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  1. #1
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    Canon RAW Images

    Hi everyone. I am a newbie and recently purchased an EOS 30D. I understand the benefit of shooting in RAW format and I have been doing that but I am struggling (but getting better) with editing the images after dumping them to my PC. Do y'all use the bundled software that came with your camera, Digital Photo Professional to edit your RAW images? If so, what is your method or workflow? If not, what software do you use? Thanks for any insight provided!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    I tried a RAW shot with my 30D, for the first time, yesterday, on a black capped chickadee. I have Elements 3.0 and downloaded the plugin. I won't be much help. However, I do have to day, I wasn't all that impressed. When comparing the jpg and RAW side by side, the RAW image looked much better. Although, after enough manipulation, I was able to make the jpg look exactly like the RAW image. I do have an idea that if I shoot something in direct sunlight, it will be a different story. With overcast skies, I don't think a person needs the extra couple stops of exposure latitude. I do realize that RAW is used for more than just that. I understand that you can change the WB after the photo is taken, but I still think a person could play with the color filters and obtain similar results. Once again, I'm new at this, so I'll be doing more playing around.
    Mike
    www.specialtyphotoandprinting.com
    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    I use Adobe Camera Raw to convert my RAW files. It's part of Photoshop and it works great for me. I haven't found a reason that I need anything else.
    Mike

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    I use the Adobe Camera Raw plugin, and Photoshop CS2.

    Whichever method you choose, shooting in raw is about getting the maximum amount of digital info from the sensor to the print.

    When shooting jpg's, the result is an 8-bit file. That means that there are 256 shades in each of the red, green, and blue channels. However, the human eye can only discern about 200 tones, so 256 is enough, right?

    Maybe. it depends on how much editing you do. Almost every command in Photoshop (and Elements) discards information. Commands like Levels and Curves, that affect the whole image discard the most information. So jpgs really don't give your image much room for editing. However, if you shoot perfect (or nearly perfect) images every time, it still shouldn't make that much difference.

    As for me, I don't even come close to shooting perfect images every time. I might shoot a perfect image 2% of the time- maybe. So, i shoot in Raw format.

    With Raw, the resulting image is 12 bits- though photoshop puts it in a 16-bit format. That means that instead of 256 diiferent shades in each channel, there are 4096 shades. When you open the image using Photoshop, it opens in the Camera Raw plugin. Any edits made here are lossless, so the object becomes to make as many refinements to the image as possible in this first step. White balance, exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness, color noise, chromatic abberation, vignetting, and curves can all be addressed in this stage. About the only one that I personally don't address here is sharpening.

    Clicking OK opens the image in Photoshop proper, at 16 bits/channel. Any edits made here will likely discard information, but you still have 4096 tones per channel, which gives you a lot of room to play with. Still, there are some color modes and filters that can't be accessed in 16 bit mode, and you can't save a file as a jpg unless it's 8 bits, so the next step is to convert the 16 bit image to an 8 bit image with Image>Mode>8 bits/channel.

    Now your image is at the point where jpg images start. The difference is that most of your editing (if not all of it) should be done.

    Hope this helps you some.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    Quote Originally Posted by Medley

    With Raw, the resulting image is 12 bits- though photoshop puts it in a 16-bit format. That means that instead of 256 diiferent shades in each channel, there are 4096 shades. When you open the image using Photoshop, it opens in the Camera Raw plugin. Any edits made here are lossless, so the object becomes to make as many refinements to the image as possible in this first step. White balance, exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness, color noise, chromatic abberation, vignetting, and curves can all be addressed in this stage. About the only one that I personally don't address here is sharpening.


    - Joe U.
    Thanks for the explanations regarding RAW. You mention that any original edits in RAW format are lossless. But, this is why I always save as a TIF immediately. I understand TIFs are also lossless. One more thing, why isn't sharpening included in your original edits?
    Mike
    www.specialtyphotoandprinting.com
    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

  6. #6
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    Tif is a lossless save format- no information is discarded when you save the file. You can resave and open the file as many times as you like, and the image won't change. But Photoshop will still discard info as you make edits. It's the nature of the program. Have you ever noticed that if you play with an image too much in Photoshop, it begins to break down visually? This discarding of information is the reason why.

    Sharpening should be confined to the edges of an image, so that you don't accentuate noise. Also, the way that the sharpening filter works is to give the most sharpening to the highest contrast edges, and the least sharpening to the low contrast edges. That's pretty much the exact opposite of the desired result. Both of these problems (as well as a few more related to sharpening) can be solved with the use of layers, blending options, and layer masks. Unfortunately, none of these are available in the Camera Raw plugin.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  7. #7
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    Could you explain a bit more about the Camera Raw plugin? I've never shot with Raw images, and now that I see the amazing benefits, I plan on doing so. Does the plugin come with the camera, Photoshop, or is it something that has to be purchased separately?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) plug-in is part of all recent versions of Photoshop, as well as some of the newer versions of Photoshop Elements.

    Most cameras that allow Raw images come with some form of software that alows Raw images to be edited and converted to jpegs. As far as I know, Photoshop's plug-in is still the gold standard, but some of the others are very capable. Since Photoshop is the only one I have any experience with, it's the only one I feel qualified to comment on.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  9. #9
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    Re: Canon RAW Images

    TIFF is lossless, BUT the files it saves are enormous. Photoshop is OK but very complicated to use properly and is very limited in what it can do with a RAW image (you have to convert to one of the other formats to do a lot of things (most things in fact). The manufacturer's software tends to be - clunky, slow and limited, and that holds for most manufacturers.
    RAW offers more detail than jpeg (a lossy method of saving) as well as more control - and that's why you should shoot in RAW. So - look at some of the other third party raw processors, there are a ton of them out there and they all keep the original raw file untouched (PS forces you to take your raw adjustments into another format - nononono). They also range in price from very reasonable (even free) to astronomical - rather like PS. Also do not forget that the best shots are properly exposed, so dont rely on raw to save your hide (although it can do).


    patrickh

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