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06-14-2011, 11:19 AM   #1
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Using RAW

Hi, Ive been using my camera for nearly a year now with Jpeg setting, I'm now wanting to try RAW has anyone got any tips? I will be using Photoshop cs3. Cheers.

06-14-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Use Adobe Lightroom to organise and post process your photos. Photoshop is only for very advanced processing / use of plugins. Otherwise Adobe Lightroom is more than enough.

It also support uploading to Facebook, Flickr and SmugMug.
06-14-2011, 11:48 AM   #3
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I also use CS3, and you need to shoot DNG instead of PEF. CS3 does not support PEF from newer camera's.
06-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #4
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Raw enables the ability to change the white balance, and the ability to work within 16-bit color space (jpeg is 8-bit color).

06-14-2011, 12:16 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fourfivesix Quote
Hi, Ive been using my camera for nearly a year now with Jpeg setting, I'm now wanting to try RAW has anyone got any tips? I will be using Photoshop cs3. Cheers.
If you sharpen an image, do it last.
06-14-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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Shoot JPEG+DNG at the same time.

Then do your adjustments on the RAW picture.

When you are done, see if it is better than the JPEG.

-If they are: great.

-If they are not: ask yourself whether have the time/energy/need to learn better PP techniques.

I went through this process. I really don't have the time to fool with RAW images and even when I do I don't have the skills yet to do a good enough job with the files to make it significantly better than the JPEG...
06-14-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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Experiment with the sliders on ACR and then get savvy with specific tools that work to make your images pop the way you like it, e.g. levels, curves, shadow/highlight, selective color, etc. Then learn about layers and masks, which expands your abilities to manipulate your results further.

Take things one step at a time, and you'll see a gradual improvement in your results and your efficiency at post processing.
06-15-2011, 06:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
Shoot JPEG+DNG at the same time.

Then do your adjustments on the RAW picture.

When you are done, see if it is better than the JPEG.

-If they are: great.

-If they are not: ask yourself whether have the time/energy/need to learn better PP techniques.

I went through this process. I really don't have the time to fool with RAW images and even when I do I don't have the skills yet to do a good enough job with the files to make it significantly better than the JPEG...
You know, this is a really good way of putting it -
wish I had thought of this.

This is exactly the way to do things -
use the respective "best" processing efforts -
and see for oneself whether RAW shows a worthwhile advantage over the paired JPG.

Of course bear in mind there may be a learning curve with RAW processors -
so revisit this occasionally.

With PS cs3 the RAW processor used is actually ACR - Adobe Camera RAW -
the last version of ACR that will work with Photoshop CS3 is version 4.6
(supports PEF natively up to the Pentax K2000 (K-m)) - if you have a Pentax dSLR more recent than the K2000 - this means the previous advice to shoot DNG is correct,

A very good processor that tend to get overlooked is the supplied Pentax DCU (Digital Camera Utility) which is based on SilkyPix -
it is the only RAW processor that I know which can match the paired JPG relatively easily - it also can reproduce the in-camera settings - as it actually understands the camera
- since it's Free anyway - it's well worth trying out.

06-15-2011, 07:37 AM   #9
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Adobe Camera Raw is also supplied with Photoshop Elements. I make all of my exposure and white balance corrections in ACR, then curves adjustments and any sharpening in PSE8.

There are some defaults in ACR you'll want to change, notably noise reduction and sharpening. Turn them off for now.

It really is a powerful tool, I can eke out almost two stops of dynamic range compared to the jpg output of the K200D.
06-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
Adobe Camera Raw is also supplied with Photoshop Elements.
This is right - the ACR version compatibility for PS Elements from Adobe.com

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 3.0 customers is Camera Raw 3.6.

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 4.0 (Windows) is Camera Raw 3.7.

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 5.0 (Windows) is Camera Raw 4.5.

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 6.0 (Windows) is Camera Raw 5.6.

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 7.0 (Windows) is Camera Raw 5.6.

The latest version of the Camera Raw plug-in available for Photoshop Elements 8.0 (Windows) is Camera Raw 6.2.

ACR 5.6 supports up to the Pentax K-x (and K-7)

For the K-r and K-5 one needs ACR 6.4(.1) which is only compatible with the latest PS Elements 9.

Even if one shoots DNG - it is still worthwhile using a version of ACR that actually supports the camera natively - as sometimes some of the more specialized features needs understanding by the RAW processor (like Highlight or shadow corrections).

PS Elements may be a cheaper way to use a later version of ACR -
older versions are often much cheaper than the current version.
06-15-2011, 10:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
Shoot JPEG+DNG at the same time.

Then do your adjustments on the RAW picture.

When you are done, see if it is better than the JPEG.

-If they are: great.

-If they are not: ask yourself whether have the time/energy/need to learn better PP techniques.

I went through this process. I really don't have the time to fool with RAW images and even when I do I don't have the skills yet to do a good enough job with the files to make it significantly better than the JPEG...
You are right, but there is another reason to shoot RAW. When opening an JPEG and doing some adjustments you can screw it up. No problem, just start again, except if you accidentally saved it without renaiming. You do not have that problem with RAW, it will always ask to be saved as TIFF or JPEG. So it is saver
06-15-2011, 11:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fourfivesix Quote
Hi, Ive been using my camera for nearly a year now with Jpeg setting, I'm now wanting to try RAW has anyone got any tips? I will be using Photoshop cs3. Cheers.
I think it helps if you have objectives set in terms of what you want to accomplish. However, if you're looking to get your feet wet, then I guess you get the benefit of free range and experimentation.

Having said that, based on what you've posted, I'd ask if you've considered getting around the ACR limitations and costs associated with your older software with one of the free RAW developers alternatives out there?
which would free you of the limitations of the earlier software and still allow you to use CS3. One candidate could be "Raw Therapee" which has been shown to be superior to Adobe Camera Raw on a number of fronts.

Additionally, I'd agree with the JPG/DNG approach as well. This is a great way to get a head-start on the direction needed to take things up to a suitable level. Which would give you a jump start on the baseline and allow you to move into enhanced output sooner than on your own.

In closing, I'd say there are no doubts on the RAW advantage and the benefits it will bring in extracting all the performance a camera sensors has to offer. And though tapping into this power can often involve a learning curve I think it's worth saying that most people who undergo this follow-up by claiming it was the best experience they could ever undergo in digital photography.

Hope this helps.
06-15-2011, 11:15 AM   #13
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I've been shooting JPG till now and only recently tried shooting DNG + JPG.

Using Lightroom I find working with the RAW it slows things down significantly on my computer.

I may have to get a faster PC before I can fully transition. I have not had an issue with doing the post processing I want on the JPG format till now.

Since most photogs recommend using RAW I'm sure at some point it will click with me and I will understand why, just not there yet since I am not seeing any advantage personally.

(I'm a newbie so take it for what it's worth.)
06-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #14
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I'm wondering if the slowdown issue I'm having is also because I am importing both formats automatically.
It appears LR3 does some sort of blending as it shows what looks like the camera processed JPG version for an instant, then reverts to the bland looking RAW file almost immediately thereafter.
Hmmm...
06-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I'm wondering if the slowdown issue I'm having is also because I am importing both formats automatically.

For starters, you are working with larger files. I've notice a little slow down going from K20D size to K-5 size files.

If you do any type of processing with jpgs, even just rotating the horizon or minor cropping, there is not much extra time needed to make adjustments to raw files. And if you never do anything to jpgs at all, I'm amazed :-)
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