processing. so there is less of a chance for image noise inceases or artifacts to creep in due to the camera itself. this will, in the end, yield you a cleaner final image overall.

and thats why they make bigger cf cards
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 4:47 PM   #7
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Thanks all for your responses,

Even after reading your explanations, I was not considering acquiring a camera with raw format support because of their rather higher price, a bit too much for a newbie like me.
But I just run into this offer:
where I can get a Nikon 5700 for abt $400 (after the $150 Nikon rebate), a few more dollars than the DX6490.
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 5:41 PM   #8
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After reading their ratings on reseller ratings, I would avoid them:

It doesn't seem worth the amazing amount of hassle and pain you will get yourself in.

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Old Apr 24, 2004, 6:04 PM   #9
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My poor but effective analogy:

Shooting in jpeg is like keeping your film prints and burning the negatives.. your forced to scan the photo and then manipulating the colors and quality the lab chose for you.
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Old Apr 24, 2004, 6:47 PM   #10
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These Analogies are all pretty odd... Honestly you NEED RAW format IF you are a Professional Photographer, a Photography Student, OR using the Digital Camera For Research That DEPENDS on the HIGHE|ST amount of Detail Possible (Astronomer Friend of mine uses a Nikon D10 With his Telescope capturing Raw images of the night sky ). Although you really don’t even NEED raw format if you are a Professional Photographer (because you most likely KNOW how to correctly compose and expose a negative...well in this case Digital Negative).

Its MOST DEFINATLY not like Burning your negatives and Keeping the prints....Even AFTER Jpeg compression The Image Files Are EAISLY touched up for ANY run of the MILL refinishing (Contrast, Brightness, Saturating color,……) . DIGITAL IS NOTHING is like having a color Negative in the darkroom. To properly print a color negative by hand or even with a mini lab one has to go through a rigorous exercise in tweaking exposure amounts, and temperatures of chemistry just to get WHITE to print out WHITE...and not some Funky cream color..... SO No a JPEG file is BILLIONS of times better then a negative.... Raw files just give you a few more options not available with a JPEG..... But not many,

So IF you are a Professional OR you NEED raw format... get a camera that supports it... If not keep the one you have.

Another GOOD reason to keep the camera you have is because If you ever discover that you WANT or NEED raw file format capability.... your likely to find out through experimentation... rather then the OVER Zealous Suggestions of others pointing to the RAW format as a MUST HAVE FEATURE.

Instead of Worrying about a RAW format read about how Cameras Work (Optics is a Kick ass subject ... very interesting how light works...lots of good books available on it). by looking into how to compose and take good images, and how light balancing works your probably be able to take better pictures With your JPEG crippled camera (J/k) then half the people that are suggesting to you to get RAW file format capability.

In closing you shouldn’t even worry about post processing ANYTHING before you have learned how to take a good picture, and even then you can still process jpegs…. So until you hit a moment in which you realize a need for RAW file format… don’t baother upgrading to it.
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