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Noob Question: What's this RAW thing actually?
I've heard so much stuff about RAW. And about how you gotta shoot in RAW for best result (post processing, etc). But I guess erm, I just don't understand why that's the case... So can anyone explain to me in plain English what RAW format is? Is it is just because the file size is so huge that it leaves room for cropping? Would the quality be better during post-processing between RAW and JPEG? Basically, what's this RAW thing actually? Lol. Thanks.....

Comments (6)

Spend few minutes reading below (there is no plain answer):http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAW_image_format.

Shellfish17 wrote:.

I've heard so much stuff about RAW. And about how you gotta shoot inRAW for best result (post processing, etc). But I guess erm, I justdon't understand why that's the case... So can anyone explain to mein plain English what RAW format is? Is it is just because the filesize is so huge that it leaves room for cropping? Would the qualitybe better during post-processing between RAW and JPEG? Basically,what's this RAW thing actually? Lol. Thanks....

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612Thanks for your time...

Comment #1

RAW = cooking from raw ingredientsJPEG = buying frozen dinner.

If you're happy with the available frozen dinners, no need to cook from scratch. Visual gourmets cook from scratch.Dale Cotton, Canadahttp://daystarvisions.com..

Comment #2

I think ajay's answer is the best idea. The RAW format is actually quite simple in concept...the camera just saves all the data that comes from the sensor w/o fiddling with it. But after that, it gets complicated. If you don't understand how a camera performs a Bayer demosaic operation and why...if you don't know what happens when a JPEG file is created and the myriad tradeoffs...then you are unlikely to "get" why RAW processing is preferred by critical photographers..

However, once you understand all this, you STILL may not choose to shoot and PP in RAW. I use RAW about 5% of the time, because JPEG is good enough for most of my work (small pix in magazines and posted on-line). When I have a difficult subject/setting and/or when I want a really great large print, I switch to RAW..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #3

RAW provides significantly more flexibility than JPEG will ever provide when post processing, especially when addressing/assigning white balance, noise reduction, sharpening and color space..

In camera JPEG settings are quite important as all of the information gather by the camera's sensor is compromised to some degreealthough this is not necessarily a bad thing..

A RAW file does not have any in-camera JPEG settings acting on it, rather this is your task at the computer..

The basic question: is RAW worth it?.

If you're new to photography, or can only make modest time commitments to this hobby or only interested in small prints (8X10) and smaller I would stick with JPEGat least for now. However, if you want more from your camera and are serious about gaining more control over the final output of your images shoot RAW..

Programs like Adobe Lightroom make RAW processing very accessible, but it will also take quite a bit of time and effort to become a skilled RAW editor..

Eric..

Comment #4

Shellfish17 wrote:.

Can anyone explain to me in plain English what RAW format is?.

It is a file containing the digital sensor data obtained during capture..

Unlike a JPEG, a Raw file does *not* contain an image. It contains sensor data. You must use Raw conversion software to interpret the data. Each software package has it's own way of interpreting the sensor data, giving somewhat different results. Each software package also has it's own set of controls that you can play with to adjust the interpretation..

The most common reason that people shoot Raw (according to a 2006 online survey) is to be able to select and adjust the White Balance setting during post-processing. White Balance is applied while interpreting the sensor data...

Comment #5

This IMO is the best explanation of RAW vs JPEG I've seen. It was posted on this forum about two weeks ago..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=28066135.

Hope this helps...

Comment #6

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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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