Tuesday, May 29, 2007


By using the inherent capabilities in your image-processing software, you can work efficiently and exercise greater control over all of your images.

Synergize So that you won't be overwhelmed, try making decisions by dividing system study into smaller issues. Consider the ideas of “camera-ness” and “digital-ness” as a way to divide the issues. Camera-ness is the hardware system, and digital-ness is the evolving technologies that move the images into digital files and through the workflow. DPP expounded upon camera-ness in the May/June 2006 issue. This article will speak primarily to digital-ness.

Let's see how technologies are applied to picture-making requirements. How can the technology work for you?

Start With Software And Image Processing

The convergence of these technologies is a key issue for digital photography. The choices you make will be at the core of your next generation of picture making and business growth.

Image processing—how it works and how to take advantage of it. A lot has been written about RAW files, but consider that all pictures from digital cameras, compacts and D-SLRs begin life as a raw file. Light strikes the sensor's pixels and creates a digital grayscale image. This image is passed through a Bayer array of red, blue and green to create color data. The array is 25 percent red, 25 percent blue and 50 percent green. The color data goes through a demosaic process and the RGB data is created. From this data, in-camera decisions, based on built-in computer firmware and software together with your selection of controls, will be applied and saved as a RAW file; you can choose JPEG or TIFF through further selections. It's possible to have both a RAW and JPEG of the same file saved to the memory card. This employs additional image-processing time and memory-card real estate. Time and storage space for images are Always important considerations.

RAW files can be identified by the extension tag that each maker places on its individual RAW files, as follows: Canon is CRW and CR2; Minolta is MRW; Olympus is ORF; Nikon is NEF; Sony is ARW. The future will bring more versions.

When making equipment and software decisions, consider the following: decide what you want to accomplish, choose software that enables you to fulfill your objectives and then find the computer to run the software. There are many file types and image-processing software products; when combined within each maker's D-SLR system, the choice can be daunting. I'll try to guide you toward identifying some of the challenges, technologies and most importantly, the opportunities.


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