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Old 06-05-2009, 09:29 PM
1buzz
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Taking Orchid Pictures With RAW Format

Iím trying to get some information from your Camera experts about taking close up pictures of Orchids in a RAW format. I was at an Orchid Show in Santa Barbara this past March and I noticed a guy with a big camera with two big flashes attached on the side of the camera taking close up pictures of the various Orchids at the show.. He said he was in the camera business dealing with Orchids. I told him I was having trouble getting pictures to look good particularly close ups of Orchids that were "white" in color. He said that I needed to get into cameras that had RAW format. Is that right can you improve the quality of Orchids that are white by using RAW format as opposed to JEPG. I was also thinking about getting a new camera, Canon G10 that seems to cover all the bases. Also I have heard that there is some new RAW converter software, Picasa 3 from Goggle that you can download free and it works great in editing your RAW pictures and you donít have to pay for Photoshop. Any thoughts I would appreciate. Thanks
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:45 AM
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I am a novice with digital photography but i think RAW is the data before compressed to JPG and that most of cameras still hold the RAW data. I have a friend with apperture 2 that has great compatibility with RAW cameras and also a feature that extracts RAW data from jpg cameras. Or something like this. Picassa i think works in a similar way but i think apperture 2 is one of the most professional software out there in terms of digital photography. Maybe you could go to aple.com and check it out in terms of features. They also have some digital photography tutorials in video format.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:11 AM
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"Is that right can you improve the quality of Orchids that are white by using RAW format as opposed to JEPG."

When you photograph in RAW, as opposed to jpeg, you are free to edit and save your image as many times as you need. The RAW format maintains the original information of the image when it was first taken, no matter how many times you edit it. When editing and saving jpeg images, if done so more than once, the image data is compressed over and over again and you will lose the image's original information as recorded by the camera. So if you photograph a white orchid in jpeg and decide to edit and save a couple of times your white orchid may lose it's whiteness and other aspects such as sharpness. The format you choose will definitely affect how much you can enlarge your images as well. When you go to enlarge an edited jpeg image it may look distorted.

I'd say definitely go for a camera with RAW format. My camera has both RAW and jpeg which I believe many do. I alternate depending on what I'm using the images for. If I want a quick upload with no editing, I use jpeg. If I am looking to edit for a more polished image that I can enlarge above 8X10, I use RAW.


That's my two cents. I hope it helps.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:30 AM
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Unless you are going produce to large blowups, print a book, or make a coffee table book of your orchids as you can from within iPhoto in Mac software, RAW IS A BIT OF OVER KILL. I personally don't use it as a rule due to the horrendous size of the images.

BTW I make A2 (17" wide) posters for the waiting room at work, and ONLY ONCE used RAW format and haven't used it since as I quickly ran out of storage space.

I get excellent results from my Olympus 6 Mpixel point and shoot, and from my Canon 40D SLR on High Quality when doing the posters. Remembering I am a professional medical photographer and a keen nature photographer, I have not seen any reasons as yet to go to RAW.

If I was publishing my work, maybe.

With proper use of lighting, whether it be flash, natural light, or reflected light, and a speed / aperture combination, there is very little you can't photograph. I have the images from my P&S to prove it.

There are several members of this forum who can vouch for what I say after me helping them achieve what they thought was up until then impossible.

You can get excellent results using RAW, but who wants to deal with files in the vicinity of 20 to 40 Mb ???????
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1buzz View Post
I’m trying to get some information from your Camera experts about taking close up pictures of Orchids in a RAW format. I was at an Orchid Show in Santa Barbara this past March and I noticed a guy with a big camera with two big flashes attached on the side of the camera taking close up pictures of the various Orchids at the show.
RAW is a debate I will leave to others.

I will address the flash he was using, since I have a similar unit. It was (probably) a macro twin light (Canon MT-24EX); I use a Canon macro ring light (MR-14EX). Both of the units are very adjustable and have various advantages; doing a Google search on the model names and numbers I've listed will lead to discussions and examples. More than anything, good lighting is important when taking macros (not that I've mastered it or anything - I just know that good lighting is essential!).
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