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I really need RAW help - please
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Oct 8, 2019 12:19:26   #
Sark17 (a regular here)
 
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting more confused by the day. I have a professional photographer friend who tells me I HAVE to shoot in raw on an upcoming trip to Africa (I leave Friday!) So I started shooting raw to practice using my dogs. I figured it would be fairly straight forward - I was very wrong. I use a Canon EOS R with various lenses.

In the first screen shot you can see the JPG (right) compared to the RAW photo (left). The Raw photo is super grainy. The JPG is fine. I didn't edit any of these or even try for any good composition, just wanted to practice working with RAW and getting them off of my card - which has also proven to be complicated.

So, my questions - 1) why are my RAW photos much more grainy than JPG? I realize ISO is a bit high in this specific photo, but even when it's not at all, I get the same result. 2) what is the most straightforward way to get to get a raw file off of an SD card and actually be able to do anything with it on a Mac? Lastly, I am probably just going to shoot Large JPG to save myself the panic of ruining something trying to use RAW if I can't figure this out...

I am currently using a DNG converter to get them to Lightroom, then I am not totally sure what to do with them after that, I couldn't even figure out how to save it to post it here as an example as I did with the JPEG.

Thank you so much in advance for any tips/tricks you are willing to lend - I am pretty confused!


(Download)


(Download)

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Oct 8, 2019 12:28:51   #
rcarol
 
Why not set your camera up to record RAW plus JPEG. Then you won't be under pressure to figure this out before you go on your trip. JPEG images are processed in-camera and have some degree of noise reduction applied to the processed image whereas RAW files have no noise reduction applied. There are any number of programs that will reduce noise in post-processing including Lightroom and Photoshop.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:33:21   #
R.G. (a regular here)
 
Your post is a good example of how much in-camera processing jpegs get. A raw file gets minimal processing in-camera, which leaves it in need of basic processing when downloaded. If you don't feel confident about getting up to speed with sharpening, denoise and the rest of basic editing it might be an idea to stay with jpeg at least until after your trip. Alternatively you can shoot raw + jpg and keep the raws till you've improved your basic editing skills.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:34:44   #
Sark17 (a regular here)
 
I have it that way now, which is how I got both of these photos to compare, but I guess I didn't want to waste a ton of space on a memory card for no reason. I am hoping to understand at least if I am doing something wrong or not before I do that. And yes, I do have about 8 SD cards so I would be fine. I guess I am more confused as to why they look awful and how the heck to do anything with them once they are in Lightroom.

rcarol wrote:
Why not set your camera up to record RAW plus JPEG. Then you won't be under pressure to figure this out before you go on your trip. JPEG images are processed in-camera and have some degree of noise reduction applied to the processed image whereas RAW files have no noise reduction applied. There are any number of programs that will reduce noise in post-processing including Lightroom and Photoshop.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:37:15   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting more confused by the day. I have a professional photographer friend who tells me I HAVE to shoot in raw on an upcoming trip to Africa (I leave Friday!) So I started shooting raw to practice using my dogs. I figured it would be fairly straight forward - I was very wrong. I use a Canon EOS R with various lenses.

In the first screen shot you can see the JPG (right) compared to the RAW photo (left). The Raw photo is super grainy. The JPG is fine. I didn't edit any of these or even try for any good composition, just wanted to practice working with RAW and getting them off of my card - which has also proven to be complicated.

So, my questions - 1) why are my RAW photos much more grainy than JPG? I realize ISO is a bit high in this specific photo, but even when it's not at all, I get the same result. 2) what is the most straightforward way to get to get a raw file off of an SD card and actually be able to do anything with it on a Mac? Lastly, I am probably just going to shoot Large JPG to save myself the panic of ruining something trying to use RAW if I can't figure this out...

Thank you so much in advance for any tips/tricks you are willing to lend - I am pretty confused!
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting mor... (show quote)


RAW files tend to look flat since they contain much more data and the file viewer you use will not display the image well. RAW come into its own when you go to post process and attempt to make more adjustments. The JPEG issue will show all of the adjustments that are made based on the settings you used in taking the shot. These settings are sort of like pre-selected post processing. So (assuming the settings well well chosen) the JPEG should look better. But you will not have as much leeway in post processing a JPEG since much of the data has already been discarded.
The suggestion that you shoot in RAW + JPEG is a good one. Even if you do not do a lot of post right now, with a trip like you are taking, it is nice to have the option in the future to come back and get more form the file.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:38:28   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting more confused by the day. I have a professional photographer friend who tells me I HAVE to shoot in raw on an upcoming trip to Africa (I leave Friday!) So I started shooting raw to practice using my dogs. I figured it would be fairly straight forward - I was very wrong. I use a Canon EOS R with various lenses.

In the first screen shot you can see the JPG (right) compared to the RAW photo (left). The Raw photo is super grainy. The JPG is fine. I didn't edit any of these or even try for any good composition, just wanted to practice working with RAW and getting them off of my card - which has also proven to be complicated.

So, my questions - 1) why are my RAW photos much more grainy than JPG? I realize ISO is a bit high in this specific photo, but even when it's not at all, I get the same result. 2) what is the most straightforward way to get to get a raw file off of an SD card and actually be able to do anything with it on a Mac? Lastly, I am probably just going to shoot Large JPG to save myself the panic of ruining something trying to use RAW if I can't figure this out...

Thank you so much in advance for any tips/tricks you are willing to lend - I am pretty confused!
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting mor... (show quote)


RAW requires processing by you. Everything you like about the JPEG in terms of sharpening, noise and colors, those were done by the camera. The RAW file is the sensor data with none of the processing that was done by the camera.

If you're going to be a RAW shooter, you need more powerful tools than Apple Photos. You may need a stronger computer. You may need more harddisk and removable HD space to hold the larger files. You'll certainly need training and practice on how to use the editing software, particularly when you consider all the edit decisions you now need to make (sharpening, saturation, noise reduction, exposure adjustments, white balance adjustments, application of lens profiles, cropping & leveling, distortion adjustment, etc).

Rather than panicking in response to a questionable piece of advice, assure you have enough cards and / or portable diskspace to shoot both large / fine JPEG and RAW. Or, just skip the RAW.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:40:19   #
twowindsbear
 
Perhaps direct these questions to your friend that insists that you shoot in raw.

Have fun on your trip.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:40:40   #
Sark17 (a regular here)
 
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noised" the RAW in LR and it looks better already. Here's a dumb question - if you change a RAW files name, like to a DNG, does that limit what you can then do with it? If I want to process in photoshop, where I am not good at all but still more comfortable than I am in LR, could I just use LR to get them on to my computer, and somehow get them from there to either a file on my desktop or to PS? Thank you guys for helping me! I know these are elementary questions, but I just want to learn :)

dsmeltz wrote:
RAW files tend to look flat since they contain much more data and the file viewer you use will not display the image well. RAW come into its own when you go to post process and attempt to make more adjustments. The JPEG issue will show all of the adjustments that are made based on the settings you used in taking the shot. These settings are sort of like pre-selected post processing. So (assuming the settings well well chosen) the JPEG should look better. But you will not have as much leeway in post processing a JPEG since much of the data has already been discarded.
The suggestion that you shoot in RAW + JPEG is a good one. Even if you do not do a lot of post right now, with a trip like you are taking, it is nice to have the option in the future to come back and get more form the file.
RAW files tend to look flat since they contain muc... (show quote)

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Oct 8, 2019 12:44:32   #
fehutch
 
I think in your situation, I would be looking at some type of external storage.. thumb drive, etc to clear out your SD cards. Don’t know how many or how big they are, but Africa is a long distance and a special trip I am sure. Don’t have much experience with changing SD cards on fly so to speak. RAW + JPEG sounds like a winner, but I still like having that external storage device.

Am assuming you will have access to a laptop to handle image transfers.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:46:35   #
dsmeltz (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noised" the RAW in LR and it looks better already. Here's a dumb question - if you change a RAW files name, like to a DNG, does that limit what you can then do with it? If I want to process in photoshop, where I am not good at all but still more comfortable than I am in LR, could I just use LR to get them on to my computer, and somehow get them from there to either a file on my desktop or to PS? Thank you guys for helping me! I know these are elementary questions, but I just want to learn :)
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noise... (show quote)


Well (1) LR edits non destructively so you will always have te original RAW to go back to. (2) DNG files do not lose anything when you convert. In fact whenever you open a RAW file in LR it converts it to a DNG while working on it.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:46:59   #
Sark17 (a regular here)
 
I've got a 2 terabyte external hard drive and 8 SD cards, that was my main concern traveling there was having enough space. I didn't really even think to take them and save them anyway because hopefully eventually I will learn how to process them. So having them will give me motivation. I will definitely do Raw + JPG. And learning that the processing happens in the camera makes a lot of sense. Not new to LOVING photography, but definitely new to learning it!!


fehutch wrote:
I think in your situation, I would be looking at some type of external storage.. thumb drive, etc to clear out your SD cards. Don’t know how many or how big they are, but Africa is a long distance and a special trip I am sure. Don’t have much experience with changing SD cards on fly so to speak. RAW + JPEG sounds like a winner, but I still like having that external storage device.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:51:21   #
Jim-Pops (a regular here)
 
This is a tough one to respond to but I will give it a try. My comments will be my work flow.
1) Insert your sd card
2) You can set Lightroom to auto open when sd card is inserted, I do not, my preference.
3) Open Lightroom and click your Library heading, upper right
4) Lower left hit Import.
5) Select a Source will come up and pick your SD Card
6) pick and choose the pictures you want to save on your drive


If you want to make major edits you can choose a picture then hit Develop
Now click Photo>edit in>Photoshop
It will take your photo and open in Photoshop to make your fine adjustments and layers if needed.

Your grain in raw vs jpg.
Not sure why we see this much noise other than your iso is 1600.🤔
But you can see in your examples the dogs hair has a lot more detail in the raw example. Raw gives you so much more detailed information that lets you draw out additional detail in shadows and highlights as your friend might have mentioned.

Your example is indicating you shot at 1600 iso. I try and keep it 1,000 or less. If outside I choose 600 or less. The lower the number the less grain/noise. You shot at 500 of a sec., your picture should be fine at around 250. Your aperture is 2.8. I think you could get just about the same bokeh with f/4. All this is in an effort to get your iso down for less noise in the picture. I think you friend will help you understand this a bit better than I can in this short post.

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Oct 8, 2019 12:51:40   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting more confused by the day. I have a professional photographer friend who tells me I HAVE to shoot in raw on an upcoming trip to Africa (I leave Friday!) So I started shooting raw to practice using my dogs. I figured it would be fairly straight forward - I was very wrong. I use a Canon EOS R with various lenses.

In the first screen shot you can see the JPG (right) compared to the RAW photo (left). The Raw photo is super grainy. The JPG is fine. I didn't edit any of these or even try for any good composition, just wanted to practice working with RAW and getting them off of my card - which has also proven to be complicated.

So, my questions - 1) why are my RAW photos much more grainy than JPG? I realize ISO is a bit high in this specific photo, but even when it's not at all, I get the same result. 2) what is the most straightforward way to get to get a raw file off of an SD card and actually be able to do anything with it on a Mac? Lastly, I am probably just going to shoot Large JPG to save myself the panic of ruining something trying to use RAW if I can't figure this out...

Thank you so much in advance for any tips/tricks you are willing to lend - I am pretty confused!
Hello! I am new to shooting RAW and am getting mor... (show quote)


There isn't much to shooting raw. Most of the time you can use the same settings you've been using.

What you'll be missing out on might be leveraging the additional dynamic range that raw provides.

I suggest you shoot raw only. This way you won't get tripped up with multiple files with the same filename and managing that mess.

The raw files have no picture controls applied to them, such as sharpening, noise reduction, contrast etc so they will appear flat, soft and noisy compared to the jpeg.

I don't know which software you are using, but I will suggest you consider Lightroom Classic and Photoshop CC - it is a complete editing solution that will grow with you as your skills advance.

You'll take your pictures now then get everything sorted with the software and computer when you get back. Have fun and take a bunch of pictures!

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Oct 8, 2019 12:52:32   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noised" the RAW in LR and it looks better already. Here's a dumb question - if you change a RAW files name, like to a DNG, does that limit what you can then do with it? If I want to process in photoshop, where I am not good at all but still more comfortable than I am in LR, could I just use LR to get them on to my computer, and somehow get them from there to either a file on my desktop or to PS? Thank you guys for helping me! I know these are elementary questions, but I just want to learn :)
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noise... (show quote)


Think of LR as a "front end" to PS. LR can function entirely as your RAW editor and not just as 'front end' to another software. If you don't want to edit in LR, just use it as a catalog where you 'receive' images to manage their names and location. Then, assure you have PS defined as an external editor using 16-bit PSDs in ProPhoto RGB. LR is easier and more efficient with far more opportunity for automation, but if you have more experience with PS, it will initially seem more difficult.

Your DNG causes no limit in an all-Adobe environment. To get the DNG into PSD, you have to go through Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), which is just a less friendly version of LR (and also a 'frontend' to PS).

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Oct 8, 2019 12:54:20   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
Sark17 wrote:
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noised" the RAW in LR and it looks better already. Here's a dumb question - if you change a RAW files name, like to a DNG, does that limit what you can then do with it? If I want to process in photoshop, where I am not good at all but still more comfortable than I am in LR, could I just use LR to get them on to my computer, and somehow get them from there to either a file on my desktop or to PS? Thank you guys for helping me! I know these are elementary questions, but I just want to learn :)
Thank you! That makes sense. I just "de noise... (show quote)


I would save as dng. It's not as universal a format as Adobe hoped it would be at this point. Never delete any raw file of images you would want to keep.

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