Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Raw vs. JPG or TIFF files, part of Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Camera Raw 6.
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As I mentioned previously, one of the benefits of using Adobe Camera Raw is that we can RAW-process TIFFs, JPEGs and RAW files. So, why not always use TIFFs or JPEGs, because JPEGs have that smaller file size, why do we need to use these RAW files? Well, RAW files have a lot of information in them, a lot of dynamic range, a lot of depth. Camera Raw can take advantage of that. If we work with JPEGs, we can process our photographs, although it's going to be a little bit more limiting. What I want to do here is illustrate how this works.
Well, you can see that I have two photos. The only difference is that one is a JPEG and one is a RAW file. You can see in the Metadata panel down here that we have the actual dimensions and the file size. When we compare that to the RAW file, we have the same dimensions, yet we have so much more information. All right. Well, let's go ahead and open up both of these in Camera Raw. So, hold down the Command key on a Mac, Ctrl key on Windows and click on both images. Next, we're going to navigate to our File pulldown menu. Here, we're going to choose Open in Camera Raw.
This will then launch Camera Raw. Currently, one of the things that I've turned on in Camera Raw is this indicator, which shows me clipping. You can turn that on by clicking on the top right-hand corner here. It's showing me that I have some highlight problems in this particular photograph. Now, this is the JPEG file. Let's take a look at the RAW file. Now when I look at the RAW file, I notice that yes, indeed I have some clipping here as well. Well, one of the things that we can do in Camera Raw is we can correct that. We can bring back some of those highlights, because what clipping means is we have loss of detail in this particular area.
In other words, it's overexposed on the front of the car. Let's take a look at how we can actually correct this. Well, what we can do is use what's called the Recovery slider. So if I go ahead and click and drag this Recovery slider up, you can see that it's now showing me that there isn't any clipping. What was red was the problem area. Now the problem area is almost gone. I'll go ahead and increase this just perhaps a little bit more. Here we can see that, let's say, at about 30, we have almost the entire problem corrected. Well, that's because this is a RAW file.
Now on the other hand, if we go to the JPEG file and do the same thing, let's take a look at how this works. I'll increase my Recovery amount to the same number there, which was 30, but in this case, we still have a huge problem. So, what we're going to need to do is to continue to crank up our Recovery slider, and continue to pull it up, and up and up. One of the reasons this is happening is because the JPEG just doesn't have as much information. In other words, it's a little bit more difficult for Camera Raw to work on this JPEG file. So, I show you this illustration, not to teach you how to work with Camera Raw.
We'll be doing that later. Rather, I show you this, just to illustrate this idea that if ever you have a choice between processing a JPEG or a RAW file, go with the RAW file, because there is so much more information there. The more information you have, the better off Camera Raw will do. It will enable and empower you to make more compelling and engaging adjustments, improvements and corrections on your photographs.
- Comparing Camera Raw and Photoshop
- Understanding the differences between raw and JPEG or TIFF
- Converting to the DNG format
- Opening an image as a Smart Object
- Working with the Crop and Straighten tools
- Color correcting
- Retouching blemishes
- Reducing exposure with the Graduated Filter tool
- Reducing noise and sharpening
- Creative editing in Camera Raw