Working with RAW: recipes for raw photos

Many current professional and semi-professional digital cameras can store images in RAW. This standard differs from the more popular format JPEG. RAW-data is laquo; chistuyuraquo, information obtained from the light-sensing camera. Because RAW images contain redundant information, without compression and related losses, the chance to correct photograph obtained in this format, a lot more than in the case with an image in JPEG.

What is RAW?

To understand what it means laquo; crude informatsiyaraquo, implicit in this format, you have to imagine the main element of the principle of the camera – the CCD.

Conventional camera image sensor is an array of solar cells. Each element of this matrix is ??used to convert light energy into electricity. The more sensory elements in the matrix, the higher the theoretical resolution. They all work simultaneously, but each photocell sensor in the camera captures their wavelengths.

Order of the photodiodes, fixing this or that color, in most cases subject to an algorithm called Bayer filter. This is the most popular variant of the location of photocells, which uses three color components: red, blue and green. They are arranged in such a way as to form a square with two green sensors and one – red and blue.

The photographer gets to create colorful mosaic, consisting of three combined-color pictures. To get the full picture, the camera’s processor on the fly uses approximating filter that removes color artifacts and laquo; dodumyvaetraquo, missing detail. The lack of color information filled average value, calculated on the basis of the color of adjacent cells. RAW format allows you to intercept the data stream prior to application of the approximating filter.

By and large

Say whether the one or other standard camera RAW, incorrectly. All cameras use the same way to describe the visual information, built on the calculation algorithm Bayer (except that some cameras use a slightly different pixel grid.. – Ed.). However, not all cells are able to maintain the original data, which we call the RAW-files. The material laquo; CHDK: second youth digicam, or that hides your Canon? Raquo; we told readers of the site for alternative CHDK firmware for cameras Canon. This program allows you to save pictures to the memory card in RAW format even in cheap cameras, where this function is not provided. So, if you want laquo; poschupatraquo, photos in RAW, but not yet ready to change its IXUS and PowerShot on a more expensive model, be sure to pay attention to the possibility of CHDK.

But you should keep in mind that when shooting in RAW with CHDK remain uncompensated optical distortions caused by features of the camera. In RAW-converters usually have profiles for suppression of all kinds of distortion, but they are tied to specific models of lenses. It is clear that in the list of pre-defined profiles you will find pieces for budget cameras that do not have to be able to shoot in RAW. Therefore suppress the distortion would have to manually, by eye.

Advantages and disadvantages of RAW

RAW format has its advantages and disadvantages. First, about the shortcomings. First, as noted above, these files contain redundant information, so their size is much larger in comparison with other standards. For example, when the image size 2 MB in JPG, similar DNG (file open RAW-format Adobe) can hold 19 MB. It is clear that when working photographer who saves RAW-image in high resolution, the volume of even the largest memory card quickly exhausted.

Another disadvantage

RAW files from the first. A large amount of data makes it difficult to conduct recorded speed continuous shooting. The device simply does not have time to write the stored data, and the number of images recorded by the camera per unit time, is markedly reduced in comparison with the high-speed shooting in JPG. In addition, maintaining the data in RAW involves additional hardware capacity, because the application neobhodimonbsp, allocate more memory to the processing of redundant data.

Also worth bearing in mind that many manufacturers of digital cameras use their specs RAW. Because of this, many born of incompatible formats. One possible solution to mess with formats – using a universal format Digital Negative (DNG) from Adobe, which is positioned as an open standard. Now have cameras that store images directly to DNG. In addition, to be converted to this format, you can use the converter, such as Adobe DNG Converter.

Pros RAW to some extent compensate for its shortcomings. But the merits of RAW images in a lot. First, this format allows you to restore the exposure, since the dynamic range is wider than in the case of the JPG. And the setting-or over-exposure in the case of RAW – it’s not just laquo; vytyagivanieraquo, dark or light-struck areas.

Actually, if there is white glare of the JPG, in the case dim the details it does not tread – of the recovery image that white spot is not there. Another thing – RAW. For laquo; syrogoraquo; snapshot exposure setting reduces to the choice of a new shutter speed. The result of this correction is almost always excellent – just as if you took a shot and just guessed what to set the shutter.

Second important advantage of RAW – great depth of color palette. It gives the photographer a chance to fine tune color. Also on RAW-images easy to correct lens distortion, combat noise, the use of alternative approaches to address the Bayer mosaic and so on. But all these advantages become apparent only when processing RAW format is used a good editor. Consider some of them.

Adobe Camera RAW 7

Adobe Camera RAW – this is the classic version of image processing laquo; syromraquo; format. Popularity of this instrument is clear and obvious – Adobe Camera RAW module included in delivery Adobe Photoshop, a graphics editor that is, almost everyone who is serious about photography. Despite the fact that the Adobe Camera RAW can only be opened when running laquo; Fotoshoperaquo, the module allows you to process the images and save them in JPEG, TIFF or PSD directly, without using the tools Photoshop.

Adobe Camera RAW – this is quite a handy tool that includes many useful settings. For the selection of the desired image settings can be carried out more than one hour. Perhaps the most important advantage of the module – is that all the changes that are made in the image can be easily reversed even if the RAW-file is closed and then reopened. The principle of non-destructive editing tools covers all Adobe Camera RAW, including cropping and straightening.

One of the most popular tools in Adobe Camera RAW – Adjustment Brush, designed to selectively edit images. It is used to refer to areas that need to correct – correct exposure, increase the amount of color, choose a shade temperature, white balance, etc. You have to use the most convenient way to select – by automatically create a mask. The module itself defines the areas to edit. Say, if you want to make the sky in the gaps between the tree branches over blue enough to walk on them corrective brush, do not worry about what you are abusive branches – the program will not change the exposure for the trees.

There arsenal Adobe Camera RAW and customizable gradient filter – a tool that can be used in cases where the image is partially obscured or marred. Its also useful for landscapes, where it is often necessary to paint the sky in some specific shades tones.

Despite the fact that Photoshop is a tool for removing laquo; glazraquo red, in module for working with RAW from Adobe has a similar function. Given the correct operation of the color, to eliminate such defects during RAW-image correction seems more logical than to leave this detail for later.

For many settings in Adobe Camera RAW is working automatic selection of the best values. And the most successful custom setting options can be saved as presets and share them with other users (the presets are files. Xmp, which are stored in the folder C: UsersImya пользователяAppDataRoamingAdobeCameraRAW Settings). Also there is a function for storing versions of the images. In fact, it’s the same store a set of options that are only available for the current photo.

Adobe Camera RAW can be used for batch processing of files. Batch processing can be carried out both in the interface module (it is enough to open multiple RAW files at a time), and the usual means Adobe Photoshop. For example, creating scripts (actions) and using droplets. During the processing of files using Adobe Camera RAW provides synchronization options selected. For making use of this option, any changes you make to one of the synchronized images are automatically replicated to all other group images.

RAW Therapee 4.0.9 – Free RAW-converter

Format RAW recently lost their fear of even those who had walked with cheap digital cameras. Support of this standard can be seen not only in high-end cameras, but in relatively low-cost models. However, despite the growing popularity laquo; pravilnoyraquo, photo processing, the price of tools for working with RAW is still high. For example, the same Adobe Lightroom is # 36 and 149.

Found among the more pleasant, not cheap apps free solution for professional image processing RAW Therapee. This program can be used not only for Windows, but under Linux, and computers Mac.

Interface RAW Therapee Russified, but localization is not ideal – many items in the program submitted in English.

The first thing to note – high speed image processing RAW. Engine program (developed by Hungarian programmer Gaacute; bor Horvaacute; th and a team of like-minded) algorithm supports multithreading, so any changes to settings instantly displayed in the preview window.

When setting the image display option is useful laquo; Before and posleraquo, when the preview the final image is displayed next to the picture before the change exposure, color balance correction, Distortion, noise, and other configuration parameters.

The program is integrated file browser. Like Lightroom, RAW Therapee scans the media and shows its contents. Viewer allows you to set the rating images. Quick command from the context menu, you can send pictures to the queue for batch processing.

Speed of RAW-converter is noticeable mainly in the processing of the data, but when dealing with the application files often laquo; tormozitraquo.; Contrary to the developers that the program quickly generates thumbnails, the first time RAW Therapee we had a long time to wait for all the photos on the memory card are indexed.

One of the advantages

RAW Therapee – that a set of alternative algorithms that convert Bayer mosaic color filter in a whole image. Among the methods laquo; demozaikiraquo; – AMaZE, DCB, fast, AHD, EAHD, HPHD and VNG4. Each of the RAW conversion options in color (remember that RAW – not laquo; kartinkaraquo, and a set of information about the level of brightness at each photodiode image sensor) allows you to choose the number of steps to suppress false colors.

In RAW Therapee successfully implemented correction with curves. Inexperienced user, who had never used this tool, it is very difficult to know what form to take the curve to the picture is the right kind. In the setting of the tone curve, you can choose laquo; parametricheskiyraquo.; In this mode, the control curve can forget about the control points that define the shape of the graph, and use the sliders to adjust to a more descriptive name – light, dark colors, light colors, shadows. Tone curve, you can save, download, copy and paste from the clipboard.

RAW Therapee keeps a history of actions performed in the same way as it is implemented in Adobe Photoshop. You can always revert to the previous step of image processing.

Way, the application can work in conjunction with a more powerful graphics editor, sending the converted file in GIMP or at the same Adobe Photoshop.

Program interface allows you to edit multiple RAW files simultaneously on different tabs. Also worth bearing in mind that RAW Therapee supports two monitors. In addition to the main features – editing RAW – Hungarian developer of utility can be used to work with the formats of JPEG, TIFF and PNG.


There is no doubt that the day will come when the cheapest cameras and even smartphones will be able to please their owners support of standard RAW. Already RAW confidently to the masses and support these files can be found even in the entry-level photo editing, built on the principle of one click. On the other hand, RAW – this is not a good recipe photos. Clumsily selected angle and shaking hands when you press the shutter button can cause that no RAW-converter will not eliminate defects shooting. Format RAW – it is an opportunity not to lose valuable frame when mistakenly selected camera settings. And RAW – this is a chance to realize their artistic talent, the opportunity to present his vision of the story, show the picture the palette of feelings and moods. The main thing – to gain experience and do not be afraid to experiment.

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