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December 22, 2012

Developing Sony Nex-6 Raw Files in Adobe Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

In this article I’m going to go over Developing Sony Nex-6 Raw Files in Adobe Lightroom 4!! If you read my Full Nex-6 Review, then you know that I prefer to shoot raw, because the Sony Jpeg files look a bit over processed for my particular taste.

I also enjoy the actual process and satisfaction of developing the the raw files, similar to how the dark room must have felt I imagine ;) I never worked with film myself as I went for wood sculpting and architecture in High School. Probably would have liked photography though I bet!! I made some cool stuff in wood sculpting class though and learned all sorts of cool stuff, so I don’t regret it in the least.In any event, lets get to business here!!

Keep reading if your ready to learn Fundamental Lightroom 4 developing concepts, workflow strategies,collections, filter menu, and much more!!

So what is a Raw file Exactly?

A Raw file is the “UN-processed” image that your camera captures. It is then ran through the “on camera” Photoshop equivalent which then produces a jpeg image. Raw files tend to be much more realistic looking in my opinion, and have a lot more information when it comes to highlight, shadow, and color. By developing the raw file yourself, you get to control exactly how much sharpening is applied, color, and all sorts of other good stuff as you will see.

Sony Nex-6 Raw Sample Photos

I have no idea what this gear mechanism is below, but it was used for something big and heavy I bet?? In any event it made for a great test subject for dynamic range, contrast, detail, and color!! As you can see from the photo below, it looks pretty natural in  the colors, but I did add a vignette in lightroom 4 for a little depth/ I also sharpened, corrected the color and added contrast to the file, but you probably didn’t notice that. Raw files can be edited very subtle, or pushed really far as you will see in the Extremely Detailed HD Video Tutorial Below!!

Click on the Photos for the 1200px Gallery style version!!

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens - Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens – Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens - Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens – Raw

I edited this photo in Lightroom a little more than the rest. I jacked up the Vibrancy and Clarity pretty far as well as some other adjustments I will show you!! ;)

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens - Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens – Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens - Raw

Sony Nex-6 w/18-55mm Kit Lens – Raw

 

Raw Photos Developed in the Video Tutorial

Here are the four developed Sony Nex-6 raw files that we worked on in the video tutorial.

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

Sony Nex-6 Raw File Developed in Lightroom 4

 

Developing Sony Nex-6 Raw Files in Adobe Lightroom 4 – 1080 HD Video Tutorial

I hope to share some of my enthusiasm, excitement, and expertise when it comes to developing the Sony Nex-6 Raw files in Adobe Lightroom 4. It really is easy and a lot of fun once you get the hang of it. With a little practice, I think you will be amazed at how fast you can develop raw files and get killer results!!

Be sure to Select the 1080 quality option in the video player below, so you can go Full Screen with crisp detail! I fact I recommend watching on your HD TV in the living room for ex. if you have it set-up. This video is 35 minutes long and highly detailed! I throw a lot of information your way, so don’t worry if your a little overwhelmed at first. You can pause, rewind, watch again, and ask me questions in the comments below!! I guarantee by the end of this video tutorial you will have a much better understanding of Developing Raw Files in Adobe Lightroom 4.


 

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Closing Remarks

As you can see, the Sony Nex-6 Raw files are awesome, and have a ton more information available for editing that the jpeg files do. Also, having control over the development process allows you to selectively edit the way You want to!! The developing process itself is very gratifying and will lead to a better understanding of how your camera captures information as well.

Unlike the heavily processed and compressed jpeg files, the Sony Nex-6 Raw files are incredible high quality with accurate colors and sharpness!!  This makes for a much better starting point for enhancing purposes and if your going to print your images. Raw is just better all around, but it does take a little work to enhance the files like I did in the video tutorial. Once you get the hang of things, you can really fly through the developing process and then sync similar photos with all the same settings. That will get groups of photos most of the way done. You can then go back to each photo and fine tune them accordingly. This technique works great for large batches of photos like weddings or B-Day parties for example.

That is about it for this Article on Developing Raw files in Adobe Lightroom 4. Please feel free to ask questions below or on the Forum. I’m very experienced with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, so if you have any questions or tutorial requests, by all means let me know!!

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




19 Comments


  1. Luis Madaleno

    Hi,

    Nice photos!

    I have a Nex7 and can’t take pictures this sharp.
    Is it me, or the Nex6 takes better pictures?

    Luis


    • Jay

      Hi,

      Nice photos!

      I have a Nex7 and can’t take pictures this sharp.
      Is it me, or the Nex6 takes better pictures?

      Luis

      Hello Luis and thanks for the comments!!

      It’s hard to say? Can you post a photo and tell me what setting you were using? Perhaps the shutter speed was not fast enough? To low ISO? Image stabilization turned off on the lens? Really un-steady hand? May need a tri-pod? Perhaps the lens is bad? Which focus mode are you using?

      Jay


  2. Noovuss

    Hi Jay,

    I don’t want to change the subject and I know that answers are out on the net, but I TRUST your opinion. Have you ever compared this to DXO, I’m in the market right now for a RAW program for my new NEX 6 and I’m overwhelmed by the choices. If you could say a few words or point me to a comparison that you trust.
    Thanks for any help.
    Mike


    • Jay

      Lightroom 4 is the way to go in my opinion Mike. By far in fact!! The DXO program is great and does have a better lens profile database at the moment, but since I really bashed Adobe in the original DXO Optics article I wrote back a few weeks ago, Lightroom 4 came out with 2 updates!! That is not the norm from the past and I was amazed at how quick the 16-50mm power zoom lens profile was available. I will keep on Adobe about this.

      This is the biggest advantage that DXO has over lightroom. On the other side though, lightroom blows it away for editing and enhancing power. Many more options for printing ect..

      I hope this helps Mike,

      Jay


  3. Max

    Hi Jay,
    good job I really enjoyed the video.
    I guess you don’t use Apple Aperture. I really like Aperture way more than Lightroom for the interface, slideshows, printed books, etc but it’s true that Lightroom has more power for developing RAWs.
    Right now I use both, I created a symlink for Aperture masters directory so I can import some of the RAWs I need into Lightroom and export the developed JPGs back into Aperture!
    It would be cool if you could create a similar tutorial for Aperture as well though ;)
    Thanks


    • Jay

      Hey Max,

      Apple Aperture is a pretty good program, but last time I used it was incredible slow for some reason. I will try it again when I have some time and see how it runs with my Nex-6 raw files. You would like to see Raw developing in Apple Aperture just to clarify, correct?

      Thanks,
      Jay


      • Max

        Correct, it should be cool to see a short head to head comparison of raw development between the two. You start developing a RAW in Lightroom then try to achieve the same result in aperture, then just continue with Aperture. Since the controls are different (brushes are better in Aperture but overall controls are less powerful), it should make a nice video.
        Aperture started the whole thing and Lightroom was just catch up at the beginning. Now is Apple’s turn to catch up on RAW development, I guess Aperture 4 will be the best again next year if they match Lightroom raw capabilities, lens correction, etc.
        Thanks


      • Jay

        Max,

        No problem ;) I just re-downloaded it and will install it today. You are correct that a lot of users are frustrated with the more powerful Raw processing in Lightroom 4. I did some reading earlier and the complaints are plenty full of people jumping ship to Lightroom 4 due to frustration with updates and raw in particular.

        Hopefully it runs better on my machine, and then I will definitely create a tutorial per your request!!

        Jay


      • Max

        You rock Jay! ;)


      • Jay

        No problem at all Max! I enjoy learning these programs and Aperture I always thought had an incredible interface that was super easy to use. It was really slow, but I got it installed and all updated to the latest raw and it’s running great!!

        It really is a pretty awesome program as I just spent about 10 minutes fooling around with it. I haven’t used it in some time, and really didn;t mess with it that much either to be honest.

        So far it seems to have almost all the options that lightroom 4 has, but in different panels ect.. I really like the loop view, the straiten tool is awesome!! Crop tool sucks so far. Curves adjustment is great, sharpening seems a little weak? It’s weird how you have to add an adjustment to the panel? that took me a second to figure out!

        I’ll need a bit more time to get more familiar with the features and interface, but expect a “Aperture Vs Lightroom – Developing Nex-6 Raw files!!” coming soon!!

        Jay


  4. Pat

    fantastic tutorial. I am new to LR so I am learning a lot here… thanks a lot, your work is greatly appreciated.


  5. shift

    I currently own Capture NX2 (previously a Nikon D5000 owner), and Adobe Photoshop Elements 11. Neither seem to have support for processing ARW files from my new Sony NEX-6. Do I need to consider purchasing a product like Lightroom 4?


    • Jay

      Hello Shift and thanks for the comments / question ;)

      I would strongly recommend upgrading to a Lightroom 4 style program for developing your raw files. It’s extremely powerful and offers all the organizing that Elements has, but more pro oriented is all. Not as many pictures ect..

      Best,
      Jay


  6. Andrew

    Great tutorial. I use an NEX 6 with a polarizer whenever I go hiking. Any lightroom tips on how to reduce the blue haze in the background in outdoor landscape shots?


    • Jay

      Andrew,

      The blue haze like on mountain ranges and stuff?? You can use the saturation tool and back off that particular shade. Or you could use the adjustment brush and lower the saturation on it, then paint out the blue ;)

      I hope that helps,
      Jay


  7. Alexander

    Hey Jay, thank you so much for this excellent video! I learned a lot in short time. Keep going!



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