Digital Photography

Sunday, April 30, 2006

What is raw?

When you shoot in tif or jpg - your camera processes your image and it comes out a picture. You can then tweak and play with the picture but there are limits to what you can tweak and how much you can tweak.

When you shoot raw the camera does no processing - the raw data goes to your computer. You then need a raw converter to process this raw data, it isn't a picture yet - it hasn't been told what exposure, saturation - etc to apply to this data. When you open in the converter, auto settings determined by the type of camera that took the picture bring up a picture but nothing is set - it needs processing or decisions made on the exposure, saturation etc. What was done by the camera in jpg now has to be done by the operater of the conversion software. Once the decisions are made the data is then saved as an image file - jpg or tif.

The raw data is easier to tweak and gives more range for tweaking - but if you took a bad, out of focus picture even raw won't make it a keeper. If you took a good or great photo, raw can give it just a bit more to make it even better.

Raw also captures way more data that can be processed into a jpg - there is 8 bit - 16 bit - and more bits and channels of color - which means raw can deliever way more colors as the bits go up. So for color prints raw gives exciting options 8 bit jpg can't. Raw is all about options - and CONTROL.

Kind of like going from an 8 crayon box to a 48 crayon box.


  • At 4:58 PM, Blogger daniel said…

    Very informative blog. I found everything I needed here. I also have some good resources . Great content!

  • At 9:11 AM, Blogger Deanna said…

    thanx Nancy... good topic of only if it didnt suck up so much room on the CF cards!


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