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04-16-2013, 06:39 AM   #1
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Raw image files

Hi I have just done a beginner photography course and the instructor gave me some great advice, one part was to take photos in RAW format especially if I want to touch them up a bit, well I have done this but I cannot open these pics, I mean I can see them on the camera, just not on my computer. Can anyone suggest a program to down load or something else I can do?? cheers from OZ!

04-16-2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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IrfanView - Official Homepage - one of the most popular viewers worldwide

works great. Get the plugins.
04-16-2013, 07:18 AM   #3
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FastStone Image Viewer, Screen Capture, Photo Resizer ...
04-16-2013, 07:46 AM   #4
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Use the Pentax software, or SilkyPix that is provided with the body to open Raw files. If you can grab lightroom, Photoshop, aperture (for mac), etc ... you'll be able to open the file.

04-16-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
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If you just want to open the file, Irfanview with plugins works. If you use windows (and you selected DNG as the RAW format) there is a codec that will allow them to be viewed here: Adobe - DNG Codec : For Windows

However, if all you want to do is look at them then you are much better off shooting in jpeg regardless of what your teacher says. RAW is fine and has lots of advantages but it also carries a lot of overhead in that you need to process all of your images before you can do anything with them. Search on "RAW workflow" to get an idea of what that entails. Briefly though you need software that can import the RAWs process them to suit and then export them back out in jpeg so they can shared and viewed. Personally I think your teacher did a beginners class a disservice by suggesting you go RAW. He is not wrong, and I greatly prefer RAW but for a beginner I'm not sure it is the best path.

If you really want to use a RAW workflow then get a copy of Lightroom, there is usually a free trial, and learn to use it. There is a learning curve but it is worth the time spent if you are serious. One huge advantage of Lightroom is that it also provides an organized system for archiving and finding your images in the future. This may seem unimportant at the start but over years an image library becomes unmanageable unless it is organized. I keep about 8,000 images per year cobined work and family so it is a necessity for me.
04-16-2013, 08:22 AM   #6
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I second Faststone, it's free and works great. Corel Aftershot Pro is also very good, not free but much cheaper than Lightroom, Photoshop,etc.
04-16-2013, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Raw files aren't an image format, but quite literally a raw dump of the data from the sensor. The camera takes that data and calculates a jpg image from it. What it then displays isn't the raw file either, but the generated jpg. It then either discards the raw and keeps the jpg, or keeps the raw and embeds the jpg into it's EXIF data.

So no wonder you can't view the 'raw pics' on your computer: They aren't pics. You first have to do what the camera did, convert the raw into an image file. Some viewers, however (IrfanView has been named) can extract the jpeg your camera wrote into the file and display that. Thus you have an easy way of quickly viewing your files, but remember, you're not seeing the raw, your seeing the embedded jpg.

Software for conversion has already been suggested, for an excellent free alternative there is RawTherapee or (if you're on Linux) Darktable.


Shooting raw, as has been mentioned, creates a lot of overhead, because you have to convert every file yourself. A well organised workflow is essential, so I think I agree with jatrax, stick with jpeg and get comfortable with image manipulation first. Most of the time the jpegs will be quite enough.
If you want to have the option of raw without the necessity of conversion, I suggest you shoot both raw and jpeg (your camera can do that, and memory is cheap) or get a program that can extract the jpeg your camera put in the raw file for you (ExifTool on Linux can do that. Sorry, can't help with Win or MacOS. I assume any program that can show you the image can also extract and save it). Then you can use the raw with one of the suggested editors only when you want to.
04-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lcts Quote
get a program that can extract the jpeg your camera put in the raw file for you (ExifTool on Linux can do that. Sorry, can't help with Win or MacOS. I assume any program that can show you the image can also extract and save it).
This works, just keep in mind the jpeg you are extracting is fairly low resolution, not what you would get by processing the RAW. But it does allow you to view the image and at least decide if it is a keeper or not.

04-16-2013, 09:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
This works, just keep in mind the jpeg you are extracting is fairly low resolution.
Depends on the camera and file format. Pentax (at least the K5 II) stores a full res, 1600x whatever and 434x whatever in the EXIF if you use .PEF as format, but only the two smaller ones when using DNG. Nikon stores only the full res and smallest version, Canon at least on its compacts stores the lower two resolutions. This is probably so that the camera can offer different zoom levels when reviewing images, so I'd guess that a camera that can review at 100% stores a full resolution image.

There are three different places in the EXIF where jpgs are stored (I'll look them up when I get home), but camera makes use them differently.
04-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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Lots of answers here and not to kick off a debate on raw vs JPEG, but here is what you are dealing with.

As people have stated RAW is the image data fit out of the camera. It has , depending on the body 12-14 bits of color depth, as opposed to 8 of JPEG. What does that mean exactly,
- with JPEG there are 2^8 or 256 individual steps of each of the three primary colors, plus black
- with raw ther are 2^12 to 2^14 I individual steps or between 4096 to 16364 individual steps of each color plus black.
In theory, not counting noise, or slight errors pixel to pixel, there are a lot finer steps between changes I colors and tones.

This can help if you want to radically expand one zone to change the detail in the shadows. If you do too much of this in JPEG you will see bands of colors

Raw also helps if you completely low the exposure due to the greater data.

BUT. If you nail a JPEG shot and don t Ned to do much processing, JPEG can work just fine. There are two schools of thought on this, one is shoot raw because you never know what you might do or need in processing, and it allows you to partially recover from your mistakes, or Shoot JPEG and take the time to learn how to get the most out of the shots

Take your pick
04-16-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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Just to quickly complete what I said about extracting embedded jpegs:
I verified it, .PEF files contain a full resolution jpeg generated by the camera. If you store your raws as .PEF, and if you plan on doing image editing that benefits from raw (see Lowell Goudge's post), then you can in principle shoot only raw and simply process raw or extract embedded as needed. I'd still stick with jpeg, for now, if I were you.


For the interested:
What is stored where:

Nikon (.NEF) has full resolution in JpgFromRaw and medium resolution in PreviewImage.
Canon (.CR2) has medium resolution in PreviewImage and small resolution in ThumbnailImage.
Pentax (.DNG) has medium resoltion in PreviewImage.
Pentax (.PEF) has full, medium and small resolution in JpgFromRaw, PreviewImage and ThumbnailImage, respectively. Pentax wins!

Resolutions are probably camera dependent, but here were 1600x1200 (CR2), 640x480 (DNG/PEF), 570x375 (NEF) for medium. Small images were 160x120.Tested with a Nikon D7000, a Canon Powershot S100 and a Pentax K-5 II.


For the extremely interested:
ExifTool is available for Linux, Win and MacOS. It's commandline, so you'll need a terminal / cmd.exe.

Code:
exiftool -b -<exiftag> -w <outfile>.jpg <infile>
will extract the jpeg indicated by <exiftag> (JpgFromRaw etc.) embedded into rawfile <infile> (e.g. IMGP0001.PEF) and save it as <outfile>.jpg. (%f .jpg will result in IMGP0001.jpg - in my example)
04-16-2013, 07:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lcts Quote
Pentax (.DNG) has medium resoltion in PreviewImage. Pentax (.PEF) has full, medium and small resolution in JpgFromRaw, PreviewImage and ThumbnailImage, respectively. Pentax wins!
So the .PEF has the full 12mp or 16mp image in jpeg? (4288 x 2848 on the k-5) I did not know that. But I only shoot in DNG and any time I looked it was just a preview image. I wonder if you can select what size image is saved in the .PEF? Might be able to reduce the file size significantly by eliminating the large jpeg.
04-17-2013, 02:23 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
So the .PEF has the full 12mp or 16mp image in jpeg? (4288 x 2848 on the k-5)
Yes.

I found no option to change anything beyond file format of the RAW in my K5II. Once they're on your computer you can use ExifTool to strip the full res jpg (or all of them, if you want to minimize size and don't view them outside your RAW converter). The DNG on it's own should be fine though, a 640x480 image consumes only some kB. I don't know if there are any other relevant differences between the formats, though. I also don't know to what end Pentax gives you the PEF at all. Why offer a proprietary format if you already offer a standard one?

I shoot .PEF so that I have the full jpeg if I want to have something to quickly give to people, but I remove all jpegs once I have converted them (It's easy to script that if you don't want to do it by hand).
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