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  1. #1
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    To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Hi! I'm just going next week to buy my first DSLR ever, and ive been doing a lot of reading on many things. My question for today is, when im saving a file, what is the best way to go about the whole process?

    I have many programs of which i used for other reasons, including Adobe CS4 (which is compatible with the camera im planning to buy), and i was wondering if anyone has any personal experience / recommendations for saving files to raw, then swapping to tiff on a computer afterwards. Ive read for a couple days now on all of the pros and cons, and i just wanted to hear a couple peoples opinions.

    Also, i was wondering if someone could answer two other simple questions: If i have photos on a compact flash / SD card, can i just plug the card into my computer (in a card reader) and load them to my computer that way? Also, about how long would it take to convert 100-200 raw files to tiff? Would it be a couple seconds each?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlueRob's Avatar
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    If you are planning to do some PP work yes RAW is a must IMO. There is not "right" recipe, I think the most comon is to go from RAW to Tiff or other Adobe native format. Personally I works with Tiffs....though you end up with larger files.

    Yes you can plug the SD to a reader and download but again... personally I don remove the cards from the body unless its full during a photo shoot. I plug the body to the PC and download.

    Converting Raw to Tiff takes more than seconds...not talking the "write" or conversion speed which is pretty fast, but usually you tweak or adjust that RAW prior the conversion...one by one which takes time.

    Maybe some other members have a different work flow that Im missing.

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  3. #3
    Mtn Bike Rider Singletracklovr's Avatar
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    When I first got into dslr's I just used jpeg. I wasn't really in to post processing.
    Now that my hobby has grown and I enjoy PP I could really kick myself for not saving my masters in RAW. So my advice to you is shoot in RAW and tuck them away just in case.

    hth
    Bob in Denver
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  4. #4
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Thank you for the quick responses.

    So, the consensus (and what i was planning) is, shoot and save to raw. Then, do some PP afterwards with the photos i like, and delete the ones that arent so good,,, Being a beginner, i figure only a percentage of my photographs will be decent / keepworthy, so im going to have to delete the shakey / out of focus ones

    Also, do you two save your rar files on a hard drive and keep them safe, or do you change them to tiff and thats the end of it? I mean, is there a reason to keep the RAW file if you have it in TIFF already?

  5. #5
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Quote Originally Posted by red05usa
    Thank you for the quick responses.

    So, the consensus (and what i was planning) is, shoot and save to raw. Then, do some PP afterwards with the photos i like, and delete the ones that arent so good,,, Being a beginner, i figure only a percentage of my photographs will be decent / keepworthy, so im going to have to delete the shakey / out of focus ones

    Also, do you two save your rar files on a hard drive and keep them safe, or do you change them to tiff and thats the end of it? I mean, is there a reason to keep the RAW file if you have it in TIFF already?
    My current workflow:
    - Shoot RAW.
    - Remove the card from the camera and plug into a USB card reader.
    - Download the RAW to my internal hard drive using Lightroom and Import into the Catalog.
    - Delete the non-keepers.
    - In Lightroom, adjust the RAW White Balance and Contrast and others. Crop.
    - If necessary, send to CS4 for further adjustments. Save as PSD (tiff would be OK).

    Always save the RAW from the camera. Always keep the RAW. If your post processing requires non-RAW editing, save the result as PSD or tiff. If you need a jpg for posting or whatever, save it in a temp file until posted and then dump it.

    TF
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    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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  6. #6
    Snap Happy CaraRose's Avatar
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    My current workflow:
    - Shoot RAW.
    - Remove the card from the camera and plug into a USB card reader.
    - Download the RAW to my internal hard drive using Lightroom and Import into the Catalog.
    - Delete the non-keepers.
    - In Lightroom, adjust the RAW White Balance and Contrast and others. Crop.
    - If necessary, send to CS4 for further adjustments. Save as PSD (tiff would be OK).

    Always save the RAW from the camera. Always keep the RAW. If your post processing requires non-RAW editing, save the result as PSD or tiff. If you need a jpg for posting or whatever, save it in a temp file until posted and then dump it.

    TF
    Since you use lightroom, do you have to do adjustments for noise? I've been shooting RAW+JPEG, but the noise in the RAW files is pretty severe, and I'm not familar with lightrooms noise reduction.

    I'm still mainly doing my PP with the jpegs because I'm finding the raw harder to work with.
    --Cara

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  7. #7
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Quote Originally Posted by CaraRose
    Since you use lightroom, do you have to do adjustments for noise? I've been shooting RAW+JPEG, but the noise in the RAW files is pretty severe, and I'm not familar with lightrooms noise reduction.

    I'm still mainly doing my PP with the jpegs because I'm finding the raw harder to work with.
    I just looked at my LR Noise Reduction settings: Luminance= 0, Color= 25. I think those are the presets??? My only conscious consideration of noise is to occasionally sharpen only the subject and not the OOF background. Note that I almost always shoot at ISO= 200. If I have to go over 400, I find something else to shoot. - TF
    -----------------
    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
    -----------------
    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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  8. #8
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    I'm sorry. could someone explain to me what you mean about noise reduction / noise ruining a shot? i dont quite understand.


    -- oh sorry. i over-assumed the problem. It makes sense now. But i got really scared that a camera's noise would ruin a 1/2000 shutter picture ^.^
    Last edited by red05usa; 04-08-2010 at 07:29 AM.

  9. #9
    PhotoNeckel
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    It took me some time to refine my workflow (and optimizations are not yet completed)...

    general setup
    ==========
    Nikon D700
    home studio with a couple of Elinchrom studio flashes

    image aquisition
    ===============
    - format CF-card in camera
    - picture taking in RAW - 14bit - lossless compression
    - copy content of CF-card to harddisk
    - catalog with Lightroom + convert to DNG
    - select keepers, basic corrections (crop, whitebalance, input sharpening)
    - delete non-keepers from catalog and harddisk
    - copy CF-card to external disk
    - burn copy of CF-card to DVD
    - reformat CF-card

    image transformation
    ================
    - select images for postprocessing
    - export as .PSD, 16-bit , ProFoto colorspace
    - process in Photoshop
    - export as jpeg (sRGB)
    - catalog jpeg file in Lightroom
    - output for screen(web) from lightroom
    - backup .PSD files to external harddisk
    - backup jpeg files to external harddisk

    printing
    ======
    - print from .PSD file (16bit) Epson Stylus Pro 3800

    lately i shoot tethered to a notebook to capture one Pro5.
    notebook connected over LAN to main machine
    Nicolas
    playing the Nikon D700 with too many glasses

  10. #10
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Always shoot in raw. Period. Disk space is getting to the point where it is practically free and it will just keep getting cheaper.

  11. #11
    GB1
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    I've never learned to edit RAWs, so at this pt, for the most part I don't shoot it.

    But if I ever dedicate the time to learning the advantages of editing RAW I will probably be disappointed that I didn't shoot my previous images in it, since I can't go back and do that. This makes the 'always RAW' argument credible.
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  12. #12
    drg
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    Re: To Raw, Or Not To Raw...

    Quote Originally Posted by nyschulte
    It took me some time to refine my workflow (and optimizations are not yet completed)...

    g

    image transformation
    ================
    - select images for postprocessing
    - export as .PSD, 16-bit , ProFoto colorspace
    - process in Photoshop
    - export as jpeg (sRGB)
    - catalog jpeg file in Lightroom
    - output for screen(web) from lightroom
    - backup .PSD files to external harddisk
    - backup jpeg files to external harddisk
    Do you find that you always need to edit in Photoshop? The more I work with the Lightroom front end, I'm finding less and less need to go into Photoshop except for special adjustments (like when I make a big mistake in exposure).

    There's several steps to PP in Lightroom including preProcess settings in the Library for every image. Perhaps this is part of your selection process prior to exporting to PS-CSx. Using Lightroom to get you work in the ballpark or finished saves bunches of time over the course of many shoots, or even just one!

    If you set up the files in Lightroom for JPEG, you don't have to export them until you need them and save a huge amount of time, and certainly storage space. When you need a JPEG output then you can generate it and not have to worry about duplicate files in different places.

    By transferring seting back and forth from Lightroom via the 'sidecar' files, *.xmp, you won't have to save all your .PSD files (and they can become monstrous in size!) dependent upon the types of edits you need.

    I found that profiling the Full Frame Nikons (both D700 and the D3's) saved lots of time in post processing regardless of the lighting situations. The default Adobe Camera RAW profiles arent the best for the Nikons in artificial light or for higher color temps situations.

    Oh, and Welcome to Photography Review!!
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