Is there really a point in shooting RAW?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Ygrazi, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Ygrazi

    Ygrazi TPF Noob!

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    I've been shooting in RAW for a couple of years now and love it. But I notice that when I convert the NEF files to a JPEG using Photoshop the color balance was way off, ruining my whole picture. So I tried out Nikon NX Capture, was told it was great for converting NEFs to JPEG. While it kept the color balance almost exactly, I noticed it compressed the whole image and some pictures really lost a lot of detail. Is there any way I could fix this? (I used the batch option) Or should I just shoot in JPG Fine? This is driving me nuts!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It sounds like you may have been switching color spaces. When you switch from one color space to another, without properly converting, you can get weird color results. Do you know what space you were working in or moving to etc?
     
  3. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If shooting in jpg works for you, then go for it, there's nothing wrong with it. Personally, I can't do it.. I like to have all the information I can get BEFORE I start processing an image. Jpg from the camera doesn't cut it for me.

    As far as your color balance being off.. It might be some settings in photoshop. Mine seems to keep it pretty much how I want it when I convert.
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    If things are off.. you can just adjust them. That's the point of a raw converter, more or less.
     
  5. Ygrazi

    Ygrazi TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike, how would check that? What should my settings be set to?
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When shooting RAW, you should be able to set any of the color spaces that you have avaliable...but to make things easy, I'd suggest that you set everything to sRGB. Set the camera to that, then make sure that sRGB is set when you covert the RAW file. In Photoshop, make sure that sRGB is your working space and/or that your image is set to that. In Photoshop, look under the Image menu and choose Mode.

    When you use Photoshop to convert...I wouldn't think that anything would change...you set it to what you want and then it should stay the same when you convert it.

    Or do you mean that it looks off when you first open it? If that's the case, it might just be that you have a preset white balance set as the default, rather than the 'as shot' value.
     
  7. Ygrazi

    Ygrazi TPF Noob!

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    Everything is set to sRGB. When I open the NEF file in Photoshop it looks fine- half the time I don't even change anything, I just convert (Save Images- JPG format). then when I open the JPG file, while it looks ok, when I compare it to my NEF it's terrible.
    I didn't have this problem when I converted it in Nikon NX, but that program compressed it. There must be a way... I just don't know what it is!
     
  8. Ygrazi

    Ygrazi TPF Noob!

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    Ok I just read on dpreview, that the Nikon D50 is set by default to IIIa which is still sRGB but is described as being optimized for nature and landscape photographs. I like my pictures that way, is there any way I could keep the same coloring in photoshop? Otherwise when I save it, the picture comes out either washed out or greyish kind of.
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I just want to check something, What program are you looking at your files in after you convert them.
    Any of the windows application(Picture Viewer, Explorer) will give you different results as they are not colour space aware.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Could it be because you are trying to batch the images?

    When you try to batch convert a bunch of images, it might be taking the white balance from one image (or some other default) and applying that to all the images...and unless all the images are shot under the exact same lighting, there will be differences in the WB setting that is required.

    I never liked Photoshop for converting RAW files. I use RAW Shooter Essentials (which was an indirect precursor to Adobe Lightroom) and it's make working with RAW files much better. I'd suggest that you look into getting Lightroom (I believe there is a trial version).

    As for Nikon NX. A file is always compressed when you save it as a JPEG. If you don't want compression, then convert it to TIFF or a Photoshop PSD file etc. But still, you shouldn't really see a difference when you first save it as JPEG...check your quality/compression settings.
     
  11. Ygrazi

    Ygrazi TPF Noob!

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    I just tried to convert one picture (not batch) in photoshop, NX, and RAWShooter. PS and Rawshooter gave me the same coloring. NX kept the right colors.
    Then I tried changing my color mode to Adobe RGB on my camera. Still messing up my colors........
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  12. hipslap

    hipslap TPF Noob!

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    That's true.

    Does the image change drastically after converting it while still in PS or is it when you view the image in an external program that the colors change?
     

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