Paint.net, raw files, and 16-bit color depth

Started Dec 22, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Dave Guy
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Paint.net, raw files, and 16-bit color depth
Dec 22, 2010

I have a basic question about image processing.

I take photographs in canon raw format (.cr2), and then I do a little adjusting with the Canon software that came with my camera (T1i). I then typically export them as jpegs and send them off to mpix if I want to print them.

Yesterday I wanted to make some changes that the generic Canon software couldn't do (fixing blemishes, etc). My first thought was to make the changes in Paint.net, but it looks like paint.net can't handle raw format. But there's a fix for that: download a plug-in to handle raw. But then it also appears (and I could be wrong) that paint.net can't handle 16-bit color depth. Here are my questions:

1. Am I right that paint.net can't handle 16-bit depth?

2. Should I care?

3. If I use paint.net, which raw converter should I use? I'm never sure which plug-in is the most up-to-date.

4. Am I crazy to keep using paint.net? I'm not a professional, and it seems like overkill right now to get LR or PS. I'm just trying to do things like fix blemishes, sharpen pictures, smooth out skin tones, etc.

Thanks for any help you guys can give.

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