Raw for the first time

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Commonman, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    I just went out and shot in RAW for the first time. I imported the files into my iPhoto program, viewed the images through iPhoto and viewed them also by just using the "preview" function.

    I did not notice much of a difference beween the way the RAW files looked on the computer and the JPEG files (which is the format I had shooting in before today).

    I used the same camera for both the JPEG and RAW shooting.

    Should the RAW files look better? I'm thinking that this all depends on the resolution of my computer screen. For an amateur who is NOT doing a lot of editing or digital dark room work, is there really any advantage to shooting in RAW?
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Raw usually will not look as "good" as a jpg file straight from the camera. Most camera manufactures set the camera up in factory to process jpg files automatically. Raw is usually set at base line levels. In most cameras, you can go in and adjust the raw setting for in camera processing. However to me at least that is a waste of time.

    Raw is a format that allows for easy adjustment. When someone shoots in raw they are usually planning on post processing their files to acheive the look they want.

    Think of it as a digital negative if you will. A jpg is like taking a roll of film to a one hour photo kiosk. You get what they put out. The camera in this case is the one hour photo.

    Raw on the other hand what you get is a digital negative. The computer is your darkroom and you get process the photos to your liking. Color correction/white balance/tones/hues/sharpness/etc.

    Unless you are willing to spend the bit of time it takes to process your files then jpg may be the way to go. If however you want total control of your photography learn to process raw and shoot raw.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What an absolutely excellent analogy; may I use that?
     
  4. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    OK, that pretty much answers my question. Yeah, until I get more time and/or a more sophisticated processing package (like photoshop), I'm not going to worry about shooting in RAW. It's nice to have the ability to shoot in RAW nevertheless.

    I noticed that whenever Nikon mentions RAW in their manual, they put into parentheses something about Nikon's proprietary version or something like that.
    I wonder if this version of RAW can be processed using Photoshop.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Nikon's RAW files are '.NEF' (I think)...Canon's are .CR2 That's just the file extension, 'RAW' is a generic term.

    You can use Photoshop to open & convert those files, but you must have an up to date version of 'Adobe Camera RAW'.
     
  6. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    On RAW Conversion <-- (Click Me!)

    • .raf (Fuji)
    • .crw .cr2 (Canon)
    • .tif .k25 .kdc .dcs .dcr .drf (Kodak)
    • .mrw (Minolta)
    • .nef (Nikon)
    • .orf (Olympus)
    • .dng (Adobe) <-- Becoming thee standard.
    • .ptx .pef (Pentax)
    • .arw .srf .sr2 (Sony)
    • .x3f (Sigma)
    • .erf (Epson)
    • .mef .mos (Mamiya)
    • .raw (Panasonic)
    • .cap .tif .iiq (Phase One)
    • .r3d (Red)
    • .fff (Imacon)
    • .pxn (Logitech)
    • .bay (Casio)
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Considering that the following are the only four manufactures and cameras that will produce .dng files as their raw file in camera, I'm not sure I would call it a standard yet.

    Hasselblad - H2D

    Leica-Digital-Modul-R

    Ricoh-GR Digital

    Samsung-Pro 815


    It is a nice archival format however.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Thus the phrase "becoming a standard..."

    But don't forget Pentax and Casio! Of just the cameras I can think of that support it (in camera) there's:

    • Casio EX-F1
    • Samsung GX-20
    • Pentax K10D
    • Pentax K20D
    • Pentax K200D
    • Ricoh GR Digital II
    • Ricoh Caplio GX100
    • Samsung GX-10
    • Leica M8

    Plus all the ones I can't think of... :D

    Besides, if Hasselblad has it... It's a standard! ;) (hehe)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  9. Commonman

    Commonman TPF Noob!

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    After researching and discussing the topic, I have change my mind. I will not shoot ONLY in RAW. This was, I will have ALL the information pertaining to the image. And, even if I'm not really into the whole "digital dark room" thing, I will have the information if I ever do decide to process the image.

    Another note: the Nikon D200 comes with software and I have not had the time or energy to work with it. But I have decided to start using it to just carry out the fundamental processing of the digital images I capture.
     
  10. janetm1000

    janetm1000 TPF Noob!

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    i'm trying to wrap my head around this as well. i'm shooting jpeg so far and any processing i do, takes away from the quality, correct?
    does this mean if i process and adjust things in raw, the quality will be the same as the original?
    *runs off to read up on this...*
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Yes and no.

    Consider that there are several 'settings' that are applied to a digital image. 'saturation, contrast, sharpness etc. White Balance is an important one.

    When you shoot in JPEG, the camera applies those in-camera settings to the image, the compresses the image and throws out the extra info. Essentially, it's locking in those settings. Sure, you can edit the image to your heart's content in Photoshop or wherever. Yes,some changes or edits are 'destructive'. Also, the less information you have to work with, the less leeway you have when making edits.

    When you shoot RAW, the camera records but does not apply those settings to the image....they are not locked in. So when you first open a RAW file, you have the option of changing those settings...often with a simple slider control, so that you can see the difference before you commit to it. Then, you can 'convert' the RAW file...basically processing the file by incorporating those settings. Then you are left with an image file that is as good as if it were fresh out of the camera...but you have had the opportunity to make your adjustments.
    RAW files also have more depth than JPEG files. So you have more colors & tones to work with, which makes editing less destructive.
     
  12. janetm1000

    janetm1000 TPF Noob!

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    ah thanks a lot! that was such a clear explanation! i finally feel like i "get" it! might try what i can do with raw one of these days... :)
    thanks again!!
     

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