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new to raw help please
I am waiting to receive my first dslr the e-410. I am coming from a bridge camera that was all jpeg processing. I have Photoshop CS2. What steps do I need to do to start shooting and processing raw ? If there are articles or books please let me know. Thanks..

Comments (22)

Just set your camera (per the instruction manual) to shoot RAW and you're on your way. You can use the free Olympus Master to process your RAW files. I don't think that you can process your RAW files in CS2, you might have to upgrade to CS3 for that. Try Olympus Master before upgrading. You can always convert the file from RAW to TIFF or some other format and then do the rest of your processing in Photoshop.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Comment #1

Raw is what the the camera captures. RAW data..

You can still have camera convert the RAW data into a jpeg, if you wish. I recommend using both file formats, have camera mae one file of RAW Data, Oen file of JPEG data..

Your camera should come with RAW conversion software. learn how to use it. google it whatever..

After you use that software, you will begin to learn about white balance, color temperature, black point, white point, contrast, etc. Google those terms for more info..

I recommend you get some sort of calibration tool for yoru monitor, Huey is cheap adn works well. Again, everyoen has an opinion on calbration hardware is best. Huey is cheap and I've no issues with it. if I needed better, I'd have bought it..

Recap, learn the RAW conversion software that comes with camera. Learn about color temparature, white balance, curves etc..

When you have a good fundemental understanding of RAW and hwo to convert into peg. move onto a better RAW covnersion Software Package..

FWIW, I like Capture One Pro. Used to use Raw Shooter Premium, Adobe bought them out and used it to create Adobe Lightroom. (which is Bloatwar, completely sucks, compared to the software which they ruined to create it. Again ,IMHO)Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #2

To shoot RAW you simply select it from your camera menus..

To process RAW you using CS2 you need to use Adobe Camera RAW. I'm not sure what version is relevant to CS2, but make sure it is installed, as it is, I think, not there by default. The Adobe website should help you. Adobe Camera RAW is, I think, free..

Once it is installed you should be able to open RAW files..

Your camera also comes with RAW processing software. It's up to you which you use..

Note that you can sometimes select the color space your camera uses. AdobeRGB covers a wider gamut than sRGB, but you cannot actually see that Gamut on most monitors, so I do not quite see how useful it is outside of a professional setting..

Processing RAWs is almost the same as processing JPEGs, with four key differences..

Firstly the tonal detail is greater ( more levels ) and you can therefore enhance detail you want if you are careful. You can also recover shadow and ( to a lesser extent ) highlights..

Secondly you have to remove noise yourself ( if noise is present and bothers you ). People seem to forget this, so I always say it. The most popular noise removal packages have plugin's for Adobe as well as stand-alone versions. I use a stand-alone version of NeatImage Pro myself, because I don't use Adobe..

Thirdly, RAW images have no sharpening applied so they appear quite soft if you are used to JPEGs from the camera. The same detail is there and sharpening tools soon reveal it..

Finally you will have to be more careful with white balance. RAW images do not get the in-camera processing that JPEGs do to correct this. It's actually an advantage as you control it the tools are quite simple it is more accurate in RAW than changing this in JPEGs..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #3

You will have to update to CS3 to use the Adobe ACR RAW software directly..

Or use the latest DNG stand alone converter to use your RAW images in CS2.

Use search on this forum to find the information:-.

Http://www.adobeforums.com/webx?13@@.3bbd164e..

Comment #4

Mandatory! Get the following primers from Adobe, then read them.

Http://www.adobe.com/...ts/photoshop/pdfs/understanding_digitalrawcapture.pdf.

Http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/pdfs/linear_gamma.pdf.

The same guy (Bruce Fraser) has written one of the most informative books on Adobe Camera Raw. To quote the Sr. Creative Director Adobe: "If you want to understand Adobe Camera Raw, look no further than this book!..

Highly recomended! Buy it!.

I use PS CS2 with ACR 3.7 to process Raw files from my Oly E-500..

Itis my understanding that you need ACR 4.x for the E-510. and to use ACR 4.x you need to upgrade to CS3.

I have been unable to confirm what you need for the E-410, but I asume ACR 4.x and PS CS3.

Tom..

Comment #5

As I said in my post..

The E 410 was supported in ACR 4.1. This requires CS3 to work directly but the DNG stand alone can convert E 410 RAW for use in CS2.

If you want the DNG route this is the forum to read:-.

Http://www.adobeforums.com/...i-bin/webx?14@613.7KEGf2iCSdt.5823910@.3bb5f0ec..

Comment #6

Don't worry about it, it's easy. At a basic level using a RAW converter is just like tuning/enhancing images in CS2, except that you get better results! And you can effectively change your mind about certain camera settings such as white balance, after the fact!.

It's unfortunate that Adobe have tied RAW converter versions to Photoshop versions - there's no technical reason for this, it's just to encourage you to upgrade. There is a workaround (another poster mentioned it too) which is to use Adobe's free DNG converter. You simply convert all your RAW files to DNG, which makes them compatible with CS2's RAW conversion..

You need to download the latest DNG converter for compatibility with your camera, and the version of Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) that works with CS2. I forget the version numbers but it's clear enough on Adobe's download pages...

Comment #7

Sjgcit wrote:.

Note that you can sometimes select the color space your camera uses.AdobeRGB covers a wider gamut than sRGB, but you cannot actually seethat Gamut on most monitors, so I do not quite see how useful it isoutside of a professional setting..

Processing RAWs is almost the same as processing JPEGs, with four keydifferences..

Firstly the tonal detail is greater ( more levels ) and you cantherefore enhance detail you want if you are careful. You can alsorecover shadow and ( to a lesser extent ) highlights..

Secondly you have to remove noise yourself ( if noise is present andbothers you ). People seem to forget this, so I always say it. Themost popular noise removal packages have plugin's for Adobe as wellas stand-alone versions. I use a stand-alone version of NeatImagePro myself, because I don't use Adobe..

Thirdly, RAW images have no sharpening applied so they appear quitesoft if you are used to JPEGs from the camera. The same detail isthere and sharpening tools soon reveal it..

Finally you will have to be more careful with white balance. RAWimages do not get the in-camera processing that JPEGs do to correctthis. It's actually an advantage as you control it the tools arequite simple it is more accurate in RAW than changing this in JPEGs..

Very little of that is true! - and mostly you have made it sound more difficult than it needs to be. When you open a file in a RAW converter, with default settings, you can simply go ahead and edit/save it just as you would a JPEG. It's that easy. But as you learn more you can also fine-tune your RAW conversion for best results..

Colour space is no more (or less) of an issue with RAW than with JPEG. If the OP is using sRGB and is happy with that, he can continue doing so..

Recovering shadow and/or highlight detail - yes, agreed on that. It varies quite a lot between RAW converters, I've found, but it is always better than JPEG for problem images..

Noise - no, disagree. Canon's RAW converter handles noise reduction, and so too does ACR. Not as sophisticated as dedicated noise removal software but often better than in-camera noise removal. And *easy* - the default settings work fine for starters. I don't know Olympus's software but I would be very surprised if it doesn't do basic noise reduction..

RAW converters do apply sharpening, in fact for me the ability to fine-tune this after taking the shot is one of the great virtues of RAW. The very best time to do the initial sharpening that is needed to compensate for AA filtering and Bayer interpolation is at RAW conversion..

And lastly you give the impression that white balance is a problem. Yes you can adjust white balance, and as you said this can be an advantage, but you don't have to. Some RAW converters can use 'as shot' white balance which means copy the camera setting, others are limited to their own built-in auto WB, but either way it is easy, automatic and effective...

Comment #8

I guess I agree with Steve on everything except Sharpening..

IMO sharpening should be one of the last steps performed in PP and therefore done in f.ex PhotoShop.

Photo Shop' Raw converter gives you the option to view the image on screen as if Sharpening had been applied without actually doing it..

Sharpening is a destructive edit and should be one of the last performed..

Tom..

Comment #9

Tnordahl wrote:.

I guess I agree with Steve on everything except Sharpening..

My main point was that RAW converters can do sharpening - Stephen G had said "RAW images have no sharpening applied" but this is not true..

But as to whether it is a good thing - interesting question....

IMO sharpening should be one of the last steps performed in PP andtherefore done in f.ex PhotoShop.

[snip].

Sharpening is a destructive edit and should be one of the lastperformed..

For years I worked with professionally scanned film, and non-SLR digital cameras. I found from both reading and from personal experience that the best time to sharpen was at the end of the editing process - partly because, as you say, it is destructive, and partly because it is useful to be able to tune it to the output size/medium..

But DSLR RAW files are a different beast. With no sharpening at all, they are very, very soft. The AA filter makes them soft because it is designed to, as a way of minimising moir and similar artefacts. And because Bayer interpolation has to sample surrounding pixels, that unavoidably adds a further degree of softness..

Because a RAW converter has access to all the original data, before the Bayer interpolation has been done, it is in a unique position to remove that softness (and also by the way to remove noise with minimum loss of detail). If the sharpening settings in the RAW converter are used conservatively, it is possible to get crisp detail without the damaging effects of heavier sharpening. Then, after any editing which might be needed - and certainly after resampling - a final sharpen is usually in order..

If you were to go back through my posting history you would probably find that I have also recommended sharpening as the last stage in the process, but working with RAW files more often has shifted my opinion on this and I would tend to favour two-stage sharpening now...

Comment #10

I find this discussion a bit amusing and more sad - so many well-intended, but incomplete/limited comments..

As a person who has been working with digital images professionally and personally for fifteen plus years, let me offer a couple of suggestions - as a starting place..

A couple of observations - as background - The opportunity to work with the RAW data provides as much playground and opportunity to get the most from a person's capture as possible - And, you will get out of it what you put into it. ACR has grown and developed a ton from it's first iteration. It has gotten much more complex than it was to begin with. I second the suggestion on the PDFs and the book that was suggested. I wouldn't suggest you go Googling to look up stuff from a variety of sources - as, as in this thread, there is mis-information on this stuff in places, too. I would stick with a single source, or two and Adobe and (the late) Bruce Fraser are among the most reliable.



The key thing about RAW to understand - it is a digital negative - with a RAW file you do not have a picture - until you use software to interpret, or render, that data into one. The software you use helps you decide how to interpret that data and use it to create the image you desire. It is not like there is a JPEG, a TIFF, and a RAW - it's not another (picture) file format per se. Adobe has been trying to create one, DNG, but that's a different discussion..

Definitely read about whatever software you choose - and the options it gives you. I know there are some that in a real purist sense will (and have in other threads) argued you will get the *best* result by sticking with what the manufacturer supplies, for interpreting RAW files. I'm not interested in that discussion any more than you are - at this point. I would encourage you to start with whatever version of Photoshop you need to have the version of ACR that will support your camera for one main reason - it is what most people use AND more importantly, there is a lot more good guiding info available for working with RAW using ACR. Once you have a solid grasp on what is happening and how you can work with a RAW file, then go exploring for more advanced options..

One final tip - the default settings in RAW sometimes produce bad results - perhaps worse than what you would get with a JPEG. I've had several images, where - early on, not knowing better, I used the default settings. Then later, after reading/learning - I went back and reopened those same images and cancelled the default settings and used my own and often have gotten better highlight and shadow detail - as in recovered detail that the default settings threw away. That is to say - the camera captured the detail, but the default RAW processing would have thrown it away when it rendered my image..

P.S. That your monitor be accurately profiled is critical to this process. People use the term "calibration" wrongly, not intentionally - they just don't know better, most of the time. Very few monitors these days can be calibrated*, but all can be profiled. It is a very important task. I wouldn't suggest you settle for a Huey - it's cheap, but the results it yields are questionable.

This really is critical because the whole key to make color changes on your screen is having a system (computer/software/monitor) that will accurately reflect the file to you - without that you are guessing. An accurate profile is the foundation for working with RAW. Honestly, without a reliable viewing station, any tweaks you make are a calculated guess. Inaccurate profiles are also the single largest reason why people have so much trouble between their monitor and prints..

*Calibration - a monitor is calibrated when you have the hardware controls to adjust the levels of red, green, and blue, so that, once adjusted it is as neutral as possible. That is to say, I connect my colorimeter to my display and tell the software I want 6500, it then tells me I what colors need adjusting, so that I have equal parts of R, G, B. The ideal is to do this BEFORE profiling. Why is this important? If you have something in your shot that you know is a neutral gray and you use it as a guide in your color correction/adjustment (in RAW or later) and you have a display with blue much stronger than red or green (very common) then your gray won't appear neutral, but instead potentially bluer or brighter than it really is. The profiling can address this, to a degree. But the ideal is to have the display calibrated first, then profile it.

Most people use LCD displays now and few can be calibrated, as we used to calibrate good CRTs, and in some cases, you will actually get worse results as some have some controls, but they aren't really the same as with CRTs, so in many instances one will get the best results by choosing the desired color temperature in the display, then profiling it and using the native white point of the display rather than try to force it to hit something that it's not designed to hit. Sorry for the length...

Comment #11

Thanks all for your help. Is it very time consuming to convert to dng files as opposed to working directly in cs3. How do file sizes compare betwen jpeg,and raw. when you process in raw what format do you save in..

Comment #12

My workflow should look like this:Shoot in Raw + low res jpg (the jpg is only so I can view the file anywhere.)Raw file 13.8 MB. Low res jpg 80KB.

Adobe Camera Raw for initial Post processing (16Bit/channel). Save as psd. 47MB.(With a minimum of 4 Adjustment layers, 70MB)Remaining PP in PhotoShop. Save as psd. My largest file is 450MB.

When complete, Save as jpg. Depending on size, resolution and compression, 5.6MB - 80 KB.

TomE-500 8 Mpix..

Comment #13

Size of RAW file depends from camera to camera and depending on the resolution of the camera. Not all cameras will shoot RAW and JPEG. Many higher end DSLR cams do, but most consumer oriented cams you choose a single format..

Typical workflow: shoot RAW, open in CS3 - I render to AdobeRGB or ProPhoto RGB, whichever doesn't clip my highlights/shadows, 16-bit PSD. I then use the balance of the ACR tweaks to serve. I often look for what should be neutral white or gray in the shot and use that as a guide for tweaking color temp options. From there it's the rest of the tweaks to taste. This file is saved as a 16-bit PSD, which will then gain whatever adjustment and pixel layers the project requires. Once the file is complete, I save the PSD, then flatten it, convert to 8-bit, size it, then use Smart sharpen based on the output needs.

Once all my tweaks to the finished flattened file, I save it as a LZW TIF..

If the file will be used for CMYK print, I will convert to an appropriate CMYK space while the file is 16-bit..

Since there is a chance I may enlarge the PSD, I don't sharpen it at that stage, since when blowing it up that can create problems. I only sharpen when I know how a file will be used - at it's final size. Also, it's important to tap into the correct algorithm when reducing or enlarging. Default is bicubic, but Adobe has provided two new ones, starting with CS2, optimized for reduction or enlargement and they ARE better than the default bicubic..

I sharpen differently for different output processes and relative to the content itself...

Comment #14

If you are getting in to raw for the first time, I'd like to suggest some principles for your workflow..

You will (may) want to.

Get usable photos out of your camera while you develop your raw skills- Not relying solely on raw processing for every photo..

Be able to measure the improvement in your photos.

- Understand why you are using raw, and be able to see whether you are getting the benefits. Not just assume that every photo is "better" just because you're using raw..

And therefore I would suggest:- Shoot raw + jpg (at the highest quality your camera will allow)- You can use the jpg out of the camera without having to do any raw processing..

- You can choose to do raw processing on those images that need it, and compare the results with the jpg..

If you're not seeing visibly better images from your raw processing, then eithe ryou need to further develop your skills, or there wasn't that much wrong with the image in the first place..

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Comment #15

Ron Sanders wrote:.

Thanks all for your help. Is it very time consuming to convert to dngfiles as opposed to working directly in cs3..

I'm using CS and have a 400D so I have the same problem. It's a chore but I've got it set up to be fairly quick and easy. When I'm using RAW - which is not all the time - I always shoot RAW+JPEG so that I have JPEG files which I can review in Photoshop before conversion. Then, when I have decided to process a specific image from RAW I use 'Reveal in Explorer' (in the File Browser) to take me straight to the CR2 file in an Explorer window. Then, I've got my file associations set up so that double-clicking a CR2 file opens Adobe DNG Converter - one click of the Convert button is all that is needed. Back to File Browser and the DNG file is there waiting for me..

You are using CS2 and therefore Adobe Bridge instead of File Browser, but I would guess you should be able to do something similar..

Another option is to batch-convert an entire folder - for some people that would work better, but in my case I tend to take a lot of frames then process relatively few so converting individual files works well..

If you wish to keep CR2 files associated with the Canon software, you can use "Open With" in Explorer instead of changing the file association..

I'm reasonably happy with the set up I have but to be honest the best thing to do - for you and for me - is to upgrade..

How do file sizes.

Compare betwen jpeg,and raw. when you process in raw what format doyou save in.

RAW files are much bigger than JPEG - depends on the camera but 10-12MB is not unusual..

I save everything in PSD format. Many people recommend using a non-proprietary format such as TIFF, but I prefer to have the option of keeping my Photoshop layers. I'm not too worried about the prospect of accessing them in ten or twenty years time, I am sure future software will be able to read the ubiquitous PSD format...

Comment #16

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

If you wish to keep CR2 files associated with the Canon software, youcan use "Open With" in Explorer instead of changing the fileassociation..

Sorry, I momentarily forgot yours is an Olympus. Same principle applies, of course...

Comment #17

Arrowman wrote:.

Be able to measure the improvement in your photos- Understand why you are using raw, and be able to see whether youare getting the benefits. Not just assume that every photo is"better" just because you're using raw..

I heartily second this. We all are learning more and more about RAW and how to best use the data the sensors are capturing, but you should have a reward for your effort. For me, each time I read about a new aspect of something in RAW and go back to re-aquire an image, I see an improvement in the result. For one example - I had a shot of a river that was a lot of white water in the midst of a thick forest. The default settings clipped most of the detail in the water, so it was blown out. When I went back and dumped the default settings, I discovered my camera had seen far more detail and by using a more informed approach with RAW, I could render those details into the image, rather than loose them, as the default settings had..

It's a learning process, but you should always see a benefit - if not - double check that you're doing what you need to be, though once you get the basics it really is pretty straight forward - it's some of the more advanced options that may require manual in one hand and the mouse in the other..

Cheers!..

Comment #18

When I process in raw and then want to print do I save in jpeg to conserve space or does this lose something..

Comment #19

Well said wileec..

I also need to remember that I should only use my "self processed" "Raw"image if it is better than what the manufacturers software does in camera, which is an other reason I almost always shoot Raw + jpg..

Tom..

Comment #20

Ron Sanders wrote:.

When I process in raw and then want to print do I save in jpeg toconserve space or does this lose something.

If you're printing at home, direct out of the editing software, your editing software should be able to drive the printer from whatever format, if you have the file open..

If you're printing at home, but outside the editing software (including for example a standard Windows Print operation, or via some print manager program that came with your printer) then you may be limited in the number of formats you can use, and you may need to save as a jpg and print that (the jpg)..

If you are sending the image to a lab you will need to convert to jpg, they won't be able to deal with a raw file (or probably most other formats)..

In other words it's about finding the right format to suit your print mechanism, not about saving space..

A jpg is definitely smaller than a raw file. But you don't save to jpg just to save sapce. Computer storage is so cheap you should never need to do that..

Keep the raw original. Maybe make a TIFF or other similar lossless version if you like. Save a jpg version for printing. Keep or discard any of these as you wish, to reduce clutter..

But always keep the original. And don't start deleting files just to save space. Buy more space .

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Comment #21

Ron Sanders wrote:.

When I process in raw and then want to print do I save in jpeg toconserve space or does this lose something.

The key for printing is to convert to 8-bit, then whatever you need to - for yourself, or for a service provider..

Saving to a JPEG always loses something. But if you save at the lowest compression /highest quality setting you don't usually lose any visual quality..

I choose to store TIFs using LZW (loseless) compression to save space and maintain quality. The weakness of the JPEG format is that every time it's saved, it throws data away. I only used JPEGs to send to other people or supply an image for printing - if the service doesn't take TIFs - in other words I save that JPEG once, then send it. Any work I do is with a PSD or TIF image...

Comment #22

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

 

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