Processing raw files


TPF Noob!
Jul 5, 2013
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United States
Can others edit my Photos
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On the advice of many here and elsewhere, I am trying to learn to process raw files. I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements and have already run into a couple of issues.

First, PSE seems to want me to save my files as DNG files. From what I understand, they are Adobe's format for raw files. Is there any reason why I would want to do that and, if so, is there any reason to keep both the RAW (NEF) file and the DNG?

Second, how does one decide what quality of jpeg to convert to. I've been opting for the highest quality, but how much difference is there really? I suspect that the answer is that it depends on what I want to do with the images, but are there any general guidelines for that?

Thanks so much!
I don't create a JPEG unless I need it for a specific use, and that use determines the quality. If it's for printing, it gets 100%. If it's for email or posting, 80% is plenty.
I usually convert and save as a tiff file (uncompressed). I don't save the raw file while I'm working on it and I've never seen dng as a choice. After I start working on the file in PS, I save in the PS format (.psd). That way I have the original raw file from the camera, a tiff file from the conversion, and a PS file. I create a jpeg from the PS file if I need it for web display or e-mail. I haven't printed in a while, but I did that from the PS file.
Different brand cameras save their raw files in their proprietary format. Adobe hates having to keep up with all these, so they have developed DNG in an effort to standardize this mess. Nothing wrong with only keeping the DNGs. They still contain all the needed info.

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