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Old Dec 17, 2006, 10:21 PM   #1
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I dont understand the RAW..If I take a picture in RAW.. do I have to run it in some software before taking it to Photoshop? how do I do this and what program..
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Old Dec 17, 2006, 10:50 PM   #2
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Technically speaking, you do. But Photoshop (I use Elements 4.0) comes with Adobe Camera RAW. Ones you drag and drop the RAW file (NEF for Nikon) to Photoshop it'll launch ACR automatically. After you change settings there (like White Balance, etc) and click Open, it'll send it to Photoshop automatically.

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Old Dec 17, 2006, 11:35 PM   #3
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Doesn' your camera come with a RAW converter? I heard the Nikon had a basic program or you could buy a better one for $99.
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 12:58 PM   #4
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have not received the camera and software yet.. says it has the picture project software cd for conversion.. do you know what is the best conversion program??

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Old Dec 18, 2006, 7:17 PM   #5
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Can someone explaine, what exactly is RAW compared to a JPEG. Is it better? What will it do for me? Thanks.

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 12:35 AM   #6
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Hi, mom! Simply put, a JPEG image is a poached egg and a RAW file is an uncooked (raw) egg still in the shell.

A RAW file contains all the data that the camera's sensor outputs. When you shoot a JPEG, the camera converts all that raw sensor data to image data instead of writing it to the memory card as-is.

Advantages of recording the raw data and doing out-of-camera conversion include: No JPEG data loss so that the image retains a higher dynamic range with no compression artifacts; somewhat greater exposure lattitude allowing for recovery of blown highlights to the tune of about one stop (at least, when using Adobe Camera Raw); and the ability to alter the white balance to your liking and make other image adjustments that are less destructive of the original data than the same types of adjustments made to an already-converted image.

In Adobe Camera Raw (the RAW conversion component of Photoshop and Elements) you can even correct vignetting and chromatic aberration and address chrominance and luminance noise easier than after conversion to JPEG.

The bugger, here, is that it adds another step to your post processing workflow. It has been argued, though, that most of the adjustments made in the RAW converter are adjustments that may well would have to have been made to a JPEG image in an editor anyway, and that doing a good job of it in the RAW converter saves you the time it would take to make similar enhancements to the converted image in a regular editor. This helps compensate for the extra time it takes to run the data through the RAW converter first.

Some people can get into quite heated arguments on the relative merits of RAW vs. JPEG. In fact, if you google "raw vs. jpeg," you will learn very much more than what I've said here on the subject.

I think that the general concensus is that JPEG is just fine for the average shooter. But, the advantages of RAW are there for those who feel that the extra trouble of the format is worth it.

Grant
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 1:20 AM   #7
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i print only 8x10 or 13x19 and wondered if the raw gives me a better picture if worked thru the raw converter.. what do you think
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Old Dec 19, 2006, 10:10 AM   #8
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I basically agree with everything that Grant says.

RAW is worth using if your standards are high enough and you're willing to put in the extra work that they require.

For example - I basically only shoot in RAW, but then again I sell my images and care very much about quality.

Some things are absolutely easier with RAW (like fixing white balance), some things look better when fixed with raw (like blending two images to expand dynamic range) but other things are just the same (like correcting perspective.)

For the average person, RAW is really not necessary. JPG is good enough.
The only clear thing you've said that makes me wonder if RAW wouldn't be slightly useful is that you make larger prints. With JPG compressions artifacts, enlarging an image to make 13x19 print (which I make some times as well) might look better with RAW than JPG - if you're enlarging a fair amount. This is because you'll be enlarging the JPG compression artifacts as well so they will be more obvious.

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Old Dec 19, 2006, 3:38 PM   #9
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One final thing. Since you've order a D80, make sure you get the latest Adobe Camera Raw (Version 3.6, released in October 2006), which contains support for the D80. Here's the link:

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html

Enjoy!
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