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Old Sep 1, 2005, 5:36 AM   #11
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Hey jphess,

Sorry if I misspoke about Photoshop, as I was just going by what I read while researching programs on the net. I was under the impression that PS, CS2, and Elements did not use 16-bit for all its functions... again, sorry if I was wrong on that.

I spent well over 100 hours trying all the different RAW converters (not many to choose from for the S5100), and photo editing programs out. As with all programs, each had its good and bad points for what I was wanting. I compared each program using the same file, then went through the whole process again with another file... had so many programs installed on my computer that I ended up formatting the hard drive, just to get rid of all the stuff.

I decided on S7Raw after trying all the other RAW converters out... but again, that was what worked for me. The other RAW converters I tried seemed to open the RAW file so that it looked just like the jpg file that came from the camera. From the research I did about RAW files, the RAW file should be just a bland, unprocessed looking file when opened... dull colors, unsharp, etc.

I agree that what works for one person, my not work for another. I do engineering work for a living, and have all the CAD software from the most expensive to the relatively cheap ones. I own over $100,000 dollars in engineering software, but use the least expensive program most of the time, since it does most of what I need. Like you said, if you get the results you want from a certain program, that is all that matters.

Best.
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Old Sep 1, 2005, 8:25 AM   #12
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I don't think RAW is the universal must-use format. I think jpeg is fine for about 80% of the photography we normally do (the snapshot stuff). RAW gives the option of producing higher quality images for large prints or special purposes. I just shot a wedding with my S7000 (at 6MP), when I looked at my results there were only about a half dozen images that may have been significantly improved if I had shot them in RAW, now that is out of over 300 pictures. I will use RAW for any portraits I do, including bride and groom posed shots at weddings, and any of the "art" shots I take (landscapes or other shots I may want to enlarge for my wall or to sell). What I am getting at is that simply shooting in RAW format does not automatically make you a better photographer, and shooting in jpeg is not the sign of a rank amateur.

I got a chance to try the PhotoShop CS2 camera RAW program, very nice, it probably doesn't do any better than S7Raw, but it is a little easier to use. One nice feature is the ability to decide what resolution level you want the output to be before you process the image. Considering the resources available to Adobe compared with those available to the developers of S7Raw, it is amazing that the S7Raw program is such a well designed, functional piece of software, my respect goes out to them for a job well done.

Ira


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Old Sep 1, 2005, 8:59 AM   #13
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I agree with you, but...

As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you shoot RAW, you can have the best of both worlds. You can use the RAW converter that came with your camera to get the exact same image that you would have gotten with the jpg that came from the camera... just an extra step to drag the RAW images to the converter. The LE RAW converter uses the same programming to produce the image that the camera does (WB, sharpness, colors settings, etc.).

However, for those "special" images, you have the option to PP them to their fullest potential. When I'm out shooting, I never know when that "once in a lifetime" shot is going to be there, so I always shoot RAW so I can leave my options open. What I usually do is, run all my RAW files through the LE converter first, and if there happens to be some pics that would benefit, I use S7Raw and PWP for those. Otherwise, I just batch process the tiff files from the LE converter to jpg, and I'm out nothing but a few minutes that it takes for the computer to do the conversion.

This is just the way I do things... not trying to convince you one way or the other. Lots of professional photographers shoot jpg only, and never look back.

Best.
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Old Sep 3, 2005, 5:14 PM   #14
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All I know is that I really like the additional control that I gain when I shoot raw images. There really is a difference that can be seen without looking very hard at all.

Monza76,
You asked about interpolation concerns with the CCD. This probably isn't going to give you information that will help, but on the Adobe web site they provide a list of cameras that they support as far as raw formats are concerned. In the Fuji lineup your 7000 is listed right along with the SLRs, and the 5100 is not even mentioned. But I use the Adobe raw converter with my 5100 images with no problems whatsoever. So I don't think the interpolation method, or whatever you call it, has any bearing in that regard.
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Old Sep 4, 2005, 11:46 AM   #15
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jphess

I believe the interpolation takes place in camera before the RAW file is written, this is a case of some processing which must be done or the file would make no sense to the software.

Ira
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Old Sep 11, 2005, 2:41 PM   #16
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Hi, Trying to come to terms with the benefits of Raw. As I understand it Raw is a 16bit format as opposed to JPeg which is 8bitdepth format. And I can understand thatmy computer benefits from twice as much detail/informationwhen having the image described to it in more depth (butnot in a higher resolution?). So that means to my newcomer mind that in effect I will have a more robust image to work with in order to tweak the image - or in other words, it will stand up better to data panelbeating than 8 bit depth. Which is all fine andassuming I've got this right, then I understand this.

Here comes my confusion; since there is no printer I'm aware of that is capable of printing 16bit images, the modified Raw file must be cut back to 8bit in order to print the image.Surely then, theadvantagesof 16 bit RAWformat must be slight and discernable to only the educated eye? I'd appreciate it if someone could put me straight on this as I'm sure I'm missing something quite substantial.
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Old Sep 19, 2005, 8:50 PM   #17
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SteveDak

I think the point is that by using RAW you can do your adjustments to colour and sharpness in 16bit, allowing for more precise adjustments, before converting to an 8bit output file. Since a computer running a powerful editing program such as Adobe Photoshop has far more processing power than a digicam it makes more sense to shoot RAW and process on the computer. Having said that, I very seldom use RAW and rely on the jpeg large fine mode with low sharpening on my S7000, I will eventually use RAW for more pictures but not until I have a better RAW converter (can't afford PhotoShop CS2, I use PS Elements because I got it with a scanner, s7raw isn't bad but I haven't yet figured it all out.).

Ira
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Old Sep 20, 2005, 4:27 AM   #18
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Thanks Ira, Think I've got the perspective on it now.I can see that the final product wouldproducea smootherhistogram, with less jagged peaks & troughs, thusresulting in a better overall image. Is my understanding correct?

On the issue of digital enhancement - and whilst not wishing toincur the ire of those far more knowledgeable on the subject than myself -surely the ability to manipulate images to the extent that we are able totoday must be impacting negatively on the development of the art & skillof photography. Should more time not be devoted to planning &composing the shot initially (not to mention a great deal of trial & even more error)than to the endlessdigital panelbeating that seems to take place after the event?As a newcomer to photographyI have to admit that when Ilook atsample images I wonderwhether I am viewing the skills of a good photographer or those of a good digital make-up artist (seems to me mostly a bit of both).

This is purely an observation fromthe sidelines and probably asimplistic one,but I'd appreciateany constructive views on the subjectin caseI've missed the plot somewhere along the line.

Steve
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 11:08 AM   #19
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I guess my enthusiasm for the raw format comes more from the additional post processing control that I have over my images. I have Photoshop CS2, so I can use Adobe Camera Raw. It provides some additional control that you just cannot get as easily in plain old Photoshop. For instance, occasionally I have some vignetting in some of my images, and I can remove that with Camera Raw. The sharpening that I can do in Camera Raw really works with my camera. I realize that the 5100 probably is not the best camera to promote using the raw format, but I really can see a difference. Occasionally, I get a picture with some very noticeable chromatic aberration. Again Camera Raw has controls to correct a lot of that. And the curve control that is available really is a tremendous tool once you learn how to use it. A lot of people who have started using raw simply will not go back to shooting JPEG images. I am not one of those, but I do find myself shooting more raw images than I did at first.

And for those of you who have a camera that is supported by RawShooter Essentials, I tell you that you can get some most incredible results with that program. I have run a few images from a Nikon D70 through it, and they are amazing. Unfortunately, the program does not support any Fuji cameras at this time. RSE is, and always will be free. They are developing a "professional" version that will be for sale soon. And they are going to continually update the cameras they support, and they say Fuji is on their list for a future update. However, and the present time they are concentrating on their professional version.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is the fact that the raw images can be imported into Photoshop as true 16-bit images. This really helps to assure getting the highest quality from the images. The raw converter also has a very nice upsizing feature. And, if you have a number of images taken in the same light that need the same corrections, you can open them all in Camera Raw, make the corrections to one image and then "Synchronize" the images and they are all corrected at once. I'm telling you, if you are serious about the quality of your images, I think you should seriously look at the advantages of shooting raw. HOWEVER, this is only my opinion. And it's only worth about two cents. So if you don't want to bother with it, don't.
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Old Sep 23, 2005, 10:18 AM   #20
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jphess

I have had the opportunity to try out CS2 and it is great but my S7000 saves a 4048 X 3040 raw file (sorry if I don't have these numbers exact) which is huge. This makes the process rather slow on my 2.5 GHz Celeron with 512Mb of RAM. As a result I shoot jpeg most of the time and take my chances. The Control RAW allows is analogous to my old darkroom days when you had a great deal of control over your b&w prints.

Ira
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