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Cropping a .RAW file and re-saving as a .RAW file?

GunMan 486 April 12, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I have tons of .RAW files that contain only a very small area of interest and the rest needs to be cropped off (to save on storage). After the crop, I want to re-save as a .RAW file. I have the latest Photoshop. However, I cannot figure out how to do this.
Thanks!!!

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#2
Not in Photoshop... Its designed to never alter the Raw file directly to avoid screwups

I don't know what kind of raw files you are working with but most camera manufacturers supply a basic suite of software that might (should?) be able to modify the raw files. For example, Canon supplies DPP that allows users to read and write CR2 raw files. I can easily open a raw file, modify it and re-write it as a raw file.
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#3
A RAW file is just that -- the raw unfiltered output of a camera's image sensor. Every sensor is different, so the RAW format varies from one camera to the next.
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#4
Quote from GunMan View Post :
I have tons of .RAW files that contain only a very small area of interest and the rest needs to be cropped off (to save on storage). After the crop, I want to re-save as a .RAW file. I have the latest Photoshop. However, I cannot figure out how to do this.
Thanks!!!
You can't save with the same raw format/extension as most major camera makers. However, you can save images as a TIFF, which is similar enough to your camera raw formats as to make no real difference. As it stands, most major camera raw files (such as those made by Canon and Nikon) are just the TIFF file format with extra layers of Meta Data included.


Quote from Rebound View Post :
A RAW file is just that -- the raw unfiltered output of a camera's image sensor. Every sensor is different, so the RAW format varies from one camera to the next.
Actually, most of the major raw file formats just use TIFF specifications. The big differences include layers of metadata.
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#5
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Not in Photoshop... Its designed to never alter the Raw file directly to avoid screwups

I don't know what kind of raw files you are working with but most camera manufacturers supply a basic suite of software that might (should?) be able to modify the raw files. For example, Canon supplies DPP that allows users to read and write CR2 raw files. I can easily open a raw file, modify it and re-write it as a raw file.
It's a Canon 60d, so hopefully that will work for me. I definitely want to retain the ability to play with white balance etc. etc.. later as future needs dictate, but I want to crop away the 90% of the files that I don't need.
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#6
Quote from GunMan View Post :
It's a Canon 60d, so hopefully that will work for me. I definitely want to retain the ability to play with white balance etc. etc.. later as future needs dictate, but I want to crop away the 90% of the files that I don't need.
DPP and the like don't modify the files any more than Bridge. They just save your previous settings from within the suite. For instance, if I perform a crop, and several color changes to a photo in Adobe Camera Raw, it saves a data file of said changes along with the file so that you can revisit your changes down the line. However, the original file is left intact.

You'll find that most raw programs function in this way.
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#7
what's wrong with converting to tiff and then cropping? lossless, and almost every single editing progam supports it
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#8
Like other people have said this is not possible as a raw. I do believe this would be possible if you convert the raw to a .DNG which still has many of the same benefits of RAW and a few more. If all of your crops will be the same size and are located in the same place in the picture, you could very easily get one picture developed how you want and then apply these settings to all of the others with just a few keystrokes.

BTW as long as you have a relativity new version of the raw engine, photoshop will have no troubles reading a RAW file. You can upgrade this on adobe website if needed.
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#9
Quote from kakomu View Post :
Actually, most of the major raw file formats just use TIFF specifications. The big differences include layers of metadata.
The fact is, you cannot rename a RAW file a TIFF and open it with a program that supports TIFF's. You cannot open a RAW file and save it as a TIFF and have the same thing, although it definitely might be good enough for your needs. The truth is, the RAW format is a massive mess, and camera manufacturers write their own RAW parsers that play all kinds of tricks on the files with their RAW software, and software vendors such as Apple and Adobe have to release updates about twice a year to support support the new RAW formats from new cameras, which obviously wouldn't be necessary if they were just TIFF files. In fact, there are documented cases of the image being different depending upon whether you open it with the camera manufacturer's software, or Adobe's or Apple's, because they do different, proprietary things to determine how to modify and render the image. "Based on TIFF" is not the same as "Is TIFF."

The lack of RAW standardization is a big problem, at least if you're hoping to edit your RAW photos in the future:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAW_file_format#Standardization
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2005/4/27/davecoffininterview
http://www.openraw.org/info/
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#10
How about PNG?
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#11
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
How about PNG?
PNG doesn't support much metadata (e.g. EXIF), which is very useful with photography.

Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Like other people have said this is not possible as a raw. I do believe this would be possible if you convert the raw to a .DNG which still has many of the same benefits of RAW and a few more. If all of your crops will be the same size and are located in the same place in the picture, you could very easily get one picture developed how you want and then apply these settings to all of the others with just a few keystrokes.

BTW as long as you have a relativity new version of the raw engine, photoshop will have no troubles reading a RAW file. You can upgrade this on adobe website if needed.
DNG seems like a good idea for archiving large batches. The problem with Adobe products is that you can't save DNG files from within photoshop, but only from within Adobe Camera Raw (and, possibly lightbox). However, you can save your files within Photoshop as TIFF. I actually just ran a CR2 file (also shot with a 60D) through ACR and Photoshop. I converted the CR2 file into DNG via ACR and TIF via ACR. Then, I opened the CR2 file into photoshop and saved the file as a TIFF. Then, upon reloading all of the files into ACR, I noticed there are some color and exposure variations when using the sliders, but detail was retained and colors were able to be manipulated quite readily.

Quote from Rebound View Post :
Thank you, Poindexter, for another of your pointless, anal, technical and nit-picky snipes about every little thing everybody says just to puff your itty-bitty ego and add confusion to every subject.
My post was meant to clarify what RAW is and why you can save a RAW file as a TIFF from within a photo editing program, like Photoshop, and retain most, if not all of the benefits of most Camera Raw formats.

Quote from Rebound View Post :
I am not going to get into a pissing match with an unarmed opponent. You are wrong, but it does not matter if you are or are not. The fact is, you cannot rename a RAW file a TIFF and open it with a program that supports TIFF's. You cannot open a RAW file and save it as a TIFF and have the same thing, although it definitely might be good enough for your needs.
I was not suggesting that one could rename the extension and you would have the same thing, however, if you were to open a RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw and export as a TIFF, you still maintain most of the features of the RAW format. You lose some of the features that come with camera metadata. For instance, a DNG or TIFF image will react differently to exposure and WB adjustments than a CR2, probably due to the Camera's metadata included in the RAW file. However, the DNG and TIFF images will look fairly similar. However, none of this precludes you from adjusting white balance or adjusting exposure or other color settings.

I suggest you read up on Camera raw. To save you some trouble, here's info on Canon's CR2 raw program and pertinent tidbits:

http://wildtramper.com/sw/cr2/cr2.html
Quote :
The Canon CR2 file format is an encapsulated TIFF shell having 4 IFD sets.
http://lclevy.free.fr/cr2/
Quote :
The .CR2 file is based on the TIFF file format.
If you go a little further, you'll see that they describe the image data in CR2 as "lossless jpeg".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_raw
Quote :
Many raw file formats, including 3FR (Hasselblad), DCR, K25, KDC (Kodak), IIQ (Phase One), CR2 (Canon), ERF (Epson), MEF (Mamiya), MOS (Leaf), NEF (Nikon), ORF (Olympus), PEF (Pentax), RW2 (Panasonic) and ARW, SRF, SR2 (Sony), are based on the TIFF file format.[2] These files may deviate from the TIFF standard in a number of ways, including the use of a non-standard file header, the inclusion of additional image tags and the encryption of some of the tagged data.
I think this is probably most important. There's a lot of data in Camera raw files beyond the actual image data.

As an aside, while Canon Cameras have mostly saved images as CRW and CR2, the earliest Canon 1 series cameras were saving the images with a TIFF extension. The connection between Tiff and Camera raw are pretty close together.

Quote from Rebound View Post :
The truth is, the RAW format is a massive mess, and camera manufacturers write their own RAW parsers that play all kinds of tricks on the files with their RAW software, and software vendors such as Apple and Adobe have to release updates about twice a year to support support the new RAW formats from new cameras, which obviously wouldn't be necessary if they were just TIFF files.
The updates that are released aren't necessarily due to the actual image data changing, but because of the layers of metadata, headers, encryption, etc.

Quote from Rebound View Post :
In fact, there are documented cases of the image being different depending upon whether you open it with the camera manufacturer's software, or Adobe's or Apple's, because they do different, proprietary things to determine how to modify and render the image. "Based on TIFF" is not the same as "Is TIFF."
That would be because image decoding, processing, encoding, etc isn't the same throughout all image programs. Even standardized image formats will look different depending on which program you run it through. Canon's Raw image processing tool uses their own proprietary image processing functions just like Adobe's image processing tools. I know many Canon photographers seem to prefer the way Canon's software decodes images as compare to ACR, but the differences tend to be due to a chain reaction of many different options and functions working from beginning to end.
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#12
To the OP: You are better off cropping in Adobe Camera Raw. This will save your crop and keep your file as-is with no changes. The next time you open your RAW image in Adobe Camera Raw, the crop you performed before will still be retained, but you can just clear the crop later on if you need to.
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#13
Quote from kakomu View Post :
The updates that are released aren't necessarily due to the actual image data changing, but because of the layers of metadata, headers, encryption, etc.


That would be because image decoding, processing, encoding, etc isn't the same throughout all image programs. Even standardized image formats will look different depending on which program you run it through. Canon's Raw image processing tool uses their own proprietary image processing functions just like Adobe's image processing tools. I know many Canon photographers seem to prefer the way Canon's software decodes images as compare to ACR, but the differences tend to be due to a chain reaction of many different options and functions working from beginning to end.
RAW is the raw data dumped out of an image sensor. No image sensor is perfect. They have noise in certain areas, and each one biases color differently, and so what do you do? As a camera maker, they test the crap out of the sensors and characterize them, and use those characteristics to modify their RAW filter reader an the camera's JPEG parser. Canon apparently also corrects for chromatic aberration, based on a lens database and the aperture used. The RAW file has the aberration, but you can't see it when you open the file with their RAW viewer. But somebody noticed that the aberration was there with the Apple viewer and not the Canon viewer. They do all kinds of stuff like that, because no photographer wants to apply those corrections to every single image. So a RAW from one camera is different from the next because the sensors are different, so a color value of X from one camera may be different from the value of X in another, or a value of X may be different at one location in the image than another. Complicated mess, but I have a ton of respect for their relentless pursuit of perfection.
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#14
Quote from Rebound View Post :
RAW is the raw data dumped out of an image sensor.
RAW is the data dumped from the processor. The processors manipulates the actual raw image data from the sensor to conform to a specific format. According to one of the links I posted, the image data is stored in "lossless jpeg".
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#15
Quote from kakomu View Post :
RAW is the data dumped from the processor. The processors manipulates the actual raw image data from the sensor to conform to a specific format. According to one of the links I posted, the image data is stored in "lossless jpeg".
First you say TIFF, then you say "lossless jpeg." and you said it was "based on" these formats. Well, English and French are "based on" Latin. Does that mean everybody who speaks English also speaks Latin and French?
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