Photoshop Tutorial – RAW Processors
This video is available Free for Everyone.
Running Time: 5 minutes
We’ve spent quite a bit of time playing around with the RAW format, so it’s only practical for us to go over a quick overview of the various RAW processors in the market today.
There’s a variety of choices out there, so don’t feel like your options are limited. While these are something we are not necessarily recommending over Photoshop’s built-in Camera Raw, it’s still good to lay it all out for you to have a choice.
Various RAW Processors
First up is Raw Therapee, which is a free option you can look into. The second is Raw Photo Processor (RPP), which isn’t really all that impressive due to the blatantly outdated style of its interface. Another downside to this processor is that it requires you to hit apply commands for every effect you want to implement, which is basically a big chunk of effort on your part just to get something done. Not very efficient.
If you don’t want to spend any money to edit your photos properly, you can download GIMP. Despite its less-than-favorable name, is actually a popular alternative to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP lets you edit photos and also has a built-in RAW processor, much like Photoshop does. If you need a free alternative to Photoshop, GIMP is the way to go as it’s compatible with Mac, PC, and Linux.
For avid Mac-users, you have the option of using Apple’s Aperture. However, it has been discontinued. Also,in our experience, we’ve had some issues with cataloging images to our liking, so it became time consuming than it needed to be. It also hasn’t been updated in a while, which is not something you’d want in a software product. Raw Processors are an area that has been growing for many years with more and more options. Aperture just seems to be stuck in time.
Capture One Pro 7 is an editing software for professionals. It’s not really geared towards beginners, but despite being on version 7, Capture One Pro still seems to have a lot of bugs and crashes, and for processing photos, you’d want to have something as stable as possible. It can also be slow on importing and exporting many images, especially when they come from seprate folders.
NOTE: In the video, I failed to mention two extra Raw processors out there, that definately shoould have been included. Photo Ninja and DxO Optical Pro. I use Photo Ninja on nearly evey image that comes across my desk. Unfortunately, I only use it for it’s de-noise (previously known as Noise Ninja). In my testing, Photo Ninja itself was amung the weakest contenders, not bringing anything new to the table. DxO Optical however, is a pretty unique program worth looking into for Camera and Lens Correction support. Less for batch work, but excells at one at a time usage.
Photoshop’s Camera Raw
Now, Photoshop actually has a built-in RAW Processor called Camera Raw. While Adobe Lightroom works best with Photoshop and has a lot more features, Camera Raw is still your best bet for quick editing, with the expectation of doing further work in Photoshop. If you’re looking to catalogue images and apply more advanced techniques, go with Adobe Lightroom. But if you just need a built-in, powerful, and extremely easy-to-use processor, Camera Raw is all you’ll ever need.
Camera Raw and Lightroom both use the same back-end engine. Lightroom is just more of a long term archiver, and Camera Raw is more “get it done now”. Camera Raw is a good universal tool for raw processing because you can import your changes done here, to other software like Adobe Lightroom by using xml sidecar files.
To learn more about our complete 2 Hour Photoshop Class that this video comes from, simply go to Portraits, Camera Raw, and Smart Objects. Change the way you work on your portraits. It’s Free. Enjoy.
This Adobe Photoshop Tutorial answers the question: What Are JPGs? If you would like to learn more about Photo Enhancement from a Professional Retoucher, I offer Adobe Photoshop Classes. Please contact me today, and I will be able to add you to the schedule too. If you would just like to watch online videos, The Art of Retouching Studio offers many Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners and Advanced users.