P7100 - seeking advice re using raw

Started Feb 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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sailorman
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P7100 - seeking advice re using raw
Feb 26, 2012

By way of introduction:

~ I do not have a dSLR - graduating to the P7100 (from an old Canon A650) based on reading the forums on this site and trying out various cameras at the retailer;

~ I used the benefit of the $350 price at Blacks (reputable retail outfit in Canada) to treat myself to the SB400 flash unit. Great decision - the improvement over using the pop-up flash for indoor photos (my only experience with flash upto now) is a revelation.

~ I am liking my P7100 - I carry it with me on a belt-pack when out-and-about - I love the size, build quality (esp rear lcd), zoom range, customisation (eg the ability to have access to the electronic level at a press of a button) & direct access to adjustments (albeit I am a little intimidated by the degree of control it offers!);

~ I have Adobe Elements 7 on my PC - which I do not get full value out of as it is mainly used to organise the photos (the editing is relatively minor - I have not taken the time to understand 'levels' etc - my main adjustment has been a bit of 'cropping' + adjusting colours with iCorrect plug-in).
~ I have previously only used 'JPEG'.

I understand there is a benefit in using 'raw', so camera is currently set to 'raw + JPEG' but (i) my current version of Elements does not recognise the raw files I have generated; (ii) using the separate software from Nikon seems to be a complication I would prefer not to face.

I have tried the 'in camera' processing of the raw files to generate a JPEG and can see on the lcd that the JPEG generated can be adjusted to be an improvement over the original JPEG image.

My questions:

(i) what degree of benefit does this 'in camera' processing of 'raw' give me relative to a PC-based conversion of the 'raw' file?

(ii) If I use Elements + iCorrect to make quick adjustments to JPEG images, am I wasting my time doing in-camera conversions from raw to JPEG relative to shooting directly in JPEG?

(iii) What is the simplest way to incorporate into my routines the PC-based storeage of the raw file of any 'keepers' I may take (so that in the future I can adjust the image if/when my editing skills improve)?

Thankyou for any advice

Nikon Coolpix P7100 Sony SLT-A65
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