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04-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsteel77 Quote
What does this mean in "computer for dummies" language??


I'm finding my laptop is quickly running out of storage after I started shooting RAW format. What are some cheap alternatives for storage?

Thanks...

John
Well, basically, I've set up the equivilant of a file server with a ton of redundant storage, a small scale version of what a corporation might do. It is not cheap, however, it is convenient. Probably the cheapest form of HD storage is to buy external USB 2.0 drives, and plug them into your laptop. You can get anywhere from 100GB to 500GB fairly reasonably. Now of course you have to come up with some sort of back up strategy.

04-23-2007, 06:39 PM   #47
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Thanks Alan!!! That cleared it up a bit for me!!
04-23-2007, 09:59 PM   #48
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What is the advantage of using the DNG format over PEF

What is the advantage of using the DNG format over PEF I use photoshop camera raw 4.0 converter so what would the DNG do for me?
04-23-2007, 10:23 PM   #49
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The debate has certainly been towards using RAW all the time. I'm interested to know the pro's opinion (as opposed to me, a novice) about the argument that RAW images are less sharp, less contrasted and less brilliant (flatter colours) than their JPEG equivalents.

I've been shooting with my K100D for less than 3 months, mainly night time landscapes, and have found there to be not a great deal of difference between RAW and JPEG. What's the basic explanation for wanting RAW ahead of JPEG in terms of IMAGE QUALITY? (I get the post-production capabilities of RAW OK).

Thanks all.

04-23-2007, 11:31 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsteel77 Quote
What does this mean in "computer for dummies" language??

I'm finding my laptop is quickly running out of storage after I started shooting RAW format. What are some cheap alternatives for storage?
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive (or Redundant, opinions differ) Disks. It requires setting up multiple disks, and the information is distributed across the disks in stripe sets. Lower levels of RAID involve two disks mirroring each other, but I personally place no faith in mirroring - corrupted files can get happily mirrored across both disks as well, giving you two perfectly corrupted copies of the file. That problem can be addressed, but my feeling is if you are going to use RAID, use the higher levels.

There are various reasons for doing this, but the one that would appeal to most of us is fault tolerance at the same time you increase storage space - if one of your disks calves, the data is not lost. You replace the failed disk, and the data rebuilds itself.

There are other, cheaper ways for an amateur to get fault tolerance and storage, of course. Blu-Ray is an interesting newcomer, holding something like 50GB per writeable disk, I believe. But at the current cost for a unit and the blank disks, I don't think it is an attractive archiving medium just yet - you can buy a lot of external drives for what a Blu-Ray setup would cost, from what I can see. You can choose anything from a 250 GB external drive for around $115 these days, to 1.5 Terabytes of storage for about $560 - that's a LOT of space. I would be inclined to buy not too much more than my immediate needs - the price of storage capacity is always falling.

So the external drives take care of the storage room issue, but they don't address fault tolerance - what do you do if the drive calves or the house it's in burns down? My personal solution to that is a mixture - for my professional life I have two 500GB externals that are clones of the data drive in my work computer. One lives at home with the computer, the other is off-site in case disaster strikes at home - and it means I have my data accessible in two different places. They get synched on a reasonably regular basis. Old, old stuff that it is unlikely to be retrieved or worked on again gets archived to double layer DVD's, and I also have a regular, ongoing process of archiving my GIS spatial data to DVD's as well, so eventually the static data will also be on DVD's along with business records, correspondence, etc and whatnot.

One other thing I do. As bigger storage comes out cheaper, I sell off my old drives for a very reasonable price to whoever is looking for a deal. They get an external drive for a pretty nice price - with the understanding it is no longer under warranty. And the money from that sale reduces the cost of buying into the bigger, newer drive with a new warranty and theoretically less likely to die on me.

This is not even the beginning of a perfect system. But it is reasonably cheap and it works well for me; I expect I will continue with it as my digital photo archives build. Just take it as a suggestion, because there are many different ways to do it using varying strategies.

The big, overriding thing is... ALWAYS have a backup of your data somewhere off site. Houses do burn down, floods do happen, etc. Running out of space on my drives I can handle. Losing my data would be a disaster of immense proportions. It has never happened to me, but it happened to a colleague once while I was present. That moment of shock when he realized he'd just lost years of his work was burned into my brain, and I have gone to considerable steps since then to ensure it doesn't happen to me.
04-24-2007, 12:27 AM   #51
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To jfdavis58 -
No need to go through all the clicks and such to tell you what I have. I use the Color management tool from MS on my XP box. Display set to AdobeRGB and Printer set to AdobeRGB.
I do not use Elements unless I have too - I am sorry I bought it (v5.0 + updates) - I would never print out of it due to its nearly brain dead when doing anyting with RAW. I use PPL (set to adobeRGB color space) to convert stuff for everyday use (into jpeg). I use MS Digital Image Suite 2006 (set to AdobeRGB for display and printing). For saving for Costco printing I use LightRoom - and pick the output profile. Not difficult - not the oversaturated Reds inherent to my eye with sRGB.

Now on to better things. PDL
04-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #52
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to Rick

I have a few comments about RAID - background - I am a system administrator supporting 30 odd (out of 150) servers for a medical equipment manufacture. All of the systems I manage use RAID - either RAID 1, RAID 1+0, RAID 5 with a few machines running RAID 0. (problem children)

Of these systems there is about 14TB of direct attached storage on disks ranging from 18.5GB to 300GB per spindle.

Your comment about RAID 1 (mirroring) and file corruption. Major misconception - RAID does not "fix" or resolve file corruption - RAID provides fault tollerance to hardware failure. If you have a corrupted file on RAID 1 or RAID 5 the file is still corrupted.

RAID 0 -- spanning two or more spindles where the OS sees only one drive.
if you have three drives at 100GB each - the system sees 300GB - one spindle fails - your toast. There are utilities that will allow you to recover, but they are costly in terms of physical data recover and having your system down for long periods of time. pro - fast writes acts like a big drive - con - see the above -- no fault tollerance.

RAID 1 - mirroring - two drives - the OS sees one drive
if you have two 100GB drives the system will see only 100GB - the drives are essentially clones. One drive fails, the other keeps on trucking. Pro - fault tollerance and fast writes. con - costly and risk of having the other drive fail while the bad boy is being replaced.

RAID 1+0 - mirroring with stripping - the OS sees one drive.
you need 4 drives
drive 1 mirrored to drive 2
drive 3 mirrored to drive 4
the resultant drives 1-2 and 3-4 are stripped to make drive 5
pro - fast writes and reads just like RAID 0 and fault tollerant - you can lose two drives and still be alive. Con: costly very expensive in this case with 100GB drives you get 200GB with 400GB worth of spindles.

RAID 5 - Stripping with parity - requires 3 drives at minum.
on each drive you write data as follows: (go along with me here)
D D P
P D D
D P D where D = Data and P = parity each column is a spindle each row is a data stripe.
Note: for each colum if you lose one spindle you the system can regenerate the lost data from the parity stripe.
Pro - fault tollerant - fast reads. con: slow writes - each time a write occurs the system must calculate the lost data. Also when rebuilding the array - costly in terms of overall system performance. costly you get 200GB out of 300GB worth of spindles.
The concept can grow as you add spidles - three is just the minimum - there is RAID 6 also - two parity stripes per array - even more costly in terms of hardware and write performance - but you can lose two drives out of the array.

Another thing - RAID is not a method of making backups. RAID is fault tollerance.

I have read here and in other forums about people thinking that copying files to a seperate hard drive and storing it somewhere is a method of backing things up. The most often replaced item on the systems that I manage is hard drives (we never turn these things off - unless we have to gut something). I have had two hard drives fail on start up on a RAID 5 system with 6 drives (spent 18 hours in the Data Center fixing that little bo bo). I have had brand new hard drives arrive DOA from the vendor, I have taken hard drives out of a retired box put them on the shelf and have them fail when inserted into another computer after anywhere from 3 days to 1 year.
Interfaces change - when I started out in the computer business hard drive standard was
MFM then RLE then IDE / SCSI - now it is USB / firewire, SATA, eSATA, ISCSI, iSAS -- the interface will change - just try to buy a ISA bus controller these days - I have a 3.0GHz P4 sitting on my floor and I can not find a mother board to plug into.
Things change - you must keep up with the change ---- oh and tape s*cks.

Anyway - if you are paranoid (as I am) seriously think about a NAS (Network Attached Storage) if you get it set up right you can have relatively large amounts of data in a fault tollerant configuration. But these are not backups - and it takes a lot of DVD's to backup 1TB of images. (for < 10K USD you can get a 10TB NAS from Promise (VTRAK)) sweet.

Nobody said this was going to be easy - and who said digital is cheaper than film - how about adding in the cost of computers? Some things do need a manual.

Now back to RAW - I use it, I like it and I do not do a good enough job of backing it all up.

PDL

Last edited by PDL; 04-24-2007 at 01:10 AM. Reason: added costs to RAID 5 and mentione RAID 6
04-24-2007, 02:00 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
to Rick

I have a few comments about RAID - background - I am a system administrator supporting 30 odd (out of 150) servers for a medical equipment manufacture.

Your comment about RAID 1 (mirroring) and file corruption. Major misconception - RAID does not "fix" or resolve file corruption - RAID provides fault tollerance to hardware failure. If you have a corrupted file on RAID 1 or RAID 5 the file is still corrupted.
Ummmm.... yes. Before I moved into GIS, I was doing the CNE, CCNA, MCSE thing as well. My bread and butter was mostly Novell Small Business Suite and supporting small businesses, so I certainly wasn't dealing with (or needed) the complexity of your position. My short comments on RAID may have misled people, and thank you for addressing that.

If I gave the impression that RAID provides fault tolerance to data, I certainly didn't intend that - which I why I stressed the concept of having off-site backups of any data it would hurt to lose. What I was trying to get at is that many people seem to get the impression that a mirrored arrangement gives them TWO SEPARATE UNLINKED COPIES of their data, and therefore if one gets corrupted, then the other is good to go. How they arrive at that conclusion, I'm not sure, but there it is. Mirrored sets are a very common setup when I was working, usually sold to a small business by the local computer whizzkids as an all in one fault tolerant, backup solution. Most seem to "get it" with striped sets that if that is their only copy of the data and it gets corrupted/lost, then they are SOL. But not with mirrored sets.

Anyways, it was supposed to be just a quick and dirty comment on RAID and a warning; I think for most average folks some combination of external drives and DVD's is the best balance of minimal expense and protection for data. My personal opinion is that for most folks RAID and similar setups are not the ideal answer.

QuoteQuote:
I have read here and in other forums about people thinking that copying files to a seperate hard drive and storing it somewhere is a method of backing things up. The most often replaced item on the systems that I manage is hard drives (we never turn these things off - unless we have to gut something).
It is a method of backing it up - as long as you have THREE drives, or at the very least your main drive, an external drive, and a DVD copy. In my case, three 500GB drives was pretty cheap.

In fact, when you get right down to it, two drives will do as long as they're not physically co-located. Yes, all drives fail eventually, but the statistical probability that two drives would fail on the exact same day is pretty remote. If your "backup" drive only gets fired up once a week, once a month, etc, then sure, you're really playing with fire. And you either don't have new data very often or you're lazy in doing your backups. In my case, my external drives run pretty much every day. And there's lots of software solutions to keep incremental backups to your DVD archives as well.

It isn't the most elegant and professional setup for data security and fault tolerance, but it is relatively inexpensive and it works if you put some thought into it..

QuoteQuote:
Anyway - if you are paranoid (as I am) seriously think about a NAS (Network Attached Storage) if you get it set up right you can have relatively large amounts of data in a fault tollerant configuration. But these are not backups - and it takes a lot of DVD's to backup 1TB of images. (for < 10K USD you can get a 10TB NAS from Promise (VTRAK)) sweet.
Nah... by the time I have 1TB of data to back up, terabyte external drives are going to be at the same price point that my present 500GB setup is. For me anyways, the advances in inexpensive data storage are probably going to stay ahead of the data I am adding to my drives.

QuoteQuote:
Nobody said this was going to be easy - and who said digital is cheaper than film - how about adding in the cost of computers?
Well, I suspect not too many digital photographers had the camera before they ever bought a computer... And when I look at the price of a roll of Velvia and processing, I think digital is much cheaper, without any shadow of a doubt.

No requirement to keep every image you take, and for those you just throw out while experimenting, we're only killing electrons.

04-24-2007, 08:44 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
To jfdavis58 -
No need to go through all the clicks and such to tell you what I have. I use the Color management tool from MS on my XP box. Display set to AdobeRGB and Printer set to AdobeRGB.
I do not use Elements unless I have too - I am sorry I bought it (v5.0 + updates) - I would never print out of it due to its nearly brain dead when doing anyting with RAW. I use PPL (set to adobeRGB color space) to convert stuff for everyday use (into jpeg). I use MS Digital Image Suite 2006 (set to AdobeRGB for display and printing). For saving for Costco printing I use LightRoom - and pick the output profile. Not difficult - not the oversaturated Reds inherent to my eye with sRGB.

Now on to better things. PDL
If what you say is true then you are getting results by shear luck---I strongly suspect you really don't know what you are doing. As for posting this group of personal setting to an open forum--you are contributing to the growing level of rubbish.

AdobeRGB is not a printer or monitor profile for starters; one can only imagine what the rest means--keep up the good work!
04-24-2007, 10:19 AM   #55
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jfdavis:

The argument presented to me for using prophoto for the 16 bit RAW workflow is to maintain as much of the original data captured by the camera for as much of the workflow as possible. Whether you can see it or not is beside the point, most monitors cant display all of aRGB either, and I dont know a single pro that would advocate editing RAW in sRGB (besides ken rockwell, of course).

Also, if Lightroom uses prophoto for its initial edits, why would you not continue to work with prophoto in CS3 (or whatever) until you are ready to convert for output?
04-24-2007, 10:29 AM   #56
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The way I see it going

QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
to Rick

Anyway - if you are paranoid (as I am) seriously think about a NAS (Network Attached Storage) if you get it set up right you can have relatively large amounts of data in a fault tollerant configuration. But these are not backups - and it takes a lot of DVD's to backup 1TB of images. (for < 10K USD you can get a 10TB NAS from Promise (VTRAK)) sweet.

Nobody said this was going to be easy - and who said digital is cheaper than film - how about adding in the cost of computers? Some things do need a manual.

Now back to RAW - I use it, I like it and I do not do a good enough job of backing it all up.

PDL
BTW a good summary of the various RAID configurations.

However if you have data permanently on TWO drives, the chances of losing BOTH are minor, especially if one is kept offline except for ghosting. DVDs on the other hand, though cheap, take forever to burn and also have limited shelf life, and are even slower.

I have one main drive (on the PC), one ghost drive (backup of the PC drive) and a selective "data vault" drive (only turned on when needed and copy only files I consider critical both photos and business wise). When I leave for any spell, I leave the vault drive with a friend.

Still, I see the long term future in a different direction which is cheap, write-once-read-many solid state devices. Instead of buying a normal 2GB R/W SD card for $25, you can buy a 20GB WORM version instead. Each time you fill a card you upload it, copy the data to a HDD olr even a second set of SD cards, and then put the original SD cards in a safe somewhere. Over time, I would see the capacity of these devices growing ever larger and the cost per GB coming down to a few cents per GB, with the potential for on-card dual recording and parity striping (if you dont mind losing capacity for safety). They are so small that taking 200GB with you on holiday is no biggie.

These are already being announced, so I think it is a likely way to go.
04-24-2007, 01:56 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by option Quote
The argument presented to me for using prophoto for the 16 bit RAW workflow is to maintain as much of the original data captured by the camera for as much of the workflow as possible. Whether you can see it or not is beside the point, most monitors cant display all of aRGB either, and I dont know a single pro that would advocate editing RAW in sRGB (besides ken rockwell, of course).
Seeing it is some of the point, because otherwise you have to work exclusively from histograms and other data (and of course proof prints) -- you're flying by instrument. That's one decent reason to work in sRGB if your final output is going to be sRGB anyway.
04-24-2007, 03:25 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The debate has certainly been towards using RAW all the time. I'm interested to know the pro's opinion (as opposed to me, a novice) about the argument that RAW images are less sharp, less contrasted and less brilliant (flatter colours) than their JPEG equivalents.

I've been shooting with my K100D for less than 3 months, mainly night time landscapes, and have found there to be not a great deal of difference between RAW and JPEG. What's the basic explanation for wanting RAW ahead of JPEG in terms of IMAGE QUALITY? (I get the post-production capabilities of RAW OK).

Thanks all.
Ash,

Are you sure you have this the right way around? Some of the storm of controversey in relation to the K10D has been that reviewers don't like the latitude Pentax has given photographers to sharpen and/or brighten jpegs to their own taste. They don't like the soft and somewhat muted appearance at default settings (sometimes because they don't take the trouble to learn how to use the camera properly before making a judgement). The K10D's RAW by contrast - even on DPReview - was reckoned to be as good or better than Nikon's.

RAW gives you many more options and leaves a lot of the cooking to you. The cost is file size and effort. Jpeg is quick and cheerful - like fast food. It is pre-cooked and packaged, and once you have it in your hand your options are limited if you don't care for the way it has been cooked by the camera. RAW gives you a blizzard of options and preserves data that is lost when converted to jpeg.

Post-production is as vital a part of the digital photographic process as hand processing and printing was for film and prints - at least for getting the best out of your work. 6 x 4" prints from a minilab can look quite decent and be useful as proofs from a roll of film. If you have the same negs hand printed by a professional lab the difference is usually significant.

All of that said, jpeg will work for a lot of people, and there will be some creative people (possibly you are one of them) who will even exploit its deficiencies in a way that suprises everyone. David Bailey used 35mm on an assignment (I think) for Vogue in the early 1960s when they were demanding medium format. He simply duped his 35mm material onto medium format and presented it to them. He commented later that "it wasn't a drop in quality - it was a change in quality."

RAW (potentially) will do a lot more for your images, but if you as the photographer are happy with jpeg, who cares? It hasn't been made illegal yet.
04-25-2007, 12:56 AM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
If what you say is true then you are getting results by shear luck---I strongly suspect you really don't know what you are doing. As for posting this group of personal setting to an open forum--you are contributing to the growing level of rubbish.

AdobeRGB is not a printer or monitor profile for starters; one can only imagine what the rest means--keep up the good work!
I beg do differ - please read the following:
http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/adobergb.html
I quote "The Adobe RGB (1998) profile has been widely adopted as a working space because it provides a relatively large and balanced color gamut that can be easily repurposed for reproduction on a variety of devices."

http://www.adobe.com/digitalimag/pdfs/AdobeRGB1998.pdf
I quote Introduction "The Adobe® RGB (1998) color image encoding is defined by Adobe Systems to meet the demands for an RGB working space suited for print production."

Read the guidelines here:
ASMP: Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines

Read the following document from UPDIG:
http://www.updig.org/guidelines/UPDIG_v2_0.pdf
I quote - section from color spaces
"Photographs meant for high-end printing should be captured in a large-gamut space, such as Adobe RGB. Photographs meant for consumer-level printing or only for the web can be captured in the narrower-gamut sRGB color space."
Color space recommendations:
"f. Inkjet and dye-sub printers: Use a wide-gamut color space, such as Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB, for the source space. These printers have internal RGB-to-CMYK conversion algorithms, so they should be profiled in RGB and no secondary conversion to CMYK should be done. Use a custom profile** for the printer-paper combination in the print space to get the best quality and the best match to a profiled monitor."
Work flow footnote:
"RGB master files are Photoshop (.PSD) or TIFF files, optimized in a wide-gamut color space (such as Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB), at either at the digital camera’s native file size or interpolated to a larger size (consistent with any possible future use) by a RAW file conversion program. They should be left unsharpened, or be sharpened only on a removable layer, since resizing for future uses is likely. Master files should be archived along with the RAW files for a project. "

So it appears that I do not know what I am doing - but I think there are some people who would agree that I am doing OK with my setup. It is possible to go from AdobeRGB to sRGB - but once you have gone down to sRGB you can not go back - the information is lost. (Hey --- another reason I shoot RAW - all that information is still there --- just like a negative - whoda thunk)

Oh and by the way - here is the location of the control panel tool from MS for system wide color management.
Better color management for Windows XP
If you have XP - it is a free download - there are some other goodies there too. This little tool allows you to set the ICC profiles for displays, printers and scanners - no more clicking here, there and everywhere.

Your humble servant – PDL
04-25-2007, 01:05 AM   #60
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Now back to RAW - I found this article on the Adobe site - presents compelling reasons to work with RAW files.

Adobe - Design Center : Why shoot raw?

Remember - it is all about the information, the more information you have -- the more subtle the work becomes.

Your most humble of servants (just watch your back) --- PDL
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