Old 10-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
Tennispro4ever
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Default Looking for a good free RAW Editor..Suggestions..

Hello all...I'm slowly getting back into not only photography but also trying to get back into rail photography. I'm using my good old Nikon D40 and have been using Gimp for photography editing. I've never shot in RAW but after much reading it looks like it's much easier to fix the small things....color, white balance, underexposure, ect. I'm not really familiar with RAW but am willing to learn and produce some excellent photos.

Here is a link I found with several free ones...just wondering if anybody have any recommendations or comments. Thank again and I hope to be uploading more shots soon. I literally just got started when my life went upside down. Thanks again.

http://photo.stackexchange.com/quest...ter-on-windows
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Last edited by Tennispro4ever; 10-07-2012 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Correct non FB link
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:22 AM   #2
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Gimp will edit raw, but you have to use your Nikon software to convert the file from the proprietary NEF to a raw format of your liking like TIFF, etc. that GIMP will recognize. My photos from Oct 7, 2007 on to present have been edited this way.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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Really?

You can't shoot RAW directly in the camera with a Nikon?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Holloran Grade View Post
Really?

You can't shoot RAW directly in the camera with a Nikon?
Huh? Of course you shoot RAW in camera. The issue is what happens once you take it out of the camera. All "RAW" formats are proprietary. Nikon uses NEF, Canon uses CR2. You have to use a RAW converter to turn them into something you can actually edit in you photo editing software of choice. Canon, and I presume Nikon, provide you with their own RAW conversion software in the box with the camera - not that I've ever used my Canon-provided software. Instead, I use the plug-in for Photoshop Elements and do all my RAW editing in Photoshop. Saves the hassle of having to open one software program to do the RAW conversion, then another to do the photo editing.

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:55 AM   #5
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Try Raw Therapee

http://rawtherapee.com/

Works with most popular camera brand flavours of RAW
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jnohallman View Post
Canon, and I presume Nikon, provide you with their own RAW conversion software in the box with the camera - not that I've ever used my Canon-provided software. Instead, I use the plug-in for Photoshop Elements and do all my RAW editing in Photoshop. Saves the hassle of having to open one software program to do the RAW conversion, then another to do the photo editing.
I've never edited a raw image before. I convert all my raw files to jpg using Canon's DPP. I then edit the jpg in Photoshop. I've never found that procedure to be a hassle, either.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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When you buy a Nikon camera, they provide only the most rudimentary raw editing software in the box. Something called ViewNX will enable you to do some basic editing, but to really do a thorough job, you either would need to purchase Nikon's proprietary program, called CaptureNX2, or use a 3rd party program like Adobe PS, LR, or PSE.

I personally like Lightroom, because pretty much everything happens before the raw conversion to TIFF, JPG, or PSD is done. Lightroom is also neat because it doesn't actually DO anything until you export the image into one of the above formats. It accumulates a list of edits, and shows you what those will look like, but nothing actually happens. Until you export, you are never really SAVING anything.

I like doing as much in raw as possible, because of the latitude available to change things like exposure. Once you convert to JPG, the latitude to change those things is diminished. This may not be an issue for the vast majority of front-lit, outdoor, day-shots, but for some pictures in really challenging light situations, the ability to do selective edits, and change exposure up to a couple of stops really makes the difference between an image you can use and an "almost-but-not-quite".

There may be some "freeware" out there that does an OK job, but you'll still have to invest the time to find out if it meets your needs. $75 - $100 for PSE is really not a lot of money to get a mountain of capability, and it will be a package that lots of other people can help you with.

Just my thoughts....
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:58 AM   #8
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Awesome. Thanks to all for the help. I have been playing a little with RAW Therapee and so far I love it. I really won't have any use for Photoshop/Gimp unless I can't fix it in RAW. I will be taking my trusty Nikon D40 out in a few weeks to capture some action near Joplin, Missouri. Until then thank again and look forward to getting more experience and more shots into the Database.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennispro4ever View Post
Awesome. Thanks to all for the help. I have been playing a little with RAW Therapee and so far I love it. I really won't have any use for Photoshop/Gimp unless I can't fix it in RAW.
Most people will use Photoshop (or Gimp etc) to work on shots once they have been initially processed through their RAW converter (be that RAW Therapee, Adobe Camera RAW, Adobe Lightroom, the various converters that come with Canon, Nikon cameras etc, or in my case DxO Optics Pro.

The editing suites usually allow much finer adjustment of the shot with the ability to work on sections of the picture rather than as a whole
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