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Old Jul 13, 2009, 5:13 AM   #11
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Buying used cameras is risky. Bying used lenses is fairly safe. Lenses are the anvils of this relm. If something is wrong with a lens, it's pretty obvious, and a little bit of wear on the outside is nothing to worry about. And KEH's ratings are very conservative in my experience.

The RAW vs. JPEG argument has been long and heated, and I am under no illusion that it will be settled here and now. But let me say that there are good reasons to do either. If you've only got one cnace to get it right, shot RAW, as that will give you the best data to work with in post processing. But if you shoot RAW, you can't not post process. If you're just taking snapshots, don't waste your time with RAW. And if you're shooting sports/action/wildlife, shooting RAW slows down continuous shooting, so you'd be better off with JPEG.
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 1:38 PM   #12
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How come RAW gives me the best data for post processing?
why do you think so ?
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Old Jul 13, 2009, 1:55 PM   #13
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RAW is the raw data straight from the image sensor. The camera hasn't processed it in any way. Camera settings are stored in the image file, but saturation, contrast, sharpening, white balance, etc, have not been applied to the image.

JPEG files are compressed, and however slightly the image is compressed, some of the original detail is lost. Also, the image has been processed in the camera, so what you get is the result of that processing.

If the camera settings were in error, or just not optimum, RAW files give you the best chance of getting a high quality image.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 1:25 AM   #14
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RAW is the raw data straight from the image sensor. The camera hasn't processed it in any way. Camera settings are stored in the image file, but saturation, contrast, sharpening, white balance, etc, have not been applied to the image.

JPEG files are compressed, and however slightly the image is compressed, some of the original detail is lost. Also, the image has been processed in the camera, so what you get is the result of that processing.

If the camera settings were in error, or just not optimum, RAW files give you the best chance of getting a high quality image.
TCav - as someone new to the forum and to photography, I have to thank you for your cogent posts. I find that I get a lot of information out of what you post. Sorry to hijack the thread, but I just felt the need to get that out there when I read some of this discussion.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 12:31 PM   #15
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Thanks very much.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 5:41 PM   #16
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I don't believe KEH is the "middle man". They buy used equipment and then re-sell them. So, they are the ones rating the equipment.

As for RAW vs. JPEG, with some cameras (such as the Olys and Panas DSLR), the difference between RAW and JPEG is minimum. The camera does a pretty good job converting the RAW image. I've had a couple of Olys and found it difficult sometimes to match the quality of the in-camera JPEG conversion. With the Sony, however, it's a different story. The RAW file does contain a lot more information, specially in terms of DR. You can recover a much greater level of highlight by processing the RAW data yourself. So, IMO, if you don't mind spending some time in front of a computer processing RAW files, I'd certainly suggest you shoot RAW. If not, then make sure that you shoot at the highest JPEG quality or you will certainly notice some quality degradation (and more blown highlights).
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 7:44 PM   #17
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I don't believe KEH is the "middle man". They buy used equipment and then re-sell them. So, they are the ones rating the equipment.
Absolutely. KEH is not a consignment store. And I've never been dissatified with the condition of anything I bought from them.
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Old Jul 14, 2009, 11:09 PM   #18
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The same here!
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 3:49 AM   #19
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ouija kid,
The difference between raw and jpeg in common sense language.
Raw format contains the image, unprocessed, directly from the camera. i..e no in-camera processing has been applied and pretty much the way the lens saw the scene. The file sizes are enormous and take much longer to store on your memory card after you've taken the picture. Most raw pictures will require some post processing e.g. color saturation, sharpening etc. The main advantages have to do with the fact that you are the one making the decision on how much adjustment to make - not the camera manufacturer.
JPEG format has been altered by the camera's internal software. This includes application of proprietary compression techniques to reduce the file size. Adjustments to various details such as lighting, color, etc.
Each file format has its die-hard adherents. Some cameras now allow you to create a a raw image and a JPEG image at the same time in your camera. you can imagine how long it takes to save these after you've pressed the button. High Speed memory cards are a must.

I suppose the primary lesson to be learned is that it depends on what's your objective. If you are interested in tweaking your own picture settings to the nth degree or you are saving the files for very delicate archival purposes you need to be committed to using RAW images.
For the casual photographer JPEGs are fine. As for myself, I'm 60+ with aging eyes thus JPEGs work fine for me. perhaps if I were more "sightful" and more patient in processing I would take the "raw" route.
Incidentally, by using raw you will either have to use the software that came with your camera or buy other software that is specifically designed to handle "raw" files from your camera.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 9:43 AM   #20
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The file sizes are enormous and take much longer to store on your memory card after you've taken the picture.
Actually, the A200 has pretty good write speed to media if you're using a fast card like a Sandisk Extreme III. It can shoot raw at approximately 3 frames per second until the camera's internal buffer is full (after 7 raw photos). Then, after the buffer is full, it slows down to around 2.1 frames per second (which is still pretty fast for most uses).

As for software to convert raw files, there are many free options available like Raw Therapee and UFRaw (available as a stand alone application and as a plugin for the GIMP, which is also free). ;-) Many popular image browsers also support raw files (for example, free browsers like Picasa, Irfanview and Faststone Image Viewer)
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