I started shooting raw images with my Nikon D40X. For a while it was working with raw software under Linux just fine (I use UFRaw), and I have a few viewers that can view raw pictures. Then suddenly all of my viewers and UFRaw stopped recognizing new pictures taken with the camera, my Ubuntu file viewer recognizes the files as text in file properties (while the older files are correctly recognized as Nikon images). Finally, neither Photoshop Camera Raw nor the DNG converter version, that supposedly support this model, recognize these files.
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The raw+fine setting indicates that your camera will take both raw (NEF) and high resolution JPEG pictures with every shot. You can change this to shoot just JPEG or just raw shots using your menu under the little camera icon. Click on image quality and it will give you multiple settings so you can choose only raw or only JPEG. You have three JPEG settings: fine, normal or basic.
I always shoot raw+fine which I think may be the default setting. I use the jpeg pictures for simple and quick editing and I use raw for detailed editing. JPEG pictures deteriorate quickly during editing while raw pictures can handle extensive editing without significant deterioration.
When you shoot raw+fine, it means the camera is actually storing two pictures of the same shot, one in each of the two formats. When you view the pictures in Windows, you can tell the difference between the raw shots and the jpeg shots because the raw shots have a broad black bar across the top and bottom of the picture while the jpeg shots fill the screen.
The D3000 can store still images in two different formats. JPEG is a standard format, recognized by just about every image viewer and image manipulation program in the world. RAW is actually NEF (Nikon Electronic Format), a Nikon-proprietary format which incorporates almost all of the data captured by the sensor, without the processing of JPEG. JPEG files have the color balance, sharpening, contrast, and all the other camera settings done on the picture. With RAW files, you can change any or all of them and produce new JPEGs. In this respect the RAW file is similar to the original negative you get from processed film, while the JPEG file is like the final print. RAW files need special software for viewing and editing.
All JPEG files are compressed to save space. FINE, NORM, and BASIC represent different levels of compression. FINE does the least compression and takes up the most space, BASIC does the most compression and takes up the least space. Compression always loses some quality, so in general the less the compression the better the quality.
RAW+B simply stores each of your pictures as a RAW file and a BASIC JPEG file.
Having said all that, you should use only RAW or FINE settings. You didn't buy a SLR only to throw away picture quality, did you?
Slow down your shooting. The "R11" indicates
that you can take 11 more images before the buffer is full and the
camera will stop functioning until the images are moved to the memory
card. Select a smaller file size. Nikon cameras allow you to select from
several sizes of JPEG as well as a RAW and a RAW + JPEG file. These
files vary in size. If you select a smaller file size, the buffer will
take longer to fill, allowing you to shoot longerTurn off long exposure noise reduction. This function causes the camera
to expose twice for every image, and this can fill up the buffer quickly
as those images are processed and written to the card.
Select a smaller file size. Nikon cameras allow you to select
from several sizes of JPEG as well as a RAW and a RAW + JPEG file.
These files vary in size. If you select a smaller file size, the buffer
will take longer to fill, allowing you to shoot longer.
Turn off long exposure noise reduction. This function causes
the camera to expose twice for every image, and this can fill up the
buffer quickly as those images are processed and written to the card.
Press the image quality button repeatedly to cycle through the following values: NORMAL, FINE, HI, RAW, and BASIC. The image quality button is the topmost button in the cluster of buttons just above the speaker on the left side of the camera, marked with a sort of fan-like icon spreading from left to right.
Overlaying pictures, like almost all photo manipulations, is better done on a computer using "real" software rather than on a camera. You get much more control on a computer. However, the D40 does have a wide repertoire of photo manipulation capabilities.
In order to overlay images, you must be shooting in RAW (or RAW+JPEG). Select Image Overlay from the Retouch menu. A preview dialog will be displayed with Image 1 highlighted. Press OK to get a photo selection dialog. Use left/right to highlight the first picture in the overlay. (You can press and hold the Zoom button to see the selected photo fullscreen.) Press OK to select the image. Optimize exposure for the image by pressing up/down. Press left/right to highlight Image 2. Select the second image the same way. Press left/right to highlight the Preview column. Overlay will show you the result, allowing you to go back and change things if you wish. Save will save the overlaid photo.
The shadow in the lower portion of your camera is probably caused by the lens hood. The solution is simple: remove the lens hood whenever you're using the built-in flash.
Is the camera shooting in RAW mode? If so, the files will not be in JPG format. Perhaps your Nikon download software converts to JPG for you?
I'm a Canon user myself, so forgive me if my terminology is not correct for the Nikon, but the theory is the same...
On my canon I can choose to shoot JPG mode, or RAW+JPG - this is the only way the card can be read directly on a PC.