Photography Words

The RAW Backlash

There are holy wars in every field of human endevour. Vi vs Emacs, C vs Java, film vs digital and of course RAW vs Jpeg.
For several months last year I shot in Raw+Jpeg which was great. gThumb displayed a thumbnail for the Jpeg file while I also had the RAW negative. Yes, great. Until I got tired of opening the RAW file in my RAW converter (bibblelite, ufraw-gimp), before opening in the GIMP. Then there’s the space requirements. I shot 85GB of images last year. I need one of those terrabyte RAID servers Joe mentioned the other night at that dinner!
Ryan has done the same, shooting in Jpeg now.
Doug Pardee has too. He explains why too. He hasn’t got time to do the extra conversion required given the volume of shots he takes.
And of course, Ken Rockwell shoots Jpeg. He has a very lengthy post about his choice.
Still not sure? Read Tommy’s post for a rebuttal to Ken’s article. If you agree with him (and he makes plenty of valid points), then you should shoot RAW.

I’ll still shoot RAW, but only at special occasions. We’re going to a wedding next month and I’ll certainly be shooting RAW there!

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

3 replies on “The RAW Backlash”

That’s a really interesting set of articles. I shot JPEG for about 18 months after I got my 300D, only switching to RAW when I finally got a 1GB CF card and a new external hard disk. I thought I’d try it for a while – and now, I regret the images I shot in JPEG way back when, wishing that I’d shot them all on RAW. Funny how different people’s perspectives can be, isn’t it?

To be clear, I could MAKE the time to postprocess Raw files, but I don’t enjoy postprocessing so I seldom do make the time. I never had any desire to set up a darkroom back when I shot film, and as it turns out I don’t have any desire to fuss with a digital darkroom, either. It’s a matter of personal likes and dislikes.

Oh, and I get amused at people who say that it’s faster to postprocess Raw than JPEG. That’s only true if you postprocess your JPEGs. My goal is to not postprocess. Ideally I could use the Direct Print button on my camera or take my CF card down to Target and get prints without ever turning my computer on.

Getting pictures that good “in the camera” requires a set of skills and related experience beyond what it takes to shoot Raw. After a few months of experimenting, I think I’m getting close. At least for outdoor daytime shots.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: