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07-08-2010, 09:30 AM   #1
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How to save stitched RAW files to a RAW file?

I have several RAW files (PEF) from K20D that I want to stitch together.
Here what I did:
1) Import to LR 2.7 and converted as DNG
2) Open PS CS3 Extended>File>Automate>Photomerge
3) Open & select all DNG files to merge together.
4)...
Now, here is the problem. How can I save the merged photos into RAW file, for ex: DNG.
I couldn't find it anywhere so ended up with saving it as a TIFF file.
There is an option to save as Photoshop RAW, but is it the same as DNG/PEF?
If possible, I want to keep the merged/stitched photos as DNG/PEF so I can PP it better with LR 2.7
Please enlighten me and thanks in advance.

07-08-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
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You can't.
Save it as either a tiff or PSD.
A Photoshop RAW is not the same as a camera raw file. Whether it edits the same or not, I cannot say.
Why do you want to process the finished product in Lightroom anyway? By the time you have made the files into a pano you should have everything done except for spotting.
07-08-2010, 11:20 AM   #3
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RAW is literally that - the RAW data straight from the camera. The moment you do anything to it with any program, it is no longer RAW, and cannot be saved as RAW. That's like asking how you can bake a cake from a prepackaged mix and then put it back in the box so you can bake it again.
07-08-2010, 12:12 PM   #4
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The question seems to be, or should be, how can you save lossless. Saving as tiff will work. As was already pointed out, if you are using RAW then to get the most benefit you would want to process all the shots the same way. After that would be the ideal time to merge.

However, if you have done the preliminary amount of conversion and made a merged file you can always take it back in to Lightroom for final or additional PP as a tiff.

There's really no harm in doing it either way except that you need to extract the value added capability of RAW (Correct WB for example) before you merge and save as something else.

07-09-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thank you guys for confirming this.
I am kind of new with Photoshop so I'm not sure. I thought it's better to ask those who are expert in PS just in case I overlook some great features in PS.

Well, I did try my best to PP in LR first before merging. But after merging, I found some things that I want to change using LR since it's easier than using PS (again, I'm more familiar with LR than PS).
So it's good to know that LR can work well with TIFF file.
Does anybody know what are the advantage & disadvantage comparing between DNG file vs TIFF file?

Thanks to Lowspark86 for pointing out the WB disadvantage of TIFF file.
07-09-2010, 01:11 AM   #6
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White balance isn't a disadvantage of the tiff format. What I am passing along is the advice that you need to take advantage of the RAW format before merging and saving as a new file type. If you aren't going to choose a white balance, recover blown highlights, adjust exposure more than 1 stop or do something else that "works better in RAW" then it doesn't matter.

Some good news about the process is that if you merge and find you want to change something you could easily go back to the DNG set, update adjustments, and remerge. Shouldn't be a problem if you are using the automation in photomerge.
You could also just take a stitched tiff or jpeg and do minor adjustments in PS, ACR, or Lightroom. Depending on your end use of the photograph its very likely that there will be no difference.

Raw has its uses but it isn't the universal lossless graphic format. I wouldn't be worried about losing quality or missing out on a PP opportunity because the format changed. Just be sure you extract what you need before merging. If not, go back and try again. If it is close you can adjust and finish however you see fit and be done with it.
07-09-2010, 10:36 AM   #7
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DNG is raw, TIFF is not - see my post above for more on the difference.
07-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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While you can't save as a RAW file, you can use all the RAW tools on a flat TIFF or a JPEG. Simply open the file in Lightroom and edit. That won't work with images saved in layers.

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