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Erios513

The Raw format!

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Hej!

 

I've never used RAW format, but i'm seriously considering it but first I've a few questions!

 

* Is it easier to modify the pictures in Photoshop and such? Or do I have to convert the file to JPEG before I modify it?

 

* Is the size of each file smaller, bigger or perhaps equal to normal JPEG?

 

* Any other advantages I need to be aware of?

 

Regards

 

Erik

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RAW format contains a whole lot more data (basically everything the sensor recorded) than a JPG. As such, it's not that it's "easier" to modify in Photoshop so much as there's more data to let those modifications be more successful. It's like remixing from the original studio tracks laid down by recording artists vs. trying to just use a graphic equalizer or something on an MP3 that's already lost a lot of the original fidelity by summation and approximation.

 

The files are much bigger, bigger even than a TIFF with zero compression usually. Not that the 'resolution' (pixel count) is any larger, simply that you have all the individual color channel inputs from the sensor, plus all the info on the camera's chosen settings (e.g. sharpness, noise reduction, white balance, etc.). You can in a sense "redo" some of those camera settings.

 

That's the Popular Science nutshell. I'm sure others will chime in with much more detail. Note also that usually the software applications that will come with a camera with RAW capability (like in my case, Olympus Master) can also do the RAW to TIFF "developing" so you don't have to use Photoshop to get much of the advantages of the RAW file. (I just use cheapie Paint Shop Pro Photo after using Oly Master to develop to a TIFF with EXIF data preserved). It's not the smoothest process from a 'workflow' standpoint but I'm not a pro having to process 1000's of images at a time.

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* Is it easier to modify the pictures in Photoshop and such? Or do I have to convert the file to JPEG before I modify it?

 

Yes, it is easier to modify. No, you do not have to convert the file to JPEG before modifying it. This is actually a bad idea.

 

* Is the size of each file smaller, bigger or perhaps equal to normal JPEG?

 

Bigger than a JPEG. Smaller than a TIFF.

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If you shoot in JPEG, you cannot go back to RAW. Generally for all work that you think any type of adjustments might be necessary - particularly for underwater - where some type of tweaking is usually needed - shoot RAW. JPEG is fine for general topside stuff, family pics etc when you are pretty certain you will not need to make any adjustments to improve the appearance or quality of the picture. When you shoot JPEG adjustments are made in camera by your camera software according to the settings you have chosen, with RAW no adjustments are made.

Edited by loftus

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I recently did my first dive trip with a camera, and I shot RAW + JPG. Which is good, because I forgot to install Elements on my laptop, so I wouldn't have been able to see or share the full size images without the JPG image.

 

RAW was definitely an advantage. I salvaged some shots that were marginal otherwise, and got better results than the camera processing in many cases.

 

It's not a magic wand. For me, the biggest thing was that I could adjust the exposure +/-2 stops with little ill effect. Much above that and I started getting noise. It's not quite like I thought it would be, a photo shot at 100 ISO and pushed +3 stops was much, much worse than a photo simply shot at 800 ISO.

 

If you're curious, shoot a few photos RAW, and deliberately under or overexpose them, or set the wrong white balance, and see what you can do with the RAW version.

 

- Gus

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Yeah, shoot RAW until you are really used to taking pics underwater and then you might decide you don't need the ability to manipulate so much of the pic. But not very likely!

 

As Gus and Loftus say, RAW just gives you more scope for manipulation.

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But I do need a application to be able to handle the RAW-files don't I? I'm into buying a new version of photoshop, is that included in CS3 (if that is the latest version that is... :D)?

Edited by Erios513

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But I do need a application to be able to handle the RAW-files don't I? I'm into buying a new version of photoshop, is that included in CS3 (if that is the latest version that is... :D)?

PS3 comes with ACR - a Raw convertor. Take a look at Lightroom or Aperture for Mac first though, unless you specifically know you want to buy PS3

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PS3 comes with ACR - a Raw convertor. Take a look at Lightroom or Aperture for Mac first though, unless you specifically know you want to buy PS3

 

Are Lightroom or Aperture easier to use? I've only worked with PS elements so far, and it doesn't always support my ideas and visions... :D

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Are Lightroom or Aperture easier to use? I've only worked with PS elements so far, and it doesn't always support my ideas and visions... :D

 

 

Lightroom is my primary tool for looking at, organizing, and post-processing my images. I have nearly 50 thousand pix in my LR library. I am still entering pix from years past and re-doing them. All are raw, either NEF (Nikon's raw format) or DNG (raw format of Leica M8). In seconds I can scope out all my UW pix such as picking out all my selects or HI shots for example. Avoid jpegs except as an end product for emailing or web-posting.

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Photoshop has had very good support for various RAW formats for some time now. I'm using Elements 4, which is both 1) old and 2) the el-cheapo version, and it does a good job of reading the .CR2 files my Rebel XT produces.

 

- Gus

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I know you can evaluate Lightroom for 30 days before you have to buy it. Its a fully functional eval copy if you want to play with it and see what it does. I'm not sure whether the other Adobe products such as Elements and PS3 offer the same eval period.

 

I just moved from Elements 5 to Lightroom as my primary tool. All of Lightroom's changes are lossless, so you never end up really changing your original file. I now just use elements for creative work or complex work.

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If you'd like to learn a lot about RAW, I suggest the RAW without FUD DVD by Michael Tapes at www.RawWorkflow.Com.

 

I bought the DVD along with a WhiBal (white balance) card last month and both were worth every penny.

 

Also, if you know little about Color Management (like me), he offers a good introduction in the DVD. Though I'm not entirely sold on his choice of using the sRGB Color Space, he does a great job of explaining what color spaces are and how they impact photography.

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I went to the Maldives but my flashguns went to Thailand!

 

My jpegs looked like the shot on the left but after processing the RAW file I got the result on the right.

 

No contest?

post-4197-1203144371_thumb.jpg

post-4197-1203144388_thumb.jpg

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I went to the Maldives but my flashguns went to Thailand!

 

My jpegs looked like the shot on the left but after processing the RAW file I got the result on the right.

 

No contest?

 

WOW!! :blush: That's a huge different.

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A big advantage of RAW is that it can turn a "toss" shot into a "keeper" just like the turtles above. Particulary when you get a seriously under exposed shot of a very rare critter it's a lifesaver.

 

I am a CS3 man myself

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Many people overlook the several layers of controls with the CS3 RAW converter and use only the basic controls. Certainly, Michael Aw's latest book glosses over the more sophisticated controls of the RAW converter.

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Many people overlook the several layers of controls with the CS3 RAW converter and use only the basic controls. Certainly, Michael Aw's latest book glosses over the more sophisticated controls of the RAW converter.

 

 

 

I am one of those who have for the longest time overlooked all the controls provided in the latest ACR converter (CS3) until recently. Flipping through the various tabs in ACR, you can handle noise reduction, sharpening, vignetting, CA adjustments, spot healing, various tone curve tools, etc on top of your basic WB, exposure, saturation controls... Quite powerful indeed. I can see why Lightroom is getting so popular as you can do so much in ACR. There is very lilttle need to fire up photoshop itself unless you are doing various layers or other advance techniques...

Edited by pakman

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