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5D: RAW to TIFF or JPEG?

Hey up everyone, I just came back from Colombia a few days ago, I started shooting with a Canon 5D and have been using the software that comes with the camera (Digital Photo Professional) to convert the images. It takes so long to convert one image that I wonder whether I should change programs. Would you recommend converting to TIFF or JPEGs? The converted Exif-Tiff files are 36.4 Mb and the Exif-Jpegs 7.7 Mb. I plan to edit my work and upload it onto Digital Railroad but 36 Mb per image seems too much. I have read in other threads about Photo Mechanics and Noise Ninja but unfortunately I don’t have those programs. Do they actually process RAW images much faster?

Many thanks

by [a former member] at 2006-04-19 07:17:32 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Tokyo , Japan | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Photo mechanic does not convert RAW files. It can copy existing jpegs to another location but that is it, no RAW processing capability. You can also ediy your selected RAWs sstraight into Photoshop, what i do, from Photo Mechanic, after captioning, selecting, renaming, etc.
Camera Raw, in photoshop, does a very good RAW conversion from 5D files, give it a shot.

by Jeremy M. Lange | 19 Apr 2006 07:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
if you’re using a mac, you might also want to try to download a tryout of adobe’s lightroom – not sure if it’s out for the PC yet.

aperture 1.1, apple’s take on the raw converter, now does decent conversions and take a few seconds (!) per image on a dual G5. The interface is still quite slow if you don’t have a very, very recent mac.

by [former member] | 19 Apr 2006 08:04 | new york, United States | | Report spam→
Photo Mechanic and Noise Ninja aren’t RAW converters. The more popular ones out there for Canon are Adobe’s ACR, Canon’s DPP, Phase One’s Capture One, and a handful of other players. Regardless, the differences in RAW conversion speeds with the different software apps are not significant IMO, all you can do is batch process them and walk away from the computer. I use Adobe Camera RAW from Bridge because unlike DPP, it’s easier to edit the RAW files and I can add metadata. Unlike Capture One, I already own it.

As far as file formats, my normal workflow is:

1) RAW: Make as many global edits as possible (curves, white balance, no sharpening, etc..), add metadata.
2) PSD: I import the RAW into Photoshop and put the finishing touches, save all edits as adjustment layers to keep it non-destructive, this is my master copy.
3a) JPG: At this stage of the workflow, most of the heavy editing has already been done. That includes editing that your computer does that you may not even be aware of (applying gamma curve, white balance, etc..). Therefore you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between a high quality jpeg (level 9 or so) and a tiff unless you or your customer is going to do some heavy editing. Therefore I will normally deliver them to my clients as full resolution, high quality jpegs.
3b) TIFF: If I am submitting to a stock agency I’ll save them as TIFFs. Some of my savvy clients will want TIFFs because they’ll do a lot of heavy editing with the images. On the other hand, some of my less savvy clients will want TIFFs because all they know is that someone told them TIFFs are better (technically-yes, practically – no most of the time).

Another thing to think about is if you submit to a stock agency, you’ll want a larger file size for no other reason than for purposes of perceived value. Some agencies will ask that you upres your images to 50MB or higher just so buyers will think it’s a higher quality image before buying. Personally I think this is silly but rarely is what the customer wants the same as what they need. I’m slowly learning to just give them what they ask for instead trying to educate them on digital editing. Along these same lines, expect some concern if you deliver sub 1MB full resolution jpegs. What many photo buyers may not understand is how compression works and how when you shoot with a high quality digital camera like your 5D, the jpegs that it creates can be compressed more because it the sensor is so clean. A cheap camera will have more noise, noise is detail and the more detail you have in your image, the less it can be compressed. The same thing if you use quality fast lenses. If I shoot at large apertures using my 85mm f1.2 (blurry backgrounds contain little detail and so are highly compressible) on my 1Ds MkII, I will sometimes end up with jpegs that are only 900kB even though the image is 16.7 MP. I’ve had clients flip out because they think I down res’d the images.

by Tommy Huynh | 19 Apr 2006 08:04 (ed. Apr 19 2006) | Oklahoma City, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for all the extra useful information and advice. Matthias, I don’t think I can use Aperture, I’ve got a powerbook G4 but bought it two years ago and I’ve heard Aperture takes up a lot of memory to run (i.e. it’ll run perfectly on a G5, right? or a macbook pro I guess). Tommy, thanks for the workflow tips. I was actually starting to convert to Tiff before doing any edits. You’d recommend then doing all the possible edits when still RAW. It does seem worth getting Photo Mechanics to do that because I can batch process but I don’t see how I could add metadata on Digital Photo Professional.

The more I learn the more I feel I know so little…about everything.


by [former member] | 19 Apr 2006 08:04 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
It is not a real converter, but it does a nice job pretending to be one ; check out GraphicConverter for Mac. It isn’t perfect, but it is cheap, and it does most basic things that you may encounter and may need.

by Js | 19 Apr 2006 13:04 | Trollhättan, Sweden | | Report spam→
Adobe Camera Raw is probably your best all round,easy to understand Raw Converter.
It is integrated into Adobe CS2 if,by chance,that is what you are using

There are endless debates as to which is the BEST converter and CaptureOne frequently tops the list but,as someone who uses a half dozen converters results are very subjective
and each converter has its characteristics that work better/worse for different people. FWIW, Canons DPP usually gets good feedback for the quality of its conversions but from a
workflow perspective it fall short of many others. Check out Raw Developer from www.iridientdigital.com for a very good,pretty economical ($79 USD,I think) converter.
Does not have an integrated browser so,like DPP,outputs great files but is a bit laborious for large volume image processing.

As mentioned earlier Adobe Lightroom is a very capable converter and as it is a public beta ‘work in progress’ it is free,for the time being, and fully functional.
There is a series of pretty good video pocasts that can get you up to speed quickly as well as a good video on the Macromedia site.
You can find everything you need concerning Lightroom at http://labs.macromedia.com/technologies/lightroom. A good very active user forum is also available from this link.


by [former member] | 19 Apr 2006 13:04 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Thank you so much guys. I’ll try to get Adobe Camera Raw and/or Lightroom asap and try them out.

by [former member] | 19 Apr 2006 18:04 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→

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Jeremy M. Lange, Photographer Jeremy M. Lange
Durham, North Carolina , United States ( RDU )
Tommy Huynh, Travel & Corporate Photog Tommy Huynh
Travel & Corporate Photog
Houston , United States
Js, Js
Oslo , Norway


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