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Old Aug 23, 2006, 9:54 AM   #1
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I have a KM 5D and I'm using the in-box supplied editing software...Dimage Master Lite. I like it for organizing files and basic editing, such as contrast and saturation. However, if I want to do anything major like removing elements with the clone stamp, I have to open-up Photoshop CS. After saving the file and going back to Dimage, the file shrinks considerably. Is this happening because I'm editing as a JPEG and it's being compressed further each time? I would prefer to not have to do a lot of post processing, so I've been shooting in JPEG. Should I shoot in RAW instead? Dimage will open RAW files, but I'll still have to export to Photoshop for certain functions. And once the RAW file is opened, what should I save it as? And does any of this really matter? Is a smaller file lesser quality?

I'm sorry for my naivete, but I figure asking questions will get me further than trial and error.
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Old Aug 23, 2006, 7:30 PM   #2
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DrChris says: After saving the file and going back to Dimage, the file shrinks considerably. Is this happening because I'm editing as a JPEG and it's being compressed further each time?

Probably. Do you save at the highest quality setting in PS?

Anytime you edit a file in JPEG, it loses a bit of quality when recompressed upon saving. But, unless you do this many, many times to a file, you likely won't notice the difference.

DrChris continues: I would prefer to not have to do a lot of post processing, so I've been shooting in JPEG. Should I shoot in RAW instead? Dimage will open RAW files, but I'll still have to export to Photoshop for certain functions. And once the RAW file is opened, what should I save it as? And does any of this really matter? Is a smaller file lesser quality?

Don't shoot RAW unless you want to do post processing. Does RAW offer higher-quality than JPEG? Yes. You should probably try the format out just for the heck of it. You might find the added versatility worth the extra trouble for certain situations -- such as once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities and/or difficult exposure/white balance situations. Once you compare the results with JPEG, then you can make your own decision from experience, not just taking someone else's opinion as gospel.

If you shoot some RAW, and you don't plan on editing the image much, later, saving as a high-quality JPEG is fine. If you do plan to make many changes, then TIFF would be better since TIFF is a lossless format and you can change and resave as much as you want without worrying about degrading the image through successive recompressions.

Yes, smaller file size is usually lesser quality than a larger size -- at least as far as JPEG is concerned. You can use LZW compression on a TIFF without affecting quality.

Grant
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Old Aug 24, 2006, 8:00 AM   #3
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Grant,

Thanks for the info...that clears up a lot of my confusion. I shot some frames last night in RAW and JPEG since the 5D allows us to do this. I can see why too. The differences were pretty drastic when I opened them in Picasa. With DiMage, there wasn't as much of a noticeable difference and it took foorrreeevvvveeerrrrr to open the RAW files. I think I'll stick to Picasa and JPEG for organizing and basic editing.

I do have one more question though...In Picasa when I open a RAW file it opens it as *.MWR. (I think I understand why and how that happens), but Photoshop CS wont open that type file. So, how do I get a RAW file to Photoshop?

Thanks again!!
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 1:09 AM   #4
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Doctor, I had this glib answer all ready, and then I decided to check it out. Glad that I did, as it keeps me from looking like more of an idiot than I actually am!

I have good news and bad news. First, the bad news.....It seems that Adobe Camera Raw support for the KM 5D didn't come along until version 3.2 -- in Photoshop CS2. This plug-in version is not compatible with PS CS!

Now, the good news: There is a work-around to this, but it adds an increased hassle-factor to the already unwieldy RAW workflow. Here is the straight poop from Adobe:

Note: The Camera Raw 3.2 plug-in is not compatible with Photoshop CS. If you own a camera for which we added support in Camera Raw 3.2 but still use Photoshop CS, please use the DNG 3.2 converter to convert your raw files to DNG files. You will then be able to open your DNG files in Photoshop CS. Photoshop Elements 3.0 includes Camera Raw 2.4, but you can use the Camera Raw 3.2 update with Photoshop Elements 3.0. For more information about the DNG converter, visit the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/products/dng/ , or see the Readme file at http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...jsp?ftpID=2929 .

Sorry that things couldn't be simpler, bro'.

Didn't KM include some kind of basic RAW conversion software with the camera when you bought it? If so, you could use that and save to a regular TIFF or JPEG, then import that into PS. My camera came with Nikonview. All it lets you do is adjust exposure and white balance -- but it does the job.

There are various independent vendors of RAW conversion software, like Bibble, that are said to do a good job. Even some free ones like ufRaw and Rawshooter Essentials that might support the 5D. You even have the option of upgrading to CS2!

Grant
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Old Aug 25, 2006, 8:17 AM   #5
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....and then God created forums....

What did we do before?

Thanks alot for the research! Actually, yes, KM did supply the DiMage software, which opens RAW files. My question was, what do I do with it after that if I want to go to PS with it ? Which you very simply answered. I'll need to see if DiMage will let me save it as a TIFF or JPEG to export to PS. I'm sure it does, it's actually a pretty cool piece of software in some aspects...just very slow with RAW. But given that I can edit JPEGs without a lot of quality loss (I previously thought that if I was gonna do ANY tweaking, I needed to shoot in RAW), I'll just stick to Picasa for cropping, straightening, and such. I'll export to PS as a JPEG just for major editing. So, if I understand your previous post, if I don't keep re-opening and recompressing my JPEGS, I shouldn't see any quality loss. Right? Since I have to convert to JPEG (or TIFF) anyway, why shoot in RAW for what I'm doing...which is just basic editing and tweaking. I realize TIFF's are lossless, but aren't they MUCH bigger files? And again, for what I'm doing, that's just one more unnecessary step.

I do have to say though...I'm enjoying the tweaking aspects much more than I thought I would. I was a bit of a purist before and thought of post-processing as "cheating". Well, welcome to the Digital age!

I really appreciate your willingness to help me out. That's what this great hobby and forums like this are all about!
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Old Aug 26, 2006, 1:34 AM   #6
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The Dr. says:

So, if I understand your previous post, if I don't keep re-opening and recompressing my JPEGS, I shouldn't see any quality loss. Right?

Yup. You can open, view, and close JPEGS all day and they won't degrade, it's just changing them and resaving that causes recompression and a resulting slight hit to image integrity.

Doc continues:

Since I have to convert to JPEG (or TIFF) anyway, why shoot in RAW for what I'm doing...which is just basic editing and tweaking.

Good question. Maybe you don't. Just for fun, sometime, you should google "raw vs jpeg" and see the various debates on the merits of these formats.
One guy, Ken Rockwell, thoroughly trashes the RAW format in a lengthy, well-written diatribe. Most people aren't quite so one-sided, but many knowledgable people have concluded that the RAW advantage is more selective than many RAW advocates want to accept.

Doc continues continuing:

I realize TIFF's are lossless, but aren't they MUCH bigger files? And again, for what I'm doing, that's just one more unnecessary step.

They aren't really an unnecessary step -- it doesn't take any more time to save to TIFF as to JPEG. The only reason I mentioned saving to TIFF was in a case where there might be numerous revisions of an image. Some people think that they're done with an image, save it, then see something they don't like and fix it -- several times.
Some "output Nazis" make different versions of pix to print and web post -- with different levels of sharpening for each image based on the final size and average viewing distance of a print. I guess this kind of attention is necessary if you're a pro.

If you want the best of both worlds -- and want to buck the trend to boot -- investigate the merits of archiving your master copies in JPEG 2000. This format gives you lossless compression at a significantly smaller file size than TIFF compressed using LZW compression. The bugger for using it as your default format is that it has never really caught on, meaning that you have to make a standard JPEG or TIFF copy of the JPEG 2000 file if you want to post, print or otherwise share it with the world at large.

Grant
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