Re: "Raw" for dummies ?
Could someone do a very brief "raw for dummies" -- once over lightly, why I should use it, why it's better than just ad hoc touch-up/ adjustments in Photoshop (and sometimes not even that)? How much do folks really use it, or is it mostly just nice to know it's there ?
Camera RAW for Judy:
1. all digital cameras record an image a certain way. Many differ in how the RAW file is stored/recorded
2. if you shoot a JPEG, whatever is photographed is saved by a mathematical formula designed to "make the
most" of what you shot. All the data the capturing chip could've recorded is compromised via this math
formula . . . and, the file is smaller due to the JPEG'ing
3. the RAW file will always stay that way . . . it is more like an original negative in the analogue wet process.
Your celluloid negative is placed in the enlarger and you project it to a certain size to a certain substrate.
That substrate can be film or paper of varying contrasts. The development and developer can change tone
and contrast. Fixing and toning will further modify it. To repeat, care must be used as well as a good memory
or perhaps a written record. BUT, the negative remains untouched. The RAW file is like that negative. You will
always be able to open it with the Adobe RAW plug-in or a manufacturer's proprietary software, and manipulate, sharpen, tone, etc. Once you print it and keep it and frame it, you'll always be able to return to
your file and re-do it another way.
4. the RAW file also contains the meta-data of camera, f-stop and other pertinent info, to which you can add more information that'll be recorded for you to either have or use
In short, making the RAW file allows the photographer to "correct" the taken image rather than the camera via a mathematical manner.
You cannot save to a RAW format and, not confuse you, there is a Photoshop RAW format but that is more used when saving a file to transfer it between programs or platforms. It is NOT the same as camera RAW which is specific to each digital camera.
Hope that clarifies some little notion of it all.