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I really had no doubt in my mind until a friend, who is a professional photographer and, like me uses a D300 told me I was wrong!
My understanding has always been that, when shooting in RAW, then the only factors that make any difference to the image file were exposure (i.e. shutter speed, aperture and ISO setting) and focus. I thought that all the other "image" settings on the camera, such as white balance, etc., were entirely irrelevant and only applied if shooting in JPEG.
However, my friend tells me I am wrong and all the settings have an effect when shooting in RAW.
What he says makes absolutely no sense to me but I have so much respect for the artistic side of his work that I am now having doubts.
What do you think?
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White balance still have an effect in Raw, but you can change that easily in Raw Converter software.
Other things like sharpening, saturation etc will be irrelevant.
Though some Raw converter software will remember those in camera setting, and display them automatically as starting point.
Most, if not all in camera settings are ignored in image editing software, except white balance settings, as already mentioned by Coleslaw. However, Nikon's own image editing software (Nikon Capture NX2) takes full advantage of all the in camera settings and displays the image with the settings applied.
As of mid last year, I seem to remember reading a review of another editing package "possibly Capture One" that also displays the settings, but I can't be sure!
As Paul has said, If you use Nikon software to deal with Nikon NEF raw files, All shooting data is available....!
Hence " Picture Control " curves apply etc etc, Be that the standard ones as loaded by factory Or your very own custom curves.
The great whatever is, That you can choose to ignore or over ride them, But if you open a NEF file in something other than Nikon Software all you get is a basic raw, However the camera raw profiling in Lightroom 2 and CS4 now have all the " Picture Control " curves added for you to use, If you don't like Adobes standard option.
Phase Ones, Capture One-4/5 however only has thier own interpritation of how the raw should look ( Generic ).
Bottom line it makes no odds either way, As the raw data can be altered whatever way you go....!!!!
This has always been the case with Nikon NEF files, Certainly for the last 8 years anyhow....
Quote: Other things like sharpening, saturation etc will be irrelevant
Not so with Nikon NEF raw files, They contain any and all shooting perameters that have been set, Including sharpen, saturation, etc etc.
However only Nikon softwares are able to read the added data, With the exception of the factory created options that can now be read by Lightroom 2 & CS4 versions of camera raw.
Picture Controls such as Camera Standard, Camera Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, Vivid, Plus the D2X options 1,2,3 etc etc are now available under " Camera Calibration " within Adobes latest versions of Camera RAW.
In theory they should be able to read any " Custom Picture Control " data, Should you choose to create your very own custom settings via the " Picture Control Utility " found in both Nikon View NX & Nikon Capture NX2.....!!!
Choice is yours, You may also be aware that any custom profiles created by you, Or someone else can be downloaded to your camera.
For example your mate who has a D300, Can create a custom Picture Control profile, He then loads it to a CF card, You then put the card into your D300, Then copy the profile to your camera.
" Simples "
You can also send the profiles by email from one user to another, Just bare in mind, Profiles should be from the same camera model.
ie: D300 to D300, D300s to D300s, D700 to D700.....etc etc etc.
As a matter of interest to Canon shooters, The later versions of camera raw in LR2 & Photoshop, Also offer Canon specific settings under the camera calibration tabs.
By default they use the Adobe standard option, But you can also select to use the " Camera Faithfull " and other Canon specific options....!!!!!!!!
Quite handy if you don't like the Adobe ACR rendition....!
I use raw all the time i like to shoot in high iso camera 20d 800&1600 usingCS4 is great losing a lot of noise but it does take up a fair amount of time
Lots of things there that I didn't know.
Thanks to all.
Just to concur with Vince about the flexibility of shooting in RAW with the D300 and NX2 combination, on standard factory settings the D300 NEF files can look rather dull and quite soft when opened in NX2, I set up a Picture Control setting that suited my tastes and have used it since I got it. These settings are carried with the file into NX2 where you can then alter them but I find that the only one I may do on ocassin is change the Picture Control to Mono and may alter the Active D-Lighting if I have used it (a fab feature BTW if used sparingly).
Of course, WB and the usual adjustments can be made as well.
I think your friend is getting confused. As stated above, your in-camera settings are not applied to the raw file (unless you use NX) however they are applied to the embedded jpeg file which is used for the LCD monitor, and the jpeg created if you use the raw + jpeg option.
Incidentally, this jpeg is embedded in the file whether or not you choose the raw + jpeg option and can be extracted later using Preview Extractor.
Where it can make a difference, is in your interpretation of the image. Although it won't affect your raw file, the appearance of the jpeg preview may cause you to make different exposure choices etc. due to higher contrast in certain picture control modes. ie. Lanscape mode might look over-exposed on the camera, forcing you to over-compensate.
This is why I always have mine set to Neutral (which is closest to the defaults in photoshop's ACR), although I do ramp-up the in-camera sharpening to make it easier to see that the right bit of the photo is in focus.
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