April 2011
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5 Photo Tips – some insights into using RAW files for your photography ..

Tip 886 (What is a RAW file): When you say, RAW, it would tend to mean something that is really raw. In more technical terms, a RAW file means a file which captures all the data that the camera has captured, without being processed by the engine inside the camera. This lets the end user adjust various parameters such as the Exposure, Shadows, Contrast, Saturation, White Balance, and Saturation on a computer, outside the camera. This gives you a lot more control on the value of these parameters, leading to a photograph more like that you intend.

Tip 887 (How is a JPEG generated from a RAW file in the camera): Even for a camera that can generate RAW images, you can get JPEG images. How does this happen ? The camera generates JPEG images from the raw image data on the sensor through processing done inside the camera, while using some values of settings such as Sharpness, White Balance, etc. Sometimes, when you have a camera which generates both RAW and JPEG, there is a difference in these images – this is because of the assumption that the internal processing software of the camera makes when creating a JPEG image.

Tip 888 (RAW files vary from camera to camera, and even within different models of the same manufacturer): One of the primary advantages of the JPEG format is that it is a standard format, while the RAW format varies from camera model to camera model. Reading these RAW formats normally requires image processing software, and as and when a new camera comes out, the software would need to be updated to incorporate some changes that has happened in the RAW format.

Tip 889 (Why have a RAW format): One of the primary reasons for having a RAW format is that the format is intended to capture the entire sensitometry of the image as closely as possible, which means information about the light intensity, contrast, and colors of the scene.

Tip 890 (Details of what a RAW image format contains): A RAW format contains a huge amount of data about the image, about the light conditions, about the camera, and about the environment (conditions in which the photo was shot such as whether a flash was used). Some of these details are: A file header, metadata that describes the camera sensor, image metadata (including data in the EXIF format), thumbnail of the image, sensor image data.

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