RAW files display

Started Sep 12, 2011 | Discussions thread
William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,676
Re: RAW files display

Andre W wrote:

That said - you do know (?) - the thumbnail you view an the LCD, is NOT the RAW image - it's a Jpeg, processed in camera according to the settings you shot at. So, what you see on the LCD, will not necessarily be same when opened in a RAW converter - the RAW file is still unprocessed, while the Jpeg is.

I think Andre has the right answer. In fact, it is an old and quite common complaint from people who switch from shopping jpeg to shooting raw only that the raw files look "washed out" or blah. That's precisely because, as Andre says, the jpegs you get from the camera have been processed, while your raw file has not. We'll, that's not exactly right. In order for your computer to display the raw file, SOME "processing" must be done — the image has to be rendered, the software has to make a guess about color balance, etc. But good software generally does the minimum possible.

If you work with good software like Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture, it's easy to make quick adjustments to imported raw files. In Lightroom I find that something as simple as boosting the Clarity often does wonders. You can even create your own preset to apply the same adjustments to all imported photos, although I don't do that. I think it defeats the point of shooting raw, which is to have the greatest number of options in post.

In short, I suggest that you embrace this blah starting image and learn how to have fun turning it into a masterpiece.

Remember also, you can shoot jpeg + raw and only mess with the raw images when you really feel the need to.

Good luck,


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