11-23-2014 10:58 PM
39 12
tools
  1. gernerttl's Avatar
    I’ve been reading this forum and it seems to me that there is some confusion about RAW image capture and processing, and how it differs from shooting in JPG mode and processing.

    To put it simply, RAW is the unprocessed, "lossless" image file format. The data is read off the sensor and saved in a file that is read by most, if not all RAW image processing apps, such as Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, etc. It first was introduced in DSLR and medium format SLR cameras. It gave professional photographers the ability to edit photos post capture in a non-destructive way; meaning any changes can be undone or changed again without affecting image quality. Of course, camera makers have proprietary RAW formats, CR2 (Canon), NEF (Nikon), etc. Enter the Adobe DNG standard. Adobe introduced the DNG, or digital negative format in Sep 2004. The intent was to provide an open standard for all still image capture. However, the major camera makers like Canon, Nikon, and a few others, continue to manufacture cameras using their own proprietary RAW formats. Several other camera makers though, have adopted DNG as their RAW capture format. Currently all DSLR, medium and large format cameras, and a select few point and shoot cameras and (to my knowledge) only three smart phones allow you to capture images in RAW format. The three smart phones, all Nokia models, are the Lumia 1020, 1520, and Icon.

    The JPG or JPEG format has been around for decades. It was designed to send efficiently send and receive image files via electronic means and by far the most used image file type. The JPG format is a "lossy" format meaning every time you open the file, edit it, and save it, you are degrading the image quality. Over time as the file is reopened and saved, you will see a noticeable degradation in quality. Additionally, you can increase compression to reduce file size; which degrades image quality. The higher the compression the lower the quality. Additionally, since it is a destructive format, any changes made to the image are permanent and once saved cannot be undone. All digital cameras allow you to capture images in the JPG format; and depending on camera/phone model you can change image quality and compression levels.

    So enough with the history lesson and let’s answer the question, “So why should you as a Lumia Icon user care? A photo is a photo right?” Well...yes…and…no.

    There are some advantages and disadvantages to each format and they pretty much depend on your photo needs and what you intend to do with them.

    Let’s start with RAW image capture.

    RAW Image capture advantages:

    - Greater post capture image editing options. Since RAW is non-destructive and lossless, you can make changes to your heart’s content without fear of permanently changing the original file. Any changes you make can be zeroed out and you can start from scratch. You also have the ability to change WB, exposure, saturation, sharpening, noise reduction etc. For example, Adobe Lightroom allows you to increase or decrease the exposure by up to 3 stops. Very handy for slightly over or under exposed photos.

    - You can export into any image file format that your RAW processing app supports; TIFF, JPG, PNG, whatever.

    - As RAW image processing apps improve, you can go back and reprocess the original file using newer algorithms. Even if it was taken 10 years ago. As long as it was shot in RAW, you can still edit it in modern RAW image processing apps.

    RAW Image capture disadvantages:

    - Larger image files. The DNG file on the Icon is a 20MB file. Since the phone is fixed 32GB, minus app storage and other files, your phone’s storage can fill up real quick.

    - The need for a third party RAW image app such as Lightroom or Aperture. Currently, there are no WP apps that allow you to process RAW files on the phone (though Photoshop Express is coming to WP soon). Therefore, you have to download the images to a computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) before converting to JPG using a RAW image conversion app.

    - Cannot upload directly to social media, send via MMS. You must convert to JPG first.

    Now let’s talk JPG.

    JPG Image capture advantages:

    - Files are much smaller, half the size or smaller. With fixed 32GB of storage this can make a difference. This also allows you to auto upload to OneDrive without putting a huge dent in your data plan.

    - You can upload the file directly to social media and send via MMS to other people without having to convert the image.

    - Plenty of image editing apps for the phone, such as Nokia Glam Me or 4Blend HDR. You can make basic edits on phone.

    JPG Image capture disadvantages:

    - Limited post capture image editing options. The white balance, exposure, etc., is set by the camera and cannot be changed post capture.

    - Because JPG is a lossy, destructive file type. Any edits you do are permanent, and you can’t change it back once you saved the file. Additionally, increased file compression will degrade the image quality the more you compress it.

    So what format should you use?

    Well… that depends on your needs and what you intend to do with the photos post capture. If you primarily shoot photos to email, text, or upload to social media, then stick with JPG capture. You can still do some on phone editing and share with family and friends while saving space on your phone.

    If, however, you are like me, a photography geek who enjoys editing high resolution photos in Lightroom and making prints, then your best bet is to use RAW capture.

    The upshot, the Icon allows you to capture in both DNG and JPG. So, if you want to play around with both you can. Once you determine which type of image capture you like and suits your needs, you can stick with that mode and snap on.
    Last edited by Timothy Gernert; 03-24-2014 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Basic grammar and readability changes.
    03-23-2014 05:49 PM
  2. unstoppablekem's Avatar
    Very smart Timmy! Excellent job. Thanks! :D
    03-23-2014 05:56 PM
  3. DaT Franchise's Avatar
    Well done, thank you for the explanation!!
    03-23-2014 06:02 PM
  4. mtalinm's Avatar
    fabulous! I knew that DNG avoided all of the user modification (except for shutter speed, I suppose) but did not know about the editing advantages.

    let's just hope that 8.1 allows for automatic upload of DNG as well! for now, Pocket File Manager works well as long as you keep a long screen timeout.
    03-23-2014 07:20 PM
  5. gernerttl's Avatar
    True. I did notice that I still have more control over my images from my 6D. But since that is a 20MP full frame DSLR, that is to be expected.

    Yes. Pocket File Manager is great. I was skeptical of it at first, but the more I've used it, the better I like it. I wish it would ignore the lock screen. In any case, I just keep bumping the volume button every couple of minutes.
    03-23-2014 08:45 PM
  6. Indistinguishable's Avatar
    This is well written and informative. Mind going through and adding some spaces between points & paragraphs? That would make it a much easier read. Thanks!
    03-24-2014 09:28 AM
  7. gernerttl's Avatar
    Thanks. I've edited it make it more readable and fixed some grammatical errors.
    03-24-2014 01:47 PM
  8. mtalinm's Avatar
    There's no way to disable the DNG save for a single photo is there? (other than going to the settings page, lazy I know).

    There are a fair number of "junk" photos where I'm never going to want the high-res version, hence the question...
    03-24-2014 02:11 PM
  9. gernerttl's Avatar
    There's no way to disable the DNG save for a single photo is there? (other than going to the settings page, lazy I know).

    There are a fair number of "junk" photos where I'm never going to want the high-res version, hence the question...
    No there is not. The file format selection is for all images captured. This is true even for DSLRs and other cameras that can save in RAW format. The only way to get rid of the "junk" photos is to either delete them using Pocket File Manager or other third party app, or connect to your computer and delete them that way.

    Btw, thanks for the question. That's another disadvantage of RAW capture (at least on a smartphone).

    If you want to delete an image, deleting using the built in "Photos" app only deletes the JPG version, NOT the DNG version. To delete the DNG version, you have to use a third party app such as Pocket File Manager (and hopefully you know which file it is) and delete it manually. Otherwise, wait until you get back to your computer download and view them with your RAW converter/processor of choice and delete from there.
    03-24-2014 02:38 PM
  10. JBConforti's Avatar
    There's no way to disable the DNG save for a single photo is there? (other than going to the settings page, lazy I know).

    There are a fair number of "junk" photos where I'm never going to want the high-res version, hence the question...

    You have three options: One "Low" quality (5mp), One "low" plus one "high" (5mp + 16mp jpg) and One "Low" plus one "high" raw( 5mp jpg +16mp jpg)

    wp_ss_20140324_0002.jpg
    03-24-2014 02:45 PM
  11. gernerttl's Avatar
    You have three options: One "Low" quality (5mp), One "low" plus one "high" (5mp + 16mp jpg) and One "Low" plus one "high" raw( 5mp jpg +16mp jpg)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks. But that is a global (pre capture) setting; meaning, once set, ALL images are saved in that format from that point forward. There is no way to select file format post capture, which is what mtalinm was asking.
    03-24-2014 03:20 PM
  12. XT14N's Avatar
    I have a couple of questions:

    1. Would the app "Files" from Microsoft be capable of deleting the RAW files like Pocket Manager?

    2. How does OneDrive upload work for the 1020? Initially I heard that it will only upload the jpeg and not the high resolution images. In addition, doesn't OneDrive auto uploads take extra room in your phone also?
    10-12-2014 12:47 AM
  13. gernerttl's Avatar
    I have a couple of questions:
    1. Would the app "Files" from Microsoft be capable of deleting the RAW files like Pocket Manager?
    Yes.

    2. How does OneDrive upload work for the 1020? Initially I heard that it will only upload the jpeg and not the high resolution images. In addition, doesn't OneDrive auto uploads take extra room in your phone also?
    You have to upload manually via PFM or Microsoft Files. OneDrive does not upload RAW images automatically only JPG and video. As far as I know, the auto upload function of OneDrive does not use any extra space on the phone, unlike a desktop or laptop running OneDrive.
    XT14N likes this.
    10-12-2014 12:57 AM
  14. gernerttl's Avatar
    If you want to delete an image, deleting using the built in "Photos" app only deletes the JPG version, NOT the DNG version. To delete the DNG version, you have to use a third party app such as Pocket File Manager (and hopefully you know which file it is) and delete it manually. Otherwise, wait until you get back to your computer download and view them with your RAW converter/processor of choice and delete from there.
    Edit: I inadvertently tested this. If you delete the JPG version using the "Photos" app, it DOES delete the DNG version as well. I found that out the hard way. :(
    980z and XT14N like this.
    10-12-2014 01:00 AM
  15. Ankmeyester's Avatar
    Thanks :)
    10-12-2014 01:36 AM
  16. gernerttl's Avatar
    You're welcome. :)
    10-12-2014 02:09 AM
  17. gernerttl's Avatar

    - The need for a third party RAW image app such as Lightroom or Aperture. Currently, there are no WP apps that allow you to process RAW files on the phone (though Photoshop Express is coming to WP soon). Therefore, you have to download the images to a computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) before converting to JPG using a RAW image conversion app.
    Update: I found an app called "Image Converter." It cost $1.99. I haven't played with it much, but it seems you can only convert the image. You can't edit the image (i.e. increase/decrease exposure, etc.).

    Image Converter | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States)
    10-12-2014 02:17 AM
  18. XT14N's Avatar
    "Rawer" also has an editor feature. You can buy it for $1.99 via IAP.
    gernerttl likes this.
    10-12-2014 07:18 AM
  19. XT14N's Avatar

    You have to upload manually via PFM or Microsoft Files. OneDrive does not upload RAW images automatically only JPG and video. As far as I know, the auto upload function of OneDrive does not use any extra space on the phone, unlike a desktop or laptop running OneDrive.
    I was hoping that the auto upload feature in the backup menu would just do it for me.

    Thanks for your assistance!
    10-12-2014 07:19 AM
  20. psiu_glen's Avatar
    "Rawer" also has an editor feature. You can buy it for $1.99 via IAP.

    This only works on 8.1, fwiw (probably file access reasons?). Can't get it on stock.
    XT14N and gernerttl like this.
    10-14-2014 09:12 AM
  21. gernerttl's Avatar
    Thanks! I'm running WP8.1 DP so I gave Rawer a try. It seems to work decently. My daughter and I are going camping out in Waimanalo this weekend, so that will be a good chance to give it a good try.

    Edit: The camping trip was postponed due to a hurricane. So first week of December we're heading out. As long as God doesn't decide to throw another hurricane at us again...
    Last edited by gernerttl; 11-20-2014 at 01:23 PM.
    XT14N likes this.
    10-14-2014 01:53 PM
  22. Kasey Pierce's Avatar
    Could you recommend any good photo editing applications for my PC? I know of Light room and Adobe of course, but i don't want to pay a zillion dollars to edit a few photos. Know of any?
    11-20-2014 08:34 PM
  23. drewman77's Avatar
    It doesn't have to cost a zillion dollars.

    You can get a subscription to Lightroom/Photoshop for $10 a month. For my purposes, that is a steal. For others, it would be a waste of money.

    https://creative.adobe.com/plans/photography

    But if you want free there is Able RAWer

    Free RAW editor. Free RAW corrector. Free RAW converter.
    Kasey Pierce likes this.
    11-20-2014 08:39 PM
  24. Ed Boland's Avatar
    Great post by the OP! Should be a sticky in the photography section of the forums.
    gernerttl likes this.
    11-20-2014 08:56 PM
  25. DavidinCT's Avatar
    Here is a little tool that I found where you can view thumbnails on RAW files in Windows 7 X64 (not sure about 8)

    It's free too :)

    Visual Bakery - Ollis Photo Tools
    11-22-2014 04:09 PM
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