Which settings can I ignore, and which do I still need to set in-camera if I’m shooting raw?
It’s true you can change many settings when you convert your raw images on the computer, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to ignore them all when you take your shots – especially when it comes to exposure.
Even a raw file can only hold so much tonal information, so you must still expose your images correctly.
It’s also worth setting the white balance accurately, for two reasons. First, getting white balance right will save you time when you come to convert your images, because most raw converters can use the white balance from the camera as the default value; and second, the white balance you choose will affect the range of tones in your image, which can affect the exposure.
Most of the other settings, such as sharpening, High ISO Noise Reduction and even the colour space are only used as tags on the raw image, so they don’t directly affect the file.
This means that if you open your image in your camera manufacturer’s raw-processing software these settings can be applied as default, but you have the option of changing them when you process the image.
One exception is the Long Exposure Noise Reduction feature. This exposes a second dark frame after the main exposure to reduce noise during long exposures, and this data is used for raw as well as JPEG images.
PAGE 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of shooting raw?
PAGE 2: What’s the most useful thing I can do with a raw file that I can’t with a JPEG?
PAGE 3: All professional photographers shoot raw files, don’t they?
PAGE 4: How do I select the option to shoot raw files on my camera?
PAGE 5: Which settings can I ignore and which do I still need to set in-camera?
Stop Wasting Pictures! 10 tips for bagging a keeper every time
Digital camera effects from A-Z
101 Photoshop tips you have to know
How to blend two photos for the perfect exposure
49 awesome photography tips and time savers
Download free photography cheat sheets