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Old Feb 18, 2012, 9:34 AM   #11
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Wife won't let me shoot in the raw........
Says I'll scare the neighbors.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 9:54 AM   #12
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I know this is an ongoing argument which I refuse to take part in. I am perfectly satisfied with jpeg, and cannot be bothered to try raw however good the experts say it is, there is to much processing to do, and my eyes don't detect the difference anyway,
IMO, software has advanced to a point where I think it's just as easy to shoot in RAW anymore, with nice tools like Lightroom and Corel AfterShot Pro (formerly Bibble Pro) making the job of managing and converting those images very simple. Ditto for Aperture Pro for Apple users.

Some of the available software for working with raw files is very good, and can apply camera specific profiles to the images so that little to no "tweaking" is needed to start with an image that's as good as the camera produces (or better, depending on the camera and shooting conditions), applying default tone curves, using the "as shot" white balance and more; automatically producing previews of the images that make them easy to scroll through, just as you would with an image viewer browsing through JPEG images. You can also tweak the settings as desired and apply the same settings to groups of images taken in the same conditions with some of these products now.

These types of apps give you lots of control if an image does need tweaking for exposure, white balance, noise reduction and more, too (i.e., your camera settings left something to be desired), and because you have more bits to work with, you can more easily correct the images shooting raw versus trying to correct and already converted [camera produced] jpeg image that has already applied rgb multipliers for white balance and more.

But, if the image you shot doesn't need any help, you start out with an image with camera specific profiles and white balance settings applied that is probably as good or better than you'd have with the camera produced jpeg file from most cameras. IOW, your perception that " there is to much processing to do" is really not the case with some of the available software now, as it does the work for you automatically when you open a catalog of raw images, while still allowing you to adjust the images if desired using non destructive editing tools.

Then, just use the built in ratings tools to help cull and file your images (1 star, 2 stars, etc.), using keyword tags as desired for image search and management purposes, just like you can do using the same management tools when shooting jpeg. Then, it's simple to export a selected group of raw files to jpeg format for printing, web viewing, etc. --- just as you'd probably do if shooting jpeg (cropping, downsizing, sharpening, etc, to match the final format desired, based on what the images are to be used for).

I'd suggest downloading the trial versions of some of the better converters and get to know them to find out for yourself how much flexibility they can provide.

Apple users may want to give Aperture a try. You'll see a button at the bottom of this page where you can download a 30 day trial of it:

http://www.apple.com/aperture/

With Lightroom (available for both OS X and Windows users), you can get a public beta of the upcoming Lightroom 4 release now (note that the upcoming version 4 won't run on XP). Go here (just setup an account with Adobe if you don't already have one and you can download the latest LR4 Beta version). Just keep in mind that it's still a beta release.

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom4/

For the current LR3 (production release versus beta), you can download a trial version here (click on the "Try" button). It also runs on XP.

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/

But, I'd probably just go with the latest LR4 Beta instead (unless you're an XP user, since the latest LR4 version will not work on XP, even though LR3 will).

I'd also suggest giving Corel Aftershot Pro a spin. Get a trial version of it here:

http://www.corel.com/corel/product/i...id=prod4670071

Corel AfterShot Pro is very appealing to me because I use Linux >90% of the time (my computers are setup in multi-boot configs with both Win 7 and multiple linux distributions on them), and the same license key allows you to use it under multiple operating systems (Windows, OS X, Linux). Here's a recent "webinar" that goes into some of it's features and shows how powerful this kind of tool can be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i633ZBya9Fc

Even if you decide not to shoot in raw, you can use many of the features with jpeg files, too. But, because tools like that make managing raw files just as easy as managing jpeg files, I prefer to shoot raw anymore for it's added flexibility.

I used to shoot jpeg + raw. That way, if the jpeg file was what I wanted, I could use it. Yet, if the image had an issue with anything (exposure, white balance, contrast/sharpening/noise reduction settings, etc.), I'd have far more leeway for correcting any issues later using the raw file.

But, anymore, I just stick to shooting raw only, as there's really no need to shoot jpeg with today's more advanced software.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 9:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterP View Post
Wife won't let me shoot in the raw........
Says I'll scare the neighbors.
I think that would happen whether you shot RAW or not.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 10:06 AM   #14
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Wife won't let me shoot in the raw........
Says I'll scare the neighbors.
But it is such a good way to get out and meet people - usually those with uniforms.

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Old Feb 18, 2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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i allways shoot both
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 2:06 PM   #16
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For me shooting in RAW takes the fun out of it. I tried doing some editing on a few RAW pics but I couldn't tell the diference and I got frustrated with the software. I get more enjoyment out of just taking the pictures. I'm never going to be a pro so RAW isn't an issue for me.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 2:26 PM   #17
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After reading all your comments I would point out that in the days of film the ultimate was achieved with large format cameras and fine grain slide film, then 35 mm claimed to have achieved parity, along comes digital, mediocre at first, but improving all the time, a few years ago with 6 mp it was as good as the best slide film, or so it was claimed. Now we have all those pixels to play with and still some people say there is room for improvement, Let's get this right , if your jpeg is correctly exposed with the right white balance, and all other settings are satisfactory, how can it be improved, or do you say it should be air brushed? I don't believe in cheating except for cloning out an imperfection in a persons face, A photograph is a record, H R D , replacing a bland sky with fluffy white clouds is to my mind just not on. I like to think there are lots of shooters out there who agree with me.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 2:37 PM   #18
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"replacing a bland sky with fluffy white clouds"
Not sure about what others did in the darkroom but replacing bland skies with ones taken on a better day. One of the first things we learned along with changing exposure, dodging, burring and a few other little tricks done during processing.
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 5:09 PM   #19
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I think RAW shooting has its place- if the individual concerned thinks it's worth it..!
There's no doubt you get more control over your images in post processing RAW files- and in more challenging lighting conditions it may prove very useful to shoot RAW- potentially squeezing more dynamic range out and having more delicate adjustments of noise reduction- all to suit your own tastes..! Then there's the ability to fine tune colour/white balance issues.
I actually enjoy processing RAW files- it's kinda fun...
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 11:47 PM   #20
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What can be done better? Improved sharpness and better detail overall. Recovered detail in very light areas. (these get lost even if the overall exposure is good) Decreased shadow noise with increased detail. Can even correct for lens distortions and chromatic aberration. You can create default settings for each lens/camera/ISO combination, so it isn't necessary to manually make all adjustments for each shot.
It really isn't difficult, but you do have to take a bit of time to learn how to use the software. The commercial products JimC mentions are available as trial versions, and there is Raw Therapee as well, which is highly capable.

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