RAW file format and program I use to work with it

Taking pictures in RAW file format has huge benefits. First of all you can better correct the exposure parameter. This is important because

a) if you shoot a picture and went home with the exposure not as you was expected (too light or too dark), you can easily correct 2-3 steps.

b) if you want to shoot a picture with low ISO and there is not enough light, the shutter would work to slow to get focused view, for your chosen aperture - try to shoot it -1 or -1,5 steps (manual correction) - you can always correct it at home, because it's RAW file format.

c) white balance is very important issue in photography. If you shoot in RAW file format you can more easily correct it. You can cold or warm the color, add tint - it's hundred of times easier than to correct it in JPG.

It's only one minus to shoot In RAW file format as I know - If you want to shoot series (many shoots in one time), it would be slower than in JPG because of the size of the file (raw is bigger). But if you camera is fast enough - shoot it in RAW and you'll definitely see the benefits.

The program I use to work with RAW is "darktable 9", It's totally free. But works only in ubuntu or linux.

I hope this article inspires someone to try to shoot in RAW file format and discover it's benefits. Good luck!

I used RAW to find the colours

Photo credits: Darius Strazdas.

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July 12, 2013


Nice images!

January 19, 2012


Thanks for information.rnI works with RAW file and little adjust correct images.rnI use Nikon ViewNX for nikon raw file (.NEF).

January 18, 2012


Thanks for the answer!

Well, I am kind of giving up RAW, since I was shooting RAW full quality and the result was that one. With JPEG I have what I want. It's really strange, it shouldn't happen like that... anyway, in my personal gallery (in another site) I posted the same question, and some people told me that they also gave up RAW and so do many professional photographers, due to the massive extra work, time and in the end, the final costumer doesn't feel any difference... This recent experiment made me realize that RAW isn't maybe that important... Hope I'm not saying something stupid....

Once again, thanks for the answer!


January 18, 2012


Jonybigude, I don't understand how could it be. I know that Canon as the other system has two RAW file formats. Try to setup the different one in you camera options. One of the formats is smaller, maybe that is the problem. You should try both RAW formats and compare it.

January 16, 2012


I'm having a big trouble over here with RAW format due to printing size is very important to me because I also sell physical format...! Here’s the thing:

I have an old camera (olympus sp560uz) and it has a 12Mp capacity. It takes photos with max resolution 2448 × 3264px with 72pixels/inch which is translated into images with a print size of 86,36cm x 115,15cm.

My new camera, a canon eos550D has 18mp! It can shoot in RAW format and the resolution of the images is 3456 × 5184px with (and here we go!) 350pixels/inch which is translated into images with a print size of 25,08cm x 37,62cm!!!!

How is this possible?! I don't understand it... If I shoot in JPG with that camera, I'll get an amazing 3456 × 5184px but now with a 72pixels/inch and a print size of 121,92 × 182,88.

Can someone explain this to me? What am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance...

January 16, 2012


Interesting information .

January 12, 2012


Thanks for the advice, I will try to shoot in Raw : )

January 11, 2012


I always shoot RAW, and the main benefit for me is not having to worry about white balance. Also important is the ability to pull back the highlights a bit, or lift the shadows. I do find with my Canon 7D that there isn't much room to lift shadows before I see some noise or banding. For stock you usually need to get it quite close to avoid noise issues.

One neat thing about Canon cameras is the mRAW and sRAW file sizes. They are smaller to work with but still give you the exposure latitude and white balance benefit. Handy if you know you won't print big. I've starting using that at family gatherings - the mRAW is 10MP and plenty big for family shots. Still OK for stock if something comes up - but I keep a custom mode set for 'stock' use on the fly...

January 11, 2012


Thanks for your blog, full of good advises.

January 11, 2012


I agree with you, Herlies. I meant about the specific situation, trying to catch the faster act, moving object. Where is no time to get a tripod. Shoot in minus exposure is not recommend also talking about the noise. If you correct the exposure from minus to normal - every time you have much noise in the photo.

January 11, 2012


I do not fully agree with you about shoot at -1.5, -2 IL and then correct the exposition in post-prod.

Indeed in a photo 80% of the data are collected in high tones (the right area of the histogram). Therefore shooting at -1.5 or -2 IL allow you to have a faster speed but at the end even with adding exposition in post-prod, you will get photo with very few information in it so low details.

So prefer a tripod if possible!

January 10, 2012


Thanks for remark about memory card, Jdanne! Yes, it can effect too.

January 10, 2012


Thanks a lot for sharing! It's essential to have a quick memory card, too. I made this experience during a sport event: After my quick and expensive memory card was full I had to use my second
one - inexpensive but slow. Shooting series in RAW format became much slower with the cheap card.

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