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Open the "Shooting Menu" by pressing the Menu button. Press the right Multi-selector and then scroll up or down to "Image Quality". Press the right Multi-selector and you will see the various choices for JPEG and NEF combinations and quality, make your selection by scrolling up or down and pressing "OK".
As for converting you NEF photos to JPEG; you can easily do that in one of several ways on your computer. If you are using Lightroom or Photoshop, all you have to do is open your pictures, select "Save As" and use the pull-down menu to select JPEG and save. If you do not have that program, there are several conversion programs available on the Web; manu for free. I use a program called BatchConverter on my Mac. There are similar programs of PCs.
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.
You can use Photoshop, or an alternate to this is an online photo editor http://pixlr.com/editor/ similar to photoshop. Just open the jpeg image and save it as jpg.
To convert it into grayscale goto Adjustments>Desaturate, this applied for online editor. Please let me know incase you need any further help. thanks
you maybe taking shots in raw which is fine but depending on what OS you have and computer hardware might mean your pc is struggling to open them. might want to check your photo resolution settings by pressing menu button and on the first list you should see the quality mode your using try taking shots in jpeg see if that helps.
if its already taking photos in jpeg then i highly recommend downloading picasa as it has an excellent photo viewer which you can enable as your default photo viewer. opens raw and jpeg photos no problem.
files are usually proprietary to the camera manufacturer and sometimes
to the specific model of camera. That means, only the camera that takes
the picture can understand the information collected on the camera
sensors. That information is then translated by means of firmware
(software) built into the camera and the usual result is a more user
friendly format called JPEG." From Understanding RAW Format Read also wikipedia : Raw image format In substance many software do not manage Raw format, this is normal. The newer photoshop CS3 can manage some Raw format , depending on the camera.
Photoshop 6 does not read Sony RAW format. You need to export pictures from camera using jpeg, or to use a converter software if pictures are already on computer, see: Convert RAW to JPG
The question to ask is - is you camera happy with a 2 Gig card?
Coming to files on the card you could try one or more of the recovery programs for example www.convar.com for 'pc inspector' see what this manages to pull up.
You also try 'Irfanview' which has a little more latitude at file discrimination that a regular editor.