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Thread: RAW software and dng question

  1. #1
    Davey's Avatar
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    Sep 2008

    RAW software and dng question

    I am new to digital photography so only have about 1 weeks experience of shooting in raw format. I think I will use it exclusively as it's not much bigger than jpeg and is future proof. Also I like the benefit of 16bit lossless formats over 8bit lossy hence have worked in .tga over .jpg for years as better for editing etc (and support bump from true alpha channel as opposed to inverted blue channel). I don't really know very much about camera raw being so new and what processing software is best. I have CS3, gimp (various linux raw plugins) and finepix (came with camera so it's old).

    I have done a little looking around and many people say .raf is not processed properly by ps. Many say use fuji hyperutilities V2 or S2 as this produces best results. I don't own it and don't really want to buy it if there is a cheaper/free alternative or if it isn't the best to use. Does anyone know of a good program to use to process .raf. I convert images to 8 bit jpeg or .png after processing for posting on web but some into into targa for other stuff.

    I also keep my RAW on backup HDD so have copy of digital equivalent of my 35mm negatives. Although I have plenty of space I notice .DNG compressed (lossless) are half the size of .raf. This could be useful in future when collection becomes bigger, is .dng equal to other camera raw or uncompressed/compressed lossless like .tif or is there a benefit to not converting the .raf into .dng.

    Any feedback or advice is appreciated since I am clueless to all this as it new to me. Thanks Dave.

  2. #2
    shreds's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Re: RAW software and dng question

    I believe that a lot of programs don't open the Fuji .raf file format, in the way that say .raw files receive support.

    However, the universally acclaimed Adobe Lightroom / Lightroom 2 should do the trick, but I cannot comment on whether it is going to be better than Fuji's own program. It does integrate very well with your CS3. This is a pretty good bet if you want universal acceptability, although it is not cheap at just over 200. It is intuitive and a good workflow program. I honestly don't know if other programs can deal with this format, though I can't find anything on Capture One that say it will, only .raw seemingly.

    I find that manufacturers own programs being designed from the ground up with the camera in mind, can produce the best results (eg, Nikon's NX2) but I know that has not always been the case with some other manufacturers.

    At the end of the day, .raw is high end and so software houses will charge accordingly, but if you can get something like the GIMP to open the files, then this is going to to the job and is generally seen as producing good results.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Windsor, Berks, UK
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    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: RAW software and dng question

    Hi both,

    I find that PS Elements 6 (via ACR4.3) seems to understand the .raf files from my Fuji 6500 ok.
    They also preview in Windows ok. Even Picasa seems to be able to edit them and post a jpg version to a web album.
    The 'proof' being here.

    However, I suspect that Picasa was actually working on the embedded jpg rather than the RAW data. It was interesting to see it work. Distinctly average picture, the other 8 (before that one, use left arrow button) were properly processed with ACR+PSE6.

    Irfanview 4.1 seems to think .RAF files are 1600 x 1200 (actually 2896 x 2192), so yes, I'd agree with shreds, support for .RAF can be patchy and even when it appears to work, you may not be getting what you think you are.

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