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Old Apr 27, 2015, 1:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by eysha View Post
Thanks, its my first time shooting in RAW but I wanted good quality photos as I won't be going back to Ireland.
JimC makes some excellent points and provides quite a lot of good information, as usual. Being a long time Irfanview user, I am more comfortable with it, so that is what I would use. Its batch processing is pretty straightforward, and won't change your original files, if you do decide to make some adjustments later, with a RAW development program.
I generally confine my RAW shooting to things I know I am going to want to post-process to tweak the very best out of. For most things, I shoot jpeg. (I do have something of an advantage there, as my camera lets me choose to save as a RAW image, even after I take the shot) Several years ago, I would shoot everything in RAW, and take the time to process them, but cameras have gotten much better in their processing engines, so I don't find it to be necessary now.
The things that RAW are best suited to are things like recovering highlights from slightly overexposed shots, and getting better detail and less noise from shadow areas, as well as correcting white balance. The last can usually be done with jpeg files in a photo editor just as easily, though.
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Old Apr 27, 2015, 1:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
The things that RAW are best suited to are things like recovering highlights from slightly overexposed shots, and getting better detail and less noise from shadow areas, as well as correcting white balance. The last can usually be done with jpeg files in a photo editor just as easily, though.
I don't know about that.

Try setting your white balance to incandescent, then go outside and take some photos in daylight and try to correct the colors in an editor.

It can be darn near impossible to get a high quality image from a jpeg with that much color correction needed from a photo that looks blue to begin with (as too much correction is needed in individual rgb channels to keep from blowing out specific colors, resulting in loss of detail). That's because the camera has already used rgb multipliers to change the colors[signficantly] for the lighting, and correction of color when bad WB settings are used can be very difficult (resulting in poor quality images when those types of "oops" moments occur with settings that are vastly different compared to the lighting you're shooting in).

I've done that more than once (taking photos indoors with no flash, with the white balance setting for that lighting, then forgetting to change it back when taking photos in different lighting outside; or when switching from using the existing lighting indoors to using a flash indoors, also ending up with blue jpeg images).

Or, try recovering detail from totally blown highlights when you've overexposed an image. I've done that on more than one occasion, too -- especially with indoor concert type images of bands under harsh lighting on a stage.

Although you can still end up with areas of an image that are too far gone for correction with raw, too; you still have more latitude with raw, and are usually able to recover detail in some areas of an image that are totally lost if you were shooting jpeg instead.

When problems like that occur (overexposed images, white balance set so that you end up with blue images, etc.), I can usually get far better photos by adjusting the raw files (especially with white balance issues, since no RGB multipliers were applied by the camera to the raw files).

I used to shoot raw + jpeg. That way, I would always have the raw file available if the jpeg images were bad because of settings issues, etc.

But, anymore, I've changed to shooting only in raw (since it's very fast to convert the images I want to keep to jpeg with modern raw conversion tools).

In any event, by shooting in raw, you know you've got the "straight from the sensor" image, without any corrections to it applied. So, you always have the best starting point for any images.

As software improves, that also means you can go back and reprocess cherished images from raw again later, too. For example, raw converters have improved tremendously over the years in some areas, thanks to more advanced demosaic algorithms, noise reduction, highlight recovery tools, etc.
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Old Apr 28, 2015, 10:14 AM   #13
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Very many thanks for all the replies, especially JimC, so comprehensive that I am going to keep this information to hand.
I went with FastStone as I found it the easiest to use. I did enjoy shooting in RAW and it does give you more options especially for a newbie like me but I am getting there. Not so long ago I was shooting only in auto being frightened to move on but now I use Apature and RAW and have used maual too which I enjoy the best actually but for safely on this trip I stuck to RAW and apature. I have tons to learn but willing to learn. Many thanks again, this is a great forum with great people that I am so grateful for.
Thank you JimC for all your help.

Panasonic FZ200 + Panasonic FZ38 + Macro & Tele Kit (DMW-LC55 + DMW-LT55 + DMW-LA5) Canon 60D +18-55mm lens+ 70-300mm lens.
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