What is a RAW converter; free RAW software
More and more photographers choose to store their images as a RAW file. But a lot of photo-editing software can't read a RAW file. You'll need special software to open and edit RAW files: a RAW converter or RAW conversion software. Using a RAW converter you can open and edit a RAW file and save it as a tif, psd or jpg file. Often you get a free RAW converter, like Digital Photo Professional (DPP) from Canon, when you buy a camera.
The Adobe Raw converter in Photoshop (ACR) will be the msot commonly applied RAW converter. ACR comes for free with Photoshop and is built in in Adobe Lightroom. Every user of Photoshop CS (and higher) has in theory a good RAW converter for almost every camera brand. However, for a new camera, you will need the most recent version of ACR and the latest version of ACR is only compatible with the latest Photoshop version. Hence you are forced to update Photoshop if you buy a new camera. For those who wish to use ACR, take a look at the Adobe Camera RAW flash movie tutorials @ WhatDigitalcamera, Adobe Raw en Adobe Bridge Tips & Tricks @ Computer Darkroom.com. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom icontains the same RAW conversion engine as Photoshop. But Lightroom and its updates are cheaper than Photoshop and its updates.
A few other well known Raw converters are:
- Capture One
- Lightzone A remarkable RAW converter based on Ansel Adams' zonesystem.
Another free RAW converter: UFRaw
UFRaw is another free RAW converter (which also works as a stand-alone RAW converter). There's even a version available in Dutch. UFRaw is available for Wndows, Linux and Mac and can be integrated with the Gimp software.
More about free Raw converters:
Free RAW conversion software: RAW Therapee
Raw Therapee is a free raw-converter for Windows and Linux. Raw Therapee is based on dcraw, an open source program which enables you to open raw-files of almost any camera on several software platforms. RAW Therapee offers a lot of possibilities (Curves, shadow / highlight, exposure, whitebalance, noise reduction, correction of lens artefacts like chromatic aberration) for free software. The userface looks as good as the UI of commercial RAW converters. Using RAW Therapee might not be a little difficult at the start (as with most advanced RAW conversion software), but both the FAQ section and the manual will help you. Raw therepee has been written by volunteers. They see the