Confusion over Photoshops RAW handling

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by FleurDuMal, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Hi everyone.

    As my workflow increases, and my continuing tendency to take 100s of photos of the same subject ( :eek: ) I'm considering purchasing Aperture (I best do it whilst I still qualify for the edu license). As I understand it, a key advantage of this software is its better RAW handling (which I shoot in) over iPhoto, insofar as it doesn't clutter up your hard drive with copies of the original NEF as you apply changes.

    However, what happens in Aperture when you then use Photoshop to edit the RAW file in Photoshop? Obviously with iPhoto your original RAW file is stored in the originals folder. But with Aperture when you've finished editing the file, does Photoshop import the edit as a completely new file (i.e. a JPEG) into your library, thus having two photos of the same thing? Or does it replace the original file as a RAW or JPEG file? In which case, is the original file still stored on your hard drive just in case you want to "Revert to Original"??

    Apologies if I haven't explained myself very well. I have been on the Apple and Adobe website looking for the answer but I couldn't quite find it.

  2. FleurDuMal thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    When you "open with external editor" (ie photoshop) with aperture, it essentially exports the raw file as a tiff. when you save in photoshop, aperture will acquire this new copy and place it right next to the old one. so yes, you will have both copies taking up space.
  4. wilburdl macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2006
    You're better off spending your money on CS2. Photoshop comes with a very comprehensive RAW editor (ACR). Aperature is very new and thus the kinks are still being worked out.
  5. Malfoy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    With an edu discount I'd say pick up Aperture. It has its uses thats makes it wroth the edu price.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    RAW (or NEF) conversion is performed by the operating system (OS X) to the quality of the conversion is the same if you use iPhoto or Aperture. The user interface is different. iPhoto does now have an option to leave the NEF file in place and not make a duplicate.

    Both iPhoto and Aperture hand off a copy of the image to Photoshop, Gimp or whatever is your specified editor. I think you can tell them to hand off a TIF file r a JPG file. TIF woud preserve more of the image's information.

    Another thing to look at is Nikon's new "NX" it is a new type of non-destructive editor. It uses the NEF file format and embads a list of operations in the file. At any point, even years later, you can go back and remove or change a setting. But it seems to be PPC only. Odd they would make a new Mac product PPC only and not Universal

    If you have an Intel Mac look at Gimp. It is Intel native now. Photoshop may not be Universal untill mid 2007.

    If you really want to get the most out of your NEF files you need to be using the Nikon software, Adobe or something like "Bibble". All of these allow you great control over the conversion process.
  7. YS2003 macrumors 68020


    Dec 24, 2004
    Finally I have arrived.....
    Camera Raw with Photoshop CS2 and Bridge CS2

    As the previous poster said, CS2 is very capable of managing Raw files. You can ran Camera Raw either PhotoShop or Bridge (or both at the same time) and Camera Raw is nicely integrated with Photoshop and Bridge. I have almost finished reading "Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2" by Bruce Fraser and that book helped me understand various Raw features. Also, with Adobe, you can save your Raw files in Adobe DNG (which is an open source) instead of the camera maker's proprietary Raw format.
  8. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    Aperture stores the original RAW files then a very small ammount of code telling it how to produce the image with the adjustments you make to it. When you open it in photoshop it applies those adjustments and kickes it over to photoshop. If you do this all the time, then Aperture might not be for you. But now that I have Aperture, I find I only open things in photoshop if I need something special. Once you save in photoshop or anything else, then aperture keeps that as a version, so obviously if you do it several times for each file, then it will start getting heavy on your hard drive. However if you don't think you need the original RAW after doing whatever you did in photoshop, you can always delete it, thus saving only the edited version.

    Apertures lets you know which ones are original, have Aperture adjustments, and which are saved from a different app in the thumbnail view.

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