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View Full Version : RAW for (complete) dummies - Canon CR2 files



LeeLau
06-10-2010, 11:04 AM
So I bought something nice, new and shiny. A Canon 7D

I've RTFM'ed.

Here's a limited question. I'd like to learn how to work with Raw images. In Canon's case these are .cr2 images. I do have Photoshop CS3 and of course, have Canon's DPP software.

When I view the folder where the images are contained the .CR2 files show but they can't be opened and/or viewed by the software.

Do you have to convert the .CR2 files to Tiffs to do anything with them? Or can those Raw files then be played with in DPP?

And once I figure out how to open those files wtf do I do with them? Assume my main goal is to improve low-light pictures (because I shoot pictures in forested canopy with high ISO's of moving objects). Hopefully there's an online RAW for dummies manipulation resource?

Advice appreciated.

kalisto
06-10-2010, 11:16 AM
CS3 doesn't support 7D .cr2 files, Adobe figures when they release a new CS, all raw updates should stop for the older version... Slightly ridiculous.

The DPP 'should' be able to open the raws, but I've never used it.

You can either get your hands on CS5 (if you have a mac, I have a copy for you), or you can try using a new version of Lightroom (great way to both edit and organize pictures). Not as indepth as PS, but has mostly everything you need for 'most of the time'.

PROVO
06-10-2010, 11:19 AM
I don't know much about the canon software. Have you tried opening up the raw files with photoshop/camera raw? Does it not open because photoshop "does not recognize this file type"? Photoshop CS3 will not open my raw files from my 5D Mark II. I'm assuming the same thing is happening with your 7D raw files. What you'll need to do is convert your raw files to the DNG file type using adobes dng converter software, available HERE (http://www.adobe.com/products/dng/)

DNG is a universal file format which photoshop/camera raw recognizes. Its also a superior archiving file format.

smmokan
06-10-2010, 11:31 AM
I use DPP and PS Elements, and don't have any problems opening the CR2 files (from a 40D). My workflow is to open up the RAW files in DPP and make basic changes- you shouldn't have any problem doing that. If you do, go to the Canon website and see if you can get the most recent update to the DPP software.

Once I make simple changes in DPP, I save them as JPEGs and then I'll open up the appropriate images in PSE and do some tweaking in there before finishing up.

Dromond
06-10-2010, 11:38 AM
....or you can try using a new version of Lightroom (great way to both edit and organize pictures). Not as indepth as PS, but has mostly everything you need for 'most of the time'.

I'll second that. Lightroom is a great piece of software and really does it all for photos 95% of the time. It makes taking advantage of the RAW format on a regular basis much, much quicker and easier. Save the photoshop work for when you have something really good that you want to polish for printing or something like that.

Post up some stuff once you get the hang of that thing!

LeeLau
06-10-2010, 11:45 AM
Provo - thx. Downloaded.

Smmokan - thx also. I had to install the newest DPP

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&tabact=DownloadDetailTabAct&fcategoryid=314&modelid=19356

LeeLau
06-10-2010, 11:46 AM
Post up some stuff once you get the hang of that thing!

Will do - first i had to rtfm the whole 7d manual - wow that thing is comprehensive.

supermodel159
06-10-2010, 11:57 AM
CS3 doesn't support 7D .cr2 files, Adobe figures when they release a new CS, all raw updates should stop for the older version... Slightly ridiculous.

The DPP 'should' be able to open the raws, but I've never used it.

You can either get your hands on CS5 (if you have a mac, I have a copy for you), or you can try using a new version of Lightroom (great way to both edit and organize pictures). Not as indepth as PS, but has mostly everything you need for 'most of the time'.

I have a Mac...can I obtain a copy?

t.odd
06-10-2010, 02:25 PM
take it you're using a PC, Lee? IPhoto, Aperture and even Picasa will all read the cr2 files....I pretty much use aperture for most of my stuff these days, really easy to use.

Wiilbert
06-10-2010, 02:48 PM
Lee, I have a copy of lightroom I can send your way. Highly recommended.

kalisto
06-10-2010, 04:03 PM
I have a Mac...can I obtain a copy?

sure, PM comin' your way.

LeeLau
06-10-2010, 04:05 PM
Lee, I have a copy of lightroom I can send your way. Highly recommended.

thanks!!!

kidwoo
06-10-2010, 10:07 PM
Lee, I have a copy of lightroom I can send your way. Highly recommended.

I do too if for some reason wiibert runs into some issues.

LeeLau
06-10-2010, 10:39 PM
awesome K. OK - DPP is very easy to use. Frighteningly so actually. Low light pictures are quite easy to tweak.

Tap
06-10-2010, 10:54 PM
i have not looked at what version of DPP i have, but I find that the RAW conversion to JPEG in photoshop produces better images than DPP

LeeLau
06-10-2010, 11:09 PM
I do too if for some reason wiibert runs into some issues.

btw - i just found out that shar has adobe premier cs pro that she doesn't use. It came with the suite. How much of a pain in the arse is it going to be to learn? Total sidetrack I know

Zesty Not Spicy
06-11-2010, 09:33 AM
I do too if for some reason wiibert runs into some issues.

If there is an extra copy of Lightroom floating around I'd love to get my hands on it! I'll shoot you a PM. Thx

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 10:10 AM
btw - i just found out that shar has adobe premier cs pro that she doesn't use. It came with the suite. How much of a pain in the arse is it going to be to learn? Total sidetrack I know

Which version? If it's CS4, you can drop 7D vid files right in and edit away. I don't know how CS3 handles them. Give me a ring if you have any questions. I pretty much just self taught the program so it's not too tough. Third party tutorials are your friend.

LeeLau
06-11-2010, 10:13 AM
K - it's CS5. Which third party tutorials do you use? Might as well post here as a public resource.

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 10:29 AM
K - it's CS5.

Well dayum son, tear it up! :D You're ahead of me.


lynda.com is a good one, plus a bunch of others I can't remember right now.


Just do a search on anything you want to do but can't figure out with the words premiere pro and tutorial in the search. They're all over the place. Literally.

Plus there's adobe's creative cow forums which are sometimes helpful.

iscariot
06-11-2010, 10:37 AM
So I bought something nice, new and shiny. A Canon 7D.


Eagerly awaiting TR's and in depth review of the gear (particularly regarding pulling focus while taking video).

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 10:49 AM
(particularly regarding pulling focus while taking video).

Here's my review: Just as easy as taking a still.


Say goodbye to active zooming while maintaining focus though.

iscariot
06-11-2010, 11:03 AM
Say goodbye to active zooming while maintaining focus though.

Yah, I guess that's more what I was wondering about.


I'm guessing the 7D MKII, or whatever they decide to call it, will be able to autofocus while zooming. That's the only thing holding me back from buying the 7D. I just don't want to have to buy it twice.

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 11:40 AM
Yah, I guess that's more what I was wondering about.


I'm guessing the 7D MKII, or whatever they decide to call it, will be able to autofocus while zooming. That's the only thing holding me back from buying the 7D. I just don't want to have to buy it twice.

My understanding is that with the way zoom and Af lenses are built, that's not something you should be waiting on. As in I doubt it will happen in any sort of satisfactory way.


If zooming while maintaining focus is a big priority, buy a video camera. They do that and lots of other things better than a DSLR shooting video.

Tippster
06-11-2010, 12:10 PM
What? Push in, focus manually, pull out. If the image goes out of focus your back focus needs adjusting. There's no reason why a zoom lens would lose focus.

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 12:14 PM
What? Push in, focus manually, pull out. If the image goes out of focus your back focus needs adjusting. There's no reason why a zoom lens would lose focus.

Works on a video camera!




Doesn't work on a DSLR. Kind of insanely well documented in discussions about these things.



edit: what kind of lenses do you guys use with that hpx300? I assume you pull focus on that thing just like you would any other video camera.

iscariot
06-11-2010, 12:40 PM
My understanding is that with the way zoom and Af lenses are built, that's not something you should be waiting on. As in I doubt it will happen in any sort of satisfactory way.

Good to know. Can we get a source or confirmation from another on this. Not that I don't believe KW, just want to make sure before I drop $1700.



If zooming while maintaining focus is a big priority, buy a video camera. They do that and lots of other things better than a DSLR shooting video.

Tried the vidcam route. Didn't really like it.

kidwoo
06-11-2010, 12:51 PM
Tried the vidcam route. Didn't really like it.

What did you get? You know not all video cameras are created equal right? ;)


The dlsrs out there shooting video are really good at one or two things that most reasonably priced video cameras don't do that well. But literally everything else falls short in the comparison. I'm one of the people that sees these things as a second or 'B' camera rather than a primary video cam. Not that you can't use them all by themselves but it just takes more work. If you're willing to put that in, then by all means you can get some really nice footage for sure. Hell, atrain's video coming out this fall is all 7D and gopro footage. But he knows his stuff way more than most.

I'm also one of the people that got a 7D just because I wanted a good stills camera....not just getting it for the video. So I'm still extremely happy with the purchase and all. But I'd probably get a little frustrated if it were my only video camera.

upallnight
06-12-2010, 12:05 AM
Works on a video camera!




Doesn't work on a DSLR. Kind of insanely well documented in discussions about these things.



edit: what kind of lenses do you guys use with that hpx300? I assume you pull focus on that thing just like you would any other video camera.

woo:
google "parfocal"

you can also find lists of canon lenses that are parfocal (usually L lenses or front-focusing zooms). you can definitely get lenses that are (officially or unofficially) parfocal, which will allow you to zoom and maintain focus (using tipster's technique), but it won't eliminate the stability issues of hand-holding a dslr while zooming.

it's a function of the lens rather than the camera body (the parfocal trait, that is).

edit to add: a quick search revealed these canon lenses to be parfocal (last updated in 12/2007).

- EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
- EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
- EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM , EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM
- EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM , EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
- EF 70-200mm f/4L USM , EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
- EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
- EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
- EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
- EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM
- EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6

Tippster
06-12-2010, 09:43 AM
Works on a video camera!
Doesn't work on a DSLR. Kind of insanely well documented in discussions about these things.I would love to see all that insanity (or some) because it absolutely works on my 70-200. Turn off the auto focus, push in - focus manually, pull out. If the image goes soft you need to get your lens adjusted.

Edit: "parfocal" - that's the term. Although not on the list above the 24-105 also holds focus over the zoom range. Basically just turn the Autofocus off or make it that you have to trigger it with the "*" button.

edit: what kind of lenses do you guys use with that hpx300? I assume you pull focus on that thing just like you would any other video camera.I have the 500 - it's a 2/3" chip camera so we can use standard TV lenses on it. I have a Fujinon 18x (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/351633-REG/Fujinon_A18X7_6ERD_S_A18x76ERDS_2_3_18x_ENG.html). Wish I still had the 20x Canon I had on my last camera (A DVCPro 710) but that's being used as a Studio cam. The Fuji is a little green and the bokeh kinda sux in comparison. Personal preference, I guess.

kidwoo
06-12-2010, 10:36 AM
because it absolutely works on my 70-200.

haha!! Mine too. (f4L) I just tried it. Doesn't work on my tamron 17-50 though. Close but it doesn't quite hold. I noticed that when I first got the camera and then started reading people saying it doesn't work in general.

Sonofabitch.


I'm still not going to be zooming while shooting video though but that's good to know.


I don't think I've used the autofocus on this camera more that once.

Thanks y'all!


I would love to see all that insanity (or some)

Here's the first offender I read.

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/26


Lenses this is an area where the HDSLRs differ from the video camera in many significant ways. Already I've mentioned that you don't have parfocal lenses, meaning you can't zoom in, focus, and zoom back out. But after that, it's pretty much all in favor of the HDSLR.

Tippster
06-12-2010, 02:18 PM
Well as we've determined Mr. Green is flat out wrong, depending on lens. Supposedly the new 70-200 Mk2 is not parfocal... :(

upallnight
06-12-2010, 03:50 PM
I'm still not going to be zooming while shooting video though but that's good to know.


even if you don't plan to zoom while shooting video, there's another very good reason you might do this (with a parfocal lens): if you zoom in, get tack-sharp focus, then zoom out, you might find that your focus is sharper than just focusing while zoomed out. (i.e., zooming in will help focus on finer detail.)

of course, the live view of the 7d and 5d allow you to investigate what the sensor sees at 10x magnification, so that's great, but it's even better when you zoom in on a parfocal lens.

kidwoo
06-12-2010, 07:32 PM
Well as we've determined Mr. Green is flat out wrong, depending on lens. Supposedly the new 70-200 Mk2 is not parfocal... :(

He's not necessarily 'wrong', he just seems to ignore the fact that you might actually buy a good lens with these cameras :D

Yeah he definitely fvcked up.

Tippster
06-12-2010, 07:47 PM
of course, the live view of the 7d and 5d allow you to investigate what the sensor sees at 10x magnification, so that's great, but it's even better when you zoom in on a parfocal lens.

Yeah, but the detail on that little screen is pretty crappy vs. a high contrast B&W VF on professional video cameras or actual TTL view via a mirror. I think it's kinda telling/interesting that companies are coming out with magnifiers for the screen on the back of those cams. Just a few steps away from getting a menu option for High rez/contrast B&W in the menu settings for the LCD...

LeeLau
06-13-2010, 10:01 PM
Tippster -thx for the tip! I know they're not listed as parafocal but I could make the 10-22 and the 15- 85 focus when zooming in using your trick.

grskier
06-14-2010, 04:34 PM
ditto what lee said, that list will help me build my quiver of lenses

Tippster
06-14-2010, 07:17 PM
It's kinda fucked up that Canon, of all companies, doesn't ensure that all their "L" series lenses are parafocal... They make by far the best TV lenses and they all are???!!!

Check out what I was told by our photo dept. TODAY: Canon now makes arguably several of the best video cameras on the market - their DSLRs with video (1D Mk4, 5D Mk2, 7D)) and they limit their record time to 13 minutes... because they don't want to affect their crappy Consumer/Prosumer vidcam market! It's supposedly not a "battery issue" at all!

upallnight
06-14-2010, 11:46 PM
Yeah, but the detail on that little screen is pretty crappy vs. a high contrast B&W VF on professional video cameras or actual TTL view via a mirror. I think it's kinda telling/interesting that companies are coming out with magnifiers for the screen on the back of those cams. Just a few steps away from getting a menu option for High rez/contrast B&W in the menu settings for the LCD...

well...what the LCD is displaying is what the sensor will actually record, so while i agree with you about quality viewfinders for manual focusing, at a certain point nothing beats seeing exactly what the sensor sees.


Tippster -thx for the tip! I know they're not listed as parafocal but I could make the 10-22 and the 15- 85 focus when zooming in using your trick.

lee: if those lenses are parfocal (i haven't seen them reported as such, but they could be), you would be able to do a little pixel-peeping through the range and see no degradation at all. i just bring this up as you have mentioned in the past you generally work at web resolutions, and that's not really going to stress-test this issue.


It's kinda fucked up that Canon, of all companies, doesn't ensure that all their "L" series lenses are parafocal... They make by far the best TV lenses and they all are???!!!

Check out what I was told by our photo dept. TODAY: Canon now makes arguably several of the best video cameras on the market - their DSLRs with video (1D Mk4, 5D Mk2, 7D)) and they limit their record time to 13 minutes... because they don't want to affect their crappy Consumer/Prosumer vidcam market! It's supposedly not a "battery issue" at all!

well....it's a FAT32 issue. in other words, the file system used for compact flash is FAT32 (for cross-platform compatibility). FAT32 has a max file-size limit of 4GB, which translates to 12-13 minutes @ 1080p.

i understand some videocameras get around this by silently creating a new file if the clip runs over.

just wanted to let you know it's not something canon made up.

YourMomJustCalled
06-15-2010, 01:54 PM
well...what the LCD is displaying is what the sensor will actually record, so while i agree with you about quality viewfinders for manual focusing, at a certain point nothing beats seeing exactly what the sensor sees.



lee: if those lenses are parfocal (i haven't seen them reported as such, but they could be), you would be able to do a little pixel-peeping through the range and see no degradation at all. i just bring this up as you have mentioned in the past you generally work at web resolutions, and that's not really going to stress-test this issue.



well....it's a FAT32 issue. in other words, the file system used for compact flash is FAT32 (for cross-platform compatibility). FAT32 has a max file-size limit of 4GB, which translates to 12-13 minutes @ 1080p.

i understand some videocameras get around this by silently creating a new file if the clip runs over.

just wanted to let you know it's not something canon made up.


I can confirm this. Many manufacturers are choosing FAT32 for max compatibility. I can say first hand that JVC and Panny both span (split) the files right before the 4GB limit. I can't tell you about the current scheme, but the early P2 media would actually partition the media out into 4GB chunks. THAT was FUn to work with.

Tippster
06-15-2010, 08:59 PM
Those LCD monitors aren't 1920x1080 pixels, Up, they're 640x480 and not very bright or contrasty. Even if they were it is much easier to find critical focus on a high contrast B&W monitor than on a color screen, especially in viewfinder size.

You don't need the pretty colors to follow focus and maintain framing. Certainly it's nice to have a flip-out color monitor on the current crop of professional video cameras, but everyone I know only uses it to check white balance and over-all aesthetic, then goes right back to the B&W VF to actually shoot.

Main knock against the HPX 170 prosumer camera is the lack of a decent viewfinder.

upallnight
06-15-2010, 09:30 PM
hey, tipp:
first off, i respect your opinion as a working professional in the industry.


Those LCD monitors aren't 1920x1080 pixels, Up, they're 640x480 and not very bright or contrasty. Even if they were it is much easier to find critical focus on a high contrast B&W monitor than on a color screen, especially in viewfinder size.

no doubt about the 2nd part -- i'm not sure that i said it was necessary to use color, and i agree a good screen can do wonders.

also, it seems one of my points got lost along the line. earlier, i said:


of course, the live view of the 7d and 5d allow you to investigate what the sensor sees at 10x magnification, so that's great, but it's even better when you zoom in on a parfocal lens.


while i think lcd's have come a long way on dslrs, i would not advocate manufal focusing with only the lcd at 1x magnification. i think the 10x mode -- because the lcd's are of a lower resolution -- can be really good for focusing, and more so when zoomed in on a lens. then, with a parfocal lens you can zoom out/in to your heart's content and know the scene is in focus.

again, i'm a fan of a great screen for manual focusing, but in my admittedly newer experience with liveview of the canon 5d/7d series, i am seeing great application for it. in theory, what you see on the screen should be exactly what is recorded on your image. should be (and probably is exactly, or very, very close). however, with the liveview, what you see is absolutely what the sensor will record -- no "should be" or 99.999%.

so...liveview zoomed in at 10x, i believe, does offer something good for the end user.

unfortunately, some screens that are great for manual focusing are not as great for other applications. some (i believe) affect autofocus and/or metering (right?). others are too dark for slower lenses. a great screen can be pricey (but invaluable!), but for those that might need the occasional manual focusing, there's a nifty tool built into the camera...liveview @ 10x.




You don't need the pretty colors to follow focus and maintain framing. Certainly it's nice to have a flip-out color monitor on the current crop of professional video cameras, but everyone I know only uses it to check white balance and over-all aesthetic, then goes right back to the B&W VF to actually shoot.

agreed; if i somehow implied color was necessary for focus, that was a mistake. i don't believe i said that, though.

again, i respect your point of view. for my use, i'm pretty psyched on live view as an option, as swapping screens isn't for me in the way i use the camera (multiple lenses, some slower than others, some video, some still).

Tippster
06-16-2010, 07:25 AM
Thanks for the props, I wasn't trying to be pissy. I think Canon should make it a menu option to change the LCD to a high-contrast B&W and not force it to be color all the time. In theory it should be possible. Maybe make it possible to be the default whenever you engage the video mode, then push one of the user buttons to change to color to check for color balance. Then again Zebras and XLR inputs would be great too... yeah, if wishes were wings....

Just thinking out loud, dood... not dick-waving.

LeeLau
06-16-2010, 11:18 AM
lee: if those lenses are parfocal (i haven't seen them reported as such, but they could be), you would be able to do a little pixel-peeping through the range and see no degradation at all. i just bring this up as you have mentioned in the past you generally work at web resolutions, and that's not really going to stress-test this issue.


UAN I did check the resolution by going to 10x and its pretty much spot on. I compared the 15-85 and 10-22 to a Canon lens on the list that was listed as parfocal.

upallnight
06-16-2010, 11:41 AM
UAN I did check the resolution by going to 10x and its pretty much spot on. I compared the 15-85 and 10-22 to a Canon lens on the list that was listed as parfocal.

cool. just wanted to make sure.

some people report that the 10-22 is not parfocal (haven't checked on the 15-85, but i remember checking on the 10-22 as that lens was really important for me with the 7d). canon is silent on that issue.

it could be a sample variation. all that matters in the end is that YOURS is behaving that way. excellent!