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SIMPLIEST RAW method?
I am not a beginning photographer but I am a relative neophyte to digital and post-processing (a couple of years' worth). I want to try RAW and deteriine for myself if the time/effort of using RAW is justified in terms of final IQ. I am NOT handy with the computer and my post-processing has taken a long time coming. I shoot extra fine jpeg and a typical workflow in post-processing is (I do not perform every step for every image, just as needed): cropping, cloning out dust spots and the like, levels, highlights/shadows, contrast, saturation, re-sizing, sharpening all in PS Elements 5.0..

Elements 5.0 includes ACR and I already have a couple of Elements books with chapters devoted to helping me learn RAW processing within Elements (one is 19 pages long!). Should I start by learning ACR or is their a simpler program available that would then, I assume, be linked to Elements? Does using whatever is the SIMPLIEST (i.e., not the "best" if there is such a thing) RAW conversion negate it's supposed benefits?.

I do not want to start a debate about the advantages/disadvantages of shooting RAW - I've read a bunch of those. I do want to know what is the SIMPLIEST, but effective, way to get started given my aversion/learning difficulty to anything computer. Any help would be greatly appreciated...

Comments (16)

I am sure you will with receive numerous informative responses. What I found that helped me the most when I started processing RAW (in PSCS3) was a buying a step-by-step tutorial video. It significantly reduced my time and improved the quality of my output and most importantly explained the advantages / disadvantages of each processing step in Camera RAW vs Photoshop. Now I do as much as possible in the Camera RAW processor of CS3 and then use the Photoshop for those functions that have processing advantages...

Comment #1

RogerRex wrote:.

I am not a beginning photographer but I am a relative neophyte todigital and post-processing (a couple of years' worth). I want to tryRAW and deteriine for myself if the time/effort of using RAW isjustified in terms of final IQ. I am NOT handy with the computerand my post-processing has taken a long time coming. I shoot extrafine jpeg and a typical workflow in post-processing is (I do notperform every step for every image, just as needed): cropping,cloning out dust spots and the like, levels, highlights/shadows,contrast, saturation, re-sizing, sharpening all in PS Elements 5.0..

Elements 5.0 includes ACR and I already have a couple of Elementsbooks with chapters devoted to helping me learn RAW processing withinElements (one is 19 pages long!). Should I start by learning ACR oris their a simpler program available that would then, I assume, belinked to Elements? Does using whatever is the SIMPLIEST (i.e., notthe "best" if there is such a thing) RAW conversion negate itssupposed benefits?.

I do not want to start a debate about the advantages/disadvantages ofshooting RAW - I've read a bunch of those. I do want to know what isthe SIMPLIEST, but effective, way to get started given myaversion/learning difficulty to anything computer. Any help would begreatly appreciated..

Dont overthink it. Since you have it already, the precise steps needed are this:.

1. Go shoot some RAW frames, of the family dog maybe.2. Open them in Elements3. Have it..

Should answer most ofl your question in a very short time. You possibly may have to install the ACR raw plugin first..

Click on proper White Balance first. If not perfect, it is tweakable. Then play with Exposure and Saturation. Play with all of it. Wont hurt a thing to play, and then you see what it does. Should become quickly obvious..

There may be better than Elements, at least 3.0 is the last I have seen. It may have changed. I use Photoshop CS2 and Bridge, which is the same RAW processor, but with quite a few more options. Like cropping is one that is very important. And Straightening. And there is a CTRL U autolevels type of thing.

I am not sure Elements offers all of that, my version 3 does not..

But simply go try it first, at least enough to have seen it once, and then any questions will be much more specific and helpful...

Comment #2

Roger,.

To feel better advantage of RAW do shots at high contrast cituation and low light..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

You can also shot some items at indoor light into JPG and RAW and correct WB in RAW to compare..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #3

To my opinion, the simplest way to do RAW is to use the program that came with your camera (or that you have to buy as an option sometime) e.g. Nikon View or Nikon Capture for Nikon cameras..

These program have the advantage to apply the in camera setting that you selected (eg : saturation, contrast, etc.). So, by default, the image will look the same as if it were taken in Jpeg, but with a little more extra detail..

Programs like photoshop apply automatic parameters or default to RAW images that as nothing to do with what you selected in camera..

Have a good day!Claude Carrier..

Comment #4

Ccarrier wrote:.

Programs like photoshop apply automatic parameters or default to RAWimages that as nothing to do with what you selected in camera..

Have a good day!Claude Carrier.

That was changed in CS3...

Comment #5

For a really simple approach to Raw processing that gives excellent results, it's hard to beat SilkyPix. Just open the file, select a "taste" from a list that includes settings like "fine street", "landscape", "sunset", "portrait", etc., and there you go. You can tweak settings if you want, of course...

Comment #6

Then you can handle ACR. Since you already have it, just use it. Later, once you get a little experience, then and only then, if you think you need something different should you go looking for something else..

Silkypix is a very good option for when the time comes..

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'- Rayna Butler..

Comment #7

Are you saying that the latest version of Camera raw recognize the parameters I have set in the camera, like Sharpness, tonal curve, etc.?.

I'm really not sure about that. Could you give me more information or a link that explain that?.

Thank you very much!Claude Carrier..

Comment #8

Ccarrier wrote:.

Are you saying that the latest version of Camera raw recognize theparameters I have set in the camera, like Sharpness, tonal curve,etc.?.

I'm really not sure about that. Could you give me more informationor a link that explain that?.

Thank you very much!Claude Carrier.

Here is the Adobe link....

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

Comment #9

I also use PSE5. But I don't like ACR with PSE5. It seems awkward to me...like they are two different programs or something. .

I bought LightRoom back when it was $200. I was reluctant to do this, because Adobe has a reputation of screwing early adopters. I fully expected them to want $100 for each update. They have surprised me...2 updates later and no more money for Adobe. But I'm still wary...once you get the Adobe treatment, you never relax around these guys..

Whatever, Lightroom is easy to use and very powerful. It processes RAW and JPEG the same way. It is now my front end...I start there and only move the pix with special problems to PSE5..

Go look at the free LR video tutorals on.

Http://www.rawworkflow.com.

I think you will like it....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #10

Lightzone will do your raw conversion more simply than any other program out there, and within it you can just keep going and do all the editing you'll want, seamlessly. for tonal adjustment/recovery it can't be beat without HDR compositing. although it doesn't have much in the way of push-button solutions, everything it does is so much more straightforward it's effectively a great deal easier to use. basic version which has all the editing power is $149, full version with the DAM is $249, and there's a 10% discount available from outback photo, and possible a 20% one from Lightcrafts themselves for new trial people once your trial concludes up to 12/31. trials nare free, so you should give it a shot. email me direct if you do and i'll walk you through the program..

One caveat: if you need a lot of lens corrections, LZ doesn't do themthere is now a way to handle fringing and CA, but it requires user savvy. there are no perspective corrections as of yet...

Comment #11

Hi,.

This is a very interesting link that explain the difference of RAW vs JPEG. I have read it before. As you can see on the last page, it was written in 2004. So it can't explain the new fonctionnality of CS3 Camera Raw..

I'm sorry, but I'm still maintaining my point the Camera Raw can't read the parameters set into the camera, excpet for White Balance..

Have a good day.1Claude Carrier..

Comment #12

Ccarrier wrote:.

To my opinion, the simplest way to do RAW is to use the program thatcame with your camera (or that you have to buy as an option sometime)e.g. Nikon View or Nikon Capture for Nikon cameras..

These program have the advantage to apply the in camera setting thatyou selected (eg : saturation, contrast, etc.). So, by default, theimage will look the same as if it were taken in Jpeg, but with alittle more extra detail..

...........

Wait- is that true? I haven't yet switched to RAW because:.

1. I like the way the jpegs from my Pentax K100d come out most of the time, with the settings I have set up in camera and.

2. I don't post-process every photo, just change WB when I need to, occasional levels or saturation, sharpening..

I didn't want to use RAW because I don't want to have to move away from the (trusted) processing the camera does for me on the vast majority of shots- BUT if the above is true:.

"the image will look the same as if it were taken in Jpeg, but with alittle more extra detail.".

-then that's exactly what I want & I will switch to RAW using Pentax PhotoLab ASAP!..

Comment #13

For Nikon Camera with Nikon capture I can assure you that it is true. (Because I use it).

For other makes of camera, I am pretty sure too. If there is a review for your camera on dpreview, read the software section and maybe it will confirm for your camera..

But the best is to install the software and try it. Compare the results..

Have a good day!.

Claude Carrier..

Comment #14

Ccarrier wrote:.

For Nikon Camera with Nikon capture I can assure you that it is true.(Because I use it).

For other makes of camera, I am pretty sure too..

It is certainly true of the Canon software...

Comment #15

I bought LR on a whim after reading some of the tutorials. It seemed like it might be easy to work with raw files..

I love this program!.

First, you set your camera in and LR has presets that give you an acceptable and often perfect development of the raw file that closely approximates what comes out of the camera as a jpeg.Second, it's almost intuitive to adjust the raw development..

Third, it doesn't touch the original file. All the editing is non-destructive. There are no "saves" required..

Fouth, you move on natually to crop and clone or healing and then to print or to the web.It's so dang easy and natural it's scary..

I no longer use my photomangler except rarely for those really tough editing problems.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #16

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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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