Please explain raw photos to a newbie.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    Hi all,
    I'm new to digital photography (actually, to photography in general).
    Just wondering if someone can explain to me the purpose of raw format
    photographs and how to use them without needing to convert them to tiffs or
    jpg's. Do they give a better quality picture, and if so how?
    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers.
    Darryl.

    --

    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. Daz_n_Pat

    em_CT Guest

    In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while raw file
    are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done by you
    with total control over the outcome.

    Regards,
    Egmont
    em_CT






    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:Tgbdc.7655$u%...
    > Hi all,
    > I'm new to digital photography (actually, to photography in general).
    > Just wondering if someone can explain to me the purpose of raw format
    > photographs and how to use them without needing to convert them to tiffs

    or
    > jpg's. Do they give a better quality picture, and if so how?
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    > Cheers.
    > Darryl.
    >
    > --
    >
    > To email, change daryl to darryl in address.
    >
    >
    >
    em_CT, Apr 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    In what way do you mean they are processed in the camera?
    Darryl.

    --


    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.

    "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while raw

    file
    > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done by

    you
    > with total control over the outcome.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Egmont
    > em_CT
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    > news:Tgbdc.7655$u%...
    > > Hi all,
    > > I'm new to digital photography (actually, to photography in general).
    > > Just wondering if someone can explain to me the purpose of raw format
    > > photographs and how to use them without needing to convert them to tiffs

    > or
    > > jpg's. Do they give a better quality picture, and if so how?
    > > Thanks in advance.
    > >
    > > Cheers.
    > > Darryl.
    > >
    > > --
    > >
    > > To email, change daryl to darryl in address.
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Daz_n_Pat

    Danny Boy Guest

    "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while raw

    file
    > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done by

    you
    > with total control over the outcome.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Egmont
    > em_CT
    >
    >



    So when you process the image...do you save it as a jpeg? Then throw out the
    original RAW image if finished with it?
    Danny Boy, Apr 8, 2004
    #4
  5. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    Thats what I've been doing too, but wondering if its the wrong thing to do.
    From what some of the other posts have said, I gather that jpg's deteriorate
    with use.

    --


    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.

    "Danny Boy" <> wrote in message
    news:6xbdc.2687$...
    >
    > "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    > news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while raw

    > file
    > > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done by

    > you
    > > with total control over the outcome.
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Egmont
    > > em_CT
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    > So when you process the image...do you save it as a jpeg? Then throw out

    the
    > original RAW image if finished with it?
    >
    >
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #5
  6. Daz_n_Pat

    em_CT Guest

    A jpg file is a compressed file, depending on the compression factor it
    could be one tenth of the original file with all the picture make-up
    embedded like exposure, white balance and so on.

    No, you should not delete the raw file. You should have a way to be able to
    go back to the original. Over time as you open and resave jpg, the quality
    will deteriorate.

    Do a web search on jpg and get an indebt description on how jpg compression
    works.

    Regards,
    Egmont
    em_CT







    "Danny Boy" <> wrote in message
    news:6xbdc.2687$...
    >
    > "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    > news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while raw

    > file
    > > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done by

    > you
    > > with total control over the outcome.
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Egmont
    > > em_CT
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    > So when you process the image...do you save it as a jpeg? Then throw out

    the
    > original RAW image if finished with it?
    >
    >
    em_CT, Apr 8, 2004
    #6
  7. Daz_n_Pat

    Ed E. Guest

    The best way to think of RAW is to equate it with a film negative. A JPEG
    or TIFF from the camera can be though of as the printed picture that has had
    adjustments made during development and printing that cannot be changed..

    With a negative, you can read the information with a large array of
    variables. With a print, you can only scan what is on the print and what
    the lab did to your image. There is information lost as well as the
    opportunity to improve the image as drastically when compared to the source
    negative. With RAW, you can "develop" it to adjust for things such as
    exposure, color balance, sharpening and a number of other things that you
    cannot do with the processed picture. Try to correct an oversharpened JPEG,
    for example.

    There are differing views about when to use RAW. My camera stays set to RAW
    100% of the time. But then again, I don't run around snapping pictures of
    everything I see. I'm particular about what I capture and take the time to
    do it to the best of my ability. When I have some pictures I want, I use
    CaptureOne to correct colors, exposure and some default sharpening, then let
    it convert the images out to TIFF files. I further refine them in Photoshop
    to take care of things like cropping, color saturation, sharpening, and
    correcting for any skewing to just name a few. I burn the TIFF's to CD and
    take them to a local lab to have printed. If I spend a lot of time on a
    particular TIFF image, I'll save it along with the RAW file. Otherwise, I
    just delete all of the TIFF's and keep only the RAW.

    The only disadvantages that I experience in shooting RAW are 1> It takes up
    more space on the memory card than JPEG and 2> It takes time to process
    them. I'll live with #2 because I don't have hundreds of pictures at a time
    to convert. To address #1, I bought a Tripper 40GB portable device to dump
    my memory cards to.

    You'll notice that I never dump to JPEG. Why? When saving a file a few
    times as I do when tweaking an image, you're losing data on each save. TIFF
    doesn't do that. Plus, CD-R's and DVD-R's are cheap, and I only keep most
    of my TIFF's long enough to have prints made. Once I get about 4½ gig worth
    of RAW files, I burn two DVD's and keep them in two different places.

    I hope all that helps....
    Ed E., Apr 8, 2004
    #7
  8. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    Cool, thanks for the help.
    BTW, what country are you in?

    Darryl. (New Zealand)

    --


    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.

    "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    news:pLbdc.213213$1p.2474424@attbi_s54...
    > A jpg file is a compressed file, depending on the compression factor it
    > could be one tenth of the original file with all the picture make-up
    > embedded like exposure, white balance and so on.
    >
    > No, you should not delete the raw file. You should have a way to be able

    to
    > go back to the original. Over time as you open and resave jpg, the quality
    > will deteriorate.
    >
    > Do a web search on jpg and get an indebt description on how jpg

    compression
    > works.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Egmont
    > em_CT
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Danny Boy" <> wrote in message
    > news:6xbdc.2687$...
    > >
    > > "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    > > news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > > > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while

    raw
    > > file
    > > > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done

    by
    > > you
    > > > with total control over the outcome.
    > > >
    > > > Regards,
    > > > Egmont
    > > > em_CT
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >
    > > So when you process the image...do you save it as a jpeg? Then throw out

    > the
    > > original RAW image if finished with it?
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #8
  9. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    That is excellent and very helpful. Thanks very much for that. I've copied
    it into notepad and saved it to show my wife.
    Cheers.
    Darryl.

    --


    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.

    "Ed E." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The best way to think of RAW is to equate it with a film negative. A JPEG
    > or TIFF from the camera can be though of as the printed picture that has

    had
    > adjustments made during development and printing that cannot be changed..
    >
    > With a negative, you can read the information with a large array of
    > variables. With a print, you can only scan what is on the print and what
    > the lab did to your image. There is information lost as well as the
    > opportunity to improve the image as drastically when compared to the

    source
    > negative. With RAW, you can "develop" it to adjust for things such as
    > exposure, color balance, sharpening and a number of other things that you
    > cannot do with the processed picture. Try to correct an oversharpened

    JPEG,
    > for example.
    >
    > There are differing views about when to use RAW. My camera stays set to

    RAW
    > 100% of the time. But then again, I don't run around snapping pictures of
    > everything I see. I'm particular about what I capture and take the time

    to
    > do it to the best of my ability. When I have some pictures I want, I use
    > CaptureOne to correct colors, exposure and some default sharpening, then

    let
    > it convert the images out to TIFF files. I further refine them in

    Photoshop
    > to take care of things like cropping, color saturation, sharpening, and
    > correcting for any skewing to just name a few. I burn the TIFF's to CD

    and
    > take them to a local lab to have printed. If I spend a lot of time on a
    > particular TIFF image, I'll save it along with the RAW file. Otherwise, I
    > just delete all of the TIFF's and keep only the RAW.
    >
    > The only disadvantages that I experience in shooting RAW are 1> It takes

    up
    > more space on the memory card than JPEG and 2> It takes time to process
    > them. I'll live with #2 because I don't have hundreds of pictures at a

    time
    > to convert. To address #1, I bought a Tripper 40GB portable device to

    dump
    > my memory cards to.
    >
    > You'll notice that I never dump to JPEG. Why? When saving a file a few
    > times as I do when tweaking an image, you're losing data on each save.

    TIFF
    > doesn't do that. Plus, CD-R's and DVD-R's are cheap, and I only keep most
    > of my TIFF's long enough to have prints made. Once I get about 4½ gig

    worth
    > of RAW files, I burn two DVD's and keep them in two different places.
    >
    > I hope all that helps....
    >
    >
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #9
  10. Daz_n_Pat

    em_CT Guest

    USA



    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:_4cdc.7666$u%...
    > Cool, thanks for the help.
    > BTW, what country are you in?
    >
    > Darryl. (New Zealand)
    >
    > --
    >
    >
    > To email, change daryl to darryl in address.
    >
    > "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    > news:pLbdc.213213$1p.2474424@attbi_s54...
    > > A jpg file is a compressed file, depending on the compression factor it
    > > could be one tenth of the original file with all the picture make-up
    > > embedded like exposure, white balance and so on.
    > >
    > > No, you should not delete the raw file. You should have a way to be able

    > to
    > > go back to the original. Over time as you open and resave jpg, the

    quality
    > > will deteriorate.
    > >
    > > Do a web search on jpg and get an indebt description on how jpg

    > compression
    > > works.
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Egmont
    > > em_CT
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Danny Boy" <> wrote in message
    > > news:6xbdc.2687$...
    > > >
    > > > "em_CT" <> wrote in message
    > > > news:drbdc.98963$K91.226644@attbi_s02...
    > > > > In a nut shell, jpg files are already processed in the camera while

    > raw
    > > > file
    > > > > are exactly as the camera captures them. All processing will be done

    > by
    > > > you
    > > > > with total control over the outcome.
    > > > >
    > > > > Regards,
    > > > > Egmont
    > > > > em_CT
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > So when you process the image...do you save it as a jpeg? Then throw

    out
    > > the
    > > > original RAW image if finished with it?
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    em_CT, Apr 8, 2004
    #10
  11. Daz_n_Pat

    Daz_n_Pat Guest

    Is there any way of reducing the file size of raw photos?

    --


    To email, change daryl to darryl in address.

    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:ppcdc.7674$u%...
    > That is excellent and very helpful. Thanks very much for that. I've copied
    > it into notepad and saved it to show my wife.
    > Cheers.
    > Darryl.
    >
    > --
    >
    >
    > To email, change daryl to darryl in address.
    >
    > "Ed E." <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > The best way to think of RAW is to equate it with a film negative. A

    JPEG
    > > or TIFF from the camera can be though of as the printed picture that has

    > had
    > > adjustments made during development and printing that cannot be

    changed..
    > >
    > > With a negative, you can read the information with a large array of
    > > variables. With a print, you can only scan what is on the print and

    what
    > > the lab did to your image. There is information lost as well as the
    > > opportunity to improve the image as drastically when compared to the

    > source
    > > negative. With RAW, you can "develop" it to adjust for things such as
    > > exposure, color balance, sharpening and a number of other things that

    you
    > > cannot do with the processed picture. Try to correct an oversharpened

    > JPEG,
    > > for example.
    > >
    > > There are differing views about when to use RAW. My camera stays set to

    > RAW
    > > 100% of the time. But then again, I don't run around snapping pictures

    of
    > > everything I see. I'm particular about what I capture and take the time

    > to
    > > do it to the best of my ability. When I have some pictures I want, I

    use
    > > CaptureOne to correct colors, exposure and some default sharpening, then

    > let
    > > it convert the images out to TIFF files. I further refine them in

    > Photoshop
    > > to take care of things like cropping, color saturation, sharpening, and
    > > correcting for any skewing to just name a few. I burn the TIFF's to CD

    > and
    > > take them to a local lab to have printed. If I spend a lot of time on a
    > > particular TIFF image, I'll save it along with the RAW file. Otherwise,

    I
    > > just delete all of the TIFF's and keep only the RAW.
    > >
    > > The only disadvantages that I experience in shooting RAW are 1> It takes

    > up
    > > more space on the memory card than JPEG and 2> It takes time to process
    > > them. I'll live with #2 because I don't have hundreds of pictures at a

    > time
    > > to convert. To address #1, I bought a Tripper 40GB portable device to

    > dump
    > > my memory cards to.
    > >
    > > You'll notice that I never dump to JPEG. Why? When saving a file a few
    > > times as I do when tweaking an image, you're losing data on each save.

    > TIFF
    > > doesn't do that. Plus, CD-R's and DVD-R's are cheap, and I only keep

    most
    > > of my TIFF's long enough to have prints made. Once I get about 4½ gig

    > worth
    > > of RAW files, I burn two DVD's and keep them in two different places.
    > >
    > > I hope all that helps....
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Daz_n_Pat, Apr 8, 2004
    #11
  12. Daz_n_Pat

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Daz_n_Pat wrote:

    > Hi all,
    > I'm new to digital photography (actually, to photography in general).
    > Just wondering if someone can explain to me the purpose of raw format
    > photographs and how to use them without needing to convert them to tiffs or
    > jpg's. Do they give a better quality picture, and if so how?
    > Thanks in advance.


    When you take a picture with a digital camera, light falls on a sensor
    instead of film. The sensor has millions of photosites. Each photosite
    creates a voltage. This voltage is dependant of how much light is falling
    on it.

    These voltages are digitized. This information isn't a picture. It's only
    a representation of what the sensor saw. It's RAW data. Just as eggs, milk,
    flour are combined and baked to make a cake, this RAW data has to be processed
    into a recognizable image file.

    RAW data is created by all digital cameras. Digital cameras have
    a built in computer. The computer takes the RAW data, then, using the
    settings you've programmed in the menu (white balance, contrast etc),
    it creates an image in one of the recognizeable formats and saves
    it to your memory card. JPEG, TIFF etc.

    Some cameras have the ability to bypass the 'baking' process and
    save the RAW data directly to the memory card.

    The advantage to this is you can do the 'cooking' on your computer
    using a software program that emulates the computer built in to
    the camera. You can apply white balance, sharpness etc all after
    the fact.

    RAW files are proprietary. Each camera manufacturer decides how
    they'll save the sensor output. You must use special software
    designed specifically for the RAW file your camera makes.

    RAW data usually has more information. JPEG is limited to 8 bits
    while RAW can be 12 bits and higher. TIFF files can hold more
    bits of information, but RAW files are much more compact, especially
    with a touch of compression.

    A good example of this compactness is with the Canon 10D. It creates
    a RAW file of around 5 Megabytes. If you convert that file into
    a 16 bit TIFF, it becomes around 36 megabytes. Obviously RAW
    files offer a big advantage when it comes to camera memory storage.

    Do you keep the RAW file ? I guess that's up to you. Consider it's
    the negative. Would you throw out the negative and only keep the
    prints :)

    The rest of what I have to say is *opinion*..

    At a glance, *I* can't tell the difference between a RAW file that's
    been saved as a TIFF and the high quality JPEG. I've had 8 x 10
    images done at commercial labs using both TIFF and JPEG and I
    can't tell the difference at all.

    To me, the only advantage of RAW is that I can vary the white balance
    and color temperature of images I take. I can also pick a white point
    in the image. This is FAR superior than trying to adjust color using
    traditional photoshop methods. If you need to process your images,
    then RAW is the best choice.
    Jim Townsend, Apr 8, 2004
    #12
  13. Daz_n_Pat

    Ed E. Guest

    Nope. Going back to the equation to a film negative, there's no way to
    reduce the size of the negative, either.

    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:9wcdc.7677$u%...
    > Is there any way of reducing the file size of raw photos?
    Ed E., Apr 8, 2004
    #13
  14. "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in message
    news:9wcdc.7677$u%...
    > Is there any way of reducing the file size of raw photos?


    You could try Zipping them.

    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 8, 2004
    #14
  15. Daz_n_Pat

    Ed E. Guest

    > You could try Zipping them.

    In most cases, RAW files are already compressed. I just tried it on a 7.4MB
    Canon RAW file and saved 20k. It's not worth the trouble.
    Ed E., Apr 8, 2004
    #15
  16. "Ed E." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > > You could try Zipping them.

    >
    > In most cases, RAW files are already compressed. I just tried it on a

    7.4MB
    > Canon RAW file and saved 20k. It's not worth the trouble.


    I cannot claim to speak for "most cases", which is why I simply made the
    suggestion (and wrote it in the conditional tense).

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 8, 2004
    #16
  17. "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in news:Vwbdc.7659$u%
    :

    > In what way do you mean they are processed in the camera?


    Except for the ordinary RAW processing, i.e.
    removing noise, the JPEG files are white balanced,
    contrast expanded, exposure compensated, sharpened
    and then converted to JPEG.


    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Apr 8, 2004
    #17
  18. Daz_n_Pat

    Lucas Tam Guest

    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in news:nDbdc.7660$u%
    :

    > I gather that jpg's deteriorate
    > with use.


    Yes, each time you save/resave you detoriate the picture (due to
    recompression)

    --
    Lucas Tam ()
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
    Lucas Tam, Apr 8, 2004
    #18
  19. Daz_n_Pat

    Lucas Tam Guest

    "Daz_n_Pat" <> wrote in news:9wcdc.7677$u%
    :

    > Is there any way of reducing the file size of raw photos?


    No - possibly ZIP or RAR can reduce the file size slightly... but hard
    drives are SO cheap these days. You can get an 80GB drive for about
    60.00USD!

    --
    Lucas Tam ()
    Please delete "REMOVE" from the e-mail address when replying.
    http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/coolspot18/
    Lucas Tam, Apr 8, 2004
    #19
  20. Daz_n_Pat

    Ed E. Guest


    > I cannot claim to speak for "most cases", which is why I simply made the
    > suggestion (and wrote it in the conditional tense).


    David, please don't take my reply as a slam. It was worth a try...
    Ed E., Apr 8, 2004
    #20
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