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joraft 08-13-2008 04:58 PM

One of the biggest changes for me in switching to a D700, is my first exposure (no pun intended) to RAW digital files, or NEF files as Nikon calls them.

At first, it seemed like processing them was going to be a hassle. My Photoshop CS2 didn't recognize them, and I found the Nikon software too limited for my taste. The Adobe site said that upgrading to CS3 would give me NEF compatability, but that didn't work either.

The JPEGs out of this camera are far superior to anything I've ever produced, so I had pretty much decided to stick with that. But most of the digital photo experts seem to think that if you've got RAW file capability, it's crazy not to use it. Since JPEGs are processed in the camera, to a great extent you are stuck with what you get. Yes, they can be tweaked some in Photoshop, but a lot of adjustments are just not possible. And even at the highest quality level, the JPEGs are compressed quite a bit, with a loss of a lot of good information.

On the other hand, RAW files are adjusted very little by the camera, and can almost completely overhauled by good processing software (if necessary). And the files are much smaller than JPEGs at the same quality level.

After more poking around, I found that CS3 can indeed read NEF files, but it requires an additional format file, not included in even the current CS3 package that Adobe is selling. I went to the Adobe site and downloaded this file and installed it. And eureka! CS3 opens my NEF files with a control panel to make all the adjustments that the camera would normally make (including white balance) BEFORE converting it to JPEG.

I'm really going to enjoy this camera. :D

colinwhite 08-13-2008 05:05 PM

Re: Work Flow
As you have found John, Adobe have plug-ins for the most popular raw image formats Canon, Nikon etc and John check the site for updates regularly.

DanClark 08-13-2008 05:29 PM

Re: Work Flow

I've used Nikon software and it does give you somewhat better conversion. But the overall workflow is a hassle. I use NEF direct conversion by CS3 to improve workflow.

I also use Lightroom to manage my photos. After a while, you get so many photos that it's tough to manage them all. Lightroom makes it easier to categorize and find the pics: Adobe - Photo Management Software - Photoshop Lightroom.



joraft 08-13-2008 05:49 PM

Re: Work Flow

Originally Posted by DanClark (Post 3597)

I also use Lightroom to manage my photos.

Dan, I do have Lightroom, but I haven't been able to give it much more than a cursory look yet.

So much to learn, so little time. :)

DanClark 08-13-2008 05:56 PM

Re: Work Flow
FYI, Lightroom V2 just came out. Lots of new features. Upgrade is $99 USD. I haven't upgraded yet.


joraft 08-13-2008 06:31 PM

Re: Work Flow

Originally Posted by DanClark (Post 3604)

FYI, Lightroom V2 just came out. Lots of new features.

Thanks, Dan, I just installed it.

Glad I didn't waste much time learning V1.4. :D

joraft 08-13-2008 07:35 PM

Re: Work Flow

Lightroom V2 handles NEFs very nicely. I'm not sure how it compares with all earlier versions. But as I recall, I was struggling yesterday trying to work with them in V1.4.

I'm going to get involved with Lightroom much more from this point on, for several reasons.

tvgordon 08-13-2008 11:44 PM

Re: Work Flow

You are going to use Lightroom instead of CS3 for your RAW files?

Is it easier? Lightroom cost less than CS3 doesn't it? Right now I just have Elements 5, but I don't use it too often to tweak the photos from the point-and-shoots.


DanClark 08-14-2008 01:39 AM

Re: Work Flow

I have V1.4 and am looking at V2. Apparently V2 has some rudimentary editing tools. They may be good enough to use without PSCS3. That said, I think of LR as a image management tool for PSCS3.



MichaelKellough 08-14-2008 03:15 AM

Re: Work Flow
Even with LR 2 you'll be glad you have Elements, but you might not need PS. Like Dan said LR is for basic image processing and management but v2 adds a few more retouching tools.

A review.

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