Editors Notes

Editor's Notes

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 end results.

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 before.

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.