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Old Jun 30, 2005, 4:34 AM   #1
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My raw images from my D70 come out to around 5 mb each, .NEF straight from my CF card. Is this the most optimized setting? Is this the best quality i can get? my previous camera was a fuji and their raw image was something like 9 mb each.* or maybe .nef is more compressed?*
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 8:04 AM   #2
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D70 .nef files are compressed. The compression is lossless (so there is no loss of quality from the compression as in JPEG images).

The older D100 gives you a choice (uncompressed versus compressed). But, it's compressed .nef format was too taxing on the processor (slowed the camera down too much peforming the compression). The newer D70 seems to have solved the processingbottleneck (making it practical to always compress .nef files). So, Nikon eliminated the uncompressed .nef option with the D70.

Compressed .nef files is a good thing (less space, same image quality).


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Old Oct 26, 2005, 11:35 PM   #3
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Hello. I took some RAW photos becauseI heard there is so much more you can do with them postprocessing. Well,I wasn't all that impressed, perhaps because I ahve no clue what to look for. Do you have some tips on postprocessing NEF files in photoshop? For instance, I have a nightime photo that is grainy (ISO 640), can I tweak that? ANd what about overexposure?I heard you can work with RAW to improve overexposure.

Any direciton would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 9:48 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forums.

There are a number of ways to process raw images (different algorithms used by different plugins or stand alone software).

Different users will have different favorites that they'll use. Some may prefer the optional Nikon Capture. Others may prefer Adobe Camera Rawif they have a version of Photoshop where ACR supports their camera.

PSCS supports the D70 with Camera Raw version 2.2 or higher, and PSCS2 supports it with any of the Camera Raw 3.x downloads. If you're using one of these two PS versions (Photoshop CS or Photoshop CS2), go to the downloads section on Adobe's site andget either Camera Raw 2.4 (newest for PSCS) or Camera Raw 3.2 (newest for PSCS2).

Still others may want to use tools like Bibble or Capture One

There are many more. For example, Raw Shooter Essentials is well liked, and the price is right. LOL

I just got a little KM 5D, and I'm using a command line program to convert from raw. I like the new AHD (Adaptive Homogeniety Directed) based algorithms David Coffin is using in his newer (7.60 and higher) versions of dcraw.c. I compiled the latest version (7.79) a couple of days ago for converting photos from rawon Windows XP with it.

You can read about some differencesin algorithms in studies like this one:

http://www.ece.gatech.edu/research/labs/MCCL/pubs/dwnlds/bahadir05.pdf

Paul J. Lee was instrumental in working with David Coffin on this latest project to use AHD, providing David with a prototype of dcraw.c using it. Dave was convinced andintegrated it into dcraw.c versions 7.60 and later (Dave's continuing to refine it).

Paul is now working on implementing "Bilateral filtering in CIELAB space" within dcraw.c, which will substantially suppress color noises (high ISO noise) with preserving edges. So, stay tuned for even more changes in this one (and many other products base their raw conversion on the code in dcraw.c since it's published c source code anyone can use).;-)


But, many users want more flexibility in a raw conversion program than a command line program can provide. So, there are lots of choices around with more built in features and GUI interfaces.

As for highlight recovery... If you blown them, they're blown. But, raw provides more "steps" in the ladder. So, what may be blown shooting jpeg, may be "almost" blown on a slightly lower "step" in the ladder shooting in raw. The added contrast from image processing shooting in jpeg can also hurt dynamic range. The processing may be boosting animage area enough to blow somehighlights (or decreasing others enough to lose some shadow detail) in the final image.

There are also some pretty sophisticated techniques for recovering blown highlights (probably by looking for detail that's not blown in adjacent pixels and making some changes in brightness to help fill in blown detail). Bibble's is reported to be better than most in this area.

As for noise... anything is best fixed as early as possible before conversion to jpeg. I think we'll see more raw converters with noise suppression algorithms in the future. Right now, third party plugins are probably your best bet. I'd suggest taking a look at Neat Image and Noiseware for starters.


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Old Oct 27, 2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome, Jim, and your prompt reply. Regarding grainl, I use Neat Image and LOVE it. But I was under the impression that I would be able to fix grain in my RAW images in Photoshop (I have CS and instaleld the downloads, etc.) but I don't see how.

As far as blown images, that was an example of what problems you can fix in RAW but again, in Photoshop how would you go about fixing it? I'll take a look at your links to see if that answers my questions. Basically, I am looking for the "steps" or process in which to fix the problemsand trying to see why RAW is better than JPG when fixing these issues. They both, JPG and RAW, look the same to me. SHhuld I be comparing histograms or something?

Thanks again for your reply!
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 11:15 AM   #6
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With mostraw converters, you have an exposure compensation slider (or setting), that can help to recover highlight detail (using a -EV value), or shadow detail using a +EV setting if you underexposed, and many have the ability to adjust shadows and higlights areas separately from the main exposure compensation, too. The exposure lattitude you get can vary.

You alsohave many more "steps in the ladder" for intensity shooting in raw, and you haven't lost data already due to the way it was processed and saved shooting in jpeg.

Make sure you've got a newer Adobe Camera raw installed and you're not using Nikon's software for the conversion. You can download the latest ACR 2.4 for PSCS from here for Windows (Macintosh usershave a different download section for it).

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloa...atform=Windows

Make sure to follow the directions on putting the plugin in the correctfolder (and moving the old one somewhere else). Otherwise, it may not be using it (and Nikon's software doesn't give youmuch control, unless you buy their optional Nikon Capture software).


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Old Oct 27, 2005, 11:34 AM   #7
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Thanks, Jim C! I'll figure it out one of these days...
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