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Old Apr 12, 2008, 9:02 AM   #31
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Monza76 wrote:
Since RAW is a proprietary format (DNG notwithstanding) the issue with RAW files is one of obsolescence. There are alreadyhigh quality DSLRs out there that are no longer supported by new software, this means that the original converter program that came with the camera may be all that is left.
This is an old thread. But, I'll put in my two cents worth anyway. I've mentioned my thoughts on it before (most of this was copied from an older post).

You can find a number of third party products based on dcraw.c to support just about any camera ever made that can shoot in raw (even some that have hidden raw modes used by manufacturers for diagnostics).

David Coffin (the author of dcraw.c) sent me some comments in December 2004, while we were discussing the pros and cons of Adobe's DNG format as a format for long term storage.

He said to feel free to quote him. For those of you that are not familiar with dcraw.c, you can read more about it at http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/

David Coffin Wrote:
I think Adobe's DNG idea is well-intentioned, but suffers from two serious flaws:

First, why would camera makers want to change their raw formats? Compatibility leads to commoditization,and that leads to competition based on price alone. Great for consumers, terrible for producers.

Second, this format cannot anticipate innovations that haven't happened yet. When new sensors appear, the standard must be updated, along with the software that implements it.

There is only one way to guarantee that a digital archive will be readable in fifty years. For any non-text files, it must include decoding software as human-readable source code. If the decoder is written in a language other than C, it would be prudent to include an interpreter for that language, written in C.

Dcraw already fills this role. When the first DNG camera is available, dcraw.c will support it as one more raw format among many.
Dave later redesigned much of dcraw.c to support .dng (and it still supports the camera manufacturers' native formats as well). This is part of what he sent me in March 2005 about it:

After four months of work, dcraw 7.00 is available for download at http://cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/ . It's a major rewrite:

* Not only is Adobe DNG now supported, the entire codepath has been redesigned for it. Adobe's XYZ->CAM matrices allow color science to replace black magic, whether decoding DNG or the original raw files.
Because Dave's code is ANSI standard C source, and you can find C compilers for virtually any major platform, it's unlikely you'd need to worry about not being able to convert your raw files (either the camera manufacturer's native formats or .dng) anytime in the near future (think many years)

IMO, C isn't going away anytime soon, and because it's a well documented format, it could be easily converted to other languages later, too (especially since Dave keeps it simple and dcraw.c isn't reliant on any platform specific libraries).

There are many third party products that use some or all of Dave's code, too. Personally, I wouldn't worry about obsolescence if shooting raw.

Most of the time, I shoot raw + jpeg. That way, I've got the best of both, with images I can use immediately, or raw files that can come in handy if settings were off, or if I want to extract the highest possible quality.

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Old Apr 12, 2008, 2:45 PM   #32
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Now that I have a computer system that can handle RAW files I no longer see it as an issue. If I get a camera that will shoot RAW + jpg that is what I would probably do as well. Now I shootjpg for snapshot stuff while RAW is used for everything else.

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Old Apr 12, 2008, 11:26 PM   #33
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Hello Pentaxians,

I found ONE sole problem shooting Raw+Jpeg...that NO all the cameras select Highest Quality Jpeg file!.

So, per example transferring such "Combo' in my Picasa photo organizer will provide me TWICE quantity of photos. Also as I personal 99% mail my digitally photos...which MUST be converted from Raw to Jpeg...SO??? why to occupy my hard disk with large photos files???:?


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Old Apr 13, 2008, 5:35 AM   #34
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I don't think of RAW as an archive format, it's a technical (intermediate) file format - "photo in transition" to say so. It provides dark room capabilities that you can't achive with JPEG and that's the big advantage.

IF you know EXACTLY and IN ADVANCE how to shoot a picture AND make no mistakes (exposure, WB - to name just two), there is no real reason not to use JPEG as the in-camera JPEG-conversion is quite capable.

I prefer to shoot in RAW as it gives me the freedom of the already mentioned dark room capabilities, but I don't hesitate to shoot JPEG when I need speed / want to get more images on a memory card / know exactly the situation.

Best regards,

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Old Apr 14, 2008, 12:12 AM   #35
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"but I don't hesitate to shoot JPEG when I need speed / want to get more images on a memory card / know exactly the situation"

That is the position I am sometimes in, Thkn. When I anticipate shooting rapidly - say, moving animals - I switch my K100D to jpeg so I can get more shots in before the buffer fills.

And, RAW has saved me when I've forgotten to change WB settings, or screwed up an exposure, although Photoshop can correct these errors, if a bit more destructively than a RAW converter.
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Old Apr 14, 2008, 4:37 AM   #36
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Actually, I'm quite pleased with jpegoutputsfrom the K10D unless I compare them with Raw conversions:!:

The raw conversion yields truer colours (almost as good as Adobe RGB.Remember? http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80 )evertime against the jpeg whichtakes some tweaking @PS to catch up raw colours!!

I use the CS3 and it takes shorter time than the bundled PPL. At first I was more pleased with the PPL regarding the colours, yet after discovering the right settings for me I invariably use the Photoshop for conversions. Btw, I recently upgraded my 512 mb ram in my laptop to 2gb which costabout 40 $and has really made a change!

Consequently, I don't even bother with the Raw+jpeg! More and moreprograms allow Rawdirectly like my favourite HDR software: Photomatix.Therefore, I onlyshoot jpeg when I'm short of mb in the SD card or for continous shooting when the buffer time matters more than the quality of a single picture
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Old Apr 14, 2008, 8:08 AM   #37
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I've always been resoundingly in the raw camp on this issue - I definitely preferred the raw pictures converted with Lightroom over jpg pictures from the DS through the K10. However, I was really impressed with the jpg out of the K20. Yesterday I took a walk around my block taking pictures of flowers and weeds in raw+, and was surprised to find that I often (but not always) ended up preferring the jpg instead of the raw/Lightroom version. I'm now re-thinking the whole thing - the camera manufacturers have spent major money to get their jpg files to look good - why not take advantage of their development by letting the camera do half the work of processing? I'm going to continue to shoot raw+ for a while, but I now have much more confidence in the jpg quality from the K20.
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