Raw vs. Jpeg

RAW format refers to a type of file format used in digital photography that retains all of the data captured by the camera's sensor without any compression or processing. Unlike JPEG, which is a compressed format and applies in-camera processing such as white balance adjustment and sharpening, RAW files preserve the raw sensor data, providing you with greater flexibility and control during post-processing.

Advantages of RAW format

  1. Greater Editing Flexibility: RAW files contain more image data, allowing for extensive post-processing adjustments without degrading image quality. This includes adjustments to exposure, white balance, contrast, and color saturation.
  2. Higher Image Quality: Since RAW files retain all of the sensor data, they offer superior image quality compared to JPEG.
  3. Non-Destructive Editing: RAW editing software allows you to make edits to your images without altering the original file. This non-destructive editing process preserves the integrity of your RAW files and allows you to revert to the original state at any time.
  4. Exposure Recovery: RAW files retain a wider dynamic range, making it easier to recover details from overexposed or underexposed areas of your images during post-processing.

Things to consider

  1. File Size: RAW files are significantly larger than JPEG files due to their uncompressed nature, requiring more storage space on memory cards and hard drives. This means you'll need to invest in larger capacity memory cards and allocate more storage space for your images.
  2. Post-Processing Time: Editing RAW files typically requires more time and skill compared to JPEG, as you'll need to process each image individually using specialized software like Adobe Lightroom or Capture One.
  3. Compatibility: Not all image viewing and editing software supports RAW files, so you'll need to ensure you have access to compatible software for processing your RAW images.

Do I need to shoot in it?

  • If you value maximum flexibility and control over your images and are willing to invest time in post-processing, shooting in RAW is highly recommended.
  • If you prefer the convenience of smaller file sizes and minimal post-processing, shooting in JPEG may be sufficient for your needs.

Ultimately, the decision to shoot in RAW depends on your workflow, editing preferences, and the level of control you desire over your final images.

I personally shoot exclusively in RAW format and recommend it because it makes a huge difference in the final product.