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RAW versus JPEG

It is generally better to shoot in RAW format rather than JPEG in camera, as RAW files contain more information and allow for greater flexibility in post-processing. RAW files capture all the data from the camera's sensor, while JPEG files discard some of that data during compression.

When shooting in RAW, you have the ability to adjust parameters such as white balance, exposure, contrast, and sharpness after the fact, without losing image quality. This is because RAW files retain all the information captured by the camera's sensor, giving you more latitude to make adjustments in post-processing.

JPEG files, on the other hand, are already processed by the camera and have limited room for adjustments. They are also more prone to artifacts and loss of quality due to compression.

However, shooting in RAW requires more storage space and time to process the files if not shot well. So, if you are shooting in situations where speed is critical or if you are not planning to do any post-processing, shooting in JPEG might be a better option if that extra quality and flexibility of RAW does not make much difference.

Photo - Ozan çulha

RAW and JPEG are two different file formats used in digital photography. Here are some of the pros and cons of both:

RAW format:


  • Captures all the data from the camera's sensor, providing maximum detail and image quality.

  • Offers greater flexibility in post-processing, allowing you to adjust parameters such as white balance, exposure, contrast, and sharpness without losing image quality.

  • Provides a wide dynamic range, allowing you to recover details in highlights and shadows.

  • Offers the ability to change the color space and bit depth in post-processing, which is particularly useful in professional printing.

  • Provides the ability to create HDR and panorama images with greater ease.


  • Requires more storage space and time to process the files.

  • May require additional software or plugins to work with.

  • Requires more knowledge and skill in post-processing to get the best results.

JPEG format:


  • Smaller file size, which allows for more photos to be stored on a memory card or hard drive.

  • Quicker and easier to share or print without additional processing.

  • Usually requires less knowledge and skill in post-processing.


  • Lossy compression can result in loss of detail and image quality.

  • Offers limited flexibility in post-processing, as adjustments can introduce artifacts and further reduce image quality.

  • Provides a limited dynamic range, making it difficult to recover details in highlights and shadows.

  • Color space and bit depth are fixed, limiting the range of adjustments that can be made.

In summary, RAW offers greater flexibility and image quality, but requires more storage space and time to process the files. JPEG is quicker and easier to share or print, but offers less flexibility and image quality. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your specific needs and workflow.

I always shoot in RAW, make corrections wherever required and convert them to JPEG for distribution. If any of the images need some work in Photoshop, these are converted to a higher bit TIFF. Any adjustments which are manipulative in nature should be done on a TIFF or PSD file instead of a JPEG so that we do not end up saving and hence compressing the file again and again.

Notice that almost all the controls that you have in the camera are available in the RAW converting software as well, allowing you much fine control at a later stage after clicking the photograph in the RAW format.

It's good to know that shooting RAW is not restricted to Photography only but is an integral part of Cinematography as well. All professional film making involves shooting on the "RAW" mode for film. These are called LOGS and every brand has a specific name for these. Essentially it means the same that all the main information is retained in the original data so that there is much more control while editing the footage.

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