Canon 20D & RAW

Here’s a long thread which has almost convinced me that I should shoot RAW this weekend.
If I wanted to batch process I can probably do something like this:
for i in *.cr2
dcraw -c $i | ppmtojpeg > `basename $i .cr2`.jpg

RAW files are known to be much bigger. File sizes?
$ du -csh *
6.7M img_5881.cr2
24M img_5881.ppm
31M total

$ du -csh img_5879.jpg
4.0M img_5879.jpg
4.0M total

Shooting in RAW costs me almost 3MB of space per photo. I’m game to try it but the advantages will have to be absolutely amazing if I’m going to use it!

3 thoughts on “Canon 20D & RAW

  1. Shooting RAW is much less prone to color noise than shooting in JPEG mode. But depending on what you’re shooting, and the JPEG quality of your camera, you might not find it necessary, most of the time.

    Try shooting something with big swatches of gradient color, like a blue sky, in both RAW and JPEG modes. Zoom in to where you can see individual pixels easily (800% works pretty well). Check especially in some of the lighter areas, and in areas of high contrast (e.g. around edges of an object set against the sky). This is where you’re most likely to see color noise in the JPEG photo that should be cleaner in the RAW version.

  2. The anal retentives over on the dpreview forums love their jpeg vs. raw debates. It’s like all their christmases come at once. Personally I like shooting raw + med jpg because it means I have both a digital negative and a medium res pic I can upload immediately onto flickr while I’m processing the raws.

    Now that I have 60gb of storage in my camera bag I’ve got no reason not to shoot raw at the upcoming tall ships event in Waterford on the 8th. If nothing else it’ll be practice.

    One good quote from those debates is often something like “You’ll never look back at a photo shot in RAW and think ‘Gee, I wish I shot that in jpeg’ “

  3. Shooting RAW has a huge number of benefits, but what everyone should remember is that storage is a commodity. You can always get more storage, but you can’t reshoot a shot (most of the time). And over time we can see how clearly storage space has dropped. When this post was written, a hard drive was $300 for 250GB, no it’s $180 for 1.5TB, and 8GB memory cards are like $20.

    So, shooting RAW is the way to go since it gives you so much flexibility. Here is a list of the pros/cons and the number/strength of the pros are huge.

    Thanks for posting and hope you’ve been shooting raw since this post.

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