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jpeg user to raw

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Old Monday 9th April 2018, 20:57   #1
proudpapa56
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jpeg user to raw

Sorry if this is a rehash. I've been shooting in just jpeg for years now and guess it's time to start trying to work with raw now. Any recommendations on programs? Photoshop, Lightshop, Adobe, are they all the same? Can my macs iPhoto do any of that?
Thanks in advance.
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Old Monday 9th April 2018, 21:27   #2
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I’ve used various editions of Photoshop Elements for about 12 years now, both for raw conversion and editing, and have been quite happy with it. It’s amazing how much otherwise lost detail one can pull out of a raw file and I never shoot in anything else, much less a “lossy” format like jpeg.
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Old Monday 9th April 2018, 22:55   #3
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Howdy,

Photoshop and Lightroom are an excellent combination to have access to. I currently pay monthly to use it(as well as get storage and various other software to use) and it's 10/$15/month.

RAW is definitely the way to go if you want the most out of your images and it certainly helps salvaging images that weren't as ideal as you'd hoped.
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Old Monday 9th April 2018, 23:15   #4
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 10:18   #5
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Slightly off subject but,when I thought about shooting RAW, my confusion was immense . I found a book called Understanding RAW Photography by Andy Rouse a great help.

Whilst it was published in 2008 the basics are still relevant. You might find a used copy on Amazon.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 10:43   #6
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RAW conversion isn't a set process and each software package does it a little differently (although a suite like adobe products will all use the same conversion software); there are variations in what can be done between different software packages; however in most situations (the vast majority) those differences are so minor as to be not an issue. Therefore any reputable and good editing software package should do very well with its RAW conversion.


It can also be normal that early on your JPEG from the camera looks better than your RAW conversion and that you might even find the "auto" setting in the RAW converter does a better job than you. That's normal and part of learning how and what you can adjust with RAW. So do, by all means, use the auto setting in RAW converters and see what it gives you; but importantly you must play around with the sliders and settings as well. See what different things give you and how it affects the photo.


With RAW one neat thing is that you never change the RAW file itself. Instead the software makes a second file that houses all the values changed for the RAW conversion that you saved/used. So that next time you open that photo in that software package the software reads its conversion file and applies those settings.

This means you can edit a RAW forever and never lose any data nor change the main file. If you want to out-put your RAW into something (like an image or a print) then you've got to save it in something like a TIFF or JPEG or other image format. RAW formats themselves are not actually visible photos and can't be printed or such. Note that you will see an image on the icon in your computer for a RAW file; you can still view it in many image viewers and you can see it on the back of the camera. This isn't the RAW that you are seeing, but a JPEG made at the same time by the camera to its settings; this JPEG is then embedded into the RAW file to give you something visual to work with. There are some software packages out there which can read and extract the JPEG as a JPEG for you (though I've never had the need to use one and its easier, if you want both straight from camera, to just set it to save both formats)
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 11:26   #7
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Is it worth it to reprocess images?
With casual shooting one easily picks up a thousand or more photos on a trip.
Where does one find the time to optimize them? It is hard enough just to select the best, polishing those in turn seems a chore.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 13:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proudpapa56 View Post
Any recommendations on programs? Photoshop, Lightshop, Adobe, are they all the same?
Adobe Lightroom is a nice program with which you can both organize your photos and process raw files. Adobe Photoshop has even more sophisticated professional-level post-processing tools. Adobe has added more and more post-processing options to Lightroom over the years, so many photographers find they don't need the greater sophistication and complexity of Photoshop.

However, these Adobe programs are not available for purchase as standalone software anymore. (This is a recent change). Instead, you have to pay a yearly subscription fee to access them online, which increases the cost. So if cost is an issue, you may want to look for alternatives. There are a number of options, but I still use my old standalone Lightroom, so have no personal experience.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 13:53   #9
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I saw your other recent post in the Nikon forum and see (like me) you shoot with a D7200.

I would strongly recommend you have a look at Nikon's own free image processing software, Capture NX-D, designed to deal with Nikon NEF files. The big advantage if you are new to RAW processing is the fact that the default settings are essentially what you see if you shoot JPEG, so you start off with a decent image and can then optimise it to taste. I'm fairly new to this myself, but the trick is not to overdo it if you want a natural-looking image - having said that, its possible to increase shadow / highlight detail (with Nikon's 'Active D-lighting'), reduce noise, improve sharpening, and alter detail levels, ending up with a significantly improved image compared to what you would've got with the JPEG. I've never found any advantage in altering the colour balance, as I believe it's already optimised in camera, but sometimes increase saturation and hue.

It doesn't take a great deal of time per photo, although I find I'm quite selective about the images I keep, and it has thumbnail viewing options to help with sorting.

The other method I've used is the Snapseed app on the iPhone, when I was away recently and didn't have access to my PC. Its a relatively simple RAW processer, easy enough to use, with some functions like 'curves' maybe implemented better than NX-D (although missing the equivalent 'Active D-lighting').

I've thought about maybe graduating to a Lightroom subscription (which is also available as an iOS app), but I've actually seen reviews which compare NX-D favourably to Lightroom, particularly in terms of its treatment of colours, so I'm saving my money for now.
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 19:49   #10
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Is it worth it to reprocess images?
With casual shooting one easily picks up a thousand or more photos on a trip.
Where does one find the time to optimize them? It is hard enough just to select the best, polishing those in turn seems a chore.
It really depends on the person, your intentions with your photography and also your software and experience.

Software packages can make it easier, Lightroom lets you effortlessly batch process and do all kinds of quick edits that can do most of what you need in a few moments very quickly. A lot of photographers have the Lightroom and photoshop subscription deal and will often use Lightroom for the majority of their basic editing, only loading up Photoshop when needed.

Experience lets you work faster and know what you do and don't want which can speed things up no end.


But your intention is also important; if all you want are memories and record photos then you might not really benefit from RAW editing and JPEG might be all you ever need.


I would say its worth learning how to use RAW editing tools to a decent level and then be able to make the choice yourself. This is rather like how its best to learn how to use manual mode and aperture priority and then make the choice on what mode to use in what situation. Rather than saying that one is always "best" its better to let each person work from an informed position and make their own choice
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Old Tuesday 10th April 2018, 20:28   #11
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i am a few years behind nowdays but agree most with what etudiant and overread say, having worked with professionals. also, i dislike very much pay by subscription software unless you can claim it as a business expense!

have a look at what 'gimp' can do. not up to photoshop but certainly will do just about everything you might wish and for free ... at least before you spend good money that could go on gear. it works with .raw files and i think directly with your camera output.
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Old Wednesday 11th April 2018, 09:18   #12
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Thanks again all.
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