Some things you need to know:
1. RAW photos are totally unprocessed, and as such, your camera can't show them to you on the little monitor on the back of your camera. So when you photograph in RAW, your camera shows them to you in JPEG. You don't actually get to see the RAW version until you process them on your computer. Oh the suspense!
2. After you take your photos, download them into program that came with your software. I have a Canon Rebel and the software I got with the camera shows up on my computer as EOS utilities. I download them exactly the same as I would my JPEG pics; but up in the corner of the photos it says 'RAW'. I understand that Photoshop will give you many better options for processing both RAW and JPEG, so if you have it, by all means use it! (That will be my next purchase!)
3. What seems like magic to me is watching the RAW photos materialize on the screen when you've downloaded them. They take a bit longer than JPEGs and you can actually see all of the fine details come out in them. I tell you it's like opening Christmas presents when you finally get to see the results of your photos!
4. You can fiddle around with them using your EOS utilities or Photoshop just as you would JPEGs. By this I mean you can crop them, lighten them, mess with saturation, etc. When you are happy with your photograph you need to save it. This is the part that made me jump out of bed to write this little tutorial for you...
5. This is IMPORTANT...after messing with your photo and deciding that you love it, you need to save it. Now hear me...go to your file dropdown and pick the SAVE AND CONVERT setting on your menu. Here's why...
Your computer will not save your photos in RAW. (Well it will, but you won't see the pictures, you'll just see a little icon in the picture's place.)It wants to see them in JPEG. So you will convert your photo back into JPEG mode in order to save it. Don't worry though, all of that beautiful color and detail will be kept intact in the JPEG mode. So after you push the SAVE AND CONVERT button, you will notice that you now have a copy of the RAW photo in your utility, and one that says JPEG right next to it. That's your newly saved picture. That's the one you will post on your blog for me to see!
6. In a nutshell. Take the pic in RAW. See it in JPEG on your camera. Load it into your computer and see it in RAW. Edit it as desired. Change it back to JPEG. Now all the RAW features you wanted are in JPEG.
7. Is it worth the hassle. YES, YES, YES!
Farmlady, you have some beautiful pics of the sky...I just can't even imagine how they'd look in RAW. Please try it!
Joanne, you just have to try some pics of that little grandbaby in RAW. OK?
All right ladies. It's nightie night time for me. My vacation starts at 6 am tomorrow. Hope to see some fabulous pictures!