THE RAW EDIT LAB in Corel X4/X5 & X6 (HOW TO USE IT)

RAW EDIT LAB

The RAW EDIT lab in Corel Paintshop pro is an option that is in the X4/X5 & X6 series of the Corel program.
This lab pops up when you are trying to edit a RAW photograph as opposed to a JPEG photograph.

What are the difference between them?  RAW photographs might have several different names regarding the type of camera you are using.  For instance if you use a NIKON camera your RAW file will be called NEF.   This is just the designated name that Nikon gave it’s RAW files.  If you are using Canon your RAW files will be called CR2.  This is also the name that Canon designated for there RAW files.  If you use another camera brand the name might be different.  I would refer to your camera’s manual to see what that is.

Whats the reasoning for each one?

  • A RAW file is uncompressed information that was recorded by the censor of your camera.  This means the data that the sensor captured is there in its original glory.  This will allow you to make changes in post processing to the photograph and it will not ruin the photograph.   It will not ruin it because all of the information is there for you to adjust in an uncompressed format.   These files are large when recorded to your SD card.  One of my RAW/NEF files can sometimes be as large as 18MB.   This allows the photographer a greater range of post production possibilities.
  • A JPEG file is a compressed file format that when your picture is recorded to the sensor the camera will compress all of the information into a smaller package.  When doing this it will still maintain image quality (in some cases) but will give you less leverage or editing ability in post production.   You have less leverage in post production.  You can still make some changes but not as easily or clean.  These files are smaller when recorded to your SD card.  Some JPEGS can be as small as 1MB.

I hope that gives you some idea of what the difference between a RAW file and JEPG file format is.

Now when using Corel and you are opening your RAW file you will see a screen called the CAMERA RAW LAB appear.

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When this option pops up you have several different adjustments you can make right away with the photograph.
You will see the

  • HISTOGRAM (the colored lines at the top left corner)
  • BRIGHTNESS
  • SATURATION
  • SHADOWS

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This is where you can make some quick fast adjustments to the brightness of the photograph, you can saturate it (bringing out the colors) or you can darken the photograph by using the Shadow toggle.  Now when using the shadow toggle you will notice it darkens the photograph.  It will not brighten the shadows, it is more used as a contrast tool while in the RAW edit lab.

EXAMPLES:
BEFORE: (this is before the levels were changed.  You can see the SHADOW level is at ZERO)
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AFTER: (I changed the level to 54 to show the drastic change it makes.  You will notice it darkens the shadows)
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Look to the shadows to see the change it makes.  Please revert to video below for more details on that.

The next items you have are called:

  • White Balance
  • Scenario
  • Temperature
  • Tint

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These options help you change the photograph’s white balance.  Now you can change the photograph by clicking on the drop down menu called SCENARIO and then click on CUSTOM option.
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After you click on that you can then adjust your white balance by moving the TEMPERATURE and TINT levels.  When you look at the photograph you will see your adjustments change the photograph.  You can now manually adjust the white balance to what you think is right.
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For more information please revert to the video below.

You will then have several more options to adjust your RAW image:

  • HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY
  • REDUCE NOISE
  • ZOOM

The HIGHLIGHT RECOVERY is used to help recover over exposed portions of a RAW photograph.  So if you over exposed a sunset or sunrise this option will try and fix those over exposed portions of the photograph.  I have noticed that this option does not work very well.  It does help somewhat but I find myself just fixing it in post production instead.

The REDUCE NOISE is used to help fixed any grain you may have in your RAW photograph.  This works very well but you must be careful not to over do it.  It will give an over smoothed out effect instead of a natural effect if over done.   If you are looking for that over smoothed out affect then by all means go as high as you want! 🙂

The ZOOM option is so that you can zoom into the photograph to find any grain or noise issues.
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For more information please revert to the video below.

Thank you for reading the blog and I hoped it helped you learn more about the RAW LAB in COREL.
If you would like to leave a comment or any questions please feel free to leave them below.  You can also check out my YouTube channel and subscribe.

Thanks again.

Chris

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