Shooting in RAW?

MrsLittle

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I have been shooting in JPEG and want to try shooting in RAW this weekend. I have Elements 10 and not sure if it's sufficient for editing RAW files. I have read a lot around the internet but I'm still a little confused on exactly how it works. Do I shoot in RAW and then edit them in Elements Camera RAW? I have no intention in saving them in .psd since the space it takes up is ridiculous.
After I'm done editing can I just save them in JPEG form to send out on discs and printing? Will shooting in RAW and doing all the edits, then saving them in JPEG give me a better result then just shooting in JPEG to begin with? THANKS!
 

GeorgieGirl

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Yes, shooting in RAW will give you better control over the final result. I am not familaiar with Elements 10, but if it has the functionality to edit RAW files you are all set. Its a bit of a task to learn the editing, if you have some captures that are important to you it might be a good interim approach to shoot both RAW and JPEG if your camera has that option.

What you should do is always save the photos that you want to edit as a virtual copy and then edit that copy, and yes, save as jpeg and then you can export for printing or to upload to other sites.
 

joealcantar

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If you still have your disc that came with your camera there may be software there that will open the file without problems. Nikon NX2 is a good one to try out specially if it interprets the files as Nikon thinks they should be read. Just food for thought as you may already have the software.
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Shoot well, Joe
 

480sparky

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So if I shoot in RAW + JPEG, it will save one of each? I think I will try that out, so I could get a look at the difference between the two.

If you just load them into your computer and look, you won't see any difference. Raw really shines when it comes to processing the image. Click here for one example.
 

KenC

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PS and PS Elements both use Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) as a raw converter. I don't know how new your camera is, so I don't know if Elements 10 will open its raw files or not. If you have any problem, you may need to download the latest upgrade for ACR (e.g., Adobe - Photoshop Elements : For Windows : Camera Raw 6.5 update for Elements 10). As pointed out previously, your camera should have come with software that will also open a raw file. Usually, the output from a raw converter will be a tiff file, although I think you can also get a jpg. Most of us resist going to jpg until we are finally done adjusting the image in PS because you can lose some information in saving the file in a compressed format like jpg. I usually go from raw to tiff to a PS file, then convert to jpg only to post on the web. I print on my own printer, which accepts PS or tiff files, so no need to convert to jpg.
 

fjrabon

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yeah, one thing I don't think people realize is that RAW files don't actually really look better, and since many cameras actually add contrast and saturation to JPEGs, often times, straight from the camera, JPEG might actually look better. Where the advantage of RAW lies is that you can edit it in a myriad of ways, and cause much less damage to the image integrity than you would with JPEG. JPEG the more you edit, the more the image is degraded. RAW, for many edits, the image isn't degraded whatsoever.
 

Futurelight

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If you want to run prints, save as .tiff because there is much less degrading occuring. for internet/download storage, jgeg is good. My suggestion is to save both. .tiff for your own prints and jpeg for site downloads. As for RAW, you have SO much more control of the image as the camera captures information (kinda like binary code 1's and 0's) rather than an image.
 

KmH

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When you have your camera set to capture image files in the JPEG file type, every shot you take gets edited in many ways in the camera and is intended as a ready-to-print final image.

Image color saturation, tonal contrast and image sharpening are all edits done in the camera before they can be displayed on the rear LCD. But each of those edits is done to the entire image (global edits).

So you use a shallow DoF to create a blured background, and then the JPEG editing sharpens that blurred background making it a little less blurred. That's like taking your six-shooter out of your holster and shooting yourself in the foot.

Who was it that decided how your JPEG photos should be edited? A bunch of Japanese camera software engineers who would never see your photo, that's who.

Your camera is designed to let you change how much, but not where in the photo, each of those JPEG edits are done, but the range of adjustment they provide is crude and not nearly as precise as edits done using image editing software.

Lets assume that is all OK with you, and you figure you'll spruce up the editing using PsE 10.

We have to back up some, but it's worth it to stay with me.

Your D7000's image sensor initially records everything you shoot as a Raw image data file. It does that so it can translate the color information it records as 12-bit or 14-bit numbers (your choice in the D7000 menus). You may wonder what that has to do with anything, but it's known as bit-depth - Bit Depth.

The biggest number 12-bits can represent is 4096. The biggest number 14-bits can represent is 16,384. In other words, when you set your D7000 to record at a 12-bit depth it can record a maximum of 4096 different gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels - Red, Green, and Blue (RGB). When set to the 14-bit depth the maximum gradations of color tone that can be recorded in each of the 3 color channels increases to 16,384 per color channel.

Your D7000 is likely still set to the default - 12-bits, and that's OK for Raw capture.

You're shooting JPEG and wondering what you gain by shooting Raw. JPEG only allows a maximum bit-depth of 8-bits, which is only 256 gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels.

In other words, between the time you release the shutter, and your JPEG gets written onto your memory card, the gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels gets reduced from 4096 gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels, to just 256 gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels.

That's about 80% of the color data your D7000 image sensor captured. The way the camera reduces the from 4096 to 256 is really simple. It simply throws away 3840 gradations of color tone in each of the 3 color channels.

But, that's only part of the story, because JPEG isn't done making changes, which you have no control over, to your photo. JPEG also converts the 16.2 million pixel into 8x8, 8x16, or 16x16 pixels units called Minimum Coded Units, which then become the smallest portion of a JPEG you can edit.

An 8x8 pixel square, which is 64 pixels, in essense just became a single pixel, essentially (for post process editing purposes) making your D7000 a 0.25 MP camera. (16,200,000 dividd by 64 = 253,125)

All of that is why JPEGs have little, if any, post process editing headroom.

But, we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch.

To get the maximum editing headroom we record the Raw file to our memory cards. Every Raw file needs some amount of editing to become a finished, photograph.

You really should save the Raw, the .PSD and the JPEG. The Raw file is the most valuable of the 3.
 
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MrsLittle

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Thanks all! That was really informative. Whenever I load my images into photoshop I always feel like I'm losing out on the editing process and there's not much more I can do to an image. I look forward to shooting in RAW and taking all the editing into my on hands. Would it be fine to just save it in JPEG when I'm putting the images on a disc to give away? I'm semi sure I'm understanding this correctly, but I should save in .psd or .tif if I am printing directly from my computer or sending them off for printing on an online printing site? I'm just worried about the space .psd takes up on the computer, don't want to overload it.
 

thereyougo!

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Thanks all! That was really informative. Whenever I load my images into photoshop I always feel like I'm losing out on the editing process and there's not much more I can do to an image. I look forward to shooting in RAW and taking all the editing into my on hands. Would it be fine to just save it in JPEG when I'm putting the images on a disc to give away? I'm semi sure I'm understanding this correctly, but I should save in .psd or .tif if I am printing directly from my computer or sending them off for printing on an online printing site? I'm just worried about the space .psd takes up on the computer, don't want to overload it.
I save my keepers in jpeg and 16 bit .tif. Good quality printers will take .tif files even my monster 250mb ones from my 645D. I have a 68" x 48" print set on aluminium and acrylic glass waiting to hang
 

KmH

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I save 16-bit .PSD files instead of TIFFs, because the .PSD files are somewhat smaller.

I avoid TIFFs whever possible.
 

ph0enix

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So if I shoot in RAW + JPEG, it will save one of each? I think I will try that out, so I could get a look at the difference between the two.

Yes, that's what I do. Simply because I don't feel like editing every single photo. Some (or most even) are snapshots and there is no point in spending time post processing them so I just discard the RAW version.
 

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