Canon 20D, RAW, JPEG and TIFF

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Peter Howe, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Peter Howe

    Peter Howe Guest

    I've recently bought a Canon 20D which is great. However, some questions
    which hopefully you can help with...

    1. Why doesn't it allow you to store RAW for basic zone photographs? It
    would be nice to have loss-less images even when they have been lazily
    taken - especially is subsequent touch-up in Photoshop is going to be done
    (because that will cause further loss won't it?)

    2. I read recently that TIFF is possibly the best format for long term
    archiving. What's the best workflow for taking 20D images and converting
    them to TIFF? (I'm presuming that for the basic zone JPEGs, they might as
    well just stay as JPEGs!)

    Thanks in advance.
    Peter Howe, Mar 23, 2005
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  2. Peter Howe

    MitchAlsup Guest

    1) I don't know, but after I found Av and M I haven't been back to the
    basic zones
    since late September and I haven't shot anything other than RAW sine
    then also.

    2) For the time period I am looking at, I store RAW images and fully
    post processed
    JPGs. I do use TIFFs for transit between my RAW converter (DPP) and PS,
    but I
    erase these later. I archive the RAWs as I collect another DVD+RW
    number of
    images. I also archive DVD+WR JPGs but with a file structure
    appropriate for the
    occasions being shot.
    MitchAlsup, Mar 23, 2005
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  3. 1. Sucks, don't it. Use P modem and adjust your ISO to make up for creative
    zones. It's worse on a Rebel because you can't get AI in the creative zones.

    2. Yes, I'd be careful making RAW your only archive format. Who knows what
    software/plug-in combo you'll be using in ten years. TIFF is probably not
    going anywhere for at least that long.
    Dave R knows who, Mar 23, 2005
  4. Well RAW is not really loss-less, it is more of a reduced loss. :)

    As for zone, I don't know, unless some of the features may conflict with
    RAW. In any case I don't use the auto zone so I can't help. I stick with
    the Program choices.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 24, 2005
  5. Peter Howe

    J Warren Guest

    I may be misunderstanding your question, but if you shoot in "P" mode
    you're basically in full-auto BUT you can set resolution to
    That's true so long as you don't edit and the re-save them as JPEGS.
    Whenever you save in that format you sand off some bits...

    J Warren, Mar 24, 2005
  6. Peter Howe

    Woggy_tm Guest

    May I ask how you know Canon RAW is not a lossless compression?
    Woggy_tm, Mar 24, 2005
  7. I don't have a 20D, but on the Canon's I'm familiar with, in P mode you
    can set the camera so it shoots identically to Auto in every way. The
    difference is that Auto *prevents* you from making choices that you
    might not understand if you don't know anything about photography. Auto
    is the mode to set before giving the camera to your grandmother.

    Thus, Auto prevents you from changing the white balance, which has the
    potential of royally messing up your images - auto white balance is
    safer for beginners. Similarly, Auto prevents you from shooting RAW,
    because that would give you images you can't directly print, or view on
    your computer - this would be distressing for a novice.

    Basically, if you know what RAW is, Canon figures you know enough to use
    P mode. Auto mode is for people who don't understand RAW and thus
    probably don't want it.

    Dave Martindale, Mar 24, 2005
  8. Peter Howe

    Jim Townsend Guest

    When you use the auto modes, you enter into a contract with the
    camera. You point and shoot and the camera does everything else.

    I guess Canon feels that people who are point-n-shooters, aren't
    likely to be interested in taking the time to do extensive post
    processing :)
    There isn't much loss in Canon's high quality JPEG.. I doubt you
    could see the difference between a JPEG and RAW converted directly
    to TIFF without any processing. I know I can't.

    The big thing with RAW *is* the ability to post process. Canon RAW
    files are 12 bit vs 8 bit for JPEG.. The greater depth allows you to
    pull more detail out of underexposed areas and in some cases salvage
    highlights from slightly overexposed areas.

    And of course, there are no paramaters applied to the RAW file. The
    settings are only applied when you actually convert the RAW to a
    JPEG or TIFF

    This allows you to change things like white balance, sharpness, contrast
    etc. after the fact. Something you just can't do with JPEG.
    Jim Townsend, Mar 24, 2005
  9. First, I did not reference anything about compression. I simply wrote
    "Well RAW is not really loss-less, it is more of a reduced loss. :)" No
    digital camera I know of creates any form of lossless file. In all cases I
    know of, the original data from the sensor is analog. this is processed by
    the camera into digital data (the RAW image) It is not something you or I
    can do anything about. That is why I wrote it the way I did. Sorry if it
    was confusing.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 24, 2005
  10. Peter Howe

    DM Guest


    1) I guess the logic is that the people who want to operate the 20D in the
    basic zone modes are more your casual shooter and the most unlikely to be
    'fiddling around' in photoshop afterwards. (Personally I wish they'd just
    left them off the 20D entirely.)

    2) As to 'Best for archiving'...

    I shoot RAW + Max JPG (if the shots perfect in camera I can just use the
    original JPG without post processing)

    For all other shots I convert to 16-bit TIFF using Canon's EOSViewer

    I do all editing as 16-bit TIFF and only convert back to JPG when happy with
    the final edit.

    My working Harddrive is backed up every night to a second external HD

    I then archive...

    a) The original RAW file
    b) The final edit TIFF (throwing away all interim steps)
    c) The final JPG

    ....all RAW files to both DVD-RAM and a 3rd 'archive' HD (plus a 'safety'
    backup to DVD-R stored offsite) TIFF to DVD-RAM (plus a 'safety' backup to DVD-R stored offsite) JPG to DVD-RAM and the 'archive' HD (plus a 'safety' backup to
    DVD-R stored offsite)


    DM, Mar 26, 2005
  11. Peter Howe

    Drifter Guest

    Oh good lord, do some research. This topic has been beaten to DEATH
    on various photography sites and newsgroups.

    "I've been here, I've been there..."
    Drifter, Mar 26, 2005
  12. Peter Howe

    Drifter Guest

    and the really nice thing is as the available software keeps improving
    so does the ability to "repair" poor photos. The capability to
    recover "blown" highlights in Photoshop CS is AMAZING. Of course that
    doesn't help all of the pre-RAW photos I've taken <sigh>.

    "I've been here, I've been there..."
    Drifter, Mar 26, 2005
  13. Peter Howe

    DM Guest

    DM, Mar 27, 2005
  14. Peter Howe

    DM Guest

    DM, Mar 27, 2005
  15. Peter Howe

    Drifter Guest

    What conclusion? I have posted no opinion one way or the other beyond
    the fact that this issue has been debated ad-nausium.

    "I've been here, I've been there..."
    Drifter, Mar 27, 2005
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