RAW files are like unprocessed film. The raw processing software you use to edit them is like the film developer.
Usually when you take a picture the camera will process the data captured by the sensor into an image file. More advanced cameras can save the image in its unprocessed state – a RAW file – so that you can do the processing yourself later on your computer.
Dynamic range is the camera sensor’s ability to capture detail in very bright and very dark parts of a scene. Cameras (or sensors) with a low dynamic range record dark shadows as a solid black or bright highlights as a featureless white. In the days of film, this was known as a film’s ‘exposure latitude’. […]
Digital cameras typically offer a range of ‘picture styles’ to suit different subjects or different tastes in color rendition. Canon calls these Picture Styles, Nikon calls them Picture Controls and other camera makers have their own names. They include options like ‘Vivid’, ‘Landscape’, ‘Portrait’ and ‘Black and white’, but the key point with all of […]
Noise is the digital equivalent of grain in film. It’s random electrical signals captured by the photosites on the camera sensor, and usually this background noise level is so low compared to the brightness of the captured picture itself that you just don’t notice it. But if you start increasing the camera’s ISO setting, the […]
Digital cameras are usually used to take one shot at a time, but they generally offer a continuous shooting mode too. In this mode, the camera keeps taking shots in succession for as long as you hold down the shutter button. Some camera makers also call this ‘burst mode’. You’ll find it amongst a number […]
All digital data is made up of ‘bits’, and that includes digital images. In computing, ‘bits’ are either on or off, so there are only two possible values. But when you use them together the combinations are multiplied so you can record a much wider range of values. The number of bits used is the […]
The color of light can vary considerably depending on the time of day and whether you’re shooting in natural light or under artificial light. Our eyes and brains constantly adapt, but the camera records color exactly as it is, which can lead to unexpected color casts and shifts in pictures. Digital cameras can correct these […]