Digital Shooting: RAW or JPEG

Feb 1st, 2006, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 148
PredBio: forgot to ask where this next trip takes you?

Kavey: Great info, as always. Thanks!
ddgattina is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:37 AM
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The URL is really long so instead, enter "Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer" into Google and you'll find the page very easily. It's on the site.

Yes it works with Canon 20D RAW files.

BTW if you decide to use Adobe Raw Convertor in conjunction with Photoshop CS (to convert your RAW files) you must make sure you download the latest version of the Adobe Raw Convertor plugin. Older versions handle 10D RAW files but not 20D ones.

To do this:

1. In C:/ Program Files/ Adobe/ Photoshop CS/ Plug-Ins/ File Formats rename CameraRaw.8BI to OldCameraRaw.8BI
2. Go to
3. Click on Photoshop Windows under Products list
4. Then on latest version Camera Raw (update only, not with Chinese etc)
5. Click on orange Download button at top left of screen
6. Click on orange Download in next screen
7. Save to desktop
8. Unzip
9. Copy CameraRaw.8bi file into C:/ Program Files/ Adobe/ Photoshop CS/ Plug-Ins/ File Formats
Kavey is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159
Nice summary Kavey.

I usually shoot in RAW and then batch process them to JPEG in Nikon Capture, only going back to the RAW if the shot requires serious editing. Photoshop these days allows you to do so much that it is rare I really have to go back to the RAW file, but it is particularly useful for WB issues.

I also thought that the JPEG compression algorithm is only applied to edited parts of an image. In other words, if you open up a JPEG image in PS and save it without having done anything to it, the newly saved image will be (nearly) identical to the original. This is if you use "save." Applying the "Save As" command will make your images visibly changed after a few times.

Whichever process you follow. JPEG or RAW, make sure to save your originals in a safe place, so that you can always start over.
lessthanzero is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 300
Not sure if this will be helpful to anyone here, but I did find a PSP viewer for my client (freeware):

If anyone uses Paintshop Pro...
Here’s the link:
jweis is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for all the additional info on this thread.

ddgattina: That's a great tip to shoot the lodges in jpeg as I'm sure I won't care to ever edit those. I will be going to Madikwe and then to Deception Valley Lodge, Kwando Kwara, and Kwando Lebala in March.

lessthanzero: I really like the sound of that approach - shoot in RAW and batch them to JPEGs for immediate use and then I can spend the time on the few images that really intrigue me as I don't think I can find time to fine tune every picture.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159

You will probably also find it useful to batch edit pics in Photoshop. If a lot of pictures are taken in the same setting, chances are they will benefit form the same edits. Luckily, it is very easy to set up PS to apply a set of changes to a whole folder. (For instace you could tell it to open every image in a folder, apply auto levels, +8 contrast and 180/0.5 USM, and then save the picutre.)

Sure, you will lose something in doing it this way, but if you have 500+ pics, you will quickly see the usefulness.

Myself I haven't managed to get this streamlined, but I have created actions of common treatments in PS, so that I only make one click to adjust several things in a picture.
lessthanzero is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Yes, batch processing does make life a bit quicker but not always as massively so as people initially expect.

From above:

Although you can batch convert those taken with the same settings at the same time in same light etc. you'll need to work out from scratch the best settings for each different set. It takes a long while compared to a quick crop and curves adjustment on JPEGs.

In most cases, my "sets" run to maybe 10 images before something has changed - focal length, light and shade, shutter speed and aperture... as soon as there's any significant change the settings I've worked out in the RAW convertor are no longer of use.

What I'll do is open the first one of the set in ARC and work out what settings to apply in the conversion. I'll then use the Browser/ Bridge in CS to apply those ARC settings to the other matching files. Then I'll set them all to convert into PSD in one go. Once that set is done if I have another set that's similar but not quite the same, I'll open the first one up, apply the settings from the previous set, adjust them slightly to correct them and then carry on.

Once in Photoshop one can also create actions to speed things up. A Photoshop Action is just like a macro in Excel or Word - you record a series of actions as you perform them on one image and can then run these actions in one easy step on subsequent images. I have an action to save the converted file as a TIFF, another to save as JPEG and various others. Any action can be applied to many images at once using batch processing.

Because I don't use things like auto levels or auto colour balance - finding I get much much better results working manually, I don't include these in actions. Actually, these are things I prefer to corret in the RAW file where I still have lots more data to play with than once I've converted the file into whichever file format I've chosen.

BTW On a separate point: In the RAW converter you have the choice to convert the file out as an 8 bit colour depth or 16 bit colour depth file. If you intend to do much levels/ curves/ contrast work in Photoshop it's worth converting as 16 bit and then dropping down to 8 bit once finished. If you are able to do most of your work in the RAW converter and need to do very little in Photoshop, then you might as well convert straight into 8 bit. I don't bother to keep files as 16 bit since file sizes are just too large for no visible gain (in the sizes I print at). TIFF supports 8 and 16 bit colour depth, JPEG only supports 8 bit.
Kavey is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 03:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159
Agreed. I too try to stay away from too much auto levels. However, shft+ctrl+L is a quick way to get a suggestion from PS. Some of the time it is dead on, the rest it is an easy ctrl+z to go back. However, including it in an action, particularly in the middle, could be a bit of a pain, since it is often not right.

For manual Levels treatment I typically just go in and find the edges of my histogram with the sliders.

Another nifty thing about CS is that you can now undo several steps with Ctrl+Alt+Z. Previously you could only undo the last thing you did which was a pain.
lessthanzero is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:37 AM
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I wish I was in London because I think I'm going to want a class to speed up my learning curve.

Thanks for all the tips!
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:31 AM
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Lessthanzero, even in older versions you can use the History palette to undo multiple steps, though not beyond a certain point...
Kavey is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:51 AM
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PB Fly to London a day or two early and we'll fit you in! A small investment in return for faster and improved photo processing! Heh heh, I'm just kidding...
Kavey is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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You are right. Since I am paying myself, I skipped past a few versions.

thanks for all of your isnights in these issues btw. Most helpful for people like me who dabble.
lessthanzero is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Yes me too... I'm self-employed! One doesn't really consider the true cost of business software until one has to pay for it all oneself!!!

We went from PS 6 to CS and then, because we bought CS only weeks before CS2 was released, I spoke to Adobe who agreed to upgrade me to CS2 without charge.
Kavey is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 12:58 PM
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Kavey: I almost did even better as I considered coming through London on my way back so we would have had the goods.

Unfortunately I decided to save it for a different trip when I can have a little more time in Europe.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 07:54 AM
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Well, you know how to find me and it would be a pleasure to meet another Fodorite Africaphile for coffee or a meal... or training!

Kavey is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:02 PM
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Posts: 413
Kavey - That was GREAT! So succinct. I've printed and saved it thanks!
Favor is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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You're welcome!
Kavey is offline  

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