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Thread: RAW Processing Program

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    Member beaujest4's Avatar
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    RAW Processing Program

    G'Day People,

    Long story, short version with simple Question.

    Our Daughter and Son-in-law are living with his family in a little place in Texas USA. He has recently bought himself a pretty decent size telescope and one thing led to another and I sent them my old Nikon D300 with all the kit I had for it, card, batteries, charger, DX lenses etc. My Daughter is pretty artsy with her drawings and also has a pretty good eye to see a good shot so I know it will get used and be a step up from the point and shot they have.

    Now my question is, while I pay monthly to use Lightroom myself, I don't know what other programs there are out there they can download to open and edit any RAW files. Until they learn more about it, what free downloads are there for RAW processing that work?
    Cheers Al

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Any raw file, or just the NEFs from the D300?

    If the latter, then the free CaptureNX from Nikon.

    There are several version, and I'll let the likes of AK weigh in on the differences.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Carpe Diem Gazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaujest4 View Post
    G'Day People,

    Long story, short version with simple Question.

    Our Daughter and Son-in-law are living with his family in a little place in Texas USA. He has recently bought himself a pretty decent size telescope and one thing led to another and I sent them my old Nikon D300 with all the kit I had for it, card, batteries, charger, DX lenses etc. My Daughter is pretty artsy with her drawings and also has a pretty good eye to see a good shot so I know it will get used and be a step up from the point and shot they have.

    Now my question is, while I pay monthly to use Lightroom myself, I don't know what other programs there are out there they can download to open and edit any RAW files. Until they learn more about it, what free downloads are there for RAW processing that work?
    Just a thought...you can use your Adobe subscription on two different computers so if you're comfortable with them having access to to your Adobe account there is no reason she couldn't share yours.

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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    Coral processes RAW, without having to convert to Jpeg
    cc and enjoy

    Photography is painting with light

    K1, Pentax 18-250mm zoom, Pentax 100mm macro, Sigma 50-500mm, Pentax 28-105mm
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaujest4 View Post

    Now my question is, while I pay monthly to use Lightroom myself, I don't know what other programs there are out there they can download to open and edit any RAW files. Until they learn more about it, what free downloads are there for RAW processing that work?
    have a look at Faststone .... https://www.faststone.org/index.htm
    or Gimp ... https://www.gimp.org/
    These do require a learning curve.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

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    Thanks guys.

    ameerat, now that you mention it I think from memory they were NEF file, not RAW. Capture NX may be the way to go for them. Thanks

    Gazza, didn't know if I could use it on a different computer or not, thanks.

    Mudman and Mark, thanks.

    I'll pass that on to the them. Thanks again guys.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    NEF (Nikon Electronic Format) is the [class] of raw file from Nikon. - Ie, Nikon raw file.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Also of notable commentary, what do you mean when you say raw processing?

    Do you mean the ability to post process the raw image(which is really a file, but same thing in this case), or just process the image into a more easily viewed format.

    Mudman commented that Corel doesn't convert to jpg to process a raw image.
    No raw processing software will do that, but they all do have internal workings where they create their own image type which is what you're looking at when you post process.

    I'm sure I read that Adobe uses their own psd format, Nikon's software uses the tif format(dunno what Corel uses).
    What this means is that while you're making edits, you don't physically do it to the NEF file, you're making your changes to a temporary file used behind the scenes.

    Lots of folks don't like CpatureNX-D(actually, lots never liked Nikon's software, ever) .. I really only used Nikon's software across the years.

    For a D300 NEF, I'd recommend ViewNX2 for preliminary viewing/sorting(and keywording if they can be bothered). Better program to use for those primary edits/sorts/tags processes.

    And for more detailed editing of the raw file, then can also be handy to have Capture NX-D. This is the only software from Nikon I've had issues with .. slow, buggy, barely any features worthy of commentary, slow ... did I mention slow!.
    Prior to this(years ago now) they had CaptureNX(and 2) .. CNX was OK, but CNX2 was the better of the Nikon software.
    They first introduced the concept of point and click editing using control point tools.
    I find editing tedious, so want the simplest quickest least fiddly process .. ie. control point image editing .. ie. have tried others(incl Adobes) but always go back to Nikon's software. But I did end up also buying DxO's Photolab as it natively uses CCP editing too. Actually works really well too, compared to the add ons for Adobes programs.
    I got DxO because NX-D was unusable. But it got much better, and now actually works!!
    So I've not used DxO for a long time(but it's handy for me to have tho) .. just that for NEF files, VNX2 is my go too, then CNX-D.

    Be careful of some raw software too. I like FastStone, and probably my second or third most used program, but it's raw processing isn't up to par with any other that I've tried.

    Other software, that I'd say not worth the effort, but if CaptureNX-D doesn't work for them, are the DCRaw based raw editing software .. lots of them abound, as they leverage the freely available DCRaw raw conversion software.
    DCRaw is command line based, the software that uses the DCRaw based workflow are just pretty GUI windows for the user to 'understand'.
    I've tried a few of these, I found RawTherapee not bad. BUT!!! ... it did have very many technical aspects that were difficult to come to terms with.

    The reason I say these DCRaw programs aren't worth the effort, even tho they're free .. is that Nikon's software are also free. And they have some features that go hand in hand with the camera too, which could be handy later in life.
    I also think, I've still not seen any third party program that can output the same quality of image from an NEF as Nikon's software does.

    And finally comes the crux of the opening line in my reply .. what do you(or they) mean by raw processing. If it's just to convert to (say) JPG, then either just shoot jpg(highly recommend not too!) .. or even easier, forget complicated slow tedious raw processign editis and jump straight to a conversion processor if that's easier(and can't be made any easier too).

    Program called IJFR(InstantJpegFromRaw). It's a non intrusive minimalist program for 'converting' any raw file into jpg images(hence the name).
    It's not for everyone, most folks like to post process, and this one doesn't. All it does is extract the jpg image already contained in the raw file, and outputs it for you.
    It's interface is using the right click context menu(primarily) .. it does have a program window, but minimalist. You access it by using the right click on an NEF file and choosing the menu item [Instant Jpeg from RAW].
    Because it doesn't need to process anything, it's the quickest way to create viewable image files from raw images.

    All other software need to process the raw file into a jpg, and they all have their own notion of what this process is. IJFR doesn't, it just extracts the preview jpg files out of the raw file .. so the jpg file you get as the output depends only on what settings you had in the camera.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    Thanks for the reply arthurking.

    It was so easy when I used the D300 as I pretty much only shot jpeg. The odd times I did shoot NEF I couldn't find anything to open the files to even have a chance of doing anything with them. I ended up buying Abode Elements 6 I think it was. Did the job for me. Since I got the D750 I decided to change to shooting RAW and learning to use Lightroom.

    My Daughter and Son in-law will be on the same learning curve as they have previously only shot Jpeg with point and shoot cameras but with using the D300 to attach to their new telescope I can hope they will eventually be using RAW to get the maximum out of the gear. I can only assume astrophotos would be better shot in RAW and processed accordingly. So the short answer to your question is to post process a RAW file.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 28-10-2019 at 1:58pm.

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