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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    Hi to all,I have some questions about the D-500 camera and 200-500 lens:
    * For birds photography, Which pictures format is more fit: RAW or JEPG? Can i set the XQD card for raw format and the SD card for JPEG format? * Is it right that i should not take photos when the Aperture in the lens is full open (5.6 in the case of 200-500 lens) and should open it 2 steps above (7.1 value), or its a myth?
    Thanks in advance

    › See More: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    RAW is always better than JPEG, it will give you sharper more detail pictures. I don't have the 200-500 lens, but almost all lenses are sharper of stopped down from wide open. How much for ultimate clarity depends on the lens. Most lens are sharpest around F8 to F11.
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    mikew's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    No problem shooting raw and jpeg like that, i would suggest though you go into the in-camera jpeg settings and make a few adjustments like upping the sharpness settings


    Olympus EM1MK11,Panasonic G80, 12-60mm, 60mm macro, Leica 100-400mm

    Nikon 1 V2,FT-1,10-30mm 30-110mm Viltrox extension tubes

  4. #4
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    Shooting RAW allows more latitude when post processing. For example, if you take a photo and the sky is really bright, if you haven't compensated for that brightness in your camera body, the image overall might be underexposed. RAW allows you to recover more detail as well as preserve detail when raising or lowering the exposure/shadows during post processing. Whether your SD card is set to RAW or jpeg is a personal choice. Granted the SD card won't hold as many photos, but if you set it to RAW, it will become a backup if the XQD card fails.

    I don't have that body but set my cards for RAW+jpeg Fine simply because my computer takes longer to load RAW images for viewing. If I had more RAM, then I'd be shooting RAW in both slots.

    As for not shooting wide open, what Brent said generally is true. Make sure to use the AF fine tune feature to get the sharpest images possible when shooting wide open. There may come times when you'll need the extra light that shooting wide open offers. In general, birds are better shot at f/6.3 or f/7.1 to allow greater DoF. When you are shooting at such long focal lengths like 500mm, your DoF is greatly reduced vs. shooting at 100mm. You'd run the risk of not getting all of the bird in focus at f/5.6 at 500mm.

    These are just my own personal preferences. Good luck and have fun!
    and My 2019 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Daniel Aegerter's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    For me: RAW to XQD, jpeg to SD.
    Although I never use the jpeg, but itís nice to know they are there.
    I shoot RAW all the time. Doesnít matter if itís animals, landscape or portraits. The quality and possibilities one has with RAW is just outstanding.
    I do not have that lens, but for each lens thereís a sweet spot in aperture. Google might help.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Danno's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    I do not have a 500 but on my 7200 I always shoot Raw on the primary card and RAW + Jpeg on the secondary card. I never use the Jpeg shots unless I am doing something for Church and they want them right away.

    On the 500 I always set mine up manual with a shutter speed of 1200 and an f/7.1 with auto ISO. It has been about a year since I shot the big lens, but that seemed to work pretty well. I picked it up from another here on the forum.

    "The natural man must know in order to believe; The spiritual man must believe in order to know. " ~ Aiden Wilson Tozer ~ "The Dwelling Place of God"

    Nikon Z 6 Nikon D7200 w/Grip, Nikon D700 w/Grip, AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm/1.8G, Tamron 28-75, Tamron 70-200 F/2.8
    Yongnuo Speedlight YN568EX, Vanguard ALTA Pro 264AB Tripod, Vanguard
    SBH-100 ball head Beike Gimbal Head, ARCA Swiss B1 ball head


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    canuck257's Avatar

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    D500 + 200-500 shot in RAW. Check the exif for aperture data. I shoot almost exclusivly wide open as this lens is very sharp at f5.6.

    Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format-_iva9129.jpg
    Nikon D500 gripped
    AF-S Nikkor 300mm f4 E-PF-ED
    AF-S VR Nikkor 16-35mm f4G-ED
    AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 E-PF-ED
    AF-S VR Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G-ED
    AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 G-ED-VRII
    Nikkor TC-1.4 III


  8. #8
    Senior Member

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    Off the top, I shoot RAW and only RAW with the D500. IMO unless there's an immediate need to share something SOOC using wifi to your phone or tablet then shooting both is just a waste of processing power. You're better off with a fast SD card and use it to mirror the XQD in case of failure. I've never processed a JPEG when I've had a RAW file available, and for birds which are often found in extreme lighting conditions having the light information available in a RAW file is critical to producing a good final product.

    Moving on, shooting birds is far different from shooting birds in flight. For stationary birds you can probably get away with wide open, though there isn't a lens on the planet that you can shoot handheld that won't improve stopped down a step or two. For birds in flight the focus system on the D500 is amazing, but it will give you small variances and the more open the aperture the more you'll be tossing images. I don't shoot with a zoom but I generally keep the 300mm F4 PF on my D500, usually with a 1.4x TCii. I don't overthink things but keep it in Manual mode with Auto ISO (maxed at 6400), a shutter speed of 1/1250 or 1/1600, and an aperture of f8. From there all I have to do is make sure I keep the bird in the frame. I'm told I do alright like that.
    Thanks/Like Daniel Aegerter, hark Thanks/liked this post

    The imitator is a poor kind of creature. If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer. Ė James McNeill Whistler

  9. #9
    Junior Member

    Re: Birds photography, RAW or JEPG format

    Thank you all.
    What is the best for birds photography in NEF Compression: Lossless Compressed, Compressed or Uncompressed?
    Also what NEF Bit Depth to choose? 12 bit or 14 bit?
    Last edited by Gishy; 04-05-2019 at 09:20 PM.

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