Started Feb 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
GreenMountainGirl Contributing Member • Posts: 684
Re: RAW, Settings, and Soup

Leonard Migliore wrote:

A RAW file is not an image. It is a report of the voltages on each photosite on your sensor. Some of these photosites have red filters on them, some have green filters and some have blue filters. So now you need some software that compares adjacent photosites, knows what filters they were looking through and decides what color to make each pixel as a function of the voltages on the surrounding photosites. As you might expect, different software makes different decisions about this. Your camera is willing to make a JPG from the RAW file, and Adobe ACR will make a different JPG from the same RAW file.

Thanks for the comments.  I understand that the RAW file is not an image in itself.  But still have some confusion about what I am actually seeing.  It seems as though it doesn't truly matter which program I use, each will interpret the data.  Then it is up to me to decide how I want to change it from what the program chose.

 All that counts is what rules you use to make a JPG from the RAW data.

So explain about the rules for making a JPEG from RAW.  I use the editing functions of the program to come up with an effect that I find pleasing, but would really like to get better so that I can make the images come closer to outstanding!

RAW files are generally not compressed, although some cameras (including my D300) do have an option to compress the RAW file.

I do not compress my RAW files.  Not even sure if my D7000 has such an option...

Written by Anandasim:

The raw image is like the components of a soup -  AND a cooking instruction. The cooking instruction is created by the JPEG settings in the camera.

Interesting analogy!  It works for me.

A third party program like Lightroom does not have the knowledge to read ALL the cooking instructions, just some of them. Also Lightroom does not have the same calculation engine as the Canon / Nikon / Olympus camera so when it calculates, it is different.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing?  In the end, once editing has been done, we get our final product.  Hopefully one we like.  So this leaves the question of what is the best way to "cook" my soup?  I know a lot of people use add-on programs in addition to their basic choice.  This probably won't work for me now, because I am still learning to use the basic programs.  Just doing the best I can with what I've got!

How much difference will understanding the technical aspect of RAW make?  I hear things about people editing pixels in their images (I think that is in the Adobe CS programs), which sounds pretty tedious.  Can see how it would be important for professionals.

I do appreciate the comments, and apologize for being a bit dense about understanding them at times.  Guess that's why I fit in the "beginner's" forum!

 GreenMountainGirl's gear list:GreenMountainGirl's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM +3 more
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