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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 25 Jul 2013 (Thursday) 21:23
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Raw vs. JPEG file size

 
kdrk888
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Jul 25, 2013 21:23 |  #1

Hi guy, stupid question. I use Canon DPP to convert raw to JPEG, why sometime the raw files are about 24 MB but the conversion yields a 7-8 MB JPEG file even though the "image Quality" in DPP is set to 10 (max)? Does it have anything to do with the contents of the picture?

Thanks.


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Jul 25, 2013 21:25 |  #2

One of the big reasons is going down to 8 bit from 14 bit


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Tommy1957
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Jul 25, 2013 21:31 |  #3

Raw files are 14-bit. JPG are 8-bit. That means just in the pixel information alone a raw file has 64 times as much information as a JPG file. JPGs are also compressed, raw is not. This is WHY shooting raw is a good idea. You have a lot more to work with when processing your photo in DPP or LR or PS.




  
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kdrk888
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Jul 25, 2013 21:38 |  #4

I do take raw. My recollection is a 24 MB raw file could be converted into at least a 15 MB JPEG file if the "image quality" was set to 10 in DPP, not the 8 MB that I am seeing now sometimes. Maybe I got bad memory.

Thank you.


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Jul 25, 2013 21:44 |  #5

I just converted 27.5 meg file out of a 5DIII to a jpg using the best quality compression in CS6, it's 13.24 megs.


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Tommy1957
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Jul 25, 2013 22:06 |  #6

kdrk888 wrote in post #16154410 (external link)
Hi guy, stupid question. I use Canon DPP to convert raw to JPEG, why sometime the raw files are about 24 MB but the conversion yields a 7-8 MB JPEG file even though the "image Quality" in DPP is set to 10 (max)? Does it have anything to do with the contents of the picture?

Thanks.

I just noticed that you referenced the contents of specific photos. Yes, since jpg is a compression algorithm, it will compress a photo with large areas of the same color and brightness into a smaller file than one filled with a variety of different colors and brightnesses. ISO makes a huge difference, too. ISO 100 will always be smaller than ISO 200,and so forth, everything else being the same.




  
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melcat
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Jul 26, 2013 03:23 |  #7

Tommy1957 wrote in post #16154423 (external link)
Raw files are 14-bit. JPG are 8-bit. That means just in the pixel information alone a raw file has 64 times as much information as a JPG file. JPGs are also compressed, raw is not. This is WHY shooting raw is a good idea. You have a lot more to work with when processing your photo in DPP or LR or PS.

Raw is compressed, but losslessly. JPEG uses lossy compression; the idea is that the information that is thrown away is mostly what humans can't see.

In order to make a JPEG, the camera has to make some assumptions about what you want preserved in the image, like whether to preserve highlights or shadows when both won't fit. So long as those assumptions match expectations, JPEGs with high quality settings are adequate for many uses.




  
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BigAl007
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Jul 26, 2013 03:46 |  #8

Tommy1957 wrote in post #16154423 (external link)
Raw files are 14-bit. JPG are 8-bit. That means just in the pixel information alone a raw file has 64 times as much information as a JPG file. JPGs are also compressed, raw is not. This is WHY shooting raw is a good idea. You have a lot more to work with when processing your photo in DPP or LR or PS.

In an opend JPEG file or any other type of 8 bit per pixel RGB file each colour requires 8 bit of memory to hold a pixel for a total of 24 bits (3 bytes). In a RAW file the sensels (as they do not reallybecome pixels until conversion) do not directly contain any colour information, only the brightness. This is either 12bit (older cameras) or 14 bit (newer/current cameras). Even if the 14 bit data were stored in 16 bits (as that is two bytes) for convenince/speed advantages it is still only 2/3 rds of the data needed by an 8 bit RGB image.

The file size for a JPEG file is so much smaller because it uses a lossy compression system which is able to throw away quite a bit of data without us being aware of it. This is one of the reasons that different images can have different file sizes on disk. If the image has lots of fine detail it is much harder to compress than one w├Čth large areas of smooth tones. RAW files also use a compression system but it is lossless. The RAW files though do also have a fullsize (for most Canon DSLR's) copy of the JPEG image embeded within them for preview and also viewing on the rear LCD screen. This accounts for the major size difference between RAW and JPEG file sizes.

Different RAW converters will also produce different file sizes for conversions of the same image at maximum quality as they will have different ideas of what maximum quality should be.

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kdrk888
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Jul 26, 2013 04:04 |  #9

Very interesting. Learn something new every day. Thank you all very much.


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Tommy1957
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Jul 26, 2013 06:58 |  #10

melcat wrote in post #16154901 (external link)
Raw is compressed, but losslessly. JPEG uses lossy compression; the idea is that the information that is thrown away is mostly what humans can't see.

In order to make a JPEG, the camera has to make some assumptions about what you want preserved in the image, like whether to preserve highlights or shadows when both won't fit. So long as those assumptions match expectations, JPEGs with high quality settings are adequate for many uses.

Emphasis mine.

I agree with that. Many others will not. The only time I use raw is if I am shooting at ISO 3200 or higher, or in tricky White Balance situations. Raw is just a lot more useful for fine tuning a shot made in either of those situations. For everyday use, with flash or outdoors, I find JPG completely acceptable.




  
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Jul 26, 2013 07:04 |  #11

Tommy1957 wrote in post #16155097 (external link)
Emphasis mine.

I agree with that. Many others will not. The only time I use raw is if I am shooting at ISO 3200 or higher, or in tricky White Balance situations. Raw is just a lot more useful for fine tuning a shot made in either of those situations. For everyday use, with flash or outdoors, I find JPG completely acceptable.

Me too.


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TeamSpeed
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Jul 26, 2013 08:42 |  #12

I keep all raw, because even though a JPG is acceptable, it is already very lossy, 8bit vs 14bit, etc. In the future, I may want the entire gamut and detail that the raw gives me, and not a compressed (even at high quality) version.

Space is cheap, $60 will get you a 1TB USB drive, and will store 30K or more raw files. Also, there are utilities out there that will quickly extract the JPG from the raw file should you need the JPG quickly.


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Tommy1957
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Jul 26, 2013 09:11 |  #13

TeamSpeed wrote in post #16155296 (external link)
I keep all raw, because even though a JPG is acceptable, it is already very lossy, 8bit vs 14bit, etc. In the future, I may want the entire gamut and detail that the raw gives me, and not a compressed (even at high quality) version.

Space is cheap, $60 will get you a 1TB USB drive, and will store 30K or more raw files. Also, there are utilities out there that will quickly extract the JPG from the raw file should you need the JPG quickly.

Just curious. Do you shoot raw exclusively, or raw + jpg? Do you sell images? I think that could make a huge difference.

I don't mind processing raw images when I have to. Most of my shots are cats/dogs/grandkids around the yard or in the playground or something. Sometimes I'll shoot a the children's sporting events. Most of my shots are just shared electronically. I probably print less than 1% of the shots I take. I suppose I could probably get away with shooting Medium-Normal JPG, if I wanted to. I do care about the final image and will process anything I am going to print. My daughter prefers I just give her the JPG files. If she wants to print one, she doctors it in Picasa3.

My question is: Do you think a hobby shooter like me would benefit from shooting raw? As mentioned above, I only shoot raw when ISO >= 3200, or WB adjustments may be needed. I have LR4.4 and don't mind doing some of the easier stuff. I don't mess with adjustment brushes, yet. I have PSE (v. 8 through 11), but haven't used it since I got LR. As you know, I recently retired and have a fair bit of time on my hands.

Thanks.

BTW, I am still considering your 28-105.




  
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ElectronGuru
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Jul 26, 2013 09:44 |  #14

For me, LR makes dealing with raw so easy and transparent, it's a no brainier. You set the camera to maximum everything (even aRGB to capture more colors). Then pull out only what you need for each share. It's like having a tiny hidden unabridged dictionary for every photo you take. Push set A to flickr at 2 megapixels, click. Print set B on full glossy 11x14, click. Load set C on your cell photo to send via SMS, click.

Without thinking about it, any photo you want can go as deep as you need (up to the maximum capability of your camera), now or at any point in the future, whenever you want. And in the meantime, doesn't slow you down or get in the way. How cool is that?

I only wouldn't do it if I had an old PC that just bogged under the weight or if I absolutely knew that a set of images was going to be massive (1000+) and of little value. For example, at a trade show, taking several photos of every product at every booth in 2 large buildings. For the rest, you put so much effort into the gear and the session, why not do the same with the format of record?


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Jul 26, 2013 10:02 |  #15

Tommy1957 wrote in post #16155374 (external link)
Just curious. Do you shoot raw exclusively, or raw + jpg? Do you sell images? I think that could make a huge difference.

I don't mind processing raw images when I have to. Most of my shots are cats/dogs/grandkids around the yard or in the playground or something. Sometimes I'll shoot a the children's sporting events. Most of my shots are just shared electronically. I probably print less than 1% of the shots I take. I suppose I could probably get away with shooting Medium-Normal JPG, if I wanted to. I do care about the final image and will process anything I am going to print. My daughter prefers I just give her the JPG files. If she wants to print one, she doctors it in Picasa3.

My question is: Do you think a hobby shooter like me would benefit from shooting raw? As mentioned above, I only shoot raw when ISO >= 3200, or WB adjustments may be needed. I have LR4.4 and don't mind doing some of the easier stuff. I don't mess with adjustment brushes, yet. I have PSE (v. 8 through 11), but haven't used it since I got LR. As you know, I recently retired and have a fair bit of time on my hands.

Thanks.

BTW, I am still considering your 28-105.

I shoot both, but it is quite easy to drop a folder of raw files and have DPP in batch convert them to JPG so that I wouldn't have to shoot JPG. Also every raw file as a full-sized JPG embedded in it, thus why they as large as they are. Canon used to put smaller versions of JPGs in the raw, but a few years back, they changed that. There are utilities that can very quickly pull the JPG content out, so there is less time in doing a raw to JPG conversion.

The other reason to shoot and store raw is that raw converters/processers become more proficient, so if you had a really old raw image, it is conceivable that you could run it through today's raw processors and generate a better JPG than you received from the camera, or from your raw file back then.

The 28-105 is a great lens, I received it as a part of another purchase, but after shooting with it, it seems sharper than the 28-135, and is much smaller and lighter. It would make a great travel all-around lens, and I have thought numerous times since posting the sale that I should just keep it.


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Raw vs. JPEG file size
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