RAW Format

RAW files store image data directly from the camera's sensor to the memory card with a minimum of in-camera processing. Unlike JPEG images, which you can view in any images - editing program, you must view RAW files using the Canon Image Browser or Digital Photo Professional, which are programs included on the EOS Digital Solutions Disk. Or you can use another RAW - compatible program such as Adobe Bridge, Lightroom, or Camera Raw. Most operating systems, such at the Mac, provide regular updates so that you can view RAW images on you computer without first opening them in a RAW conversion program. To print and share RAW images, you must first convert them by using a program that supports the T3i/600D's RAW file format, and then save them as a TIFF or JPEG file. You can use Canon's Digital Photo Professional program are  Third-party Raw-conversion program to convert RAW images.

With all these caveats, you may wonder why you'd choose RAW shooting. The answer is simple and compelling - RAW files offer the highest image quality and the ultimate flexibility in correcting and perfecting the final images. With RAW images, you can change key camera settings after you take the picture. For example, if you change it when you convert the image on the computer.

In addition, you can adjust the images brightness, contrast, and color saturation - in effect, you have a second chance to correct underexposed or overexpose images, and to correct the color balance, contrast, and saturation after you take the picture. The only camera settings that the Rebel T3i/600D applies to RAW files are aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. Other settings, such as White Balance, and Picture Style, are "noted" but not applied to the file. As a result, you have a great deal of control over how image data looks when you convert a RAW image.

Because RAW is a lossless format (no loss if image data), image quality is not degraded by compression. However, RAW files are larger, so you can store fewer RAW images on the memory card than JPEG images.

RAW files are denoted with a .CR2 file name extension. After converting the RAW data, you can save the image in a standard file format such as TIFF or JPEG.


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