Just starting RAW after a year of JPEG....

Started Mar 4, 2005 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 358
Re: Just starting RAW after a year of JPEG....
In reply to Brian G., Mar 4, 2005

If that was quick work, you must be dnagerous when you really have time.

What software do you use? Thanks!

Brian G. wrote:
Hello R&K,

RatzandKatz wrote:

I was just wondering how many of you save the original RAW files,
or do you get rid of them after you postprocess them? I am used to
post processing...this is just another step...no biggie...But after
processing I usually delete the original jpegs.

I would strongly suggest never getting rid of the original RAW
files. Consider them the digital equivalent of a photographic
negative, and hang on to them as a master. If you ever need/want
to rework an image for whatever reason (want to try something
different, better RAW processing software is available, etc),
you'll be glad you did.

And, even with DPP....blown highlight are blown right?? No
recovering those even with raw?

Not true. It is true that eventually you will reach an exposure
limit even in RAW where blown highlights are truly blown, but you
have much more latitude than with jpgs. With a jpg, you are taking
your camera's 10 or 12-bit (depending on camera) RAW image (which
contains thousands of discrete tonality levels per channel) and
tossing out information to compress it into an 8-bit jpeg which
offers only 256 discrete tonality levels per channel. Oftentimes,
highlights that are blown in the jpg are not actually blown at all
in the RAW file. Here's an example I had posted awhile ago to
illustrate this. The photograph is uninteresting, and was shot
only to illustrate the point that there is much more dynamic range
available in RAW than with jpg:

This is a baseline jpg straight out of a 20D:

As you can see, there are areas that are completely blown out, and
areas that are completely black. But the camera captured much more
than this...
We can take the RAW file and push it up +4EV to bring out detail in
the shadows:

The candeholder on the desk and the chair at lower left are now
visible, for example. You can recover shadow detail on a jpeg also
(Shadows and Highlights slider, in Photoshop, for example) but
usually not to the same extent as you can manage in RAW.

What about all that lost highlight detail? Here, if you've shot
jpeg, you are out of luck. You cannot retreive detail that is
simply not present in the image. But because the shot was done in
RAW, we can process it again, this time at -4EV:

Notice how the camera did record detail that appeared blown in the
original exposure- the curtains and the background landscape are
good examples. These areas would have been completely and
irretrievably lost had this been shot in jpeg

The images with recovered highlight and shadow detail can then be
blended for a result with much more dynamic range. Now, this
particular final blended image is a very quick, and quite
frankly, very poor job. I just threw it together for illustrative
purposes. If I was serious, it could be made to look very nice,

If you compare this shot to the first one (the one that the camera
actually gave me) you will see that, desipite the poor blending
job, this image contains much more detail in both the highlights
and the shadows. And again- although you can often recover some
shadow detail with jpegs, if your highlights go to white, they are
lost forever. Not so with RAW.

To make it easier to compare, I"ll put the baseline and the blended
image next to each other here:
Baseline that the camera gave:

Blended exposure showing the increased dynamic range available in
the RAW shot:

Hope this has been helpful to you.

Kind Regards,

Digital Image Gallery:

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