I’m Pleased I Saved My RAW Files

I bought my first digital camera around 2004. It was a Canon 300D which came with a basic kit lens and cost £899. At the time I agonised for a few months between buying this camera and the slightly more expensive Hasselblad Xpan II and 45mm lens.

I sold the 300D in 2006 as soon as the 10Mpixel Canon 400D launched as it was a major upgrade. Looking at second-hand prices on eBay you can buy a used 300D with kit lens for less than £50. A used Hasselblad Xpan II and 45mm lens will set you back around £4,000 to £5,000. Whilst this may leave you questioning the value of my decision, I’m certain it was the right one.

What the Canon 300D gave me was something I hadn’t had before – instant feedback. By looking at the back of the camera I could immediately see what was working and what wasn’t. I could then adjust my approach to improve the shot, something I could never do with an Xpan. The result was that the quality of my photography improved faster than at any time before or after. I also still have my original RAW files from that camera, and I continue to find images that I hadn’t noticed before like this one.

Lmestone pavement on the slopes of Whernside. Canon 300D with Sigma 10-20 lens at 10mm. 1/4″ at f/14 and ISO100.

The unfortunate thing is that the Canon 300D was only a 6Mpixel camera, so this image is only 10” x 6.5” when printed at 300dpi. Despite this, when I process the file with the likes of DxO PureRAW (mentioned last week) or Capture One, the image quality is excellent. If I then run the image through Topaz Gigapixel at 2X enlargement I get a 20” x 13” print at 300ppi. Drop the resolution to 240ppi rather than 300ppi and the image becomes 26” x 16.3” and still produces a quality print.

The point of all this waffling is to encourage you not to dismiss old digital images just because they are old. Try processing your old RAW files with today’s technology and you will be surprised at just how good the results can be.

I hope you like the (old) image and have a great weekend.

10 thoughts on “I’m Pleased I Saved My RAW Files

  1. You are right Robin regarding older images, but still: The Hassy would be a treat even today. I guess, we can‘t have it all… 😉 Take care!

    1. Hmmm! What I didn’t say in the blog was that I bought a used XPan II a couple of years later with a 45mm and 90mm lens and some accessories. I got it for the same price as the 45mm kit was new. The only thing I didn’t buy at the time was the 30mm lens but I managed to pick up one of those a few years later for a reasonable price. It’s a great camera and one that I won’t be selling.

      1. Oh! You were wise. And lucky – nowadays they are rare and very expensive, at least here in Switzerland. Congratulations!
        Fascinating landscape btw, and nicely taken. Waiting for Corona to disappear, to be free to roam again. Take care, stay healthy!

  2. My ‘first’ camera was a 5mp Olympus taking jpegs. I am working through my back catalogue with ‘new technology’, and am pleasantly surprised at how good the images are. I would like to try enlarging some of them. Brian

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