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Are you shooting compressed NEF raw files

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Sherman, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Yes I use compressed photos some times not always

  2. I only shoot compressed raw files

  3. I never shoot compressed

  4. I haven't really given it much thought

  1. Just trying to get a sense of how popular the compressed NEF file is among Cafe posters. The population here has grown so much that this question may be worth revisiting. I don't notice any difference between compressed and not compressed images in quality or in speed of processing in the camera or on the computer.

    I honestly can not see a reason not to shoot compressed. Or am I missing something?

    Thanks for contributing.
  2. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  3. Hi Paul,
    I am not by any means despondent and have no regrets with my D2x. I look forward to the D200 since, in my opinion (for whatever that is worth), this may usher in a new era in the upgrade price of future models. However, I have a D2x, a D70 and a D1x, so I am not sure where I would even put a D200.

    Before the D200, the gap between the D100 and the D2x was too large to consider a D100 at any price. (Although the D1x to D100 may have been similar to the D200 to the D2x, not sure since I never really looked at a D100). In the case of both the D1x and the D100, there was still very obvious room for improvement. I can not say that about the D200 or D2x. Now the D200 is offering a nice alternative to the D2x for those who can not afford the D2 or like the smaller size and don't need all the speed or the few other features on the D2.

    I for one am glad I bought the D2x since again in my opinion, the D2 is pretty much all the camera I will need for the fore see able future and don't see that the weight difference is that significant. I will say that had the D200 and the D2x both been introduced at the same time, it would have been a tough choice. D2x body or D200+70-200m+17-55mm+ 4 gig cf card@ 5fps & 10MPs.

    I think everyone using Nikon and other cameras are all going to benefit from this new release. I love all my Nikon stuff which is great since I have sooooooo much of it.

    You may have seen the post in which I responded to someone who wanted to trade in his D2x for a D200. I said that I doubt that anyone will pay full price for a new D2x now that the D200 is about to be released. I think that there will be some D2's on Ebay and they will probably go for pretty good price, so if anyone is looking for a good second camera, keep an eye out for a second D2x at bargain basement prices.

    I for one am much more interested in the 18-200mm and the SU-800 flash kits.
  4. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  5. I'm using a D70, so uncompressed 16 bit is not an option, only NEF 12 bit or jpeg. But if the question involves .jpeg compared to RAW then:
    100% NEF I find being able to adjust white balance and color temperature on the computer makes a huge difference. Once I learned to use NEF, I never used jpeg again.
    Will the D200 use uncompressed???????
  6. With the D70, it's compressed RAW all the time for me (the only other choice is JPEG!). With the D2H, I start usually in uncompressed and monitor the rate of storage consumption.

    For instance, I shot 5GB of pics at the Fleet Week airshow: that's 1400+ RAW pics, so yes, a lot of them were compressed. I am with Scott though, I cannot visually see a difference, but the primary reason is that only have one or the other of a given pic, not both, to pixel peep with! :eek: :biggrin:

    Sure, I could do a control test to compare and make a reasoned choice, but I figure that the storage (on hard drive or CD/DVD) is cheap enough, that as long as I can shoot uncompressed with the cards I have (that is most shoots), I don't have to worry about it, except for remembering to check/change the setting! :wink:

    Now, what Paul said that the highlights benefit from being uncompressed, particularly in large dynamic range images, makes sense (a lot of what he says actually makes sense! :eek:  :wink:) , so I'll use that justification from now on. How's that for somebody who never really gave it a good thought, although I picked the first choice in the poll...
  7. I only shoot compressed RAW due to my body being the D70 and not offering uncompressed...with the D200, i'm already going to be spending a LOT on extra CF cards...so i'll stick with compressed for capacity reasons most of the time. For my really important stuff though, Uncompressed RAW will be my choice.
  8. jgrove


    Apr 13, 2005
    I use a Nikon D2hs with 2GB and 4GB CF cards. I never use compressed RAW simply becuase i want to retain all of the image detail and i know that some of the image is lost in compressed raw. My recent NPS mag did explain it in more detail. But my storage space is nt a problem so i shoot un-compressed, if space is a problem then i would shoot compressed.

  9. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I only shoot uncompressed. I have a D100, and there are not enough minutes in a day to shoot a whole card in compressed mode.
  10. the results aren't quite as surprising to me as to you, perhaps, Scott.
    I'm viewing this from the perspective shared by a fair number of shooters I think...
    Frankly, uRAW takes up valuable space, and not all of us can afford a large number of high capacity cards. At 50% larger, that can be a pretty big difference. And I don't know this for a fact, but I would think it would have a detrimental effect on the buffer...smaller capacity and/or slower clearing of buffer.
    And although it offers better highlight recovery, that is one of the few advantages. Remember, nikon's compression, being visually lossless, means that just about all you can see in the picture itself will be the same between un and comp RAW. it's a matter of detail in areas normally lost to the DR of the camera due to the final exposure if I'm not mistaken.
    Therefore the applications for uncompressed RAW are mainly if you need the absolute best quality and if you need highlight recovery. I don't personally feel the need for it.
    Many who use uncompressed raw are, like Chris, D100 users since the compression for RAW files in that camera takes absolutely forever!
  11. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Forever doesn't even begin to describe the subjective wait for an uncomp RAW to write on my good ol' D100, Harrison. And can you believe that Nikon made compressed RAW the default on the camera!!

    But beyond that, I do believe the additional data (of an uncompressed NEF) improves the editability of the image. Isn't 12 full bits a big part of the advantage of RAW?
  12. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  13. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Amount of buffer space taken up is the same in either case, the uncompressed shot is going to go into the buffer either way. As for performance, I believe the compression overhead will actually be greater than the extra write time unless you're using slow cards.
  14. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've been shooting uncompressed RAW since people whose opinion I trust claim that the extra data in the highlights can be beneficial particularly for highlight recovery or when "shooting to the right". There have been some pretty contentious threads on DPR about it, some who have actually attempted to test it claimed they saw no difference in results.

    What I actually do no is convert the NEF's to DNG, which offers true lossless compression, and results in a file size just a hair larger than compressed NEF but without the data loss.
  15. Well, when I first received the D2x in May I was shooting uncompressed RAW images since what I was reading on other lists that was the way to go. But after reading more and doing some experiments myself by shooting the same image in compressed and uncompressed RAW I see no difference in the images except the file sizes are smaller...

    At one point I read that uncompressed RAW was 12Bit color and compressed Raw was 10Bit color, but in viewing the images in nikon View for the shooting data they are both 12bit color....

    I have never shot in Jpg mode yet... not the Tif mode the D2x has available...

    Your mileage may vary.....
  16. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    i use compressed NEF's when i'm running out of space. otherwise, it's uncompressed about 98% of the time. really easy to do with the D2H's large buffer and fast write speed.

    the D200 will be a pain though...large file sizes, ugh :Unsure:

  17. Does anyone have an example showing a visual difference between a compressed and uncompressed nef? I am still waiting to see the "proof".
  18. I always shoot uncompressed RAW.

    Not because of any great research that I've done, or any that I've read about, or people posting example pictures in an attempt to prove their point. Simply because:

    1) I know that the compression algorithm used causes some data to be lost (it's enough for me to know this fact without knowing the the detail of exactly what was lost). This combined with the fact that I end up making adjustments in curves, WB, and exposure on a high percentage of my shots makes me reluctant to give up the headroom of the full data for these adjustments, and

    2) I've got enough CF cards combined with an Epson P2000 that I don't fret the storage space issue.

    If I find myself in a situation where for some reason I can't use the P2000 and I start running out of space, I would certainly change to compressed NEF or possibly even JPG if I felt the situation demanded it. Otherwise, I'll just continue shooting uncompressed RAW until something changes. For me, it's not so much that I'm convinced that compressed NEF produces inferior results as it is that I have no compelling reason to go that direction.
  19. I never shoot compressed because I still use a D1X, and (unlike the D2 series) using compressed doubles the write times.
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