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  1. #1
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Switched to RAW, now what?

    I just took my first serious set of shots in RAW format. I downloaded them on to my PC, now what to do? When shooting jpegs, I would veiw my photos as a slide show and from there I would pick the shots that I wanted to process. I can't do that with the RAW files tho, and the Canon Utility viewer image is too small for my liking, unless I double click on the photo to enlarge it. But doing this doesn't let me see the entire photo on screan like the slide show does. I have tried making some adjustments with the utility viewer but it seems like it takes forever. My PC is to old to handle PS 8 so I don't have any way of opening the RAW files other than with the above mentioned software. So what do you RAW shooters do? I have seen posts saying that shooting RAW has reduced the post processing time greatly for some, but for me, it seems like it takes forever. I am in the process of saving the 83 RAW files that I took today as 16bit TIFF's so I can view them as a slide show, but this is going to take at least an hour to do, if not longer...

    Any advice would be great!
    Michael
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  2. #2
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    Re: Switched to RAW, now what?

    You could try using Bibble from www.bibblelabs.com or try using Capture One LE from http://www.rawworkflow.com which has a very good support forum.

  3. #3
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    The obvious solution would be to...

    ...upgrade your computer and upgrade photoshop.

    Of course, I can't tell you if that's practical or economically feasible or not, but the truth is RAW files are the largest you can create with your digial camera, and processing them efficiently takes, well...processing power.

    I'm not sure about your comments saying RAW speeds up a photographer's digital workflow. I've never met a pro that thought that. What RAW gives you is control over your image, something that is usually worth the extra time it takes to process the files.

    Kind of like comparing having a complete home darkroom to dropping film off at a one hour lab. The darkroom is certainly much better, but most likely not as fast.

    What ps offers to help speed things up is what's called batch processing, where you can run basic edits on large groups of images in an assemble-line manner, but that requires careful planning and organization and is not really something the average user tends to use.

    As we've discussed here previously, shooting RAW is not for everyone, and unfortunately one of the assumptions is that you have the computer system resources to handle the files, and the monitor size to view large enough thumbs to make editing in groups manageable.

    If you continue to have a lot of trouble editing your images, you should really consider whether jpeg files may be a better way to shoot...
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  4. #4
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    Re: Switched to RAW, now what?

    I'm not sure how much help this going to be since you are using Canon, but I'll tell you how I do it and maybe you can find the equivalents with Canon.

    I use Nikon View to view the thumbnails and full screen images. Full screen, it's similar to a slideshow advanced manually. When I find the good ones, I open them in Photoshop 7 using a Nikon plug-in to open the RAW (well NEF in Nikon world) files. When I save the files, they are in Photoshop format. I don't use TIFF at all.

    As far as speed goes, short of replacing your computer, normally the best speed booster is to add RAM. Whether or not this will help you depends a lot on how much RAM you have now and what version of Windows you are using. As a datapoint, I am using Windows XP with 1.2 GB of RAM which is probably more than is necessary. If you are running Windows XP with less than 512 MB you could benefit from more RAM. If you are running Windows 98 or Windows ME with less than 256MB you could probably benefit from more RAM.

  5. #5
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Have you tried.....

    Try BreezeBrowser. I use it a lot when I don't want to mess with Capture 1 Pro. It's a lot faster than c1pro, simpler to use, and about 1/10 the price. When I need to batch convert select images with different final outputs, then it's c1pro all the way, but breezebrowser is a great inexpensive tool for quick viewing and quick conversion of RAW files. A disclaimer here-quick really isn't very quick, no matter which program you use.
    Go to http://www.breezesys.com/BreezeBrowser/index.htm and check it out. It's a lot cheaper than Capture 1, or Photoshop CS. Another inexpensive alternative is ACDSee version 7. It has RAW viewing and conversion capability, although somewhat limited in scope than the others I've mentioned.
    Just my $0.02 from someone who's purchased and used all the aforementioned software.
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  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Switched to RAW, now what?

    There have actually been a lot of discussions here (and elsewhere) about why and when to use RAW. Personally, I'm using Photoshop CS but still rarely use it - only when I need one of the benefits of RAW (higher bit depth, for one). Batch processing is the only way to do this if you use RAW alot - if you have 20 shots taken in the same light, set the WB on the first and assign it to the next 19 - done!

    It will take a lot of RAM to get serious about Photoshop - XP with 512 just doesn't cut it. I'm going to upgrade to a gig at some point - but not real soon. Just lost my hard drive (no images though) so I have to deal with re-installing XP and everything else... I'll get that settled before changing anything else.

    My point is that you could speed up your workflow by using it only when necessary. Shoot JPEG when it won't make a difference and work hard to make sure the image is as close to a finished product as possible when you're shooting. This might mean setting a custom white balance, taking a few shots and adjust settings, etc.

  7. #7
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Switched to RAW, now what?

    Thanks for all the info everyone. After reading all this, and working with 80+ RAW files and not knowing what to do with them, and not having the equipment to handle the job, I think I will stick with jpegs for a while. At least until I can upgrade my computer! Thanks again for all the great info!
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  8. #8
    Erstwhile Vagabond armed with camera Lionheart's Avatar
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    Hardware notes-my recommendations

    If you are going to shoot a lot of RAW, imho, you'll need
    1: bigger cf cards/more cf cards for the camera (4 Gb worth of cards is good)
    2:BIG hard drives (I have 2 160 Gb drives-barely enough, especially with DV thrown into the mix)
    3:lots of RAM (I have 4Gb-overkill, 2 Gb is just fine, but I typically have ACDSee up for fast browsing or C1Pro if working with the initial RAW files, Photoshop CS for editing, and a bazillion antivirus and spyware killers going at the same time and I cruise the net while batch jobs are running).
    4:a DVD burner-at some point you'll need to off load those big image folders off the hard drive for disk efficiency as hard drive efficiency falls off the face of the earth at the 50% capacity mark (why do you think I have TWO 160 Gb drives )
    Just my $0.02
    ;)
    Seek the Son and the shadows fall behind you.

    slowly inching to 2000

    Mac's Rule, Windblows drools
    Friends don't let Friends use WindBlows XPee
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/schrackman/clover.jpg">Lionheart O'Canon Feel Free to Help

  9. #9
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware notes-my recommendations

    I found this useful to see the thumbnails from the RAW formats

    http://www.suodenjoki.dk/us/producti..._thumbnail.htm
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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