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Can someone please explain Raw to JPEG for me....
Old 07-22-2004, 03:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sorry for asking the obvious.....but I'm curious if I want to shoot for the sole purpose of making a poster print is RAW better than JPEG?
Can you print a RAW image or does it need to be converted?
Do you edit a RAW image the same as a JPEG in Photoshop, sharpening, etc?
I shoot wiht a Canon D30 and have never even tried shooting in Raw mode. I have a 1 Gig microdrive so memory isn't a problem I just don't know know how to even handle a RAW file.
Thanks ahead of time.....
Sean
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Re: Can someone please explain Raw to JPEG for me....
Old 07-22-2004, 04:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Sorry for asking the obvious.....but I'm curious if I want to shoot for the sole purpose of making a poster print is RAW better than JPEG?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, but mainly because you have more control over the final image to be printed. Most of the time you will be hard pressed to notice a difference, resolutionwise, between your camera's highest JPEG setting and its RAW setting. There is some, however, and it will be more pronounced the higher the magnification, so every little bit helps.

[ QUOTE ]
Can you print a RAW image or does it need to be converted?

[/ QUOTE ]

You can't print a RAW image directly from your software: it has to be converted to its native format when you read it in. You have to set the white balance, etc. However, you still have an uncompressed file if you read it in and save it as PSD or whatever.

[ QUOTE ]
Do you edit a RAW image the same as a JPEG in Photoshop, sharpening, etc?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, you do, once it's read in. You have to set the white balance when you read it in, and you have a lot of other options at that time. Once it's in it's just like any other image.

[ QUOTE ]
I shoot wiht a Canon D30 and have never even tried shooting in Raw mode. I have a 1 Gig microdrive so memory isn't a problem I just don't know know how to even handle a RAW file.

[/ QUOTE ]

Shoot a few, then read them into Photoshop, so you can just play with all the settings and see what they do. It can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be.

M
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Re: Can someone please explain Raw to JPEG for me....
Old 07-24-2004, 06:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Think of RAW the way you'd think of undeveloped film, except in this case you get to watch it develop, and you can re-develop it if you don't like the results. RAW mode gives you much greater latitude in exposure and correction than any other (including JPG or TIF) at the time of exposure. In those modes, your exposure and color balance is set at the time you click the shutter. With RAW, you can make those adjustments in the RAW converter (more about that in a sec) and the results will be as if you made them originally - in other words, RAW mode is an "incomplete" state, and needs your input to finish the process. Because it is holding onto a lot more information for you to use in making your adjustments, RAW files are larger than JPGs by quite a bit. The RAW files from my Nikon D70 are a little over 5mb (as with JPGs, they are compressed and the file size varies with the amount of detail in the image), while the comparable JPG (it makes a RAW & JPG at the same time) is about 800k. The RAW file unpacks to a 18mb file, which can then be interpolated up to a larger file as needed (that's another technique for another day). A JPG original will probably not do that as well, nor will it have the adjustment latitude of the RAW file, but if you were only shooting for the web or small printing, it would be fine.

To open a RAW file, you either need the proprietary software from your camera manufacturer, or (easier) the Adobe Raw Converter plug-in that comes with Photoshop CS and covers almost all cameras from various manufacturers. The free upgrade from Adobe will give you converters for newer cameras, like my Nikon D70. Some people argue that the manufacturers software is better than Adobe's, but most people don't think so. Even friend's with the Fuji S2 like the Adobe better, and its one less application to worry about (I never even installed Nikon's software).

Here's how it works: Assuming you've installed the update (if needed) you just open PS/CS, find the file you want in the file explorer (or whatever MAC uses). It will have a different extension than JPG or TIF. In the case of Nikon it is NEF. When you click to open the file, CS automatically brings up a smaller window which is the converter, first. You will see the image along with a bunch of tools/sliders that ask you to adjust (or not) the White Balance, Color Temperture, Tint, Exposure, Shadows, Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, etc. Or you can go into Advanced mode for more options. These adjustments take effect at the base level, before you go into regular Photoshop to make your final adjustments. When you click "OK", the window closes and you're in Photoshop proper. Then work on normally, and save the file in any format you want.

BTW, with my camera, I can shoot RAW with a JPG. This is handy so I can select images for use or deletion based on the JPG (I delete the reject JPG & RAW version at the same time) without having to open all the files from RAW mode. I can also use an auto tool to make a smaller set up JPGs for quick burning to a CD for copyright registration. You can use a third party program (I use Thumbs Plus) for that JPG selection and re-size, or try the CS browser. It has quite a few options for sorting and flagging and ranking frames for selection or deletion.

Hope this helps,
Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio


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