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New to Digital - Image Quality Question (flame away im dumb)

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RIP 35mm, she finally died in a "let me just use this ledge of the parking deck and the timer to steady the shot" accident (live and learn - what can you do)... Anyway so I'm finally a DSLR guy, but had a few questions about image quality and compression... My camera came with "Digital Photo Professional" (which I havn't even installed), but I LOVE Paint.Net so I would much rather use that if I can...

I'll be shooting at 4272X2848, 12.2 megapixels, 8GB memory, and have the choice to shoot in RAW or JPEG...

1. RAW would be a higher quality correct? Or is it just for editing purposes? What are the advantaged or do I have to use special software (aka not Paint.Net) to take advantage of the format? My manual was no help...

2. It looks like I'll be able to edit RAW images if I download the correct plugin for Paint.NET correct? Are any better than the others?

3. The extension for the RAW images is CR2, Why isn't it RAW? -not that it really matters

4. Can I get prints made from RAW format or do I have to save in JPEG? I realize I may have to call them for this one...

5. What format should I be saving my images in after I edit them in Paint.Net? I don't want to loose any image quality and I don't really care about computer space; but It would be cool to be able to get prints made from whatever format I choose and would be really happy if I could keep it standard...

6. Is my best bet to shoot in RAW, edit, then save in uncompressed JPEG? Will I loose quality?

Thanks for your help!


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Hi sstepko

to answer your questions:

1. The format RAW is a format mainly for editing purposes, i've never heard of people saving photos on raw to see them later... You can use Paint.NET to edit it.

2. I believe there is only one plugin for RAW files, so not much of a choice here...

3. That's due to the type of raw image your camera produces, but no worries cause you edit it anyways :)

4. This I don't really know for sure, but I think it depends on the printer drivers... but again this one I'm not really sure :?

5. Ah, the question. The format you should save your images (the format everyone should save their images) is a lossless format. I personally chose the .png format... but you can use anyone (as long it is lossless) if you want to preserve 100% quality of your image :D

6.Yes if you want good quality pics shot in raw and the edit them. again do not save on jpeg, it will lose quality, save on .png it's a very common format, and a very good one :)

Hope I was of some help to you :D

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By the way- no need to give us permission to flame. It's forbidden here, anyway. :-) As long as you've read the rules and searched before asking (which you seem to have done), you may feel free to ask without fear of "newbie biting." :-)


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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