Please pardon my total lack of understanding here. If you use 4.0 elements do you have to buy Nikon software as a plug in to open and process raw images? If you use CS2 then do you need additional software to convert raw images? Then after you process the raw image how do you save it so you can use it? Now can you see I know nothing about this. I never like to let people know my lack of knowledge but here I have to humble myself. CS2 is my fist choice for photoshop but as you jnow it is costly. Having the old 10.2 Mac I do not even know if 4.0 will run on it. Right now working the money thing out just for the camera is a lot let alone up grading my computer. keepim myself in the dark a few years has left me to do some catching up. You guys are way ahead of me here. Monte.
The RAW plugin for Elements 3/4 is a free download from Adobe. It may already come with P/S CS II, but in any event it's a no charge item. It's not available at all with P/S CS. I have Elements 3 and I downloaded it. It works fine.
As to what will run on your computer, you can check this out on the Adobe web site. You can also download a 30 day free trial there I am pretty sure.
As far as the actual processing of a RAW file is concerned, you don't actually change the original RAW image file. When you you first open the image into your workplace in Photoshop/Elements/other program, it is just an "image".
You then make the corrections to "that" image and when done, you save it as a PSD or a Tiff. The original RAW file remains untouched for you to use later, if desired, just like a negative.
Hope that helps a bit,
Thanks Dave that helps. So the raw image is kind of like a negitive. so as long as you have the raw plug-in photoshop it will open the image as it would a Jpeg. From there you do your work then save the image PSD. What if you use an online lab and they request you use Jpeg files. Can you still keep all the information that is in the raw file when it is changed to Jpeg. I imagined many find this amusing,but I have to ask these silly questions.
I hope to have a camera in a couple weeks. Thats if everything goes good. It will be a while before I upgrade my elements program so I will have to work with JPegs for a while. Boy do I have a lot to learn.
Any Raw converter will provide a dialogue as to how to save a Raw file that has been opened. That usually functions the same as SaveAs from any image editor. You are making a new file from the data held by the Raw converter in RAM.
BTW check your e-mail in the forum, I sent you a message with information via the forum's private message.
When you reduce the image to a jpeg, you are losing quite a bit of information, but most on line labs insist on jpeg format. What normally I do is also keep the original PSD or Tiff and make a copy which is reduced to a jpeg for online photofinishing. You will also have to change the color space (with most labs) to sRGB if you are using Adobe RGB.
In my case, the photo manager of our local Long's drugs had been both a 20 year camera store and a lab owner before semi retiring up here. So we are getting almost custom lab quality with their Fuji Frontier. If I want a bunch of 4 x 6's or 5 x 7's, I color correct and resize a batch to that size @ 300 ppi and burn them to a CD.
What I personally do with RAW files is actually copy the entire batch directly from the card via a card reader into a folder on my hard drive. That becomes my permament record.
Thanks Dave this all helps me to better understand Raw files. David I did read my message and I will get in touch with you down the road. I think until I am there I will not get the full understanding but sure glad you guys are here to help Thanks Monte
David since I am using the older 10.28 mac system I can only update my Elements program to 3.0 until I replace my Mac. Now if I have 3.0 Elements then do I really need any of the Nikon software to work with raw images or can I just open them in phtotshop and do what I want there. Probably thinking this is really a dumb question but I had to ask. Other thing is before when I used digital I used a card reader which supported compact flash cards. I always just plugged it into the computer then dragged the file to the desktop where I would open the images in photoshop. Since it supported compact flash cards will it work with the new cards from the Nikon. I am buying a Lexar 2Gig card for the Nikon. Monte.
Not dumb at all. This stuff we use gets made obsolete rather rapidly. All I can suggest is that if your card reader is new enough to have USB 2.0 support it should be compatible. All you can do is try. Fortunately USB 2.0 card readers are getting cheaper and cheaper.
You don't need to or have to use the Nikon software. The standard Nikon software is a pretty sorry bit of programming. But Nikon recently bought a software company and their first product is Nikon Capture NX, which is a great improvement over anything nikon has published in the past. Sadly Nikon does not give NX away free to camera buyers.
The latest Adobe Camera Raw upgrade should plug into Elements 3.0 or Photoshop CS, which will give you direct access to open the Nikon Raw files using a card reader and just dragging the files to your desktop. I think that is how most digital camera users work as it is the most efficient workflow.
While still in beta you might even want to consider trying out Adobe LightRoom. But personally if I needed heavy duty image file management, I would probably choose Apple's Aperture. But then LightRoom may when finished be better than it is now still in beta.
Thanks David. I will need a lot of help here. I believe some of my thinking will probably change. MOnte.