Taking photo's in RAW

Discussion in 'Photography' started by viper357, 10 Jul 2009.

  1. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    What is this RAW option all about on my camera, what can you do with it?
     
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  3. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Tagging along....
     
  4. knut-ove

    knut-ove

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    A raw image file contains minimally processed data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image or motion picture film scanner. Raw files are so named because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be used with a bitmap graphics editor or printed. Normally, the image is processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal colorspace where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a "positive" file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation, which often encodes the image in a device-dependent colorspace. These images are often described as "RAW image files" based on the erroneous belief that they represent a single file format. In fact there are dozens if not hundreds of raw image formats in use by different models of digital equipment (like cameras or film scanners).[1]
    Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image. Likewise, the process of converting a raw image file into a viewable format is sometimes called developing a raw image, by analogy with the film development process used to convert photographic film into viewable prints. The selection of the final choice of image rendering is part of the process of white balancing and color grading.
    Like a photographic negative, a raw digital image may have a wider dynamic range or color gamut than the eventual final image format, and is usually the one "closest" to the real picture in the sense that it preserves most of its details. Raw image formats' purpose is to faithfully record both 100% of exactly what the sensor "saw" or "sensed" (the data), and the conditions surrounding the recording of the image (the metadata).


    There you go ;)
     
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  5. brokedown.melodies

    brokedown.melodies

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    Hey Viper

    RAW is uncompressed image data... basically everything that the camera's sensor captured at the time you took the picture. With a digital camera when you take a picture it converts it to a JPEG... which is compressed and you lose some of the image data. The JPEG compression is built from the RAW... the camera decides how much to sharpen or adjust colours. Generally when you capture it in RAW you have more control over how to adjust the colours and other parameters instead of allowing the camera to do it for you... by default if you capture in RAW the image probably won't look as good as a normal JPEG... it needs to be processed (which in normal mode the camera would do for you and make all the decisions on your behalf). So basically, RAW gives you more control of how the final image looks (without Photoshopping and making radical changes) but you need to do some extra work afterwards. Hope that makes some kind of sense...
     
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  6. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    You're kidding right? I didn't understand a word of that :p
     
  7. FransSny

    FransSny

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    The more i red the more confused i get !
     
  8. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Thanks :)

    So ideally, if I wanted to take some really top class pics for publication in a magazine then I would use the RAW function of the camera? Then use software to convert the pic to .jpg?
     
  9. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    :lol: I got to the word "gamut" and then gave up :p
     
  10. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hey Viper, I am not the camera expert, but work on RAW files in Photoshop, so let me try and explain.

    Your camera on it's basic setting has some form of digital software installed, that does very small corrections on light etc. due to auto shutter speed, auto balance ect. This then can be further edited using a photoshop type of program, but it is small compared to RAW files.

    RAW function is what the word says. Raw... No editing from your camera software at all. As you see it, is how the camera captures it. It is then EXTREMELY large files. You really need quite a large PC to handle editing on RAW files, due to it's size. My PC really pulls amps when I use RAW files, and I do not have a Pentium 1. ;)

    In RAW, you ultimately edit specific light sources, blur's etc, before saving to .jpeg that is then used in our daily uses.

    RAW is however really not worth it if you are not going to use huge blow up prints like huge posters etc. A .jpeg file can not be blown up big enought to have a good resolution poster in a shop etc. That is all RAW files.

    Makes sense now?
    ;)
     
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  11. Ross

    Ross

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    basically RAW is what gets projected through the lens onto the sensor.
    You can then use software to manipulate this data just as in the old days was done in the dark room.

    When you download JPG or whatever your camera creates from the camera, the processing has already been done by the camera and is not always optimal.

    With RAW you have so many more options, you will get better quality and you can even save some images that you might not think is any good. Problem with RAW, you have a lot of processing to do when you get your images to the computer.
     
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  12. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Aaah now i understand...thanks ross
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Exactly Ross, to me RAW really is not worth using if you only edit some postcard size photos of the kiddies on holiday at the beach... I did this, and the naked eye CAN NOT see the diffs between normal .jpeg photos and RAW files, after I have done the Photoshop editing.
     
  14. Ross

    Ross

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    Sorry I have to disagree with you here. RAW has nothing to do with print size. It has to do with quality. Sure you will get a better print from a RAW, but again it comes back to what you can do with the file.
     
  15. brokedown.melodies

    brokedown.melodies

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    Not necessarily. I'd say it really depends on how much artistic control you want. It's like knute-ove's film darkroom analogy. Some photographers would spend hours in there carefully correcting/adjusting colours... others would just send it off and wait for them to be developed and sent back. Another benefit (and it really should be a last resort) if you make a mistake at the time of the exposure, RAW gives you a lot more opportunities to correct them...
     
  16. Ross

    Ross

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    Yeah happy snaps and candits, not worth it in RAW, studio work or something you want real quality on, RAW
     
  17. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Sure, the options on RAW are much better than on .jpeg, but still, the quality isn't really such a big pro to me personally... But yes, the editing of specific elements in RAW makes it worth it.

    I also think that a lot of people "wastes" the use of RAW, cause if you do not have the editing software and knowhow, why bother? Most people need their camera to auto correct the elements, as they do not have the time or interest to edit. So again, only if you want to edit etc. go for RAW by all means.

    IMO, I just gooi the JPEG's... ;)
     
  18. Ross

    Ross

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    Should have added though, for tank and fish shots I would go RAW. You will be able to get more vibrant images when you process unless you are really talented with the camera. Also I find I can sharpen RAW images a lot better than a JPG.

    Just remember, most cams can shoot both RAW and JPG at the same time, so use that setting. If the JPG is good use it and save time, if it needs something to make it great, process the RAW.
     
  19. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    I agree totally... I almost want to say all / most macro images should be taken on RAW format if possible, and then be edited. Macro really makes editing difficult on .jpeg format.
     
  20. viper357

    viper357 Thread Starter Admin MASA Contributor

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    Fantastic information, thanks everyone :thumbup:

    Do you have to have a lot of skills to use the software for the RAW images or would someone like me, with a basic understanding of camera's and images be able to work with it fairly easy to get a decent result?

    What I am aiming for is to try and take some really good photo's that can be used in print media, like the front page of a magazine.
     
  21. Ross

    Ross

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    Viper

    I would recommend using Photoshop to process.
    Then just open a RAW and play with the settings.
    Concentrate on WhiteBalance and exposure to start.

    I would also recommend not sharpening in RAW, do this later in Photoshop when you have done all the other processing you wanted to do.
     
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