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Shooting JPEGS only.

Philip Ward , Jun 24, 2009; 09:29 a.m.

This question is for those of you who shoot weddings on a reguler basis. What percentage of Raw vs. JPEGS do you shoot. I know of one very competant and succesful wedding photog who reserves RAW for only the most difficult lighting conditions. Have we reached a stage where JPEGS are "good enough"?.


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Matt Laur , Jun 24, 2009; 09:37 a.m.

Storage (in the camera, and on the desktop) is fast and absurdly inexpensive. Shoot both, and avoid having to think about what is, or is not a difficult lighting situation. If it turns out it was a difficult situation, you can fall back to the RAW file with a couple of mouse clicks. If you're otherwise perfect while shooting, then all you've done is used up $3 worth of disk space. You'll never get more important insurance that costs so little.

Betty Lowrey , Jun 24, 2009; 09:41 a.m.

I've always gone back to shooting JPEG Fine. I shot RAW for awhile and just didn't see the benefits in the long run, except for more work with conversion and having to find a new program to organize and batch edit my files as the one I was using didn't support RAW. I liked my program, and didn't want to switch. So, I shoot JPEG and have no issues with loss of detail or editing. I just have to make sure I "get it right" when I shoot, to avoid too much post-process tweaking.

Antony Robert Turner , Jun 24, 2009; 09:42 a.m.

Matt, thats the best answer to RAW vs JPEG I've seen, Gunna test it out in my next wedding insted of always using RAW

Ed Farmer(Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA) , Jun 24, 2009; 09:46 a.m.

I suspect that I will be chewed up and spit out for this, but I feel that JPEGs have always been good enough. When I am shooting for myself, JPEGs are all that I shoot. It speeds and simplifies my post processing. Means that I need less mass storage which makes my back up easier.
Now, having said all of that: I have been photographing for going on 40 years. I understand exposure and lighting and know how to get it right. When I shot film, the vast majority of my prints where between plus and minus 1. If your exposures are good (they don't even have to be great) you can easily shoot JPEG.
Probably the best way to determine where you are is to look at your current post processing. When you shoot RAW, how many of your images require changes from your standard "processing". If you are adjusting a lot of exposures, white balances, etc, from file to file then you can't shoot JPEGs. If you just let the conversion go and touch up a few images, you might as well be shoot JPEGs anyway.
It will be interesting to see what others have to say . . . this discussion comes up quite often on these sites . . .

tobey bilek , Jun 24, 2009; 10:12 a.m.

Lots of people feel JPEG is good enough and it is if you expose/color bal corectly.
For the formals and service pics, I would add raw files. Table shots and bride dancing, JPEG will do.

Both can always be shot and the raw erased if not needed.

Rob Bernhard , Jun 24, 2009; 10:14 a.m.

12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files. This cannot be emphasized enough. This has nothing to do with "getting it right" in the camera.

David Haas , Jun 24, 2009; 10:28 a.m.

Given the number of automated conversion programs and relative cheapness of media - there is no excuse not to shoot weddings in RAW.

If I'm shooting a sporting event or something similar (where I want to swap memory cards as infrequently as possible) I shoot JPEG fine. Weddings, portraits, team photos, etc... All RAW. I don't even think about it anymore. And yes - it has saved my bacon a couple of times - when highlights were blown out and I didn't notice on the monitor... Much easier to recover from a RAW 12 bit then a 8 bit JPEG.


Ed Farmer(Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA) , Jun 24, 2009; 10:32 a.m.

The Library of Congress has significantly more information than my local library, but my son doesn't need to go there to work on his papers for school. I can shoot JPEGs and produce beautiful 20x24 inch prints. I don't know if I can produce a billboard, but I have never been asked to.

Pete S. , Jun 24, 2009; 10:33 a.m.

12-bit and 14-bit RAW files have significantly more information than 8-bit JPG files. This cannot be emphasized enough. This has nothing to do with "getting it right" in the camera.

The question is if the added bits of information is visibile and the answer is that it is normally not (given that the exposure was correct). The reason for that is that the 12-16 bits from the camera is linear and the few bits that are present in the shadows are preserved in the jpeg (nonlinear).

The very same principal applies for the visually lossless compression the Nikon and others use to keep the size of the raw files down. The only type of raw in Nikon's D90 and below are visually lossless compressed.

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