Beginner tips for raw images: 05 Raw images let you rescue detail
The extra information contained in raw images compared with JPEGs means that they are much better at dealing with high-contrast scenes.
Although it’s possible to boost the shadow detail in a JPEG, this often comes with a large increase in image noise, and you don’t always want that on your images.
With a raw file, you can reveal shadow detail and still achieve high-quality results.
You can use the highlight recovery tools in Photoshop CS or Photoshop Elements to get a little more highlight detail from a JPEG image, but you’ll recover much more if you shoot raw.
Remember, the files contain more information to start with, which can then be recovered using raw-conversion software.
Beginner tips for raw images: 06 Not all raw images are the same
Unlike JPEGs, there isn’t a standard for the raw images produced by most of the cameras made by big-name manufacturers.
Each of them has its own distinct raw file format, and even more confusingly, each model of camera has its own version of this format.
So, current Canon cameras will produce a raw file with a .cr2 suffix, and the raw file from an EOS 650D SLR will actually be slightly different to one from an EOS 7D.
To further confuse matters, there is an exception to this rule. DNG is a file format developed by Adobe that can be used by any manufacturer.
But of the main DSLR manufacturers only Pentax has included it on its cameras up to now.
Even if you use another brand of camera, DNG can still be a useful format to consider, because it can be used as a way of opening raw images from new cameras in old versions of Photoshop and Elements.