Don’t get me wrong. I really value the processing headroom of RAW files, whether they’ve been shot on a phone or a full frame camera, but I’m starting to think the iPhone might be a special case.
Usually when you take a picture the camera will process the data captured by the sensor into an image file. More advanced cameras can save the image in its unprocessed state – a RAW file – so that you can do the processing yourself later on your computer. A RAW converter is software that processes RAW files from a camera and converts them into regular image files. Not all RAW converters are the same. The closest analogy is the different developers used to process film. Examples of RAW converters include Adobe Camera Raw, Capture One Pro and DxO PhotoLab. Some cameras now let you process saved RAW images and save them as new JPEG files on the memory card. That might sound a bit pointless when you could shoot JPEGs in the first place, but it does mean you can try out different white balance settings, picture styles and more.
Why calling RAW files ‘digital negatives’ is only half right
RAW files are not quite ‘digital negatives’. They are actually more like the latent images on undeveloped film and need a ‘digital developer’. Choosing the best digital developer (RAW processing software) can make a big difference to your images.
10 myths about RAW files – and why they’re wrong
Almost any photographic expert will tell you that you should shoot RAW files not JPEGs, and that RAW files are innately superior. The trouble with this kind of wisdom is that it’s repeated and passed on without question.
RAW files explained
Many photographers prefer to work with RAW files – but what are they, how do you work with them, and why are they so much better than regular in-camera JPEGs?
12 ways to control and use white balance more effectively
White balance sounds a pretty simple image adjustment, but there’s a little more to it than meets the eye. Here are 12 white balance tips that might help you get the results you want and explain what’s gone wrong if you don’t.
Dynamic range and exposure
Dynamic range is the camera sensor’s ability to capture detail in very bright and very dark parts of a scene. Cameras (or sensors) with a low dynamic range record dark shadows as a solid black or bright highlights as a featureless white.
RAW vs JPEG: things you can do with RAW files that you can’t do with JPEGs
Most serious photographers prefer RAW files to JPEGs. They take more time and storage, but the payback is greater quality and flexibility. It’s not a one-sided argument – JPEGs have some advantages which are obvious, and some which are not – but here are six important reasons why RAW files are the way to go […]
How to manage Lightroom RAW+JPEG pairs
Yesterday I looked at how Aperture handled RAW+JPEG pairs and today it’s the turn of Lightroom (now Lightroom Classic). At first glance it looks as if Lightroom RAW+JPEG pairs work in much the same way, but there is in fact a significant difference: Aperture imports both and lets you choose which one to display; Lightroom […]