RAW?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eminart, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    Can someone give me a good explanation of exactly what "RAW" is and the primary uses?

    As I understand (and I'm not too sure about this), the camera normally decides the general appearance and makeup of a photo and throws away any unused information. In RAW mode, the camera decides nothing and all the info is kept?

    If I'm right, what exactly is the advantage? I'm guessing it allows for a greater range of manipulation? Is that it?

    I'm still learning what all the buttons do on my D80, so this is a bit beyond me, but I did shoot a couple of shots in RAW the other day just out of curiosity.

    Here's one of them. I obviously "warmed" it up a lot.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Really, seriously....not meaning to be rude by any means. Do a search on this one....it has been over-explained in countless threads. Primarily, no compression of your image, and much easier post processing in graphics programs. If you are still learning, set your camera on fine/large JPEG, go shoot, and have fun. You have enough to worry about just learning your camera, don't get yourself overwhelmed with too many other things as well.
     
  3. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    Well what's the point in a forum if we're just going to search for everything that's ever been posted? Seriously, it's all on google. I don't need a forum if I'm just going to read already written explanations.

    At least I did post it in the newbie section with all the other redundant questions.

    And, I'm not easily overwhelmed. I like to know everything. ;)
     
  4. 31M0

    31M0 TPF Noob!

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    Well, I shoot in RAW. Mostly because of how I can edit the picture later on.

    I just like it more because I think it gives me more control over how the picture will turn out in the end.
     
  5. CanAm

    CanAm TPF Noob!

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    You're right. The camera basically saves all variables it considers when taking a picture.

    That's why when editing RAW in Photoshop (I STRONGLY suggest CS3. The RAW editing software is amazing), you can set exposures, fill light, shadows, and even change the bias of colors.

    It effectively can save a bad or under/overexposed shot, and has saved my butt many times.

    Also- it's entirely lossless.
     
  6. eminart

    eminart TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help!

    I do have CS3. It's great.

    What do you mean "it's entirely lossless"? Excuse the noobditude of my questions.
     
  7. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    RAW is not a picture yet. It is the information only - and if you get a picture in your display and even one in the Opening Programme after you have downloaded your pics into the computer, then that is because for this very reason, i.e. to give you something to look at at once, there is a jpeg-part to your RAW information.

    So with nothing but the basic information (no transformation into any picture format as yet), you don't lose anything of said information. It is all there. Without any loss.

    Depending on the kind of format you chose when you convert your RAW-info into a viewable picture, you can have loss - or only very little, like if you choose TIFF as your picture format. (With .jpeg you lose more).

    Choosing to shoot RAW or .jpeg is also a decision on the workflow. RAW edition is easy, very helpful (sometimes "saving your butt", as CanAm has said so nicely), and fast. But to first edit in RAW, then convert, and then maybe re-edit just a little in Photoshop is, of course, one or two steps MORE than you'd have to take when you have the camera convert your RAW-info for you right away.
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    There's one other downside to RAW. It fills the camera's buffer faster. My D80 can shoot 3 fps. With RAW, it needs to take a break (for several seconds) every six shots. Twenty-three shots with full-sized Fine jpg and a hundred with all other jpg combinations!
     
  9. CanAm

    CanAm TPF Noob!

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    TIFF is lossless as well, that's why they're so big.

    Lossless simply means that what's there is not compressed at all. It's pure, unprocessed information, and that's why the files tend to be large.

    When your camera shoots in Jpeg, it goes through a process in which it evaluates, shoots, re-evaluates, calculates, and applies an algorithm to compress the file to minimize size and maximize quality. There still is "loss" though, as the photo needs to be decompressed.

    Shooting in Jpeg has its ups and downs. On the good side, they're quick to process and have a small file size. On the downside, they're not as easy to edit and manipulate and they lose a bit of quality, and can lose even more when you edit the picture and save it.
     
  10. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I have turned to exclusively shoot in RAW (forgetting to ever set it back to anything BUT RAW... ), I find that at times it is of great help, at other times it is, in fact, not of that much use, like when it is Christmas Party pics with the family, and they all hope to get the pics downloaded to their computers for personal use AT ONCE, and my pics can't be downloaded because no one else has a RAW-converter programme, so no other family member could - possibly - see my pics immediately.

    On the other hand, it is a nuisance and an awful lot of work (extra) when you shoot a big do (on commission), in .jpeg to make sure you don't run out of disk-space, to later find the colour temperature is totally wrong in EACH and EVERY photo and you have to painstakingly return YELLOW faces into the usual "pink" in Photoshop. :roll: Been there, done that, you know. It would have been sooo much easier to just change a number in the RAW converter...
     
  11. NYPhotographer

    NYPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    I shoot RAW when I'm working or taking important photos.
    But when having fun and other people are using my camera and all
    I will use JPEG. The downside is SIZE I have a 2gig card and I can
    take around 500-600 in jpeg and 178 I think in RAW so Yeah.
     
  12. Think of RAW as a digital negative. Even cropping and other changes you make can be undone with one mouse-click. You make your changes, and then save it as a JPG, a PSD, TIFF, whatever. You can even rework the same image different ways.

    I shoot RAW exclusively as well, but LaFoto is right - sometimes it's a distraction. A lot of event photographers that I know (political announcements, paparazzi, etc) just shoot in JPG because it's usually good enough. Landscapes, architecture and street photography (I find) benefit from RAW.

    Searching the forums first shows that you respect the time already spent by senior members who have answered the question over and over - it's a community, not a service business. It will also allow you to come up to speed faster, and ask more specific questions.
     

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