Shooting in RAW

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dryfly, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Dryfly

    Dryfly TPF Noob!

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    Well, I turned the camera to RAW on the weekend and took some photos (CanonD40) when I downloaded them, XP would not file them, photoshop did and the files are called CS2. Not undrstanding how it all worked, I tried to open the file using windows picture viewr and it would not open. I had to get a plug in for photoshop and when I followed the links and downloaded the plug in, I opened th files using photoshop and I suddenly had a new window in which I could adjust levels.

    This is what stunned me. I expected to see beautiful clear pictures and to my surprise they were grainy, overexposed and did not look good at all. I started playing with the new set of slides for levels and to my amazement the photo started to look like a shot I would normally take in JPEG. Now, Is this normal? or should I be getting the result I want when taking the photo in RAW by having correct settings in the camera at the instant I take the photo or is this how RAW works, you have to adjust levels to suit yourself. I could not believe the transformation. I also worked out I could then save the image as a JPEG file, should I be saving in another format?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Bryant

    Bryant TPF Noob!

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    I had the same issue when I shot RAW the first time with my 40D and nobody here could help me. I suppose you're using PhotoShop. I downloaded the plugin and then updated PS to the newest version enabling it. I used Bridge and I had to open the image file CR2's in Photoshop to make them readable in Bridge and regular apps.

    I don't understand why your pictures were blurry, grainy, and overexposed. It must have had something to do with the in camera settings. What was the ISO at? If it were at ISO 800, that might be part of your problem. Try going out and shooting automatic, yes i said it :blushing:. This way you can tell if it was your choices of in camera settings or your conversion.
     
  3. deudeu

    deudeu TPF Noob!

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    A raw file is the information collected by your sensor at the moment of the exposure. It is unprocessed and uncompressed so it leaves you with more room for adjustment than a jpeg would.
    This being said, when looking at photoshop, the difference between a raw file and a JPEG is not obvious.
    Now as far as converting your files to another format. Jpeg is just fine, though if you want to make some high quality prints, you might want to save them as a TIFF file with 14 or 16 bits colors, because with TIFF files there is almost no loss in definition.

    Just search raw in this forum and you will get more information than you need.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generally when I open RAW files in photoshop you get more than just levels to edit ;)
    I tend to adjust the settings to get the result I am after, but I don't do noise or sharpening in the RAW editer - once the settings are just so I don't save, I open the file (it should be an option) which opens it in photoshop - and then I edit levels, contrast, sturation, noise reduction and sharpening (amungst other as needed). Most times saving as JPEG is perfectly fine, though if you have the space TIFF is good to use as well (its also got the advantage of keeping all your layers if you have a shot you want to go back and edit again.)

    RAW is the negative from the camera, so the camera does not apply its own internal noise reduction, contrast, sharpening or white balance settings to the photo - you have to do these yourself as the advantage that you can get the settings just so - and also photoshopes noise and sharpening edits are far more powerful (less damaging) to the photo than the cameras own editing features.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Your camera always shoots raw. If you have it set to jpeg it processes the raw file with the in-camera software and then saves a jpeg file. If you have it set to raw it saves the data unprocessed. The reason for setting the camera to raw is that you need/want more control over the processing than allowed by the in-camera software.

    If you use the Canon DPP software that came with the camera it should be very easy to duplicate the exact look of out of the camera jpegs. The default raw processing settings will be the ones you set in the camera, although you can change them as you want. Other software is going to have it's own default settings, and they probably won't look exactly like out of the camera jpegs, but with a little practice you'll figure out how to tweak the settings. I prefer the results I get using Adobe Camera Raw to the Canon software, although DPP would work fine if I didn't have the Adobe software. I've played with a few other raw processors, and they seemed good too. I'm used to ACR, and don't have the time to learn new software.

    On the other other hand, if you are getting what you need/want out of the in-camera software then there's nothing wrong with shooting jpegs. You can also set your camera to save one of each.
     
  6. Dryfly

    Dryfly TPF Noob!

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    YOU people are fantastic, I will get back to respond to each of you this arvo when home from work, thanks so much.
     

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