shooting raw

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flyrccg, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. flyrccg

    flyrccg TPF Noob!

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    I'm learning the benifits of shooting raw but have a simple question. If I shoot raw, does white balance and ISO even matter?

    Another question. I currently have PS elements 3.0, do I need to get 5.0 or perhaps another program altogether?

    Thanks
     
  2. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    White balance, probably not, ISO, i would think so as it has a relateship to noise.

    I use only raw for shooting , however, i make litte or no adjustment as i like to get it right in camera.

    Canon provides software that will do quite a lot of things with your raw files, why not try that out before spending a lot of money.

    Picsa2 will also handle raw files and may give you some options that are also free.

    i am sure you wil get a hundred other options, this is just mine.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In a word, Yes.

    They both matter. You can adjust white balance in raw and most of the times it is fairly easy and comes out quite good during post processing. My question would be however, why. Why would you want to spend the time to do so if you do not have to. You go out and shoot 100 -150 shots and have to come back and adjust them all. If you take just a couple of minutes before shooting and get a correct white balance your photos should not need adjusting, and if they do, as long as you take a couple of minutes to do a quick custom white balance every time the light changes you can do batch adjustments. Much quicker.

    Using the lowest ISO possible matters much more. The higher the ISO the more potential for noise. The best way to reduce noise in high ISO shots is to get the exposure DEAD ON. I have seen and even taken some stuff at 1600 and 3200 ISO that have no noticeable noise, as the exposure was just right. But it is also much easier to not get the exposure just right and end up with a noisy shot. If you reduce the ISO you reduce the potential for noise. That still does not make up for proper exposure, but it is one less thing to deal with in post processing.
     
  4. flyrccg

    flyrccg TPF Noob!

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    Most of the time I shoot jpeg. I was playing around with raw the other day and realized how much more control over the exposure being fairly new to digi.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Control over exposure is the same for RAW and JPEG. The difference is in the quality of the result. RAW files can be processed quite a bit including pushing and pulling exposures without posterisation (the intermittent jump between colour and brightness values where the actual data does not exist). Posterisation happens when you do not have a colour sample to slot in where you need one. In 8bit JPEGs you're pretty much limited to what you see, in 12bit RAWs you have a lot of information that you don't see but which can be very useful to prevent guessing and posterisation when messing with colours.

    ISO still matters. It forms a base for your exposure. A picture shot at ISO200 should still have less noise than one shot at ISO100 and pulled +1EV in post processing. Plus you are still limited to 3EV or so in most software, and beyond +/-1EV the results start looking bad.

    White balance is a software process. The whitebalance does not matter in the slightest if shooting raw as this is done afterwards as a function of temperture and sometimes tint. The camera applys the whitebalance setting you choose to RAW data to make the JPEG, so if you have the RAW data you can change it anyway you want before writing it out.
     
  6. flyrccg

    flyrccg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Garbz, ISO matters WB does not in raw.
    In everyday shooting, I wont be shooting raw. When is a good idea to shoot raw or raw+jpeg and why?
     
  7. ksmattfish

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

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    Raw is usually used in a workflow that includes post processing. Jpegs can be post processed in the camera. I guess features like Canon's Picture Styles sort of do the same with raw. I think that most people shooting raw + jpeg are either needing immediate jpeg proofs plus raw files for post processing later, or they are hoping the jpegs will work fine, but want the raw files for back up in case a photo needs major tweaking. I haven't used CS3, but I've heard they have incorporated many feature for editing jpegs that were previously only available in raw software.

    I shoot raw 99.9% of the time, because I love post processing (even for family snaps). I only only shoot jpeg when I need the photos pretty close to finished straight out of the camera, or I'm low on memory.

    I find correcting wb in raw processing software to be very easy. Wb only changes when the lighting changes. Most of the time I am shooting dozens or even hundreds of photos in the same lighting, so I can batch process the wb of all of them in seconds. On the other hand, I can understand how someone else might want to do a custom wb on the scene at the exposure. Even if it only takes a minute (getting out the gray card is what would take me the most time) to do a custom wb every time the lighting changes while I'm shooting a wedding it would add up over the day, and I usually find that I'm scrambling for time as it is. I often can't afford the time when I'm shooting, but I have time to spare later. In a tricky lighting situation where I have plenty of time I do occasionally set a custom wb.

    Often I just set my DSLRs' wb to 5000 degrees, like they were loaded with daylight balanced film (I find Canon to run a little warm, for other brands daylight might be 5200ish). Back in the day shooting color film, unless I was willing to do expensive, and time consuming testing I was stuck with either daylight or tungsten wb.
     
  8. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would have to agree with you on the WB issue if you are shooting something like weddings. This is just a very serious hobby for me, so I have the time to do so. WB is one of those issues that these days can be addressed for each situation and neither IMO is right.
     

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