TIFF, or RAW ... Which should I Use?
by Digital Darrel
a friend about this article
RAW (NEF) FORMAT
purists, large print aficionados, and weird website article
writers prefer this mode above all others.
the manipulation of image data to achieve the highest quality
image available from the camera.
original detail stays in the image for future processing
camera will perform no conversions, sharpening, sizing,
or color rebalancing. Your images are untouched and pure!
convert to any of the above formats by using your computer's
much more powerful processor instead of the camera processor.
have MUCH more control over the final look of the image,
since YOU, not the camera are making decisions as to the
final appearance of the image.
format for maximum image data.
drawbacks to using RAW mode are these:
generally compatible with publishing industry, except by
conversion to another format. This is gradually changing
as digital photography becomes more accepted commercially.
pre-processing by special proprietary software as provided
by the camera manufacturer or third-party software programmers.
(This is generally included with the camera.)
file sizes, so you must have large storage media. (Although,
not as large as TIFF)
industry standard RAW mode. Each camera manufacturer has
it's own proprietary format.
format not really in use as of yet, since 8-bit is industry
the release of Adobe® Photoshop CS, the RAW mode is beginning
to move into the mainstream a bit. Photoshop will open the
RAW files from your camera directly, and will allow you to
set the white and color balances, sharpness, contrast, luminance,
etc. without any other software. In my own experience
Photoshop CS allows you a greater degree of control over your
image than even the proprietary software included with your
camera. If you decide to shoot RAW mode exclusively,
you should really look into getting Photoshop CS.
prefer RAW mode myself, but it does require a commitment
to shoot in this mode. The camera is simply an image-capturing
device, and YOU are the image manipulator. You decide
the final format, compression ratios, sizes, color balances,
etc. In RAW mode, you have the absolute best image your
camera can produce. It is unoptimized, and ready for
your personal touch. No camera processing allowed!