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Old Sep 29, 2003, 7:25 PM   #11
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Thanks! Don't worry, I'll write lots about it. Like how lost I'll probably be for a while....


Klaus, for as long as I've been shooting digital, maybe since '96 or so, I've always been shooting in whatever manner produced a "jpg" image. With the Olympus I had a choice of 'tiff' or 'jpg', but I stuck with 'jpg'.

Question - what are the advantages of shooting in 'RAW' mode? For that matter, what is RAW mode?

I know that using 'jpg' provides some amount of compression, so the image takes less disk space. Tiff has no compression, so it's a huge, full-image. I think I know why "Raw" would be better than "jpg", but why/how could it be better than "tiff"??

I'm guessing that "RAW" means that somehow the "raw data" that goes to the image sensor is being recorded, with no manipulation whatever, and that's what a "RAW" file is. Am I right? If so, is "Nikon Capture" the program I need to convert this "raw data" into an image that Photoshop is capable of dealing with?

As a follow-up question, if that's correct, wouldn't I be better off getting some kind of add-on for Photoshop so it can deal with the "RAW" file?

(I've never seen Nikon Capture. I guess I better do a lot more reading!!)
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 8:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Question - what are the advantages of shooting in 'RAW' mode? For that matter, what is RAW mode?
You may go to my website to read about the RAW format. You will find it under "Formats" on the mainsite below this text.

It's my honeste experience that Nikon Capture is THE program for editing RAW files. I find it even more impressive that the master of editors Photoshop. But NC is limited to editing RAW and TIFFs. (and Jpg but for these I use PS.)I also got the PS plugin, but I never use it, because you can make much better adjustment to your shots in Nikon Capture. Using i.e a TIFF in 16bit mode, will allow you to fine-adjust it and not the rough way that PS does.

From my website under download, I also have a direct link to NC351, but as far as I should know you should get the newest version 4 (maybe not released yet!) with the D2H

But shooting RAW you will have to convert the RAW file to a suitable format i.e TIFF in 16mode (awesome!!!)

Good luck
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 8:34 AM   #13
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Yes, you get a trial version of Nikon Capture 4 with the D2h.

I haven't dived into RAW yet, but there are certainly times I wish I had. The pictures of the green heron which were all under exposed (even with flash) really make me wish I'd used raw and given me that extra bit to play with for a better exposure. Levels can only recover so much.

Eric
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 1:30 PM   #14
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Man, I'm so late for the party! :lol: You already made your decision! But you made the decision I would've made. If I did sports, the D2h would be my only choice, staying within the Nikon camp that is. The CAM 2000 on the D2h will provide faster autofocus than the CAM 1300 on the D1h, and MUCH faster than CAM 900 on the S2 or D100. I mention this because this past weekend I played around with a 70-200 AF-S VR lens (that I usually use on my D100) mounted on a D1x, and the AF engagement and aquisition was much faster than on my D100. I can only imagine what the D2h's AF will be like Congrats on your purchase, and I look fowards to seeing your samples
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 9:17 PM   #15
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Klaus, I went to http://www.hertz-ladiges.com/galphot.../1formats.html and read, then re-read the article on FORMATS. Fascinating.

The comparison between 'tiff' and 'jpg' matches everything I think I know about this stuff, and you did a great job of making it quite clear.

As to "raw"... well, let me ask you the questions I've got.

1) You say that when the file is transferred to a computer, it has to be saved in "tiff" or "jpg". What is the reason I can't save it on my computer in the very same "raw" format that it's taken in? If it is just a "computer file on a card", I should be able to copy it anywhere, in the original format. Later on, you say it can be saved on a computer, and it will maybe take 8 megs. (So maybe it can be saved in "raw" on the computer.) Then, you say it should be saved in "2 sources" as a TIFF with 35 megs, or as a single TIFF as 18 megs. When you have time, could you please elaborate on why it would be saved as "2 sources"? I'm lost.

2) I understand that when the camera saves the image in "raw" it is smaller than "tiff" and takes less time to save it that way. So, if there ever is an intent of making a wonderful huge enlargement, it's obviously better to save it in "raw" (less space/time) and do the other work later. But, you also say (I think) that if it's saved in "raw" format, it's easier to manipulate the image. That's where I'm really lost. Maybe I just don't know enough to even know what I don't know, but why can't I make the same changes to an image in 'tiff' mode for example?


3) You say that Nikon Capture is THE program for editing RAW files. I'll accept that, but what is it that I could not do editing a 'tif' file in Photoshop, that I could do editing a 'raw' file in NC ?



Thanks for all the advice - really! I was just contemplating how much I've been learning here, and also realizing how much there is that I just don't know.

--------------------------------------


Eric, when you say I get a "trial version" of Nikon Capture 4 with the D2h, what do you mean by "trial"? Does it expire after some number of days, or is it just limited functionality? Since I never heard of NC until last week, I don't know very much about it yet.

In your example, if part of the image was underexposed, and you wanted to correct it, how is it better to do this in NC than in Photoshop? (I'm guessing that NC can "see" more detail, and therefore can bring the detail out so it's more clear... but I used to think that a "tiff" file had all the detail that was possible. Obviously I'm wrong....

----------------------------------------

Marokero, thanks! It might not be delivered for several weeks according to B&H today, but at least it's on the way. I'm trying to learn as much as I can ahead of time, so I'll have some idea of what to do with it when it does show up.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 1:38 AM   #16
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I believe it will expire after a certain number of days. I read this either B&H's web site or adorama.com, so lets check again...

Interesting, neither of those companies list the camera on their web site. Ok, time to go to Nikonusa.com. Humm, doesn't list the included software... it only says "nikon view CD". I believe it expires after a certain amount of time, but I don't see where I read that.

You can download a trail version of Nikon Capture 3.5 from Nikon USA:
http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin...&p_cat_lvl1=22

It doesn't look like there is a trial version for 4 (which did just recently come out.) I don't know the differences between them, but you can find that out by looking for reviews of Capture 4.

Ah, I figured it out. The press release from Nikon says:
Nikon Capture Trial Version Software

It has to be Capture 4 because only version 4 supports the NEF format from this camera (based on comment on www.nikon-image.com I assume it's true.)

It's better/easier to correct an picture from a RAW image. This is the theory. I've seen some posts on other forums which refute this (and in those same discussions other says it is true.) Most sensors capture more data (12-bits) but down sample the jpg to 8-bits. The raw has the full 12-bits of data per pixel. This means you have more leaway when converting the image. Also, any of the non mechanical settings of the camera can be applied at your leasure. Need to correct white balance? Don't do it after the fact (and if on a jpg, you'll have artifacts to deal with when resaving) do it when you convert the image from RAW to jpg (or tiff.)

I can make a comment or two on your questions to Klaus, although I haven't read that section of his web page. My answers will be from a Canon perspective, but I assume they apply to Nikon as well.

Yes, you can copy a RAW (or NEF, as Nikon calls the files) to your hard disk. You can't do anything other than convert it, but it's just a file of bits so you can copy it like any other.

When converting the RAW file to a tiff or jpg, you can apply anything that the camera can do in firmware (I believe.) You can't do that to a tiff in PS. You can simulate it (want more sharpening, you could do it when converting the RAW, or do it in PS) but that isn't always the best way to do it.

I agre, I wonder what he means about the "2 sources" as well. I don't get it (I just read that section.)

Eric
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 4:09 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the information.

If it's true that the 'raw' file contains more detail (maybe it's a 12-bit file with all the data from the image sensor, and the standard format for a 'tiff' or 'jpg' is less maybe 8-bit) then all this makes sense, and I can see where it would be better to manipulate the data in the "better" file. Can anyone confirm if this is really the case? If so, why would anyone even want to deal with "tiff" images at all - we'd just keep all our pictures in "raw" format.


Here's another bit of confusiobobblydegook to me.... I've read this before, so it matches what you said "...you can apply anything that the camera can do in firmware" (to the raw image) when using Nikon Capture software. If true, wouldn't it mean that for every model of Nikon camera, which might contain features different than a different model, you'd need your own unique version of the Nikon Capture to match that camera? If so, you'd need one version for the D1, another for the D1X/H, another for the D100, and yet another for the D2?

Again, maybe I'm just too ignorant to know what I don't yet know, but isn't a camera somewhat limited in what it can do, and isn't a program like Photoshop far more capable of manipulating images? I'd think that if I wanted to correct mitakes in my image, I'd be better of using Photoshop. ...which leads me back to wondering why I'd want to bother using Nikon Capture instead of Photoshop.


Is the "raw" image format a standard, or is every camera different? My Olympus e-10 saves images in "raw" format. Is it the same file as a "raw" image saved by other brands, or is it unique to the camera brand/model that created it? ....I originally entered ths item, asing about comparisons between several cameras. If it's true that each camera has its own form of "raw" image file, then the next logical question is whether they're pretty much the same, or if one is "better" than another.
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 5:35 AM   #18
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Raw is 12-bit (or 14-bit or whatever) the native resolution of the CCD. This is why it can't be viewed directly or understood by most programs, beside the info is prior to the de-mosaic so this data is still in it raw state, ie monochrome 12-bit RGB (or its complementary in certain cameras) per pixel. What this means is you only have a 1/3 of the resolution for each color and varies with the sensor sizes, ie Width x Heigth (or other proprietary parameter) that a PC program must be programmed to recognized!

When this raw image is processed by the camera (or the software in the PC). The image is interpolated and reassembled in true color, ie each pixel is now (8-bit,8-bit,8-bit) either in a more standard compressed JPEG or uncompressed TIFF. The TIFF file however can also be save as (16-bit,16-bit,16-bit) but program like Photoshop can not processed fully (hint Photoshop CS :mrgreen, but can be used in other commercial applications! 8)

The computation and round-off occured prior to the file type or how its saved. This is where the off-camera conversion help since it's done within the PC with it floating point arithmetic (and better algorithms) and not in the camera limited CPU/firmware. Eight bit (8-bit,8-bit,8-bit) is 24-bit color! ie 16.7 million shades, I doubt any one can see a difference vs 48-bit color beside a bigger files (but it might help chewing up CPU power if you're that critical/precise) :lol:
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 8:37 AM   #19
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OK, if I understand your third paragraph correctly, you're saying that the 'raw' data represents the information right off the CCD, and that if it's saved as a file as-is, a computer can do a better job of turning this data into a 'jpg' or 'tif' than the camera can. That makes perfect sense. (Does that mean that the camera will be faster at saving a 'raw' file, as it doesn't have to process all that data, just record it?)


I'm still working on trying to assimilate the information you posted in the first two paragraphs. If at some point, the image will be converted into a 'jpg' (for example), I think you're saying that as much processing as possible should be done BEFORE it's saved in this newer (less resolution) format. Are we talking about something that is noticeable, or would the difference between doing it one way or the other be noticeable by people in the final result?
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Old Oct 1, 2003, 8:47 AM   #20
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Quote:
(Does that mean that the camera will be faster at saving a 'raw' file, as it doesn't have to process all that data, just record it?)
The time it takes is related to the file size the camera has to write to flash. Whereas for jpeg and tiff the camera has to compute 1st and then the time it takes to write theses files to flash...Notice that tiff files are HUGE!!! whereas RAW are more compact but larger than jpeg (minus the computation).

Quote:
Are we talking about something that is noticeable, or would the difference between doing it one way or the other be noticeable by people in the final result?
(255,255,255) is black (254,254,254) is also black... that's 3 bits errors, can you tell the difference on your monitor? You tell me... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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