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Thread: Shooting RAW or JPEG on long trip overseas

  1. #1
    Member teylward's Avatar
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    Shooting RAW or JPEG on long trip overseas

    Hi guys,

    Me and the missus are going to be heading overseas for 8mths. I was wanting to get people's opinion on whether to shoot in RAW or JPEG.

    I'm unsure for a few reasons. I don't think storage space will be an issue with a 2Tb hard drive?...or will it.(May just buy another one if I run out of room)
    - There will be a hell of a lot of RAW images to go through and process (We only have a small notebook for travelling, so no photoshop)
    - JPEGs can be easily transferred onto sharing sites for Facebook.
    - If I get a great shot somewhere RAW will be great to make it an excellent shot.


    Any opinions or experience good or bad will be awesome,

    Thanks guys and girls.
    Cheers, Travis

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    Ausphotography Regular bobt's Avatar
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    You need to consider how many photos you are likely to take, and this varies from photographer to photographer. When I travel I take around 1000 photos per week. I carry a netbook and a small portable hard drive, and each day I transfer the day's images from the camera to the netbook with a copy on the hard drive. I always shoot RAW because I want the best chance to get the best images. Now you need to decide how many you are likely to take, and work out an approximate total for the trip - then add a whole lot more to be safe! You don't want to be running out just when the trip gets interesting. If your calculations mean that you don't have enough storage space, then you'll have to modify your image quality to suit the space available. It's all a matter of maths really.

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    I would think that 8 months worth of photo's might just take up more than you have available at present. The cost of portable hard drives is so cheap now I would buy or be prepared to buy another hard drive. cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian.

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    Ausphotography Regular livio's Avatar
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    Hi Travis,

    Just remember that jpeg is a lossy format that is you lose detail and information every time you modify it albeit small. Raw / tiff etc are lossless that is they don't lose information / detail

    Kind Regards
    Livio

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    In the overall scheme of things, I doubt you will lose any sleep over the fact that you shot in jpg mode.

    One reason I believe this is that if you were worried about it, you wouldn't even contemplate the notion!

    A 2tb hard drive should have the ability to hold at least 2 years worth of raw images without breaking a sweat.

    A random D5000 raw image should contain no more than about 20 megabytes of information(or thereabouts) at ti's peak, and average more like 15Mb or so.

    a 2Tb drive will hold ..... (approx) 130,000 15Mb images. Do you expect to shoot more than one hundred and thirty three thousand three hundred and thirty three images in 8 months?

    As for jpg images for upload to your preferred social networking site .... easy solution is to install a lightweight program to convert your images into jpgs.

    As you have a D5000, my initial reaction would be to go with ViewNX2 for many reasons!
    1. it's pretty fast for just basic editing, and batch conversion to jpg.
    2. I think using it's importing features via Nikon Transfer and adding ITPC/XMP metadata as you transfer may eventually become important.
    From my experience, if your preference is for Adobe software to edit your images(and catalog them??), then the information added into XMP/ITPC via ViewNX2 will be transferred into the image(as it's embedded in the raw file). Doesn't work the other way around from Adobe to Nikon software!

    ViewNX2 runs fine on my pathetically underpowered Atom CPUed Win7 tablet! .. so it should run fine on a notebook!(although a speedy SSD has helped a lot).

    For uploading jpgs to social sites, ViewNX will provide usable utility features and allow you to keep your jpgs small but with fairly high quality.

    My brother went to Europe for 2 months last year, and I gave him(basically the same advice .. for his D5100). He had the time too, but ignored my advice to keyword his images as he transferred them to the hard drive(he had a 500G, that I gave him).
    At one point after his holiday, he commented that he couldn't find an image and couldn't remember where he'd shot it .. and my comment was that had he cataloged it, he'd been able to find it with a simple search(using keywords).

    I would also suggest to try FSViewer as well, but in reality it's redundant other than for editing jpg images in some way. It's a great, speedy program for viewing all manner of images including raw files, but it hasn't got the same finesse at converting NEF files to jpg. It views raw files based on the embedded jpg file(by default) so your raw files will look as per the camera's LCD(only better!)
    If VNX2 runs smoothly on your notebook, I can't see FSViewer helping in any way on your notebook too.

    Anyhow, hope this helps in some way.
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    I have a D5000 & I shoot in JPeg & Raw format so that if I'm needing to up load a series of photos for the church I can easily copy them over without having to convert them as they don't usually worry to much about the extra processing quality and I then do processing for printing after just an easier and quicker option for me. Also even if you did fill the portable HDD the cost of posting the full one back wouldn't be that much and even weight wouldn't affect the luggage that much.

    I know HDD's now are fairly reliable and although yes cheep but for me still can't afford to just go and buy them when ever I feel like it but possibly consider getting 2 or three smaller capacity drives and storing duplicates to protect against failure or loss, other AP'ers thoughts on this. take 1 or 2 with you buy extra if you want while away and post the others back.

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    I'd definitely go for RAW & JPEG. You can use the JPEGs to show people, put up on the web etc and know you have the RAW files safe and sound for future processing. As the others have said, storage is cheap, so you can buy more as you go.

    8 months away sounds like quite a trip! Will you be working or is it a long holiday? (If you don't mind me asking, if you do just tell me to nick off!)
    Odille

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, since you asked, let me give you my opinion, which I now practise: raw.
    It takes a while to process but you're on the trip for something, and you can't easily go back.
    Anyway, what do you do when not on a trip? I basically do the same no matter what.
    Am.
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    Travis, I've recently come back from 5 weeks in Europe, where I took my Macbook Pro and used Lightroom. I shot exclusively in RAW using my D600. The files were big (and the external hard drive was essential), but it provided two important advantages: 1. it permitted recovery of highlight / shadow data in challenging exposure conditions (of which there are plenty) and 2. it was easier to adjust white balance (even in cases where it was manually set).

    There were some cases where I needed jpgs but it was simple to export them from Lightroom. Worth noting that there are plug ins / integration between Lightroom and facebook, which manage the transformation and upload.

  10. #10
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    I think you should shoot raw plus jpeg basic as that will not take up a real lot more than just raw. I only shoot raw now it is a little more work (for me) but you can get so much more from the images. Have a great trip.
    Graeme
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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    I'll echo the RAW + jpeg sentiments, particularly if RAW is part of your usual workflow.
    But add a small jpeg too which should work fine for immediate web publishing use. As others have stated storage shouldn't be an issue with 2TB on hand.
    But what you may want to consider is how you would back up that 8months worth of photos along the way, particularly if this is one of those once in a life time thing.
    HDD are pretty good these days but can still fail. Having 2 HDD is probably the easiest solution, if you don't mind carrying an extra HDD but consider carrying them in separate luggages.
    Alternatively look into cloud storage like Dropbox if you have regular access to reliable wifi hot spots.
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    If you usually take photos in RAW, then RAW & JPEG. Try and delete obviously wrong photos as you go.
    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Alternatively look into cloud storage like Dropbox if you have regular access to reliable wifi hot spots.
    Was going to suggest something like this for your more important photos. Hasn't some well known photo hosting place recently changed to 1TB of storage for free.

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    Thanks so much for the info and opinions guys.

    At the moment I have been shooting in RAW. I can convert these on the computer at home, which I won't be able to do on our notebook while away.

    It's looking like RAW + JPEGs is the go. I wasn't sure how the storage would be with both, but as said above I can just use basic JPEGs that won't take up much space.

    Odille, The trip is for holidays. I will hit 10yrs long service in January, so want a nice big trip before buying a house and settling down.


    Again, thanks heaps

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    Interesting that I only shot in RAW with my wifi enabled Sony Nex 6 and uploaded by wifi into my Ipad for posting onto Facebook or Instagram without an issue?? I presume somewhere along the line the RAW file got converted into a jpeg?? Unless those sites allow RAW uploads?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Might I grumbly caution against the likes of Dropbox. It's a long and laborious process uploading
    from overloaded internet cafe sites and such usually big and many files. I tired a few once - once, mind! - and
    then gave iot a wide berth. (You could say a Big Bertha?)
    Am (most grumbly).

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    Might do a test upload with some RAW files onto Facebook and see what happens.

    - - - Updated - - -

    How about that. I just uploaded a raw file to Facebook. It worked, but the image was very small, so not really worth the upload waiting time.

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    I shoot raw...take a laptop and external drive when abroad.
    make sure the drive can be powered via usb - much more convenient

  18. #18
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teylward View Post
    .....

    It's looking like RAW + JPEGs is the go. I wasn't sure how the storage would be with both, but as said above I can just use basic JPEGs that won't take up much space.

    .....
    Yes and No .. it depends on who you talk too.

    I haven't bothered with jpgs for years now, and it's very unlikely I ever will, as (I believe) it's usually more hassle than it's worth.

    For quick easy jpgs(of the raw files), there is small bit of software called IJFR(Instant Jpg From Raw) ... which is installed as a shell extension(Win only as AFAIK).

    This software extracts the jpg files contained within the raw image.

    Basically, via Windoze Explorer, you browse to your raw images, highlight the ones you think/know you want to keep/share/upload, and right click them, and select the Instant JPG From RAW option in the rightclick menu.

    A small dialogue box opens up, allows you a few basic but important options, such as image sizes(native size, or a max height/width option) I think it's maximum configurable size variable is 3000 pixels, but it will extract to the maximum possible size of the image as well, if this is preferred(native size option) ... a couple of options as to where to extract them too .. and stuff like that.

    It's about as quick as you can get to making jpg images of your raw files, as it's not converting the raw files to jpgs, it's simply extracting the jpgs already contained within the raw file.

    By the time you've navigated to the folder where you place the extracted jpgs, they're already there.

    One thing I liked about this method of having easy access to some important jpgs .. is that I don't have to navigate a myriad of jpg files that I usually don't really want anyhow.
    I just navigate my RAW files, select the ones that look like are worthy of displaying immediately, rightclick and extract them via IJFR.

    The largest number of raw files I've extracted in one hit has been about 200(only as a test to judge it's performance, and as before, the jpgs will instantly become available in your selected folder.

    IJFR is free to download.. from memory I think they want you to register via an email address or something, but after a couple of years of use, having to supply the email address to download it hasn't given me cause for email issues. You can get it from HERE.

    To be honest tho, while I have used this method, and it works like a charm, my preferred method is still to open most raw files in VNX2, rate them in terms of quality/importance, and convert them to jpgs from there.
    Someone once played with my D300 a while back and set it to shoot RAW + JPG .. and having two images of the same scene 200 times over and over was more annoying than useful.

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    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    I'll just throw another handful of mud into the water here. If this is your trip of a lifetime and you intend to make the most of your travel snaps, consider some form of GPS device that will sync with your photos. Take a GPS tracker with you wherever you take your camera and record the GPS tracks. Later you can sync the GPS Tracks with with your camera's EXIF data in the pictures and automatically insert the GPS data. This will allow you to upload your travel photos to FLICKR and the likes and have the photos automatically placed on the map where they were taken. Helps later to catalogue them too.

    You can get free software like GeoSetter which will do this for you. Just be aware that your GPS device will track in GMT (or universal time), so setting your camera to GMT would help with the synch process. I've been through this process with a mate of mine who couldn't quite come to terms with having to have the GPS device WITH him AND TURNED ON for the process to work. Very frustrating.

    I can tell you that if I'd had GPS 15 years ago when I took 22,000 digital images overseas, I'd be able to remember where I took them too.
    Last edited by Warbler; 01-08-2013 at 1:54pm.

  20. #20
    Ausphotography Irregular Warbler's Avatar
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    Here's what GeoSetter looks like when I synchronised his images with his GPS tracks. Well, the ones I could find a match for anyway.

    GeoSetter.jpg

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