Jump to content
SF Charter Boat

Confused with RAW/Affinity compatibility

Recommended Posts

I shoot RAW so I get more latitude in developing. Affinity I am just starting, bought the book, etc. Still at the starting gate. But, I don;t understand what happens or why or what I lose by shooting in RAW and then using Affinity?

Used Aperture before, still am. Before I invest a bunch of time in Affinity, please explain what happens to my RAW image being edited in Affinity and whether I have the exact same info and latitude?

Thanks

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you open your RAW file in Affinity Photo it is imported into our Develop Persona that allows to to make adjustments to the RAW image such as lens correction and exposure and once you are happy with the adjustments you then develop the RAW file which allows you to use the other tools within Affinity Photo and save the image as a .afphoto format or export as a standard image format such as .jpg.

 

The following video tutorials show how the Develop Persona works.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the explanation on the process. My question is what information do I lose from shooting in RAW to the Develop Persona for adjustment?

This is what I don't understand. Aperture has RAW but they pushed that boat from shore. Others have it. My consideration is why shoot RAW if AF can't use all the information? Or, why use AF? Why should I learn a tool which diminishes my original information? I am inquiring about what I feel is a simple question, maybe not phrased or asked in the correct technical manner, but, basically, what do I lose, if anything, going from RAW to Develop? And then, exporting it in a non RAW format?

Thanks

Stuart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, SF Charter Boat said:

My question is what information do I lose from shooting in RAW to the Develop Persona for adjustment?

It isn't just an adjustment, it is a step necessary in processing the 'raw' data into a usable image. As this Wikipedia article says

Quote

Raw files are named so because they are not yet processed and therefore are not ready to be printed or edited with a bitmap graphics editor. Normally, the image is processed by a raw converter in a wide-gamut internal color space where precise adjustments can be made before conversion to a "positive" file format such as TIFF or JPEG for storage, printing, or further manipulation.

So until you click the Develop button, nothing is lost, & what might be lost depends greatly on the settings & option you use in the Develop Persona. But Affinity Photo does not alter the original RAW file in any way (it creates a new 'developed' image document in its native file format & does not erase or overwrite the original), so the only thing you lose is whatever work you have done in the Develop Persona to create an image from that raw data vs. starting the process again from that data.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

You don't actually lose anything, because the original RAW file does not get changed. You make your initial changes in the Develop personal, then you Develop, then you make any further changes you want to in the Photo Persona, then you export to whatever format you want. Your original RAW file is unchanged.

 

If you try to Save at this point, you will be forced to Save As in Affinity's native .afphoto format. Affinity Photos does not modify the original RAW file - it creates the digital equivalent of a print.

 

Some applications (certainly Mac Photos, Finder and Preview, probably Aperture) apply automatic adjustments (Core Image RAW) to raw images when they display them (for example by applying a tone curve and pre-adjusting exposure). This may make the original RAW image look "better" or "brighter" when you open it with one of these apps. Similarly, if you shot RAW+jpeg, or just jpeg, with a digital camera, the camera software makes automatic adjustments to the jpeg.

 

With Affinity Photo, it's possible to view the original RAW file without any of these automatic adjustments. And a true RAW image can look pretty grungy. (If you want to see a really grungy raw file with no adjustments pre-applied, try an app like Raw Photo Processor - Mac only, very steep learning curve.)

 

But with Affinity Photo, you can (if you want) start at ground level, with a true untouched 'digital negative', and develop it creatively. And if you don't like the result, you can make another 'print' from the RAW 'negative'.

 

There's a really useful (non-Affinity) website which has links to all the Affinity tutorials on Vimeo, grouped by subject. If you haven't already done so, it's well worth taking a look at those that cover RAW development.

 

Hope this helps, and apologies if you already know all this. But to my mind, you don't lose anything - you gain control.

 

 


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3

macOS 10.15

MacBook Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, h_d said:

With Affinity Photo, it's possible to view the original RAW file without any of these automatic adjustments.

To do that, from the View menu choose "Assistant Manager..." or click on the tuxedo "Assistant options" icon on the toolbar if it is visible. When the Assistant window opens, you are given options for applying lens corrections (if the camera-lens combination is in the database), noise reduction, a tone curve, & exposure bias.

 

Note that there really is no image in the RAW file (other than a preview), just the minimally processed data from the camera sensor & an assortment of metadata about camera settings that together can be used to create one.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies, but this is too complicated for my old and non technical mind. Please pretend you are answering a 5 yr old. 

Let's say, for example, I shoot a  RAW photo in a room looking out a window, no fill flash. I have more stops both ways, outside highlights and inside shadows than shooting JPEG..  Maybe five each way.

Also, assume this photo is 5000 units of whatever information.

Now, I go to "Develop Persona" in AF. Do I still have the 5000 units to work with and adjust AFTER I have entered Develop and begin  adjustments? 

Have I lost any of the ranges in highlights and shadows that I had in RAW? If so, how much?

Lastly, do I lose anything after the adjustments have been made when I export them?

 

My main concern is losing the RAW latitude when entering Develop. Does it become a JPEG, or what? Whatever the new AF name for it, do I still have the 5000 units to work with, assuming I am not cropping?

The answer is either no, you do not have the same amount of information, and if that is the case, how much do I lose? 

Or do I have all the information to work with and it is just a renaming process?

Thanks

Stuart

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opening a RAW file in the Develop Persona does not lose any information. Pressing the "Develop" button may & usually will discard a variable amount of information, but it depends on the adjustments & settings you use in the Develop Persona to develop the information into an image. There is no simpler answer than this.

 

But as mentioned above, this does not alter or remove your original RAW format file in any way. You are creating a new document when you develop the file. If you export it to a lossy format like JPEG, you will lose more information, but if you save the new document in the native Affinity format or a non-lossy format like PNG, you will not lose any more info than was already lost in the development process.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"..Pressing the "Develop" button may & usually will discard a variable amount of information, but it depends on the adjustments & settings you use in the Develop Persona to develop the information into an image..

-How much is "VARIABLE AMOUNT"? This is the key to my posting and question. I understand some will be changed by adjustments and original will probably never be exactly the same as after adjustments, but this is not my concern.

-does this happen if the original is JPEG? If JPEG is 500, then it is 500 after entering Develop, right? Just a numerical example.

 

I am still not getting a definite piece of information which says, for example, your original RAW footage of X quantity will remain X quantity under a different name once entered into Develop.

Or, your original X, is now in Develop as Y and is half the size.

Or....?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, SF Charter Boat said:

-How much is "VARIABLE AMOUNT"?

A variable amount means it varies. There is no less technical or more definite answer than that because it depends on the steps you take to develop the raw data into a usable image.

 

Please understand (or at least accept) that there is no "original" image in the RAW file. As mentioned earlier, it contains minimally processed data from the sensor in your camera but further processing must be done to convert that into an image. That process is called "developing" because it is (somewhat) analogous to developing a photographic film negative into a 'positive' print.

 

JPEG files are different. They are already processed into an image so no development is required. JPEG files are also compressed to save file space & this reduces the amount of information they can store, which is why it is called a lossy format.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SF Charter Boat...

In order to use a RAW file in any software application, that Raw file has to be "developed." A piece of software that develops Raw files is called, conveniently, a Raw Developer. The process of developing a Raw file involves (i) opening the file; (ii) applying some math to it (demosaicing, etc.); (iii) and choosing certain parameters such as exposure, white balance, and so forth. The result of developing a Raw file is something other than a Raw file - it could be a jpg, a tiff, or some proprietary format (like PSD from Photoshop or afphoto from Affinity Photo). But the process is the same! You open a Raw file, turn it into an editable image, and save it in another format as a second file. Every Raw developer out there does this.

Perhaps what you are used to is seeing your original RAW file with a sidecar file next to it, said sidecar containing information about the edits made by the Raw developer. Affinity Photo doesn't create sidecar files (yet). But, like EVERY Raw Developer available, the Raw file does not itself get changed; the changes occur with the process of development.

And, yes, when Affinity Photo opens your Raw file, the same information is available to Affinity Photo that would be available to Aperture (or to Adobe Camera Raw, or to DxO Photo Lab, etc. etc.) The manner in which development progresses (which is largely dictated by the application's User Interface) may be different, but the Raw file which opens in these applications is the same and the same information presents itself to each of those Raw Developers.

Affinity Photo contains a Develop persona, which is specifically designed to serve as a Raw developer. When you commit your changes, you then enter the Photo persona. This is where the more traditional layers, adjustments, and filters are used. But the Raw Developer in Affinity Photo is essentially the same (in terms of the information available to the program, and the steps taken in development) as it is in other pieces of software. And, when you are finished editing, you can Save As... in .afphoto format, or Export... to a format like jpg, tif, psd, and others.

Affinity Photo is NOT a Digital Asset Manager, and does not serve as a catalog or library. It does not yet save sidecar files, so you can't yet go back to your Raw file, re-open it, and edit the development steps you made previously. You cannot yet apply changes to multiple images at once. But, as a Raw Developer, it avails itself of all the information your Raw file offers, just as other applications do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for explanations and time! Obviously, I am not a technical person, and, from what has been written, there are many RAW developers. I don't even know what a  sidecar is.

All I would like to understand is, am I losing any of the shadows or highlights, ie 5 stop latitude plus and minus, which I get when shooting in RAW and converting to a RAW developer in AF?

Maybe I am not getting it, but if I can shoot in RAW and have five stops either way, I would like to know if that data is transferred to whatever RAW Developer I am using and then still have five stops either way in the adjustments stage?

 My understanding is this is more than JPEG offers, so that is why I shoot RAW, I get a bonus of extra latitude more so than shooting JPEG originally.

Possibly I just can't get it, but if I can't retain this latitude from shooting in RAW to making adjustments, why even shoot in RAW? Or, research another  tool where I still have the five stops avail when I go into adjustment/development? I don;t care about Digital Management or library. I would like to know if during the Development process from RAW, I lose the five stops either way that I had in the original? There is something I simply am not getting and is not clear: I understand, I think that RAW must be converted, but in that process do I lose the exposure latitude? If so, it seems I either find another editing system or else why even shoot in RAW if I can't take advantage of its benefits?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, SF Charter Boat said:

... if I can shoot in RAW and have five stops either way, I would like to know if that data is transferred to whatever RAW Developer I am using and then still have five stops either way in the adjustments stage?

Yes, although if you think of this as the development stage rather than the adjustment stage it may make things a bit clearer. In other words, you are not adjusting an image, you are creating one.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean to be condescending at all, but you're missing the point of "shooting RAW." Let's assume for a moment that the end result of your editing will always be a JPG file. In truth, it could be a TIFF file, a PSD or afphoto file, etc. But it can't end up being a RAW file (as an end result, that is) because, as R C-R said, a RAW file is not really an image - it's just data.

Consider this: every digital camera, since the first day there WERE digital cameras, shoots every image it takes as a RAW file. This is just a way of saying that the camera produces "raw" data, in the form of RGB triplets for each of its pixels. Also, consider that somewhere along the way, that image always becomes (let's say) a JPG file, which you print, email, post online, etc. The only difference - The ONLY Difference - is where in the whole process the file becomes a JPG.

If you "shoot RAW," then you are copying a file containing "raw" sensor data onto your hard drive. You then access that data with editing software and, through a series of adjustments, filters, and such, you produce an image. You save that to disk as a JPG file. It is now (and ONLY now) a usable image file.

If you "shoot JPG," then you are letting your camera do the work that you and your software would be doing otherwise. You are telling your camera to demosaic the image, convert it to 8-bit format, choose and apply a white balance and exposure, and to make a whole bunch of other decisions before you ever get the file out of the camera.

The reason that "RAW gives you more latitude" is because it lets YOU choose the white balance, exposure, etc. rather than let your camera do it for you. But the end result is always going to be something other than a RAW file - only a JPG (or TIF, or PSD, or .afphoto) is a usable, printable, viewable image.

To ask whether you are losing the 10+ stops of shadows and highlights when you use one piece of software or another is, perhaps, the wrong way to think of the question. At some point (when the file is finally converted to a JPG) you will lose the ability to edit those 10+ stops of dynamic range. The right question to ask is: at what point am I willing to lose those 10 stops of range? If you shoot in JPG, then that range is lost before the file gets out of your camera. If you shoot in RAW, then the full dynamic range of your camera is present in the file you are editing. You have latitude throughout the editing process. Only - really, ONLY - when you save the file to another format, which you MUST eventually do, do you commit that file to a narrower dynamic range.

So, the question about shooting RAW is simply: do you want to make the decisions, or do you want your camera to make them for you? There are benefits to be had in both approaches. But, for all but the most casual of snapshots, shooting RAW preserves your choices as long as possible, and lets you control those choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@SF Charter Boat, you ask aout losing these stops of information. The dynamic range within a RAW file will depend on how many bits of each colour it records for each pixel. This could be from 10 bits upward depending on the camera. If you aim for an 8-bit final image, then you are losing at least two stops. For a 16-bit final image you could, in theory, preserve up to 16 bits from each original RAW pixel. To what extent this can happen depends on how much processing you do to your RAW image at the develop stage. 

Consider, or example, the pseudoHDR technique. Say your camera takes 12-bit RAW images, but your target image is going to be 8 bit. You can develop the RAW file to show the shadows clearly, but block out the highlights. You then save this file. You then return to your original RAW file (remember that this has not been changed) and develop it to show the highlights (but blocking out the shadows) and save that. You might even develop another file to focus on the mid-tones.  You can then merge these two or three files using the 'Merge to HDR' item in the file menu. This should give you a final image including an approximation to the full range of tones in the RAW but compressible into 8 bits using one or other of the tone-mapping algorithms on offer (or try your own).

Have you lost those extra stops in this process? Yes, but it looks as if you have not!

Hope this helps.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7, (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the classroom, explanations and patience!   I just want to get as much range as possible when I go to my adjustments. My belief was that RAW provided that. Now I am learning that when the file is saved to another format that file becomes a "narrower dynamic range". So the question for me is, (besides learning the process), what difference does it make whether I shoot in RAW or JPEG Fine if both are going end up, probably, as JPEG? 

-If  RAW is used , does the extended latitude I had in adjustments have a different image than had I shot the same photo in JPEG Fine? Is this extended adjustment ability even visible by being transferred to a lower quality export?

-I just want to have as much range as possible when I do my adjustments and I don;t care what setting the image is created on. If I can dig deeper into the shadows and have more highlight details, that is what my end goal is. If all the RAW material cannot be translated, why even shoot RAW?

 

Again, appreciation to all, I just want to be clear when I start with the camera, so when I start the AF tutorials I am not still at the starting gate trying to figure out the RAW thing. I find that there is a very supportive community behind AF and look forward to beginning the tutorials, I want to make sure I have as much information on the image as possible to make the adjustments.

Thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truth be told, your JPG file probably has about the same "dynamic range" as your RAW file. (Not entirely, but the process makes this somewhat a moot point.) The difference is that the changes you make to a RAW file offer you tons more flexibility and "latitude" than those same changes made to a JPG file. This will be especially noticeable in shadow detail. If you let your camera create a JPG and then try to fiddle with the shadows, you will end up muddying up the detail and getting posterized levels of grey. If you take a RAW file and do the same thing, and only then develop it to a JPG, the result will be much smoother and cleaner.

Sure, everything ends up as a JPG file. But it really does matter what format you're in when you do the "fiddling."

My advice? Take it on faith for a little while. Shoot RAW and, at the very least, set your (i) white balance; (ii) exposure; and (iii) shadows and highlights BEFORE you hit the "Develop" button. Meanwhile, read up as much as you can on the benefits gained by utilizing RAW formats. In my mind, the benefits of RAW have less to do with dynamic range (which is really a camera thing, not a software thing) but a lot more to do with the amount of data available within that dynamic range and how extensively you can change things without screwing up your photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, got my marching orders! Will shoot RAW. And make adjustments in AF. 

You say, to set white balance, exposure and shadows/highlights before I hit Develop button? 

Since I have not gone through that process, assume these options are clear and available to choose?

Many thanks

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SF Charter Boat said:

Now I am learning that when the file is saved to another format that file becomes a "narrower dynamic range".

The RAW file is not changed in any way by developing it into a usable image & saving that image in another file format. The latter is derived from the former but they are two distinctly different things, in the same way that a photograph shot on photographic film is a distinctly different thing from a print made from it in a darkroom. So it makes no sense to say "that file" (meaning the RAW file) will become anything different by developing it. As long as you think about it that nonsensical way, you will remain stuck at the starting gate.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SF Charter Boat said:

 

You say, to set white balance, exposure and shadows/highlights before I hit Develop button? 

Since I have not gone through that process, assume these options are clear and available to choose?

 

 

They are, and more!

 

5a99a2da12388_ScreenShot2018-03-02at19_14_50.thumb.png.4d59766cf4cacb6f83ab16d3fce05dd8.png

 

(I've pulled out the panels to display them in full - you may need to do a bit of scrolling. (Tones are useful too).

 

This tutorial video is very good as an introduction to the basic processes. And this one goes into a bit more detail.


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3

macOS 10.15

MacBook Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crawl, walk, run. Thanks everyone for your time and explanations. Just saw the above linked, tutorial video and can see what it can do as a start. Will shoot RAW, and go to Develop.  Now to begin on the tutorials, look forward to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having 1.6.5.135 and having same problem.

I didn't have this issue when I was playing with an earlier trial version back in Feb/March.

This should be a regression bug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/2/2018 at 11:30 AM, SF Charter Boat said:

Crawl, walk, run. Thanks everyone for your time and explanations.

Thanks for making the right choice, I was reading this thread and was worried you would give up on RAW, I was actually holding my breath. I would never go back to letting the camera's software decide for me what was important in an image.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.7.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.0.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.0.163 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.0.536

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

Please note the Annual Company Closure section in the Terms of Use. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.