The RAW Advantage
Benefits for a Lifetime
Experience the flexibility and advantage of shooting raw, release your creativity and shape your images without contraints.
Capture One Express 7’s revolutionary processing engine uses advanced mathematics and interpolation to create the ultimate image quality with excellent colors and fine detail from you camera’s raw files.
How are image sensors designed?
Digital image sensors are a light sensitive electronic device which record the image viewed by the camera. They are divided into a grid of ‘pixels’ normally at a microscopic size. This explains the term megapixels when used to describe digital cameras as this refers to the millions of pixels placed on a sensor. Normally each pixel can only detect light levels in an image (darkness to light). Therefore to record colour information, each pixel has a colour filter placed on top in either Red, Green or Blue.
Why shoot images in raw format?
Digital cameras often have the ability to shoot images as a raw file, as well as the more commonly used JPEG setting. A raw file contains very little processed ‘data’ from the camera’s sensor. Therefore they are not yet ready to be printed or viewed on screen.
A simple analogy would be the film negative. The negative is not directly useable as an image but has all the information needed to create an image. This is why we often hear the terminology to ‘develop’ or ‘process’ a raw file much like we do with a film negative.
By reading the individual Red, Green and Blue values of the pixels, mathematical algorithms are used to create the full colour image. This is known as interpolation and it can either be done in-camera, like deriving the jpeg from the raw file, or it can be done in imaging software like Capture One 7.
What is the raw advantage and how do I benefit?
1) Better image quality
While basic interpolation can be very simple, to fully optimise an image, the mathematics can be extremely complex. By optimising an image we hope to:
- Achieve the best colour rendition
- Get the best detail
- Reduce noise as much as possible
- Correct for any lens issues, like distortion
Complex mathematics demands more processing power
Therefore a computer has the potential to deliver a better result compared to a much lower in-camera processor which is optimised for speed as opposed to quality.
2) Flexibility now and in the future
Images captured as raw are far more flexible. Meaning that adjustments to colour, exposure, noise reduction and sharpness can be made after the image has been taken. This also means that any possible mistakes at time of capture, like under or over exposure, can be corrected in the software.
Creativity can also be expanded with the use of selective tools, like changing individual colours or even specific areas of the image. This is because the raw data contains much more image data than we can effectively ‘see’ in a final processed image.
Also as the raw file is infinitely changeable , you can make decisions in the future if you decide to edit the image differently. Or as raw converters improve, so will your image!