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Old Apr 27, 2004, 8:24 PM   #1
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Default Shooting in RAW and auto settings

Hi all,

The way Nikons Raw works (NEF) (as I undertand it so correct me if I'm wrong please) , and I assume most other vendors, is raw captures the data directly from the sensor and what the camera settings are, but it does not apply the settings to the data. When you view the picture in Nikon Capture or other software capable of reading NEF files, the software looks at the settings that were used in your camera, i.e Sharpness, white balance, etc and then applies them to the viewable shot. In my editing software, I am then able to modify the WB, sharpness, etc, correct? I have noticed that many of you that shoot raw turn off sharpness? Why do those of you that shoot in raw do this? I would like to start using RAW more, but I'd like to let the camera makes the choices it thinks should be done and then only tweak or radically change if the camera messed up. Does this sound like a fine method or by doing this, am I short changing myself out of benefits for using raw? I like RAW and I like how it is lossless, the fact that it records 2 EV's of under and over exposure, etc. The problem is I don't have a lot of free time and I'm slow at editing still so I don't want to have to make tweaks to every picture I take, but I want to be able to have raw for it's benfits should I need it.


Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

Michael
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 9:03 PM   #2
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Sharpening should be the final step of your post processing. Sharpening is just an optical illusion done by increasing the contrast of the pixels where there is an "edge" or a natural difference in contrast, brightness, or color. It is a destructive process since it is applied directly to the image pixels and permanently alters pixel contrast values. With this being the case, the final sharpening should be after you have resized your image and completed all non-destructive processes. I typically do not sharpen my master images (other than perhaps some localized sharpening of a layer), preferring to save them prior to sharpening. I sharpen a copy of the master adjusted image prior to printing or displaying on a web page after I have resized them accordingly. If you were to sharpen your master image then resize it to a smaller image, your sharpening would likely deteriorate the overall image since the amount of sharpening applied is influenced by how large the final print will be.
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Old Apr 27, 2004, 11:49 PM   #3
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The other reason for not sharpening in camera is that you don't know how much (or little) sharpening you want. This can be a style thing, but also a subject thing.

Most people don't want their face sharpening so that ever pore and wrinkle shows up. So you sharpen portraits less than some other shots. If you sharpen a lot in camera, you can't easily undo it.

Another eason is that most editor can do a better job sharpening than the camera can. It has limited time, energy and power. Your computer is powerful, pluged into the wall, and has as much time as you're willing to give it.

But the reality is this. If you don't want to do the editing yourself... then the camera's settings might be good enough for you. And if they are, then you should be happy and move on.

Eric
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 12:54 AM   #4
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Yes, Raw formats capture the CCD data and store all camera settings in the info block. If you set a specific setting, the data is still the same, but your viewing software will read out the settings and apply them.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 6:00 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies .... I want/like to edit ,,, but then somtimes I don't want to edit .... especially not every picture I decide I like. I now better understand the reasoning for sharpening outside the camera so it gives me something to think about.

Thanks
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 7:42 AM   #6
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I allow my D100 to automaticaly set sharpening and contrast as it seems to do both jobs quite well. I set the white balance manualy.

Post processing is then limited to adjusting exposure if required, an optional application of some more contrast (depending on which lens I'm using), resize, and then a touch of USM on the resized image. The amount of USM again tends to depend on the lens.

Like you this allows me to tweak and not have a complex workflow.

Regards,
Graham.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 8:58 AM   #7
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If you take your time to determine the proper shot beforehand, post processing is simply routine and there is very little adjustment necessary other than some level adjustment and a touch of sharpening.

My workflow depends on what my intent is. If I'm looking to make routine snapshot pictures, I can simply use standard settings for color saturation, sharpening, and batch process directly to jpg for printing. If I'm looking to obtain a special print, I can get more involved. But the bottom line is that if you take the time to shoot the picture with the right exposure, you won't be spending much time at the computer at all.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 9:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohenry
My workflow depends on what my intent is. If I'm looking to make routine snapshot pictures, I can simply use standard settings for color saturation, sharpening, and batch process directly to jpg for printing. If I'm looking to obtain a special print, I can get more involved. But the bottom line is that if you take the time to shoot the picture with the right exposure, you won't be spending much time at the computer at all.
OK, now things are getting clear. I like the idea of making the best picture, but I just cannot justify the time. So perhaps for most general shots, birthday's etc, I'll let the camera decide the sharpening as I think it does pretty good and for the shots I want the best results possible from I'll take full control.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 9:59 AM   #9
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That's not what I meant, but that would also work. What I meant is that the RAW processing software can automatically apply a sharpening and saturation if desired. It is very flexible to work with and as simple or involved as you want it to be.
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Old Apr 28, 2004, 10:06 AM   #10
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OK, now things are getting clear. I like the idea of making the best picture, but I just cannot justify the time. So perhaps for most general shots, birthday's etc, I'll let the camera decide the sharpening as I think it does pretty good and for the shots I want the best results possible from I'll take full control.[/quote]

I was unaware that the camera decides how much sharpening to apply? The camera has many auto features, sharpening isn't one of them. Perhaps I'm mistaken - The D1x doesn't have auto sharpening - You manually set sharpening in one of the in camera dialogues. NEF of course gives you the option of changing these settings later on.

Now Thom Hogan recomends manually setting the White Balance BEFORE you shoot. He says that the result will be just a little bit better then doing it later.

Dave
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