TechTip#4 – Setting up to shoot in RAW

I’m putting this in because shooting in RAW was an exciting new thing for me with my 40D. However it took me about 2 hours of fluffing around and reading both the manual that came with the camera and the Field Guide I bought to eventually figure out a key thing.

RAW functionality only works when your camera is set to certain modes. And when it is not set in those modes the only option you have to choose is from the variety of JPG settings.

Its not very clearly laid out in any of the documentation I read, so for the benefit of any other future users here goes :

Mode Dial

On the top left of the camera is the Mode Dial – find the Big Green Square – that setting is full AUTO.

In the image above there are several options to the left of the BGS – those are called the Basic Zone

To the right of the BGS is the Creative Zone


Blue line above = Basic Zone Pink line above = Creative Zone

The important thing to note is that if you are in any of the Basic Zone options you are shooting in AUTO and can only set the camera to shoot in JPEG

When you are in the Creative Zone the camera shoots in different type of manual mode and this is when you can set the camera to shoot in RAW

This is detailed in page 56 of my 40D manual that came in the camera.

Also there are two types of RAW – full and sRAW. The main difference is that the sRAW has a smaller file size. Now I know enough about these things to think that a smaller file size probably has a negative effect on image quality. But I could not find any reference to this either in any manuals or in online discussions.

In my opinion if you are shooting in RAW then you are wanting ALL the detail you can in your image, and therefore should be using the full RAW format. So thats what setting I use.

However my pal Forkboy has been mulling over the other option of shooting in JPEG instead – his post makes for interesting reading on the topic.



About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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One Response to TechTip#4 – Setting up to shoot in RAW

  1. forkboy says:

    When I first purchased my 40D in December 2008 I only shot JPEG, but a friend of mine convinced me to take the plunge into RAW and I haven’t looked back until quite recently (as you mention in your post).

    My only real criticism with the 40- and 50D is that in full auto mode, which is very handy for shooting with on-camera flash, you cannot get RAW. I want RAW, but to use the flash. That means I have to use Programme mode instead and for whatever reason the flash’s built-in focus assist doesn’t work in Programme mode.

    It’s a bit irritating…

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