Help getting started with RAW

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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pannayar
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Help getting started with RAW
Jan 12, 2013

I have never done RAW before, but am very eager to enter that department. Looked for various online starting tips... don't know where exactly to start. I do not have photoshop with me. I have a few canon cameras that can shoot RAW (with CHDK). Picasa (and Irfanview) seems to be able to open them. The CHDK menu also has a radio button for "DNG". Do I need that?

Also own a Panasonic LX7 and E-PL1 that can shoot RAW. Should I install the software that came with them (Silkypix?) to develop RAW?

One of my motivations to try RAW is to try and bring out the dynamic range in the images. I have been doing bracketing and exposure blending with gimp / photomatix and am generally happy with the results. I am wondering if doing RAW would mean I do not have to resort to bracketing etc, but do it all in one shot (assuming the camera has a good dynamic range)...

Feels like a freshman in college. Thanks for any help.

ps: GIMP was not able to open the canon's .CRW file, saying unrecognized format.  Was a bit surprising to me since I thought GIMP is pretty powerful...

Olympus PEN E-PL1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7
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