Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Processing The RAW

Photographers in the digital age are inundated with software so Digital Photo Pro talked to the experts to get the ins and outs on two of the most popular RAW processing packages on the market

Processing The Raw We discuss RAW workflow a lot in the pages of Digital Photo Pro. Having the ability to work smoothly and quickly with RAW files is key to getting the most out of them. It's a simple fact—if you can't make RAW files work efficiently, you'll end up wasting a lot of time or just switch back to JPEG. If we assume you want the power of the RAW file, then JPEGs simply aren't acceptable.

While we've featured several articles that covered the considerable benefits of RAW files, you still may find implementing the format to be a daunting challenge for the simple reason that you haven't mastered your software. Do you remember the first time you opened Photoshop? Most of us ended up staring at a blank screen for an hour wondering what we were actually going to do with all of the latent power that lay below that intimidating interface. It's the same with RAW file software. Until you get a feel for them, these programs aren't easy to master.

In this article, we'll look at some of the specific features and uses of two of the most common RAW software packages—Nikon Capture and Phase One Capture One Pro. In the March/April issue, we'll cover the Canon and Olympus converter programs.

In order to craft a comprehensive and useful article, we sought out experts who would be able to show some of the important tools and features in each of these software packages. Our goal is to get you past the first steps so that you can begin to work with RAW files efficiently in order to get the most from your images.

Nikon Capture

Having pumped significant resources into the NEF file, Nikon Capture software is engineered to take full advantage of it

Nikon Capture optimizes your workflow by allowing you to effortlessly make fundamental and subtle adjustments to your Nikon Electronic Format (NEF) files—without compromising the original file's integrity. To fully exploit the power of the complete line of Nikon digital SLR cameras, Capture enables you to edit and manipulate NEF files while also providing robust JPEG and TIFF capability.

Each time a new Nikon digital SLR with its unique version of the NEF file is introduced to the marketplace, Nikon Capture software is upgraded, adding to its feature set compatibility with the new NEF file as well as prior NEF versions associated with earlier Nikon digital cameras. The upgrade program assures that customers who own the newest Nikon model, or have been adding the newest models to their collection, will have a single piece of software—the current version of Capture—that will handle all of their NEF files.


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