Nikon D3300 RAW images

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by dowlers44, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. dowlers44

    dowlers44 TPF Noob!

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    Just purchased my first DSLR - a Nikon D3300.

    I already have Photoshop CS5 on my computer but I have noticed that Nikon's raw images are in NEF format, of which I am unable to open in this software.

    Is anyone aware as to whether the RAW image format can be changed on the camera or am I going to have to look into obtaining a converter if I wish to work with raw images in Photoshop CS5.

    I am really very new to photography so apologies if this question should have been posted in the Beginners forums.

    However, if anyone else has anything interesting to add regarding this camera, I would be happy to listen to any comments.

    Thanks!


     
  2. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need to update the Camera RAW module which you can do from Adobe's web site.

    Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
     
  3. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As cameras get newer the raw files are modified. Photoshop updates these to a point, then stops. I'd imagine that the d3300 files are to new for photoshop cs5. You can update photoshop (if the raw part doesn't update to one that sees these d3300 files) by buying the new lease type one, or a work around is to download Adobe dng converter, and convert all your NEF files to DNG format raw that photoshop can see. It's an extra step in your editing but its a painless enough process
     
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  4. PropilotBW

    PropilotBW Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's most likely that the Photoshop doesn't support these files because the camera wasn't produced when the software was created, forcing you to upgrade your Photoshop software.
    Your Nikon came with software, Nikon View NX2, or you can get it free from Nikon's website. You can use their software to view and make basic changes to the image.
    There are some free programs, such as GIMP, that you can use to view and edit these files.
    Of course, you could also upgrade your photoshop to the newest version by subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud.
     
  5. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your camera is too new and your software too old. Adobe does not update old versions of PS to keep up with new camera releases.

    You have a couple options.

    1. Download Adobe's free DNG converter and convert your NEF files to DNG. Then you'll be able to open the DNG files in CS5 - ACR.
    2. Use a different raw converter for your NEF files and then transfer TIFF files to PS.

    Joe

    Edit: If you go the route of downloading and using Adobe's DNG converter don't give in to the temptation to delete your original NEF files. At some point down the road you may discover that you want those NEFs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
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  6. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is not PS that needs updating, just the Camera RAW module and these are updated on a regular basis.


    Sent from my A1-840 using Tapatalk
     
  7. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    After a certain point the raw module within a certain ps version stops allowing updates
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The version of ACR in CS5 will not update to cameras as new as the D3300.

    Joe
     
  9. Ido

    Ido No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just checked on Google: Adobe added Camera Raw support for the D3300 in version 8.4, which cannot be downloaded for Photoshop CS5—only the newer CS6 and CC versions will work.

    As others have suggested, there are free workarounds: you can download the Adobe DNG Converter which lets you batch-convert all NEF files to a DNG that Photoshop can read, or you can use the software that came with your camera to make Raw adjustments and "export" a TIFF file, which you can then refine in Photoshop.

    While the first option is the easiest one, I believe the second option is better. I'm with Ysarex on keeping the original NEF files even if you convert them to DNG; I made the mistake of not retaining the original out-of-camera Raw files after converting to DNG, which eventually got me ineligible to enter some high-profile photo competitions, which require, at a certain stage of the competition, that all contestants send the original files to check if the editing complies with their rules and codes. A lot of those clearly state that files converted to DNG are not accepted, as they have no way of knowing for sure that the DNG file you're sending in has not been touched before that.

    Keeping the original NEF files, while also saving DNGs, basically doubles the amount of storage space your photo library consumes. And while storage is fairly cheap and only getting cheaper, it's still money you shouldn't really have to spend.

    One way of dealing with that is to do the culling first on the NEF files. Get it down to the select few images you want to work on, move them to a different folder or tag them somehow, and only concert those to DNG. But then I believe the second option is easier to manage.

    The second option is to use the software that came with your camera as the first step of editing. It should have very usable tools for Raw processing, such as setting the white balance, changing the overall brightness of the image and in different sections of the histogram (i.e. only affecting shadows, highlights, or mid-tones), noise reduction, etc.

    If you do that, it's usually best to do the culling first. Most free editing applications the manufacturers provide are pretty slow, so you're better off limiting the pains to only the few images you want to work on. Also, when you go to save the edits to an image file that Photoshop can read, your best option will be TIFF. These files are bigger than both NEF and DNG, so they consume even more storage space. The benefit, however, is that you won't need to save yet another file after you work on it in Photoshop—all functions, including layers, can be saved to the same TIFF file you started with, and you can always open it back up and have all the layers and adjustments still available.
     
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  10. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Cameras supported by Adobe Camera Raw

    It sounds like PropilotBW doesn't actually understand the situation.

    No one is forced to upgrade their Photoshop software when a camera maker releases a new camera that has a new proprietary raw file type.
    Adobe provides free software to convert NEF files to the Adobe open source DNG file type that allows new camera Raw files to be edited in older Adobe software.

    GIMP has never included a Raw converter. So you can't view or edit any kind of a Raw file using GIMP.
    You can download one of many standalone Raw converters but would still need a version that can open Nikon D3300 NEF files.

    Nikon (and other camera makers) does not give Adobe information on any of Nikon's proprietary Raw files.
    Each new model of Nikon has a unique .NEF file type.
    Adobe has to reverse-engineer the file type and that usually takes a month or more after a new Nikon has been released.
    Some camera makers don't use a proprietary Raw file type. those camera makers use Adobe's DNG Raw file type.

    Camera Raw and Bridge are plug-ins that are included with Photoshop.
    Adobe's Photography Program subscription costs $9.99 a month and gets you Photoshop CC 2015 (including Bridge and Camera Raw) and whatever updates there are as soon as they become available. You also get Lightroom CC 2015 and it's updates. So with the subscription you can always have the latest Ps and Lr updates.
     
  11. dowlers44

    dowlers44 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all this info - gratefully received. Some follow up questions if you don't mind.

    I think I like the sense of obtaining a free converter for NEF to DNG files for working on. The other option of convertering to TIFF seems to me a more costly option in regard to memory (regardless of taking note that memory is quite cheap to buy).

    However, just to increase my knowledge my first question is to ask about TIFF files. In anyone's experience of using TIFF files, my previous understanding was they they are just highly detailed, high memory JPEGs. Or to put it another way, they are processed files (like jpegs/jpgs as opposed to RAW images). Can anyone offer better clarity on this?

    My second question relates to the converter option. My convertering NEF files to DNG, could there be any loss in quality using a free converter? Someone mentioned the Adobe free NEF to DNG converter. Is there any loss here?

    Finally, I have started to take photos using the D3300 for the first time. In fact, as mentioned, this is my first time with a DSLR and no prior experience. Just to get a handle of the various image types available with this camera, I took identical photos using a tripod choosing the settings for jpeg basic, jpeg normal, jpeg fine and NEF raw, maintaining the same 24Mp in each case. When reviewing back the photos on my computer, I actually didn't notice a difference between any of the jpegs.

    Further to that, I actually found that the NEF images seemed much more underexposed (or higher in contrast is perhaps a better description). What I believe I found was that the JPEG highlights in the images were just as good (or nearly as good) as the NEF highlights but the darker colours came out too dark in the NEF files while being adequately balanced in the JPEGs. Generally, I found the NEFF darker tones were too dark as if someone had played about with the levels. Has anyone any thoughts on this and why it would seem the JPEGs were actually better images. My thinking behind this is that if I chose to work with my RAW images, many of the darker colours would start at too dark a level that brightening them would affect the quality of the image than if they had been correctly balanced from the start (as with the jpegs).

    Thanks.
     
  12. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    TIFF files are RGB photos as are JPEGs however the similarity ends there. A JPEG must be an 8 bit file and JPEGs must be lossy compressed. A TIFF file does not need to be compressed and it can be a 16 bit file. TIFF files are fine to work with as an intermediate or final step after raw conversion.

    Adobe's DNG converter is free and comes with a number of processing options. Unless you output a linear DNG (demosaiced) then there is no loss of quality. Your raw file is moved to the DNG wrapper untouched. Some meta-data may be lost but this is not a quality loss issue.

    How are you viewing the NEF files?

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015

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