Editing RAW vs TIFF result quality

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6 comments

  • Ian Wilson
    Yes TIFF editing is non-destructive in Capture One. (Even JPEG editing is.) I would suggest that you get the most latitude for adjustments if you start with the raw file. But many people do some TIFF editing - for instance round-tripping an image as a TIFF to an external editor such as Photoshop for retouching and then finishing off the work in Capture One again. The consensus as to the best advice, as far as I can see, is to do as much as possible in Capture One before sending it out as a TIFF.

    Ian
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  • AllMediaLab
    Thanks for that Ian!

    What I have been reading about Tiff and RAW is this on a blog:
    RAW image data requires an extra step of conversion compared to TIFF files, but the trade-off is that RAW data typically has the advantages of a larger native color space and potentially greater bit depth as well as completely adjustable white balance, sharpening, etc. Another important difference is that RAW image data supports non-destructive editing, in other words RAW image data remains intact after editing, whereas most image editing done to TIFF files such as contrast, sharpening and saturation enhancement cannot be undone once saved.


    Is this still true in Capture One or do they use a trick with the Tiff's and JPG's to use a RAW image in between conversion to accomplish the non-destructiveness?

    And what about the other details color space, bit depth etc.?
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  • Ian Wilson
    I'm not qualified to say much about colour space, bit depth, etc, though I have seen that kind of statement too, and assumed it was right.

    When you edit any file format in Capture One, whether RAW, TIFF or JPEG, it is always non-destructive. Capture One keeps a record of your edits in its database (catalogs) or in sidecar files (sessions) without altering the original file. So you can always go back and change things. You only end up with irreversible changes when they are "baked in" to output files, so for example when you create a TIFF or JPEG from your adjusted raw file, or when you output a new JPEG from a JPEG you have edited. But in all those cases the file you started with is not touched and you could always go back to it and edit it again.

    Ian
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  • AllMediaLab
    Thanks!
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  • Robert Farhi
    Hi David,

    A RAW image by itself doesn't have any strictly speaking color space. When it is opened, it gets the color space used by the software as working color space. As far as I know, the color space of Capture 1 is comparable to ProPhoto RGB, which is quite large. Conversely, a TIFF has a color space, chosen by the user. This can be seen (and chosen) when you edit an image in a third party software, for instance.
    I just partially went back to film and am scanning my negatives. The scanner gives me back 48 bits TIFF files, that I can adjust as I like, with the same non-destructive fluency as my RAWs.
    Robert
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  • AllMediaLab
    Thanks! Robert
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