Adobe Camera Raw - It’s all about having control over processing your image!
Julieanne Kost & Daniel Brown • www.adobeevangelists.com
Adobe® Photoshop cs®2
What is a raw format?
• “Raw” data captured by digital camera sensor, before it has been converted to TIFF or JPEG.
• Generally contains incomplete RGB information matching the pattern of RGB pixels contained in the sensor.
• Must be converted in software to create a traditional RGB file.
• Available as optional format on most pro-level and some mid-range cameras.
What do Raw files look like?
• Most sensors capture incomplete red, green, and blue color information.
• Sensor creates single channel that is filtered for different colors at different locations.
• Cameras that create TIFF or JPEG calculate the missing information in-camera.
• When working with raw files, missing information is calculated in post processing using camera manufacturers or third party software,
allowing more control over conversion settings.
What else is in the raw file?
• Standard EXIF metadata - just like in JPEG’s - Date, time, camera used, etc.
• Camera settings - for example, white balance is not applied to the raw file, but is stored with the file so that camera manufacturer’s software
can default to the originally intended setting.
• “Special sauce” - additional, custom metadata that the camera manufacturer uses to optimize the quality of their converted files. This is
typically used to achieve competitive advantage for the camera (or at least perceived advantage).
Benefits of shooting raw files
• Raw files typically smaller than uncompressed TIFF, and without the artifacts of compressed JPEG’s.
• Modify many key camera parameters, such as white balance, even after image is captured.
• Complete control over conversion settings, rather than letting the camera decide.
• Access to 16-bit data for greater detail and fidelity.
• Flexibility of converting a single file using multiple conversion settings.
Incomplete Red, Green and Blue
Final RGB file