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Image compression: How to set RAW + JPEG

With the EOS 350D and 400D you can only select RAW+Large JPEG as a simultaneous shooting option. All the other EOS cameras allow you to shoot any of the JPEG sizes with the RAW file.

The EOS 10D RAW+JPEG option is set with Custom Function 08. The JPEG image is embedded within the RAW file and must be extracted with File Viewer Utility software (supplied with the camera). Other models allow you to set the RAW+JPEG option through the ‘Quality’ setting menu screen and save the files separately to your CF or SD media card.

1. Press the menu button to show the menu options

2. Navigate to the ‘Quality’ setting menu screen

3. Select one of the RAW+JPEG options on display

Buffer issues

When you’re shooting both RAW and JPEG together, the camera has a larger amount of data to process so there will be more megabytes to save to the memory card. This will have a direct affect on the number of images you can shoot in a single burst before the buffer locks out.

The EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1Ds Mark III, EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-1D X and EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs have a little trick in their armoury that adds to the advantages of shooting RAW and JPEG simultaneously. These cameras have two media card slots – one for a CompactFlash (CF) card and one for a SecureDigital (SD) card (the EOS-1D X features two CompactFlash slots and no SD card slot). Unlike the EOS-1D Mark II, which also has two card slots, the newer EOS cameras are able to treat each card separately so you can save your RAW files to one card and your JPEG files to another. This is a big advantage as it allows the files to be kept separately. You can download the JPEG files quickly to a computer if you need to e-mail or print them immediately, leaving the RAW files for later. Alternatively, you can save your images to two cards simultaneously and thus have an immediate backup of all the images you capture.

The addition of a third file type on the EOS-1D Mark III, EOS-1Ds Mark III, EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS-1D X and also on the EOS 40D, EOS 50D, 60D, EOS 7D, EOS 5D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark III – S-RAW – means there are four options. You can choose to shoot S-RAW+RAW, RAW+JPEG, S-RAW+JPEG or JPEG+JPEG. Why would you want to save JPEG+JPEG? Either because you are saving these at different resolutions (for e-mail and printing), or because you want a backup in case one of the media cards is corrupted. The EOS 7D and EOS-1D Mark IV also feature the additional M-RAW file format to give you the extra option of M-RAW+RAW.

In April 2010 Canon introduced its RAW Codec Version 1.7 software plug-in that enables the import and display of Canon RAW image files when installed in Windows Vista (including SP1), Windows XP SP2 and XP SP3. Note that Windows Imaging Component (WIC) supported applications are required.

Changes in the Canon RAW Codec Version 1.7 include the following:

  • Support has been added for the EOS-1D Mark IV and EOS 550 DSLRs.
  • Windows7 32-bit version is now supported.
  • A fix of a problem that occurred when EOS cameras’ S-RAW/M-RAW images, and the PowerShot S90’s RAW images, were displayed as previews in the Photo Gallery application and the (Next) button was pressed repeatedly, which caused the application to hang for a period of time.

Cameras with RAW+JPEG

EOS-1D Mark II
EOS-1D Mark II N
EOS-1D Mark IV
EOS-1Ds Mark II
EOS-1Ds Mark III
EOS 5D Mark II
EOS 10D**
EOS 20Da
EOS 350D*
EOS 400D*
EOS 450D*

*RAW+Large JPEG only

Dedicated RAW+JPEG button

The EOS 7D features a dedicated RAW+JPEG button. While this is not for shooting RAW and JPEG at the same time, it does allow you to switch between the two formats on an image-by-image basis without having to enter the camera menu each time. Simply press the button to switch from one to the other.