Shooting RAW?

Discuss cameras, settings, composition, or anything related to photography - cactus or other subjects.
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DaveW
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Shooting RAW?

Post by DaveW »

I noted a photography article in the latest British Cactus Society Journal on shooting RAW if your camera will allow it. How many of us using conventional cameras that allow it simply shoot “in camera JPEG’s” instead because they cannot be bothered to post process their pictures and then convert to JPEG's after post processing?

I have always shot RAW since I started digital photography because a friend who was already shooting digital told me otherwise you had less control over the final image. Just as the author of the BCSS article pointed out, particularly for getting correct exposure on white flowers. Agreed if you use the “Blinkies” on cameras that allow it there is an indication which parts of the image has burnt out and you can alter the exposure to compensate, but post processing using RAW usually allows you to do this afterwards to a greater degree.

Higher specified amateur or semi pro cameras that allow it sometimes come with the “Blinkies” already set, but in most cases you have to go into the menu and set both the “Blinkies” and “Histogram's” yourself. However look in your camera manual to see if you can and if so how to do it:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQjDDM4WSIo

Also photography on some Forums is often just snatched shots of plants in a cluttered staging, the photographer seldom making the effort to remove them and isolate the plant for it’s own portrait. Also a lot of white flowered plants having the petals burnt out to a greater or lesser extent. Almost all whites in a picture should show some degree of texture and not be just burnt out flat white.

Anyway it’s worth the little extra time post processing your pictures, not just for exposure but also for sharpening since digital photography (at least until recently) works differently to conventional film photography in that the image is sharpened after taking to avoid Moiré patterning. The image being sharpened either automatically in camera if you shoot in camera JPEG's, or by the photographer in post processing shooting RAW. In camera sharpening can be manipulated to a certain degree in the menu in some cameras, but sharpening is better done in post processing where you can see the results on your computer screen.

https://www.howtogeek.com/215920/htg-ex ... -doing-it/

You can even sharpen smartphone photo’s:-

http://www.imageenlargement.com/how-to- ... ne-photos/

White flowers, especially with dark backgrounds, are the hardest to avoid the petals burning out and getting “Blinkies”, since the camera sets the exposure half way between the black and the white parts of the image and so overexposes the white, but with a black background you do not require detail in the black anyway. Camera meters work well on average subjects, but non average subjects with an exposure range longer than the sensor can record will fool them. The Golden Rule for digital photography is to expose for the highlights. Anyway if you can shoot RAW and post process give it a try.

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DaveW
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Re: Shooting RAW?

Post by DaveW »

I should have added how to shoot RAW to the above:-

http://christinagreve.com/jpeg-raw-begi ... mode-easy/

I must confess I do not do a lot of alterations to my RAW files, other than exposure, resizing and a final sharpening before changing the copy (not the original) to a JPEG for web use. I use Adobe Camera RAW as my RAW Converter and like most amateurs do not need the expense and complexity of Photoshop, therefore use the much cheaper Photoshop Elements which does all I need and is even cheaper than Lightroom.

You can also download free RAW Converters and post processing software from the WEB, but as the first link says if your camera shoots RAW you usually get a computer disk or similar with post processing software with the camera. As the link below shows if you do want to do extensive manipulation of an image RAW does allow that although most of us will only need resizing for use on forums like this plus exposure corrections, removing colour casts due to wrong white balance and final conversion to a JPEG.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?ei=LqRw ... a11LmoDg31
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teo
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Re: Shooting RAW?

Post by teo »

Inspired by you I set the image format on my old Nikon D3100 to RAW+ JPEG and downloaded an image to the computer. I got a .jpg and a .NEF file. NEF seems to be Nikons own form of RAW. It did not open with MS Offica Picture Manager (which I usually use for the simple editing tasks I need like cropping and compressing (for this site) ). It also did not open in Photoshop Elements 8.0. There seems to be a number of other ways to handle it - including a Nikon program which I probably already have somewhere. This was just a test - I'm not sure I need more than the jpeg :-)
DaveW
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Re: Shooting RAW?

Post by DaveW »

Hi Teo,

You often need to download a new update of Adobe Camera RAW separately for your new camera. But Adobe has a nasty habit of not making it's Camera RAW for the later latest cameras backwards compatible with much older versions of Photoshop or Elements in order to get you to update.

I am using Elements 14. But it looks as if your Elements version will only take up to Camera RAW 3.6, but Camera Raw version 6.3 is needed for your camera. Therefore you would have to use another RAW Converter then transfer the image to your Elements. There should have been a disk of Nikon software containing a RAW Converter that came with your camera?

https://www.photolife.com/2015/05/how-c ... -software/

From the above link:-

"There’s also a workaround available from Adobe that’s free of charge: Digital Negative Converter. This utility enables owners of newer cameras to use older versions of Photoshop (or Lightroom) for RAW photo modification and conversion. Simply download and install DNG Converter 8.8 for Windows or DNG Converter 8.8 for Mac. Use it to convert your new camera’s RAW captures to DNG, Adobe’s own RAW format as shown in this video tutorial: The DNG Converter for Photography. You can then process those RAW files in unsupported Adobe software such as Photoshop 3. Naturally, the new features provided in the latest version of Camera Raw (in current Adobe software) will not be available to you."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D91BkQWWxug

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/photoshop/us ... erter.html

You can get a NEF Converter for Windows but I have never used it so don't know how it works:-

https://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/ ... sw/97.html

You can sometimes pick up a later version of Elements cheap on EBAY that came bundled with a computer the owner did not want.
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SnowFella
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Re: Shooting RAW?

Post by SnowFella »

Shoot 100% RAW and have done so for years (apart from a long period when I had the camera set to RAW+JPG).
Generally does mean you have to do some processing as RAW files usually have no in camera adjustments like sharpening, noise reduction or tweaks. They tend to look a tad bland straight out of camera.
Upshot though is that all the information recorded by the camera sensor is saved, depending on the camera there's usually a fair bit that can be recovered in both highlights and blacks if you get your settings wrong plus any white balance issues can be fixed more accurately. a JPG file simply throws away anything clipped (pure whites or blacks) and can never be recovered.

Downside is the processing required to make the most of your files and the file sizes themselves. RAW/NEF takes up lots more room both on your memory cards and on your harddrives!
An example out of my current gear, if set to RAW the camera claims I can fit in, 32Gb card in the camera and with uncompressed RAW it says 368 shots, compressed RAW and it goes up to 727 shots, highest quality JPG on the other hand is 1129. Big difference in file size and can make a difference to both storage and computer specs needed to do lots of editing, my newish laptop can feel somewhat sluggish if I have to go through lots of files.

@Teo: For Nikon look up Nikon Capture NX-D for handling your NEF files. It's a free software provided by Nikon, usually ships on a disc with your camera but can also be downloaded from the Nikon support sites.

And here's an example where I really screwed my settings, shot with an onboard flash pushed into highspeed sync and it ended up way too dark.
Image
DSC06203 by Johan Olsson, on Flickr

And massaged through Lightroom just to see what I could recover.
Image
DSC06203-Edit by Johan Olsson, on Flickr

New gear would come out lots cleaner than out of that oldish crop sensor camera.
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