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Getting Started with Camera Raw: How to make better pictures using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Second Edition by Ben Long

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How Your Camera Makes a Raw Image

For your camera, making a raw file is substantially easier than making a JPEG file for the simple reason that, when shooting raw, your camera passes the hard work on to you. When shooting in raw mode, the camera does nothing more than collect the data from the image sensor, amplify it, and then write it to the storage card along with the usual EXIF information. (Most cameras also perform a lossless raw compression of your data before writing it to the card. This is the equivalent of using zip compression on a file on your computer.) It’s your job to take that raw file and run it through some software to turn it into a usable image.

A raw converter is simply a stand-alone variation of the same type of software ...

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