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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Sports Talk 
Thread started 18 Feb 2010 (Thursday) 11:08
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POLL: "Pro Sports Shooters: RAW or JPEG?"
RAW
90
53.3%
JPEG
79
46.7%

169 voters, 169 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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Pro Sports Shooters: RAW or JPEG?

 
BenJohnson
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Feb 18, 2010 11:08 |  #1

I shoot sporting events and sell prints (on and off site). I shoot all sporting events in JPEG.

I am mostly interested in photographers that take hundreds, or more likely, thousands of shots a day (print sellers).

Not so much the casual shooters, or the newspapers guys who only need to grab a handful of workable shots.

If you shoot some of both, I guess you can just vote for whichever you use the most.

What percentage of (pro) sports shooters use JPEG and what percentage use RAW?


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SnapLocally.com
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Feb 18, 2010 11:15 |  #2

The last time I met a professional sports photographer that came and shot boxing at one of the events I regularly shoot, he told me he was shooting in RAW, and I laughed at him. I said "Have fun processing all of those shots", and he was shooting with 3 cameras.

My philosophy works just fine for me- "Get the shot right the first time- there's no retakes", and I make prints too; posters even.


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NickJushchyshyn
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Feb 18, 2010 13:59 |  #3

Same here. For sports action, JPG all the way. It's not just a space & processing time issue, but also a shooting speed concern on the field. The 1D bodies can easily shoot faster than even high-speed Lexar cards can keep up with RAW when their's a flurry of action to capture. The camera buffers keep up fine in JPG mode, but RAW can slow things down and result in missed shots.

For portraits and family stuff, its RAW only for me ... but not for sports shooting.


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DDCSD
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Feb 18, 2010 14:11 |  #4

I shoot RAW, even for weekend tourney's where I'm shooting 2-3,000 shots a weekend. I don't upload anything to my website that I don't look at and at often straighten the horizons (and usually crop), so I may as well shoot in RAW. It also isn't always possible to get my strobes perfectly even, so I'll sometimes need to adjust exposure and pull down some highlights. I also resize my photos before I upload them to my website.

With LightRoom 2 its easy enough to import RAWs, fix and export as jpg's that I really don't see any advantage to shooting just jpg other than memory card and hard drive space and those are both cheap these days.


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SnapLocally.com
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Feb 18, 2010 14:58 |  #5

Conversely I don't see the advantage in shooting in RAW when I've taken the time to prepare and make sure my settings are correct in the first place.


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int2str
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Feb 18, 2010 15:07 as a reply to  @ SnapLocally.com's post |  #6

I just read this quote from Peter Read Miller (Sports Illustrated):
"I shoot RAW only so I pretty much ignore many of the settings that pertain to image quality for JPEGs."

From here:
http://www.sportsshoot​er.com/news/2371 (external link)

Personally, I shoot raw only as well. I don't see the difference anymore to be honest, other than maybe download and rendering times. When I shot JPEGs, I still go through each one, crop as necessary and tweak sharpness, exposure etc. and then save. So there's no real difference for me since I at least briefly brush by each image.

And honestly, maybe I'm just a lousy photographer (may very well be), but I haven't shot a photo in a while that couldn't at least slightly be improved by a minor crop or slight sharpening.




  
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mmahoney
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Feb 18, 2010 15:23 |  #7

I'm really a wedding photographer but in the winter we shoot youth basketball & hockey tournaments. A typical 3 day tournament will see me shoot 4,000+ frames and all are RAW. We have the computers and software setups to manage larger quantities of big files so why not?

All our sales are prepaid and usually larger prints, 11X14 and 16X20. All are processed, and many are cut-outs to form collages so we need as high a quality original file as possible. But if I was doing the shoot-a-ton-on-spec-upload-to-SmugMug thing then I'd shoot JPEG.


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DDCSD
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Feb 18, 2010 15:37 |  #8

SnapLocally.com wrote in post #9635059 (external link)
Conversely I don't see the advantage in shooting in RAW when I've taken the time to prepare and make sure my settings are correct in the first place.

I'm sure its nice to shoot in conditions where you can get perfect framing, exposure and white balance that allows you an 85-90% saleable shot rate on 3,000 shots. Until I shoot in those situations or become a competent photographer, I'm stuck with shooting RAW so I can supply my customers with the highest quality product posible.


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SnapLocally.com
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Feb 18, 2010 16:13 |  #9

I'm sure its nice to shoot in conditions where you can get perfect framing, exposure and white balance that allows you an 85-90% saleable shot rate on 3,000 shots.

Obviously you've never shot boxing.


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J.Napier
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Feb 19, 2010 00:14 |  #10

It depends. On the event or if Im shooting for myself or for someone else, but for the most part its jpeg (for sports action) as thats the only way I can get photos up to the masses 3-4 minutes after they are shot.
The software that I use works with jpegs.


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canonnoob
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Feb 19, 2010 00:18 |  #11

I do shoot RAW, but the only time I dont is if I am on an extreme deadline. Like this weekend for example. I am shooting the State Wrestling Championships here in Missouri and I will be doing run after run after run to the media room if I shoot RAW so Jpeg it is.


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DDCSD
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Feb 19, 2010 00:18 |  #12

SnapLocally.com wrote in post #9635561 (external link)
Obviously you've never shot boxing.

Obviously you've never heard of sarcasm. ;)

My point is that when you shoot basketball in a typical gymnasium, you're going to get a different exposure and color temperature every time you trip the shutter. I've had a more than one stop difference in between consecutive shots when the only thing that changed was the cycle of the lights.

There is no way to "prepare and make sure my settings are correct in the first place." when the settings you use for one shot is one full stop and 1000K different 1/10th of a second later. It simply isn't possible, no one is that good.

I'm not going to sell my customers an inferior product or throw away half of my shots because I'm too lazy to do some quick processing in RAW.

I need to get 60-100 salable shots per basketball game. When I'm shooting a tourney, I'm shooting 2,3 and sometimes 4 games at a time. It's a lot easier to "get it right" in camera and have plenty of salable shots when you're shooting 2 people at a time as compared to 30-50.

I need every shot to count, regardless of what the laws of electricity are.


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primoz
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Feb 19, 2010 03:29 as a reply to  @ int2str's post |  #13

Shooting for Reuters is "a bit" different then shooting for SI. As far as SI is concerned, they could still be shooting film, and noone would care. SI is published what, once a week/month? So you have plenty of time to upload your photos. Agencies on the other side need photos yesterday, not after 15mins from now on.
So no, I don't shoot 3000 photos on one race/match, but I do shoot for agency where it would be best, if photos would be there 10mins ago already. So even minute or two (but in reality much more then just a minute) which I save when I don't need to convert raw to jpeg (including time gained because of handling smaller size files) plays big role. And it's big enough thing, that I don't even consider shooting raw.


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RSB
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Feb 19, 2010 10:37 as a reply to  @ SnapLocally.com's post |  #14

I've never seen a perfect jpeg straight out of camera, no matter how "right the photographer thought he had it in the camera when he shot it". Quite simply, every single image capture can be improved in post processing, and that improvement is best done to a Raw capture.


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SnapLocally.com
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Feb 19, 2010 10:48 |  #15

Not every single shot is worth processing. And of those taken correctly, minimal processing is needed.


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Pro Sports Shooters: RAW or JPEG?
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