What is RAW?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Donald Harvey, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Donald Harvey

    Donald Harvey TPF Noob!

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    Ok I think I have an idea on what people keep saying about RAW.

    RAW is the raw photos that come from Still film cameras, but it can also be raw digital pictures...or am I just thinking to much and its overall un-edited pictures that come from any camera?
     
  2. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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  3. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    OK, let me ask a dumb question to this thread. Why is it that the images we load from the camera to the computer don't always come in RAW format? What is the benefit to having them stored in the computer as RAW?
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    RAW files are lossless.... you can manipulate RAW files without impeding image quality...

    edit: You have the option for the camera to process your RAW files (sharpness, contrast, colour format, saturation, white balance etc.) for you and save the in the more recognized format JPG. The JPG format is compressed, lossy, and smaller in file size. The smaller size and universal acceptance makes the format more palatable among a broad dynamic user base. When your camera processes the RAW and ouputs to JPG, you will have a lessened ability to make comprehensive adjustments to the file due to it's compression. There is varying opinion on what format to use.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  5. Big Mike

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

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    It depends on the camera and it's settings. Most 'digi-cams' don't offer a RAW option...the camera records the image, processes it then compresses it and saves it at a JPEG.
    On a camera with a RAW option (in RAW mode), the camera does not compress and save the image but rather gives us the information right from the sensor. This gives us the option to tweak things like white balance, hue, saturation, contrast etc....without hurting the image. We use software to set those options, then 'convert' the RAW file into a standard image file type like TIFF or JPEG.

    So shooting in RAW is about having more control of the process of our images.
     
  6. Donald Harvey

    Donald Harvey TPF Noob!

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    So in a sense, RAW is probably the way to go, better editing and final product?
     
  7. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    If you have the time to use multiple software programs. Store and convert files using multiple formats (NEF to TIFF to JPG or equiv), and MOST importantly, have a REASONABLE foundation of post processing, then yes, RAW is the way to go. You must also bear an interest in comprehensive post processing.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    This is an older article, but worth reading

    WHY RAW
     

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