cjpphotos | Raw vs Jpeg

Raw vs Jpeg

January 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Let’s discuss shooting Raw vs shooting Jpg today.

I’ve been shooting digital since 2005 and just since 2011 have migrated to Raw.  So glad I FINALLY made the leap.


What held me back?  I THOUGHT when shooting Raw, everything would go manual
Manual focus,
Manual ISO etc.  


After discussing this with several photographers I realized I was incorrect.  See?  The old adage proves true yet again:
You REALLY can learn something new all the time.


What is the advantage to shooting Raw?
–There is no compression (files are extremely big) Meaning there is much more data to work with.
–You can edit an image and not work on the original image.


Raw images come with a data file and when you erase the data file you lose all the changes you made to the image.


So why am I shooting Raw now?
As with any decision, it comes down to personal choice and experience.  If you’re just starting out in the DSLR field, then I DO recommend beginning by shooting Jpg.  There is steeper learning curve when it comes to shooting Raw.  Start slow and move up.  Once you’re comfortable with your camera and you’ve shot with it for a time, then play with Raw.  Go back and forth for awhile.


I think eventually you’ll see the benefits of shooting Raw full time.  For the average photographer, someone who simply wants to shoot family and and occasionally venture out into landscape and nature, shooting Raw probably isn’t the way to go.  You’ll know what type of photographer you are, which category you fall into.


For myself, I knew I was interested in going professional from the moment I put my hands on my first SLR when I was 17.  That interest never flagged and when I migrated to digital, the flame burned brighter.


So what is a Raw image?
In the simplest term, think of Raw as a digital negative.  You have so much more control over what you can do with a Raw image.


–Make a mistake with lighting?
You can edit it in Raw.

–White balance off?
You can fix that in Raw too.

–Exposure off?
Easily remedied.


None of these are as easily fixed when you shoot in jpeg.

In a Raw image, there is no compression.  When you shoot Jpg, the camera compresses the size of the image and by compressing the image you lose valuable data; data that can be used when shooting Raw.


Shooting Raw was a natural progression for me.  From film to point and shoot digital to Digital SLR.  As from film to Jpeg to Raw.  I recommend everyone at least dabble in Raw at some point during their digital experience.  I realize above I mentioned it isn’t for everyone, but how will you know which photographer you are unless you play with Raw for awhile.


Good luck with your choice.

In the mean time:
Focus on what’s ahead of you.



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