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Thread: ¿RAW or TIFF?

  1. #1
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    ¿RAW or TIFF?

    Hello everybody and thanks in advance for your help,

    I’m new to photography, with a brand new Olympus E-500.

    So the question is: What’s better for photo editing, RAW or TIFF?

    I have a Sandisk Extreme III 2 Gb card, so there’s no capacity problem on using TIFF for most occasions, I guess…

    I’ve seen ACDSee 8.0 doesn’t read Olympus RAW, that’s quite a problem for me, as I use that program very often.

    Efrén

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    Welcome to the Forum Efren. Both RAW and Tiff files are huge, but you will get a lot more flexibility out of your RAW files. The ability to adjust the white balance after the fact is worth it for me. But if you don't have a good RAW converter, working with RAW files can be a pain. I tried switching to RAW about a year ago, and my computer just wasn't built to handle them. Once I upgraded my computer, and software, my camera stays on RAW 99% of the time.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Both in some cases

    Quote Originally Posted by ESTOERP
    Hello everybody and thanks in advance for your help,

    I’m new to photography, with a brand new Olympus E-500.

    So the question is: What’s better for photo editing, RAW or TIFF?

    I have a Sandisk Extreme III 2 Gb card, so there’s no capacity problem on using TIFF for most occasions, I guess…

    I’ve seen ACDSee 8.0 doesn’t read Olympus RAW, that’s quite a problem for me, as I use that program very often.

    Efrén
    I see RAW as being a technical medium to get the basic image right. With RAW you have the original signal as it came out of the sensor with 12 bits per pixel per colour. With the right editor you can replay all the things the camera did and adjust white balance, contrast, saturation, curves, exposure, etc.

    I see TIFF as being a medium for photo manipulation, once the basic image is finished. It has only 8 bits per pixel per colour (in the case of the E500) so if you start trying to make adjustments to the white balance etc. it's quickly going to look unnatural. However as it's an uncompressed format it might be useful to work on an image that you modify and save several times. However, it's even better to start with a TIFF and carry on with a Photoshop PSD because your modifications are kept as layers that you can undo if you want to.

    I use ACDsee too. I only keep the finished images in there as JPG's, to save space. When I've done moidfying my RAW image I convert it to to JPG and the RAW file goes onto a CD and is forgotten about (rather like a film negative).

    Charles

  4. #4
    drg
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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    RAW can make a TIFF! TIFF cannot make a RAW. Save/shoot in RAW for maximum possibilities and even use a separate program to convert if needed. You can revisit the file in the future with a different editor/converter then if you desire.
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  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    Efrén-
    Great question. I'm actually working on a RAW primer right now. The basic issue is potential and control. A RAW file is completely untouched by your camera. Any other file type must be processed, and in so doing, gives up some potential. If you shoot RAW you always have all the control and get to make all the decisions about the final quality of your images. After you capture your RAW files you can convert them to JPEG, TIFF, PSD - whatever you want. But as DRG pointed out, it doesn't work the other way around. Last, but not least, RAW files are larger than JPEGs, but they still aren't anywhere near as large as TIFFs. I recommend saving the TIFF conversion for files that you plan to use. All my archives are RAW files. Only the images that have been processed are saved as TIFFs. Otherwise, there's no need to fill up my hard drive with 20+ meg files.
    Photo-John

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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    All my archives are RAW files.
    Speaking of archive, how do you archive your photographs?

    Hmmm...perhaps I am hijacking this thread. I'm going to post this question elsewhere. Carry on.

    HS

    [Edit: If you have an answer to this question, please browse over here to answer it. Thanks.]
    Last edited by Hockeyshots; 02-10-2006 at 02:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Dog Photographer AC_Photo's Avatar
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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    RAW format is all I work in now, although if I had to use Photoshop CS, I would probably change my mind as my computer is just too slow for it. I use Raw Shooters to create a TIF file, and then use CS to add a watermark or logo and then create a jpeg from that. This way the file isn't further corrupted when I add in those other elements.

    Some of things I like about RAW:
    When you are shooting in constantly changing light conditions such as shooting in a complete circle, outdoors, and over the course of several hours. You don't have the luxury of updating your white balance or exposure comp. whenever the sun disappears or reappears, so some of your pictures will be darker or lighter than your prefer, and the WB will not always be correct. Easy to fix in RAW.

    You'll find you can crop to a smaller area in your images, I've heard this is just because there is more information there when you don't have jpeg compression throwing stuff out, leaving you with more data to work with. In any case you do seem to be able to printer larger, or crop smaller with RAW.

    You can't forget to make a copy of your original file before you start editing and screw it up. The RAW file is always left untouched, so your changes are always reversable.
    Mike

  8. #8
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    Re: ¿RAW or TIFF?

    I shoot all RAW, all the time. And I import them into Photoshop via Adobe's DNG converter. The advantages of a universal openly documented format and the flexability of RAW (especially the DNG format) are an incredable advantage.

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