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  1. #1
    oorga_ny Guest

    Question What to do with RAW?

    Three months ago I purchased a Canon 20D and have been shooting in RAW format. My goal is to advance my skills as an amateur photographer. I have several programs that came with the camera (EOS Viewer, Digital Photo Professional and Photoshop Elements 2.0. I also own Photoshop 7.0). What I need to know is: what is the most effective program for processing the images from RAW into a useable format without losing the quality?

    Thanks,

    Oorga

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by oorga_ny
    Three months ago I purchased a Canon 20D and have been shooting in RAW format. My goal is to advance my skills as an amateur photographer. I have several programs that came with the camera (EOS Viewer, Digital Photo Professional and Photoshop Elements 2.0. I also own Photoshop 7.0). What I need to know is: what is the most effective program for processing the images from RAW into a useable format without losing the quality?

    Thanks,

    Oorga
    There are several other RAW converters out there, RSE for one which is also free and does well for certain shots. I rarely use the EOS Viewer since the release of DPP v2.03. You probably have v1.6 and you can d/l the new version on Canon's site. IMO, it is improved a lot. Typically, I'll do a few tweaks and then convert to either 16 or 8 bit tiff. For the rest I use Photoshop 7. The nice thing about DPP v2.03 is that it will allow you to transfer a single image to Photoshop. The newer versions of PS will allow you to open the RAW file directly.

    For printing I use 'save as jpeg' and burn to a cd. I'll usually go back after a few weeks and delete the jpeg's from my hd.

    I pull the RAW files from my CF card to 2 separate folders on my hard drive. I use 1 as my working set and one for backup. I also keep a back up on my external hd as well as burn to cd. Due to file sizes I may have to invest in a DVD burner tho!

    Hope this helps you. Enjoy your 20D.
    Dennis

    Canon 5D
    Canon 20D


    Georgetown, KY Photographer
    Retouching

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Thompson
    Due to file sizes I may have to invest in a DVD burner tho!
    Just a little technical note...even though DVD will hold almost six times as much as a CD, I remember reading DVDs are not as "stable" a media for archival because of the layering and the pit density. Also, the published life span for a DVD is one third as long as for a CD...food for thought...

  4. #4
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    that's odd, i remember there being a thread here some time ago saying exactly the opposite regarding DVD vs CD lifespans. anyone here have any links to prove one way or another?

    As for which programs work best, it depends on many variables. some programs have more controls while other handle colors better. i've been pretty impressed with Adobe RAW. RSE is a free version and is very similar to Adobe RAW. I end up using the free basic RAW processor than came with my canon camera the most because i like the way it handles colors. i was also pretty happy with the 15 day trial of breezebrowser. i would suggest downloading a bunch of free trials to see for yourself. if you are having trouble getting the right look with one program, then try the other. sometimes you will see a night and day difference.

    if you want to get the max quality output then save your files as 16bit tifs.
    canon 17-40 L, 70-200 f2.8 L, 400 f5.6 L, 50 f1.4 & f1.8, 1.4x TC, sigma 15 f2.8 fisheye, flash 500 DG Super, kenko extension tubes

    note to self: don't participate in sad, silly threads unless you're looking for sad, silly responses.

    "anti-BS filter" (from andy): http://dcresource.com/forums/showpos...94&postcount=4

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
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    Hi Oora_ny have a look at this thread http://www.dcresource.com/forums/sho...ght=converters
    Pentax K10D Sigma18-125 f3.5-5.6 DC, Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 APO DG Macro, Sigma 28-70 f2.8 EX, Sigma 50-500 EX APO DG, Vivitar Series 1 105 f2.5 Macro
    Kenko 2X Converter, Kenko Extention Tubes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oorga_ny
    Three months ago I purchased a Canon 20D and have been shooting in RAW format. My goal is to advance my skills as an amateur photographer. I have several programs that came with the camera (EOS Viewer, Digital Photo Professional and Photoshop Elements 2.0. I also own Photoshop 7.0). What I need to know is: what is the most effective program for processing the images from RAW into a useable format without losing the quality?

    Thanks,

    Oorga
    I have a Canon XT. I could shoot RAW but can't be bothered to spend all that much extra editing time. I shoot JPEG and check the LCD to see if any highlights are lown out. Also note that RAW might be readable today with available software but in a few years RAW will have changed yet again and current software in 2010 probably won't touch images taken in RAW in 2005. JPEG is a much more universal standard - hence I use only JPEG. Aside from that, I've tried RAW and found it a complete and utter waste of time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys
    I've tried RAW and found it a complete and utter waste of time.
    Ah, Rhys, don't hold back, tell us what you really think!

    Methinks thou dost protest just a wee bit too much; I agree that Jpeg suffices for most uses, but I can't bring myself to use that U word. There are times when my abilites at rectifying JPEG's limited dynamic range just don't do justice to the scene, and RAW does have the potential to give you 1-2 steps more detail. Here's a couple of shots I couldn't get to turn out for hell or high water with JPEG alone (too high contrast between foreground and back), but Silkypix let me pull out the foremountain greens without blocking out the lucious colors of the sunset.



    "...and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."
    Green Gables: A Contemplative Companion to Fujino Township

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I prefer raw, and usually shoot raw for any picture I intend to keep. Using the raw image bits gives the opportunity to re-do the processing any number of ways, in different programs if you like, without losing detail or quality. It also allows me to see where color highlights are blown out in only one channel, which my cameras' LCD displays won't show.

    When you use JPEGs straight out of the camera, you are giving up creative control of the image processing to the camera, you are committing to one particular interpretation of the image, and you are necessarily losing quality because JPEG is by definition a form of lossy compression. Do you really want to do this with every image?

    Norm mentioned "JPEG's limited dynamic range". The real limit to dynamic range in JPEG is the camera's processing; most cameras apply an artificial curve that flattens the highlights and deep shadows to give a look that's more like film. The EOS 20D, for instance, offers one more stop of dynamic range in the raw image than in the processed JPEG.

    BTW, nice work there Norm!

    Sure, raw takes more space and is slower to process. I'm willing to pay that price because I'm picky, and big flash cards and disks are cheap. If you are happy with the images your camera gives, or you're in a hurry, by all means use JPEG.

    My current workflow: EOS 10D or 20D raw -> Adobe DNG Converter -> Adobe Camera Raw plug-in -> Photoshop CS2 -> JPEG (if needed). Since I am already familiar with Photoshop and have a current copy, I use it for raw processing. I haven't really looked at anything else. And the conversion to Adobe's DNG format effectively takes care of Rhys's complaint about potential obsolescence.
    A manual-focus slide shooter lost in the world of digicams.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhys
    Aside from that, I've tried RAW and found it a complete and utter waste of time.
    The theory goes, correct me if I'm wrong, RAW records the sensor output and camera settings. It applies the camera settings from the file header to display in the RAW Editor. If you later decide you didn't like your settings, you can say "back she goes". Therein lies the power of RAW.

    Since some camera settings, like ISO, impact the sensor output, you're stuck with what you have. I don't know for sure but WB, sharpening, and others are probably in the "back she goes" pile.

    Making an unaltered JPEG copy of all your RAW files would be a 5 minute task, making essentially 2 full backups of originals, that should be exactly what the camera would have produced. A big hassle and as you put it "complete and utter waste of time". I suppose its a question of how confident you are with always getting original settings right, and how good you are at fixes.

    For sure; using JPEG frees up a lot of CF Card space! Ya gotta point there!

    Regarding CD vs. DVD. The obvious advantage to DVD is that, due to far larger capacity, making more comprehensive backups on a single media is possible. This makes later use easier too since you may want photos from ajoining sessions.

    For me; I use 1 and 2GB cards so a CD isn't big enough anyway. Spanning multiple volumes is possible but then I can't just start it at bedtime and be done.

    Longevity aside, DVD just makes more sense. Perhaps 2 copies would help the longevity issue, one in an archival environment. Also a lot less work to make 2 DVD's than with CD.
    Last edited by Vich; 10-20-2005 at 08:04 PM.

  10. #10
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    I never found DVDs actually worked for me when I had a DVD burner. There were so many problems like the software believeing it had written to the DVD and not having done so, DVDs simply disintegrating and the computer refusing to touch half the DVDs from a fresh pack of DVDs that I said screw DVDs and went back to CDs.

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