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Old Nov 24, 2006, 8:34 AM   #1
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Could someone explain in english what the advantage is of each of these? Little background, shooting a lot of macro stuff with a Lumix FZ30, bugs, bees, flowers. I like to print them and frame them. Is there an advantage to one or the other and if shot in one can theybe converted to the other? Thanks.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 3:16 PM   #2
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There are two schools of thought about this and the arguments reach religious or political intensity! Read them both and make up your own mind!



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Old Nov 24, 2006, 7:02 PM   #3
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RAW can be converted to JPEG, but JPEG cannot be converted to RAW (or at least there is no reason whatsoever to do so).

The only reason I have found for shooting RAW is when I am not certain of exposure and/or white balance. A reasonable amount of exposure can be corrected (one stop or less) and the white balance choice is at least as wide as that offered by the camera. There is much less room for adjustment starting with a JPEG.

Doing those adjustments afterwardsis a pain so it is well worth getting the exposure and white balance right in the camera. If that is done, there is little to be gained by shooting RAW. Of course it isn't always possible to get everything set right so I have my camera set to shoot JPEG+RAW when I pull it out of the bag. That way I don't have to spend the time to set things up exactly before the first shot.
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Old Nov 24, 2006, 9:13 PM   #4
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On an FZ30, shooting RAW has less advantages than it does on a DSLR. A DSLR has a much broader dynamic range which is better preserved in a RAW image, so much so that you could often times recover images so severely underexposed that they're nearly black. On the FZ30, the RAW image retains only maginally more dynamic range (compared to JPG taken when all image settings (contrast, sharpness, etc...) are set to their lowest setting. Remember that if you turn up the contrast setting on your camera, the pictures might look better but you will often times clip more light and dark detail.

RAW does give uou the advantage of being able to correct even the worst white balance though. This usually isn't important in most lighting situations, but sometimes in certain kinds of artificial light or unusual mixtures of different colored lights (like at dusk when there's still some sunlight but the street lights are on) it makes a big difference.

Also, most DSLRs can shoot consecutive RAWs about as quickly as JPGs, but the FZ30 can only shoot one every few seconds, though that is significantly better than most digicams which either don't support it or can only shoot once every 10 seconds or so. This means you can't use burst mode or auto bracketing.

If what you want is to try and capture a wide dynamic range in a high contrast situation, you'd get much better results using auto exposure bracketing with JPGs and blending them in Photoshop than to shoot an underexposed RAW, assuming you are using a tripod on a non-moving subject.

Finally, you should try shooting some RAW images every now and then, especially if it's a scene you want to get as perfectly captured as possible. Some will say that RAW images have a more pleasing look to them than JPG, and you should make that determination for yourself. Picasa 2 now supports RAW images from the FZ30 if you don't have Photoshop CS or CS2 and it seems to work rather well. UFraw is also a good piece of freeware for processing RAW images.

I hope this helps.
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Old Dec 14, 2006, 8:22 PM   #5
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A RAW image is like a digital negative, in film terms.

After I shoot raw, I will often create JPGS for web (thumnail, larger image), different setting for newspaper, and then full quality for printing purposes.

So having the RAW image gives you the flexibility to cut JPEGS for different purposes.

If you work with JPEG, every time you save or cut a new file size, it tends to use compression, which is a pain.

I basically shoot nothing but RAW these days (I am such a RAW snob ).

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Old Mar 9, 2007, 11:59 PM   #6
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nsclcctl wrote:
Could someone explain in english what the advantage is of each of these?* Little background, shooting a lot of macro stuff with a Lumix FZ30, bugs, bees, flowers.* I like to print them and frame them.* Is there an advantage to one or the other and if shot in one can theybe converted to the other?* Thanks.
As most of the answers to your question have been covered, let me give you another point of view. You want to extract every bit of information you can in it's purest form. Info you can always go back to without any degradation, all in 16 bits of information. You may have evolved over the years in post prod techniques and realised you didn't really manipulate the image the way you could have if you knew better. You can always go back to the original unprocessed RAW image and apply your new found knowledge. Not in JPEG. Every time you open a JPEG file it degrades. It is like doing an analogue cassette copy of a cassette copy of a cassette copy.

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