RAW + Perfectly Clear = A Perfect Match

 

For the ultimate in photographic control and dynamic range, photographers have shot RAW files for many years.  These native camera formats are superior to JPEG files in many ways including less compression, more color information, and a wider dynamic range.  Often a crushed shadow or a clipped highlight (such as clouds) can be recovered.

Working with RAW Files

In the past, you’d have to use an application like Photoshop, Corel Paint, or Adobe Photoshop to process the RAW file before using Perfectly Clear as a plugin.  But not anymore.  If you use Perfectly Clear as a standalone application, you can open most popular RAW files directly.

When you open a raw file with our standalone application, you can choose how you want to work. Perfectly Clear will attempt to give you the most flexibility with raw files.

You can choose:

  • Open. This will simply open the RAW files using their default settings and no direct adjustment to the RAW data.  A high-quality file is parsed and opened by Perfectly Clear.
  • Develop. This option lets you selectively adjust the RAW file with sliders for detailed control.  You can refine the exposure, tone, and white balance for the file.

Once you choose an option, the file will either open directly in Perfectly Clear or go the the RAW Editor to be developed. You can also mark a checkbox called. “Remember this choice” to open all RAW files the same way.  If you want to override this in the future, just click the Gear icon in the Raw Adjustments control area.

Adjusting RAW Files

Once you choose to develop one or more RAW files, you’ll find several useful adjustments.  These are focussed on three primary tasks: fixing tone, fixing white balance, and removing lens imperfections.

  • Exposure. Adjust the global exposure for a photo.  You can add or subtract up to 3 stops of light from most raw files.
  • Highlight Recovery. This command specifically attempts to recover lost details in the brightest areas of a photo.
  • Fill Light. This option is useful for filling in parts of an image that are lost to shadows.
  • White Balance. This preset menu lets you choose from useful presets that match closely those found in DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
    • Temperature. You can refine the color temperature for a shot manually to achieve a proper white balance. The slider is based upon degrees Kelvin.
    • Tint.  The Tint slider is used less often but is used to adjust the shot when gas or older fluorescent bulbs are used.  A scene may also have a lot of green, and this can help balance that.
  • Len Correction. We have custom profiles for many lenses that allow the raw development settings to be fine-tuned based upon the camera and lens used.  This is generally a good option to leave checked.

When satisfied with the RAW file you can click the Sync Settings or Synchronize buttons to apply the adjustments to all open RAW photos.  To open the RAW photos into Perfectly Clear click Open.

Reopening RAW Files

If you ever need to revisit the RAW Editor, that’s easy. In the RAW Adjustments controls there are two buttons for this task.

  • Reprocess Raw File. This opens the currently selected raw file so it can be reprocessed.
  • Reprocess All Raw Files. This opens all of the raw files loaded currently so they can be adjusted one-by-one or synced.

Which RAW Files are Supported?

We’ve got an FAQ over here that explains this.


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