More and more digital cameras
are now offering a new file format that may be the best choice for those
who really want to get into their digital image files. Known collectively
as raw, it doesn't really stand for anything, as do the initials
in JPEG and TIFF. Raw means just that--the raw image data that goes
from the sensor to the memory card. Unlike TIFF and JPEG, raw files are
not subject to a lot of image processing in the camera. Instead, you supply
the image processing yourself when you open the image in the camera maker
or a third-party software program. There you can set any white balance,
exposure compensation, color shift, sharpness, etc. that you might desire.
Raw started out as a bit of a mystery, but in this issue we bring you
two reports on why it might be worth considering, especially if you want
to get the most information out of your images and involved with your
We also have two Test Reports that to me mirror what's happening
in the photography world today. They cover both ends of the spectrum--on
one hand there's the Nikon N75, a great 35mm SLR that brings many
advanced features to an amateur camera, and on the other there's
the Kodak DCS Pro 14n, a very high-end digital SLR that's a digital
powerhouse that can deliver incredibly large image files without the need
for a digital back.
You might think that including both in the same magazine is odd, but it
does point out the amazing options we have as photographers today. We
get letters all the time about the film and digital debate, and all we
can say is that in our reporting we do our best to inform you about the
tools of the craft that keep getting better and more diverse. Many photographers
carry both film and digital and use each medium for what it does best.
And, after many have gone through their "digital honeymoon"
they realize that film has merits that digital cannot provide. But are
they going to switch back and keep on a straight and narrow film path?
Not that we've heard, especially after photographers realize how
digital can get them to places and open creative doors that were unavailable
And speaking of digital, we're very proud of our staff of contributors
here at Shutterbug and our sister publication eDigitalPHOTO and how they've
helped us all in our need to know about the latest in digital cameras
and techniques. We're even prouder when they bring their accumulated
knowledge and experience to bear on a new book; and we're even prouder
when they collaborate on that book. 50 Fast Digital Camera Techniques
is the new book from Gregory Georges, Larry Berman, and Chris Maher. This
new book from Wiley Publishing is packed with great information for the
digital camera user and is aimed primarily at what we call the digicam,
or compact digital camera crowd. In over 300 pages you'll find great
tips on how to get familiar with your digital camera, a whole bunch of
picture making techniques, how-to's on advanced features, choosing
accessories to enhance your digital experience, creative photography,
and moving up to an SLR. Included with this well-illustrated book is a
CD-ROM with all the images in the book plus a tryout version of Photoshop
Elements 2.0, and more. There's also a companion web site (www.reallyusefulpage.com),
an online forum for the book, and e-mail addresses where you can communicate
with the authors. All in all it's a great book to have and to use.
By the way, if you'd prefer an e-book version you can use the CD-ROM
to access it as well. Is this a plug for our writers? You bet, and like
I said we're proud of the work they do and hope that when you see
a book or workshop or any other endeavor our contributors engage in we
hope you support them and use it as another learning experience.