Author Topic: Explain RAW files to me  (Read 5024 times)

Offline takashi78

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Explain RAW files to me
« on: August 06, 2012, 01:05:25 PM »
Everyone is saying with raw files you can edit most parameters of the pic.

But my question is, do you edit it while still in RAW? Or after you converted from raw to jpeg?

Still dont quite understand here. :-\

Offline ramlan

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 05:06:14 PM »
I try to answer this but bare in mind, I'm not the expert.

RAW files are similar to negative film in silver halide.

You do the adjustment in RAW and save it in JPEG or other file formats. You should keep the RAW files original for future use. Same as negative film, you keep it as it is and reprint it according to your requirements later. (actually this is what i do)

Hope this explained

Offline takashi78

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 06:23:09 PM »
Hmmm...then means i did the wrong thing then.
I converted to jpeg frm raw then only edit.

Means the software must be able to view raw files as well?

Offline ramlan

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 07:21:53 PM »
Yes, the software must be able to open and edit the RAW files and convert it to other format when you save as.

JPEG had a very limited range on each element that you can play with compare with RAW files. As everybody knew, JPEG is a compress file. Same image in RAW are bigger than JPEG file in term of file size. And RAW also will take a little bit longer time to save in the camera compare with JPEG. This become obvious if you use the continuous shooting function.

Photoshop is among the popular software in image editing but it is very expensive (for me). But there are so many other software that are cheap and even some are free.

Offline infinityws

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 11:32:29 PM »
Raw files are unprocessed files. I will focus on the image parameters. However it has a few advantages and disadvantages over jpeg

Advantage
- higher bit rate. 12 or 14 bits as compared to Jpeg which is only 8 bit. The higher bit rate retain higher dynamic range and details up to +/- 1 stop. Meaning if you under or over expose by 1 stop, you are still able to recover the details
- since it's unprocessed you can better fine tune the white balance later, crucial when you have tricky wb
- can change color space, you are not restricted to sRGB
- almost impossible to overwrite raw. Changes made are metadata which can be reset with a single click and it's back to original

Disadvantage
- you need to process the raw files to make it useable and certain softwares are required. This take more time.
- files are usually 2-4 times larger
- you might see more noise if shoot at higher iso, processing is required

When dealing with a hundred or two like per wedding it's ok to go raw. My events usually end up with 2-3k photos, I'll just go with jpeg. Space and extra time required is substantial.

If you have the time and space, always shoot in raw. Once you master the parameters, you can go for jpeg as it makes not much different then. You are capable of shooting it right in the camera.



Offline takashi78

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 07:29:16 AM »
Great explanation. Much appreciated.

Is there any free software that can edit in raw?

I am using Photoscape now and i think it does not have this capability.

Offline ramlan

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 09:12:43 AM »
GIMP can be d/loaded from the net. It free.

Offline David_cheong

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 05:00:54 PM »
And I thought raw files are something like raw fish, like sushi where you take with a pinch of wasabi......... :laugh:

Jokes aside... good explanations.. :thumbsup:
I have beginning to take interest in photography.

dc
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Offline Watchnewby

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 09:51:47 AM »
A very good explanation from infinytyws.

If I may add further :

If you've saved the file in raw mode when it is subsequently loaded into a raw conversion program and then saved to a TIFF or PSD format file and it can be exported in 16 bit mode. The 12 or 14 bits recorded by the camera are then spread over the full 16 bit workspace. If you saved the file in-camera as a JPG than it is converted by the camera's software to 8 bit mode and you will only limited levels to work with.

Reasons to Shoot JPG
— Files are smaller and therefore more of them fit on a card.
— For many applications image quality is more than sufficient (family snapshots, news images).
— Small files are more easily transmitted wirelessly and online. This is important to newspaper photographers.
— Many photographers don't have the time or inclination to post-process their files.
— Many cameras (especially digicams) can not shoot quickly when working in raw mode. Some lower-end models can't record raw files at all.

Reasons to Shoot Raw
— A raw file is comparable to the latent image contained in an exposed but undeveloped piece of film. It holds exactly what the imaging chip recorded. Nothing more. Nothing less. This means that the photographer is able to extract the maximum possible image quality, whether now or in the future. A good analogy with the traditional world of film is that you have the opportunity to use a different type of developer or development time at any point in the future if one comes along that you think might do a better job of processing the image.
— Raw files have not had while balance set. They are tagged with whatever the camera's setting was, (either that which was manually set or via auto-white-balance), but the actual data has not been changed. This allows one to set any colour temperature and white balance one wishes after the fact with no image degradation. It should be understood that once the file has been converted from the linear space and has had a gamma curve applied (such as in a JPG) white balance can no longer be properly done.
— File linearization and colour filter array (Bayer) conversion is done on a computer with a fast and powerful microprocessor. This allows much more sophisticated algorithms to be used than those done in a camera with its slower and less powerful processor and with less space for complex conversion programs.
— The raw file is tagged with contrast and saturation information as set in the camera by the user, but the actual image data has not been changed. The user is free to set these based on a per-image evaluation rather than use one or two generalized settings for all images taken.
— Possibly the biggest advantage of shooting raw is that one has a 16 bit image (post raw conversion) to work with. This means that the file has 65,536 levels to work with. This is opposed to a JPG file's 8 bit space with just 256 brightness levels available. This is important when editing an image, particularly if one is trying to open up shadows or alter brightness in any significant way.

In Summary
Something to consider is that every digital camera is indeed always shooting in raw mode. But, if we choose to save the file as a JPG we are committing to the raw conversion program that is built into the camera. If we allow the file to be saved in raw format though we have the opportunity to do the conversion on a more sophisticated platform, and to do so again and again if there's any benefit to this in future. In other words, the decision is — do you want to do the raw file conversion now in the camera, or later on your computer?

With a JPG file you are largely committing yourself at the time of exposure to several of the most important aspects of image quality, namely white balance, overall contrast, colour saturation and the like. With a raw file you are free to make decisions about these settings at your leisure.

Because JPG files require little or no additional processing when adjustments are made in post-processing, care needs to be taken to keep these within a limited range, or processing artifacts will be seen. For some photographers the ease and speed of use is a benefit, for others not. Certainly anyone looking for the best possible image quality will want to shoot in raw mode whever possible.

Some cameras can save both raw and JPG files simultaneously, and for many photographers this is an ideal solution. It provides a ready-to-use image for many applications, while a raw file is available for later and more comprehensive processing. The only downside to this double format is the extra space that it takes on memory cards

(Note: Extract from luminous landscape - understanding series)



Offline veege

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 12:46:14 PM »
very well explanation . I would like to add extra 0.02cents

If you are not doing post processing ( editing in the sofrware , light room, photoshop etc ) no need to shoot in RAW format.
if you jusr record something , not for business no need to shoot in RAW

actually if you compare those photo ( direct from camera, i means you are not doing any editing ) raw and jpg you will not noticeable the difference, in the normal sistuation ( 14mb same resolution , not enlarge )
 :Cheers:

Offline chizuoka

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2016, 09:21:26 PM »
RAW does have significant difference in very dark and very bright areas of the image, much more detail than jpg

Offline tmsoo

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Re: Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2016, 02:32:10 PM »
My way is shoot majority in RAW, then open using the software coming with the camera. Slightly adjust the picture then convert it to TIFF. Editing job in Photoshop, finally convert to JPG.

Offline CharlieKuzo

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Explain RAW files to me
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2017, 01:14:41 AM »
I am sure that you are fully aware of this, but the Canon EOS has the capability of saving files in both jpeg and RAW format at the same time. That being the case I have been taking pictures and saving them to both formats. This gives me the best of both worlds I guess you could say. I have been using Photoshop CS3 to manipulate the RAW files and have been having a lot of fun playing with the RAW files and have learned a great deal in the process.
Not sure if its the lens18-55 kit lens that I am using or what, but I dont see a lot of difference between the two formats. Maybe its just my old tired eyes. I fully intend to upgrade the glass just as soon as funds allow, but for now Im just playing and learning.

Thanks for the info.
Gary
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