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Raf files on a Mac, file longevity


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#1 pjd

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:23 PM

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Hi All

I'm a newbie on this forum, so forgive me if you've already discussed this...

I'm a long time Mac user who has just purchased an x-t20 which I love. I use Aperture for post processing, but of course Fuji Raf will not import into this programme. I've done some trials of different post processing apps and very much like Iridient, but I'm really looking for a programme that will process the Raf files, and also allow me to create a named folder structure much like Aperture.

 

I'm not keen on what I've seen with LR. I tried Captive One but could not get it to see the Raf files for some reason. I'm really looking for longevity so that when I pop my clogs the children will still be able to see these photos on not be met with some obscure message saying the files are not readable. Should I edit the Raf files and then save as Jpeg?

 

Many thanks!

 

PJD



#2 Larry Bolch

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 12:30 AM

Highly unlikely. While a new file format may take a while to be coded into existing programs, pretty much any digital file since the era of mainframes are still readable. Prior to that storage was enormously expensive, and tapes were routinely erased and reused. Much historic data from early space exploration has been forever lost. That is not the case today.

 

Digital files do not degenerate and code is forever. Need to view a rare Amiga HAM image file from 1985? The format is well documented, and there are applications that can still access it. In mainframe days, data formats were proprietary oft-times, thus hard to access. Not so now. Local storage is trivial in price, and cloud storage readily available. 

 

To preserve your RAF files means keeping a level of redundancy—as in backups. With countless thousands of files being generated daily, even if the format is later abandoned, the code to decipher them will live on through everything short of a global meltdown. JPEGs have only a fraction of the data contained in a RAF. They are a convenience, being small can be transmitted quickly. They are more than adequate as a display format. No harm in shooting RAW+JPEG or having some batch processing application generate a set. A nice supplement to RAW, but no substitute.

 

RAW is not actually an image file format, but rather the raw data off your sensor plus information on your camera settings and information on how to interpret it. It is primarily where you start producing the final image be it a JPEG to be embedded in a  web page, used in a slide show or made into a print. It is truly your original and should be carefully preserved. Not a software problem. However, optical discs can shatter and hard drives crash. Obscure formats are accessible, but not if the hardware fails and you don't have backups.



#3 holgerf

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:22 AM

Capture One does read the Fuji EAW filis, but only the uncompressed versions.

#4 pjd

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 09:16 PM

Yes I'm careful to shoot raw (raf) and jpg and I'm concerned that given the passing of time the raf files will not be readable in the way that jpgs seem to be. Is that an unreasonable view? None of us know that answer I guess, though we can all make our best guesses. An example is that none of the native Apple programmes currently read the x-t2 or x-t20 files, and if Apple and others decided that they are no longer going to support that particular raw format then those images are no longer readable. Jpgs, whilst they have a serious loss of quality, do at least seem to be far more ubiquitous. Hopefully another programme will pick up the pieces? 

 

With my trial version of Capture One 10 there must be something I'm doing wrong, as when I import images from the appropriate folder, the images (jpg, raw and dng) are greyed out, and obviously will not then import. I emailed the developer but received no response whatsoever which is shame as I was looking for a programme that would allow me to create a sensible folder structure and then edit the images accordingly. The alternative is Iridient which I liked very much although I will need to create a folder structure. An app that has it's own sensible folder structure, and the ability to edit the images accordingly (and do justice to the x-trans) doesn't seem to be available at the moment. Or have I missed a suitable programme? Aperture was a good tool for my needs, but as that is no longer supported I need to look elsewhere. If I could combine Iridient with a sensible browser that would be great.



#5 Larry Bolch

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:09 AM

Yes I'm careful to shoot raw (raf) and jpg and I'm concerned that given the passing of time the raf files will not be readable in the way that jpgs seem to be. Is that an unreasonable view? None of us know that answer I guess, though we can all make our best guesses. An example is that none of the native Apple programmes currently read the x-t2 or x-t20 files, and if Apple and others decided that they are no longer going to support that particular raw format then those images are no longer readable. Jpgs, whilst they have a serious loss of quality, do at least seem to be far more ubiquitous. Hopefully another programme will pick up the pieces? 

It takes time to update and distribute software. The last Windows update to Photoshop CC included the GFX 50S and the rest of the latest models. They had the software ready to go by the time the cameras were in the shops, or very shortly afterward. Smaller developers will probably soon follow.

In the past, it took them months before they were successful in de-mosaicing the X-Pro1 and the first X-Trans. Now they are quite prompt. As far as long term, I started shooting digital cameras at the beginning of the century, and all my earliest files not only work fine but take full advantage of all the new features in Adobe Camera RAW. Absolutely no reason why RAW image files from all cameras should not remain forever readable.



#6 Raz1Dav

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:44 PM

Try ACDSee (ACDSee.com). They are in a BETA process with a Mac version. Also have windows versions. Their database management is outstanding. Trial versions are available.

#7 Chucktin

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:53 PM

If you are truly concerned with longivity then save your files as tiffs along side the RAFs.
You can also freeze the file attribute for jpegs. Probably should, as far as that goes.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N900A using Tapatalk

#8 Tom H.

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 08:15 AM

If you care about longevity, you'll so as I do and keep a USB stick in your picture albums with the negatives on it, be it dng or raf doesn't matter. That way your children will know where to look for the files.

The problem with file longevity is rarely how to keep them, the thing is to make sure others can find them.


 
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