Raw "raw files"

A few recently edited images.

These were converted from raw using dcraw based software. The conversion was made as "neutral" or "flat" as possible to create a file for editing that was as close to the original capture as possible.

This type of conversion bypasses many of the parameters that camera manufacturers use to "correct" their files.

I tried files from many different cameras and discovered that the differences between files converted this way and files converted using either the manufacturers software or photoshop were minimal.

Some were slightly sharper, some were slightly noisier, but overall I found no substantial difference that justifies the claims made for various raw conversion packages. So if you are looking for something relatively inexpensive and simple to convert your raw files these dcraw converters are excellent.

At the same time however, I found no compelling reason to abandon photoshop and my current method of conversion for this simpler "purer" software. Its still a quicker workflow for me to use one piece of software for everything.

Its worth having a look at dcraw based software to see what your raw files really look like, but don't expect a "road to Damascus" moment, though it can be revealing. (see the previous post on Panasonic image size)

The most important element for me in producing high quality images was, is and always will be getting it right when I press the shutter. It was true with film and its true for digital.

There's really not much more to my photography than composition and exposure.

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a 
lightning instant of give-and-take, just long 
enough for you to  level the camera and to trap 
the fleeting prey in your little box. 
- Henri Cartier-Bresson