Mar 3, 2017

Raw VS Jpeg VS Tiff

There is a bit of confusion on this particular when wanting to print my photos and blow them up into all sizes (small to big) from my canon eos 5d mark iv camera. I have adobe raw and also have the Program came with the camera: Digital Photo Professional 4. I am trying to figure out if should print the raw file directly or the JPEG to get the highest quality possible for each photo (trying to capture the normal look for it as if the photo was taken directly from the scene). From what I understand is that the Raw file needs to be edited and the JPEG cuts off the image quality. I think another problem I face is that its hard for me to look at a picture and see where the slightly off differences are that other photographers can point out. Is it possible to take an amazing shot that requires no editing at all. If not then thinking my next step should be to take a free Photoshop class? Also I heard that if you take a Raw and Convert it to TIFF that it is a bigger size and you don't degrade the picture. Tiff just adds more to the confusion thought. I have printed an 8x10 JPEG that does look pretty good but if get bigger have a feeling its not going to look well specially on a 60' 4k TV.

*This is my Photography Profile for Instagram: Favcolorblu7
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All Great Answers,! My next step is when the sun comes out, to take a few files in and print them in order to see what am working with. Any Ideas on the best photo paper to use? The goal is am trying to create some beautiful photos to put in fancy frames to hang all around the house.
Mike7
Depends how you want the end results to look like. There's creative mediums like Giclee or other fine art papers the alike, canvas and the such. Each one has their unique aspect for use and individual taste.
Personally for me, Matt fuji paper, as they hold finer details better than semi or full glossy papers. Though colour tone is better on gloss if thats something prefered.
The format you use to save photos is really about how you work with the photos. Each has it's advantages to consider, and disadvantages.

JPEG: This is a "lossy" file format, but how much detail is lost is adjustable. It is a trade-off between file size and display quality. It is by far the most popular file format of non-professional photographers. What you should consider with this format is that if you adjust the compression the camera uses to save to high-quality, the final photos have enough detail to print with, even with some enlargement. The camera saves the file with it's own color table, white balance is fixed, the contrast and brightness levels are also set by the camera. You can edit some of this and adjust in software like photoshop or even free options like GIMP or Picasa. However when you save the edited file you will lose a bit more of the detail. Normally not too visible, but each re-save loses more detail. If you have no interest in adjusting and editing your photos with software prior to printing, there really is no need to use another format. Many cameras allow simple adjustments right on the camera without need to do this on a computer.

Raw: The image is saved with full detail. The white balance is not fixed, and you can correct it with software on a PC. Color balance and color space can be adjusted easily in post-processing. However the file sizes are comparatively huge which means you need a lot more storage space. You typically will export the file into a JPEG after making adjustments for display or possibly printing. TIFF is another option for printing. The Raw format is mostly supported by photo editors these days, was not always like that. Adobe Lightspace is the professional choice for Raw, I use RawTherapee as the free, open-source alternative.

TIFF: Can't be too specific here as TIFF is a very old format and comes with a lot of variations. It traditionally has been a format intending to be used to print with. It comes in versions that can be compressed in a "lossy" method or "lossless". It is not as universally supported for display on screens. Photo editing software pretty much supports the format as much as any other. But you have the same limitations as far as color space and white balance being set by the camera and not as easily corrected as Raw.

So it really boils down to deciding for yourself what your end product will be and what it will be used for. I personally do some small amount of printing, but most of my work stays as digital form to be displayed on computers. I save on camera as Raw + JPG (each image is save twice on the card, both formats). I mostly process my photos from the Raw images using RawTherapee. That gets 95% of the work done, then I export to GIMP (software uses TIFF as the intermediate format) for adding a copyright watermark and resizing the image to my final display size. I then export as a JPEG as my final product. Technically I use it all while working on a picture.

You can search photobucket for bfhammer to see some of my work.
Theres various factors to consider to get a fine print. For the print stage, if you want to blow up a photo for print, the photo(s) you want to print needs to already be in high resolution like 300ppi. Making large prints from small files will degrade quality.

"I am trying to figure out if should print the raw file directly or the JPEG to get the highest quality possible for each photo"
Depends where you're printing from. I personally don't use Canon's DPP software so I can't provide input about printing with it. If you're printing from home using your own printer, you can export to the maximum JPEG or uncompressed TIFF. TIFF is preferred over JPEG when you upload it to digital print services, though to see the difference is very hard to no difference for the human eye. Though its slower uploading TIFF to any professional printing services, at times, you can make do with JPEG if the print outcome isn't overly important. Depends on the print outcome you want in the end.

"Is it possible to take an amazing shot that requires no editing at all"
It's possible. Entirely up to the person if they feel the need to post-process it or not. There's different reasons for each individual to edit photos they've taken. Could just be small minor edits or corrections to big post-production adjustments. It just depends on the individual carrying it out. A great photo captured by a professional photographer will likely end up retouched in post-production to convey something before it is printed or published to a director or so. Whether you want to take a class is up to you, it'll benefit you for sure if its an area you're new to.

"if you take a Raw and Convert it to TIFF that it is a bigger size and you don't degrade the picture"
Its a lossless format and bigger for compatibility that allows it to be read by most editing softwares out there

Stick with RAW when taking photos and any post-processing you do, it gives you full control over your photos. TIFF is pretty much there for versatility and flexibility in some usage or 3rd party printing services.
Hope that helps.
You should always shoot in RAW. Especially if you were going to print your images. All images taken from a digital camera need some tweaking. Sharpening, lens distortion correction, contrast adjustment, color correction and so on. RAW contains all the color dynamic range of the image and you can bring out the details in the shadows. You will need to learn how to edit RAW files, they are not print ready, but there are many good tutorials on YouTube, or like you said, take a Photoshop or Lightroom class. JPEG should only be used for putting photos on the web. Don't worry about TIFF or any other format. Hope that helps.
Bjota
"All images taken from a digital camera need some tweaking."
Not really needed, just up to the person if they feel the need to or not, though it'll likely end up happening. This applies to film cameras too, not just digital. Film can go through some post-processing in the darkroom if one wanted.
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