snubbr.com

Confused about RAW processing
Being completely new to digital photography, I am a little confused about what I need to do with RAW files..

I want to shoot my photos with the highest quality settings in order to get the best results possible, but I'm not sure what needs to be done to them afterwards, and with what software..

My Nikon D40 came with some software called PictureProject..

I also have PhotoShop CS and iPhoto on my computer..

What's all this "processing" that needs to be done? I hope I don't have to purchase any additional software..

Thanks for any advice...

Comments (21)

All cams that support RAW come with software for processing/converting RAW files. You can also use Adobe's ACR plugin for photoshop, though I don't know it it works with CS or not.. you can find out on Adobe's web site...

That being said, I'm going to have to recommend you give Adobe Lightroom a try. It takes all the pain out of dealing with RAW files...

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savagehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mrnoronha/sets/..

Comment #1

Your D40 is able to deliver great jpeg pictures directly out of cam. So you don't have to postprocess every pic you take..

But if you would like to do so for some or many pics you take, then RAW (Nikon .nef) is the better point to start from. With RAW you are able to adjust a lot of settings, which are not (at least so easy) accessible with jpeg files (i.e. white balance, aperture, ...). So you can correct some mistakes you made while taking pictures..

Also you are able to try out some settings and change them as often as you like to do without any loss of quality, which happen to jpeg with every "save".This can be done with Nikon's Capture NX..

Forget "Picture Project", it is outdated. It's successor is ViewNX (Image Browser), downloadable from Nikon's site. There you will find also "Nikon Transfer", which will help you transfering your pics from your D40 to your computer..

Photoshop CS is a very powerfull software to postprocess and/or push up pictures. It can use .jpeg and .nef files as input (with the latest RAW-Plugin)..

IPhoto is unknown to me .

My advice would be: start taking pictures combined as jpeg and raw. Keep both versions as long as space is no problem for you. Maybe a year later or so you would like to postprocess some of your earlier captures (with more knowlegde collected by the time)..

RegardsRogRabb..

Comment #2

IPhoto doesn't handle RAW. Use either a third party picture transfer or Image capture (comes with OSX), I use Image Capture. If you don't want to spend any additional moneys download Nikon's ViewNX to process the image and and export it to photoshop to make any changes. I have Capture NX that allows editing the NEFs, though it is painfully slow on my very old 400mhz PowerMac..

I think I read that Photoshop CS1 doesn't work with ACR...

Comment #3

Can you really adjust aperture of RAW photos?.

The only way I can think to do it is with that blur tool in Capture NX. Is there another way? Is there an equivalent method in Lightroom?..

Comment #4

Thanks. So If I understand correctly, there is no"processing" software, i.e. such as Nikon Capture, included with the D40.Only imaging browsing software (Nikon View, ViewNX) is provided..

I read elsewhere that RAW format varies by brand and that one needs to have brand-specific processing software..

I'd rather use PhotoShop, if possible, rather than have to purchase more software...

Comment #5

So which is the "bundled" Nikon program I should be using with my Nikon D40?..

Comment #6

Cassette wrote:.

Thanks. So If I understand correctly, there is no"processing"software, i.e. such as Nikon Capture, included with the D40.Only imaging browsing software (Nikon View, ViewNX) is provided.I read elsewhere that RAW format varies by brand and that one needsto have brand-specific processing software..

I'd rather use PhotoShop, if possible, rather than have to purchasemore software..

No, you don't have to use manufacturer-specific software to process RAW files from a camera of each manufacturer. Third-party programs work just fine, presuming the program in question supports the file-type of your camera (not a problem)..

Some manufacturers include free RAW-processing software (Pentax I know for sure)- maybe Nikon does not, or did not at the time...

Comment #7

Sorry for my lack of english, but I mixed up "aperture" with "exposure". :-You can adjust exposure in a range btw +/-2 (or 3) stops.RogRabb..

Comment #8

Cassette wrote:.

Thanks. So If I understand correctly, there is no"processing"software, i.e. such as Nikon Capture, included with the D40.Only imaging browsing software (Nikon View, ViewNX) is provided.I read elsewhere that RAW format varies by brand and that one needsto have brand-specific processing software..

I'd rather use PhotoShop, if possible, rather than have to purchasemore software..

Software to convert RAW into TIFF or JPEG is included/free to down load for nikon*, just the program that allows you to edit RAW is extra $$ (which is a bad thing). I believe most of the rest of the manufactures include RAW editing software no charge with DSLRs..

Each manufacture uses their own Raw format, so you can't use Canon's program to process a Nikon NEF. Adobe Camera Raw works with most RAW formats, the only problem is it may not handle the file as well as the camera makers program, like the colors might be off a little or the image might have more noise. The good thing is Adobe's software works a lot better, easier to use, better written..

*I really haven't used ViewNX so I'm not 100% sure what I'm talking about..

Comment #9

RogRabb wrote:.

My advice would be: start taking pictures combined as jpeg and raw.Keep both versions as long as space is no problem for you. Maybe ayear later or so you would like to postprocess some of your earliercaptures (with more knowlegde collected by the time)..

On the D40/D40x you can only take RAW plus basic jpeg. You cannot take high quality jpegs and RAW at the same time as you can on the D80 and other cams..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #10

Cassette wrote:.

Thanks. So If I understand correctly, there is no"processing"software, i.e. such as Nikon Capture, included with the D40.Only imaging browsing software (Nikon View, ViewNX) is provided.I read elsewhere that RAW format varies by brand and that one needsto have brand-specific processing software..

Raw software from one camera mfr will not work with the camera of another mfr. But the large image software providers have plug-ins for different RAW formats. There is a plug-in for Photoshop Elements for example..

However if you do not already have software and will have to purchase it and/or you have not used it and will have to learn how to do so I strongly recommend Nikon Capture NX. It is a pain to have to pay for it. I know. I resented that. (Best price I know is $109.95 athttp://www.imagemixer.net). Reason?:.

1) It gives superior results as even those who do not like it grudgingly admit.

2) It recognises the camera settings you have used so that gives you a heads start. With other programs you have to tell it what white balance you want etc etc (Remember most of your shots will be taken with auto WB so you will not know what the setting is so you have to fidle with shots that are too blue or red etc.).

NX does run slow but with a D40 and 6Mpixel files you should be OK with say 1GB of RAM and a P4 2.2 Mhz or whatever. (I have 2GB and a 2.8Mhz P4 which copes with my D80 10Mpixel shots)..

If you already have Elements by all means try it but do give the 30 day free trial of NX a go as well..

Hope that helps..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #11

Cassette wrote:.

Thanks. So If I understand correctly, there is no"processing"software, i.e. such as Nikon Capture, included with the D40.Only imaging browsing software (Nikon View, ViewNX) is provided.I read elsewhere that RAW format varies by brand and that one needsto have brand-specific processing software..

I'd rather use PhotoShop, if possible, rather than have to purchasemore software..

Your CS will work, I think. Download the most recent version of ACR and install it..

By all means, try some of the more enlightened RAW applications, like LightRoom and Capture NX. They mostly come with a 30-day free trial..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #12

RogRabb wrote:.

Photoshop CS is a very powerfull software to postprocess and/or pushup pictures. It can use .jpeg and .nef files as input (with thelatest RAW-Plugin)..

The latest RAW plug-ins do not work with older versions of Photoshop, such as CS..

You'll have to use Adobe's free DNG converter to convert your D40X's NEF files to DNG, and then open them in CS..

I have a D200 and it's a year older than the D40, and the D200 files are too "new" to be opened natively by CS...

Comment #13

Before going into any detail I suggest you start by learning how to post process JPEGs. The skills required are almost identical and it avoids you needing to muck around with RAW files..

I use RAW myself mostly, but I know enough to make that painless and it's not without it's annoyances even for people like me..

Free RAW software to check out would be RawTherapee, which is a nice package you can get from the web..

Being completely new to digital photography, I am a little confusedabout what I need to do with RAW files..

Nothing if you don't want to. The D40's out of camera JPEGs are fine and you can post process these if you want..

I want to shoot my photos with the highest quality settings in orderto get the best results possible, but I'm not sure what needs to bedone to them afterwards, and with what software..

Learn to shoot photos first. I'm in computing and there's an expression we use - GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you don't take a reasonably good photo to start with by applying basic technique, then you won't get a good result in the end, no matter what you do..

RAW is for after you learn the basics..

In general many images need a slight white balance adjustment ( a pretty automated process ) and sometimes an adjustment of levels ( "auto levels" ) or curves ( by hand ). You can add punch by adding saturation..

These correct color imbalanced ( like casts ) caused by anything other than sunlight, and enhance contrast and brightness..

Post processing beyond that becomes quite an art form and you will need to build up from zero over quite a time. You do not need RAW to learn or apply these skills. Have a look in the 'retouching' forum to get an idea f what's possible and how..

My Nikon D40 came with some software called PictureProject..

I also have PhotoShop CS and iPhoto on my computer..

Start from there with the basic post processing of JPEGs I suggested..

What's all this "processing" that needs to be done? I hope I don'thave to purchase any additional software..

RAW files are proprietary formats the manufacturers use to store unprocessed output from the camera sensor. Think of it like a digital negative..

What it is not is a photo. To get a photo from a RAW file requires quite a lot of processing, most of which is mercifully hidden by software..

This has two issues :.

(1) you need to convert it to a normal RGB image in JPEG or TIFF ( 8 bit or 16 bit ) which involves some complex processing you don't need to know about yet. RAW conversion software does this for you and lets you make other basic changes ( like white balance, curve adjustments and saturation, etc. )..

(2) There is no noise reduction applied to a raw image. You may ( only may, because you you have a DSLR and that means low noise generally ) need noise reduction software ( like NeatImage or Noise Ninja )..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #14

Thanks - I had searched Adobe's site and not found a plug in for the CS version..

And thanks to everyone who replied. I'm still confused, but a little less so...!..

Comment #15

Thanks for your reply - I've been using a manual SLR camera for the past 20 years to take photos for magazine and newspaper articles, so am comfortable with the basic aspects of tradional photography. I hoped my existing skills would apply to digital but am feeling a little lost with all the new technical/data aspects... What I don't understand is if I take a photo in RAW with correct exposure, aperture and shutter speed settings, and it seems fine, is it still necessary to "process" the photo? If I don't adjust the photo, is there any point in shooting RAW? Do all RAW files require adjustments? If that's the case, it seems to me that would indicate there's something wrong with either the camera or my photo-taking abilities..

I've never had to "tweak" my photos in the past; Will this now become systematically necessary?.

I have so much to learn. Sigh......

Comment #16

On one hand, you can find free RAW conversion programs - just search. But on the other hand, if you really want best results, you must get Nikon Capture NX RAW converter (unfortunately the Nikon /..

Comment #17

Cassette wrote:.

Thanks for your reply - I've been using a manual SLR camera for thepast 20 years to take photos for magazine and newspaper articles, soam comfortable with the basic aspects of tradional photography. Ihoped my existing skills would apply to digital but am feeling alittle lost with all the new technical/data aspects... What I don'tunderstand is if I take a photo in RAW with correct exposure,aperture and shutter speed settings, and it seems fine, is it stillnecessary to "process" the photo?.

Yes. Just as if you took a film photo with everything correct, the film still has to be "developed". Think of RAW Processing like Film Developing. You simply can't get a picture before you develop/process..

To be comfortable with digital photography, you need to get your mind around Bayer Interpolation. It's initially complex, but is really a simple concept. Google for it and study what happens between the camera and the picture. Cameras all have a Bayer Interpolation algorithm built-in, but they are variable quality. By choosing to delay applying Bayer Interpolation until later, you get the power of your home computer (which is MANY times higher than the little pea-power processor in most cameras)...consequently, RAW formats simply store data direct from the photosites in the sensor. They are not pixels yet, because each photosite only responds to a limited range of colors, centered around red, green, and blue.

After this conversion, you can view your images on your computer screen and print them..

If I don't adjust the photo, is there any point in shooting RAW?.

Yes. Most RAW conversion software does a better job of demosaicing than your camera does...produces better looking images..

Do all RAW files require adjustments?.

No..

If that's the case, it seems to me that would indicatethere's something wrong with either the camera or my photo-takingabilities..

I can't comment on your ability. .

High end cameras do a great job of producing images that need little adjusting. Low end cameras don't (if they did, nobody would buy the expensive ones! Duh...)..

I've never had to "tweak" my photos in the past; Will this now becomesystematically necessary?.

Perhaps. We "experts" disagree on this point! It's very much a "religious" issue..

My view is that there are and always have been 2 parts to photography. The part behind the camera and the part in the "dark room". Some photographers never did the wet processing part, so are blissfully unaware of that component. It sounds like you are one of those people...nothing wrong with it. Some photographers LIVE for the "dark room". They think THAT is where great photographs are made! There is much historical evidence to support that..

The unfortunate part of digital photography, is that there are few places you can send your RAW pictures to be "processed", as we did back in the film era. The really fantastic part of digital photography is that even the average photographer can learn to process RAW pictures all by themselves!.

This dichotomy is quite evident in forums like this. It's initially overpowering to new digital photographers. People who don't have a clue how anything digital works are suddenly thrust into forums like this where teenage geeks try to summon up enough English language skills to explain the concepts to you novices. Remember, English is not their primary language; usually something like C++ is. It's no surprise that they often don't communicate well to other humans..

I have so much to learn. Sigh.....

Yep. Don't get depressed (although there are pills for that). Take this as a challenge and slowly, steadily absorb what you need. Don't get confused (there are NO pills for that!). If you don't grasp something, ask us here..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #18

The temptation to think you need to understand the underlying technologies ( as you may well do in film ) is one you can dispense with in digital imaging. Other people write software and design hardware to do this with skills you probably can't pick up quickly and certainly don't need..

Learn to accept that some of the magic just gets done. It will keep you sane, especially initially..

Thanks for your reply - I've been using a manual SLR camera for thepast 20 years to take photos for magazine and newspaper articles, soam comfortable with the basic aspects of traditional photography..

You have two ways of thinking in digital..

(a) Shoot JPEG and treat the JPEG as a print you can only adjust a modest amount. A JPEG is essentially a RAW digital negative the camera has processed internally according to it's rough settings..

(b) Shoot RAW and think of it as film that needs to be developed, but which you have enormous control over. RAW files have more tonal density ( more color levels ) and hence allow finer control of you end image after manipulation..

However you have a huge advantage over most people ( amateurs like me ), because after your initial relatively short period learning your new freedoms and how to exploit them, you can already shoot well and need learn nothing else. The combination of your old and new skills will open up new ways to achieve the goals you set yourself and, I am sure, free you from many difficult aspects of shooting with film..

There is a particular technique called "Expose To The Right", which you are well placed to exploit and this helps digital imaging enormously..

I'd also suggest you read articles on a site called the Luminous Landscape, which as an experienced film photographer I imagine would have content you can relate to..

I hoped my existing skills would apply to digital but am feeling alittle lost with all the new technical/data aspects... What I don'tunderstand is if I take a photo in RAW with correct exposure,aperture and shutter speed settings, and it seems fine, is it stillnecessary to "process" the photo? If I don't adjust the photo, isthere any point in shooting RAW? Do all RAW files requireadjustments? If that's the case, it seems to me that would indicatethere's something wrong with either the camera or my photo-takingabilities..

I've never had to "tweak" my photos in the past; Will this now becomesystematically necessary?.

With JPEGs it's optional and a little less powerful..

From RAW yes. It's is often described as a "digital negative"...

You can completely alter things like tone curve, saturation, color and white balance, even exposure. From RAW you can even recover ( sometimes, not always ) blown highlights ( less often ) and lost shadows ( more often )..

Digital processing of images is a whole new aspect that greatly complements the skilled photographer..

There is a tool I use which lets you try and recover focus. It's not a miracle worker, but this shows you just how powerful digital image processing is. It is well worth the attempt to gain the skills..

I'd suggest you look at an application called "LightZone" from a company called "LightCrafts". There is a free demo you can try for 41 days on there website ( http://www.lightcrafts.com ). I am suggesting this to you because it is well suited to a photographer used to thinking in the 'zonal' tone system who wants to handle RAW. I think you'll find it more intuitive than other applications..

I use it myself and find it very effective..

It is important to calibrate your monitor correctly, especially as you are a professional sending work for printing. For most people an informal 'by eye' calibration is enough ( IMO ) but for a pro, I'd recommend getting a professional calibration tool. If you ski this you will have problems matching your post processed colors on screen with those printed..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #19

Thanks so much for taking the time to post such a thorough reply. That does help understand things a bit better..

You guessed correctly: I am one of those photographers who has never come close to a darkroom..

For now, I've downloaded a 30-day trial of Nikon Capture NX as well as the free Adobe DNG converter for Photoshop CS..

But I see I still have a lot of reading/learning to do before I attempt to "process" any files...!.

Best wishes..

Comment #20

Thanks for your helpful suggestions. I will certainly check out the website and applications you suggested..

As you say, for someone like me it is probably simpler to just accept "the magic that gets done" rather than struggle to understand it!.

Cheers..

Comment #21

Click Here to View All...

Sponsored Amazon Deals:

1. Get big savings on Amazon warehouse deals.
2. Save up to 70% on Amazon Products.


This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

Categories: Home | Diet & Weight Management | Vitamins & Supplements | Herbs & Cleansing |

Sexual Health | Medifast Support | Nutrisystem Support | Medifast Questions |

Web Hosting | Web Hosts | Website Hosting | Hosting |

Web Hosting | GoDaddy | Digital Cameras | Best WebHosts |

Web Hosting FAQ | Web Hosts FAQ | Hosting FAQ | Hosting Group |

Hosting Questions | Camera Tips | Best Cameras To Buy | Best Cameras This Year |

Camera Q-A | Digital Cameras Q-A | Camera Forum | Nov 2010 - Cameras |

Oct 2010 - Cameras | Oct 2010 - DSLRs | Oct 2010 - Camera Tips | Sep 2010 - Cameras |

Sep 2010 - DSLRS | Sep 2010 - Camera Tips | Aug 2010 - Cameras | Aug 2010 - DSLR Tips |

Aug 2010 - Camera Tips | July 2010 - Cameras | July 2010 - Nikon Cameras | July 2010 - Canon Cameras |

July 2010 - Pentax Cameras | Medifast Recipes | Medifast Recipes Tips | Medifast Recipes Strategies |

Medifast Recipes Experiences | Medifast Recipes Group | Medifast Recipes Forum | Medifast Support Strategies |

Medifast Support Experiences |

 

(C) Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.