"All power corrupts but we need the electricity."--Anonymous
Those people who tell me they capture everything in raw format remind me of
those photographers who used to shoot "everything on Velvia." Heck,
I don't even shoot everything on CompactFlash. My Canon EOS-1D Mark II
takes both CompactFlash and Secure Digital cards. Well Bunky, if you're
going to shoot raw, you're gonna need conversion software that works,
not the lame-o software that's usually bundled with the camera.
is a $15 shareware batch converter that lets Mac OS X users post-process
image files shot in raw format.
dcRAW-X is a $15 shareware batch converter (www.frostyplace.com/dcraw)
that lets Mac OS X users post-process image files shot in raw format. The program
is based on Dave Coffin's (www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin)
Linux tool called dcraw.c and currently supports over 120 digital cameras. Get
this: Images taken with Fuji's SuperCCD cameras are automatically rotated
45Þ. An unregistered copy of dcRAW-X is fully functional, but can only
convert three files at a time.
Since the PSD format output files are linear, your first impression may be that
they're too dark and you'll need to make some adjustments in Photoshop
or whatever to make the images look "right." An easy way to adjust
brightness is to set dcRAW-X's output brightness value to 5.0 or higher
and as Emeril once told me, "Season to taste."
RawShooter essentials 2005 is "free" Windows-only
software that supports more than 50 camera raw formats and Adobe's
Digital Negative standard.
For Windows Users Only
RawShooter essentials 2005 (www.pixmantec.com)
is free software that supports more than 50 raw formats along with Adobe's
Digital Negative standard but not, at this time anyway, Fuji's RAF files
(see "In Other Fuji News"). RawShooter essentials' full-screen
Slideshow tool lets you identify your best images and assign priorities so you
can quickly select a shoot's best photographs and view them separately
from the rest, a.k.a. "outs." Final results can be viewed according
to priority and processed using the program's built-in image correction
These tools let you alter shooting parameters such as white balance and exposure
and offer some cool features such as Detail Extraction, Appearance, and Fill
Light. RawShooter essentials 2005 has noise suppression technology that instead
of reducing noise in the entire image only attacks the low frequency noise commonly
found in the background, allowing you to retain maximum image sharpness and
quality. The final workflow step is converting raw files to JPEG or TIFF formats.
The batch processor is multi-threaded (see "A Stitch In Time") and
will process a queue of images while you apply corrections to others.
RawShooter essentials 2005 is so good that it's a shame Mac OS users
can't use it. Perhaps fellow Mac heads will start an
e-mail campaign to Pixmantec the way Star Trek fans did to keep "Enterprise"
on the air. Hey, it can't hurt.
In Other Fuji News
Shooters of the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro who use the company's RAF (raw)
format will be glad to know that there are other alternatives to using the software
bundled with the camera. The latest beta version of Adobe's Photoshop
CS2 now supports the RAF format, although the conversion process is a bit slower
than working with some other cameras' formats.
Adobe's Photoshop CS2 now supports Fuji's RAF format,
although the conversion process seems a bit slower than working
with some other camera manufacturers' raw formats it, at
Noise is introduced into digital images from a variety of factors, including
shooting under low-light levels, high ISO, camera sensor quality, and even environmental
conditions during capture. Noiseware (www.imagenomic.com)
rescues noisy images by recovering the original image with minimal loss in quality
and detail. It's available for the Mac OS and Windows as a Photoshop compatible
plug-in or stand-alone product. Both use heuristic programming that continuously
perfects processing. Every time you process an image Noiseware learns more about
your camera or image acquisition device. Noiseware removes high and low ISO
noise, film grain from scanned images, JPEG compression artifacts, and moiré
patterns. The interface is clean and intuitive and you can get superb results
without even reading the help file.
Noiseware is a Photoshop compatible plug-in and stand-alone product
that rescues noisy images by recovering the original image with
minimal loss in quality and detail.