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Raw / Jpeg / Print Order Online question

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:48 pm
by mistyflowers
I purchased a canon 40D and will only have 1 day to learn it before doing a family portrait session. I've never shot RAW before, but think I need to for a print size 30x20 or bigger, is that right? Second Question - When I load the pics to my computer and make a print order online, won't I have to use jpeg? I'm just a little confused about how this works and the quality of the picture will stay the same.Pleas, any suggestions!?!?

Re: Raw / Jpeg / Print Order Online question

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:15 am
by dougj
1 day to learn a new camera is very challenging, good luck! RAW is the unprocessed digital data from the sensor, it requires processing either in the camera or on a PC to be viewable and printable. Some photogs like RAW as this format lends itself well to adjusting white balance after a shoot if needed; it can be possible recover 1-stop or so in overexposure. There are other advantages to RAW, but these seem to be 2 of the common ones mentioned.

If you select JPG for the camera output, the shot is taken in RAW and then converted to JPG with whatever processing settings you have selected in the camera via 'styles' & white balance - sharpness, auto white balance, color, saturation, contrast, compression, etc. Once these adjustments are applied the RAW file is deleted. The file is compressed as part of the process and saved in a smaller physically-sized file. You can make some adjustments to the JPG later, but there are limitations.

A 20 x 30 print is large, but should work OK if you have the shot composed well (and minimal cropping), with good exposure, a decent lens, no motion blur and reasonable DOF. I suggest you have the camera produce both RAW and a high quality JPG. This will give you the ability of either using the JPG from the camera, or making some adjustments via the RAW file if needed.

Converting & adjusting the RAW file is pretty easy once you learn the basics. The CD that came with the camera has a very good converter, Digital Photo Professional (DPP), it's an earlier version and you should download the update from Canon's website when you're ready.

The file you send to the printer is probably in JPG format, and the color space you should work in for now is sRGB.

I suggest you spend the short time available learning the camera & lens, and how to get the exposure correct.

I hope this helps, good luck!

Re: Raw / Jpeg / Print Order Online question

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:33 pm
by mistyflowers
Thanks sooo much. I downloaded the instruction manual and have been learning as much as possible without having the camera. It will be in today.