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08-01-2010, 04:02 PM   #1
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Newbie questions about saving RAW files

I just started shooting RAW on my K-x and am using DCU4 (latest update). I have a pretty good understanding of what DCU4 and other converters can do, but I am unclear about what to do when I have finished adjusting the RAW files. I will create a JPG of the adjusted RAW file, but should I save the unaltered RAW files and save another copy of the new adjusted RAW file, resulting in two RAW files? Or should I only save the adjusted RAW file?
Also, I have an old version 6.0 of Photoshop that I like to use on JPG images. Should I further adjust files in Photoshop using the newly created JPG file or using the adjusted RAW file?
Thanks in advance for your help.

08-01-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
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I save only to jpg after making my adjustments and leave the one RAW file as is. Not two. You really don't need two RAW files. And you should be adjusting the RAW file, not the jpg because each time you resave a jpg you lose pixels. If you want you can also what I do and that is make adjustments, then save the RAW file, in PS, using the Save As, and save it as TIFF. This way you can make as many adjustments as you want without loosing data.
08-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #3
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I agree generally with photolady.

I use PDCU to PP my RAW files. When I have a RAW file, I export the PP output in a JPEG file, and keep the RAW file, if I think that I might need to PP again the file.

If I want to save/store the PP paramters, I save the parameters in a PDCU parameter file: File/Save parameter. To restore the Parameters, File/Open Parameter File. If the parameters are very specific, it is good practice to give a meaningful name, possibly linked with a specfic photo filename if relevant.
08-01-2010, 08:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by lectrolink Quote
I have a pretty good understanding of what DCU4 and other converters can do, but I am unclear about what to do when I have finished adjusting the RAW files. I will create a JPG of the adjusted RAW file, but should I save the unaltered RAW files and save another copy of the new adjusted RAW file, resulting in two RAW files? Or should I only save the adjusted RAW file?
No such thing. RAW files are never ever saved. You can save the adjustments themselves, but you can't save the modified RAW file - that's a contradiction in terms. More mdoern programs like Lightroom, Photoshop/ACR, Aperture, ACDSee Pro, and Bibble always save adjustments automatically when you're done with an image, and they automatically reapply those adjustments every time you revisit the image; they also allow you to copy settings from image to image and do lots and lots of very cool things. But I believe DCU4 at least allows you to save and load your adjustments manually.

QuoteQuote:
Also, I have an old version 6.0 of Photoshop that I like to use on JPG images. Should I further adjust files in Photoshop using the newly created JPG file or using the adjusted RAW file?
If your version of Photoshop works with your camera's RAW files at all, you would be best off working directly from those, but Photoshop won't understand the adjustments made by DCU4 or any other program. Basically, no program understands another's adjustments.

I'd suggest reading up more on how RAW works.

08-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No such thing. RAW files are never ever saved. You can save the adjustments themselves, but you can't save the modified RAW file - that's a contradiction in terms.
well, if you are using DNG then Adobe will allow you to modify the raw file
08-02-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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True; I should have said the RAW *data* is never saved. Many programs, Adobe products included, will indeed store their settings within the DNG file. But most do so automatically - no separate "save" step required or indeed possible. And in no case is the adjusted image data ever saved in RAW format, DNG or otherwise.
08-02-2010, 09:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No such thing. RAW files are never ever saved. You can save the adjustments themselves, but you can't save the modified RAW file - that's a contradiction in terms. More mdoern programs like Lightroom, Photoshop/ACR, Aperture, ACDSee Pro, and Bibble always save adjustments automatically when you're done with an image, and they automatically reapply those adjustments every time you revisit the image; they also allow you to copy settings from image to image and do lots and lots of very cool things. But I believe DCU4 at least allows you to save and load your adjustments manually.



If your version of Photoshop works with your camera's RAW files at all, you would be best off working directly from those, but Photoshop won't understand the adjustments made by DCU4 or any other program. Basically, no program understands another's adjustments.

I'd suggest reading up more on how RAW works.
I have a related question to the original poster. By the way - that was a great explanation of what happens when you work on a RAW file that I didn't get from anything I'd read.

I can't really afford CS right now so I'm using GIMP with UFRAW (ufraw.sourceforge.net). Any experience with it as a tool? Is there a better free tool?
08-03-2010, 12:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
True; I should have said the RAW *data* is never saved. Many programs, Adobe products included, will indeed store their settings within the DNG file. But most do so automatically - no separate "save" step required or indeed possible. And in no case is the adjusted image data ever saved in RAW format, DNG or otherwise.
To add to Marc's comment - have a look at your RAW software's handling of the RAW files in the programme's Preferences... it'll ask whether .xmp sidecars or a RAW database should be used to store data on settings put on the RAW file.

The RAW file indeed stays as is and is not modified - the settings we change on the software are saved in separate files, which are accessed each time we open the RAW files by the software.

So just the one RAW file archived suffices - if you want to save the settings you put on the RAW file, then the .xmp sidecar or RAW database file should be included in the archived folder with the RAW file.

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