Why Should I Shoot RAW instead of JPEG

Why Should I Shoot RAW instead of JPEG

There are lots of ways for making better photographs. Using quality lenses is one way and another way is investing your time in editing images in Photoshop or other apps. One interesting approach for making high quality photographs is to take pictures in RAW. This is the same as making a photo negative. The camera will take the photo in a way in which it is a lot more detailed and sharper than JPEG.

lake canoe photo

What exactly is RAW?

RAW is type of photograph file. When you make images in raw you will get more sharpness and bigger quality of the picture. You`ll get all this contained in the regions of vibrancy, shade, light and hue. This simply means that your camera is getting more information than usual. When you shoot in raw the camera handles this information in a more effective way and also lot faster.

An interesting example is taking picture of a rose. In reality the rose has a dark red color, but when you shoot a photo of the rose in JPEG you may lose some of the color depth. It may look a bit different than natural, and this is because JPEG is not able to reproduce the finer color tones as RAW can. JPEG cannot distinguish between subtle details, while with RAW you can pick up all the fine details of the rose. One minor downside of raw is that it cannot be checked out in any software. You must have special photo software in order to see raw photographs. Depending on your camera type there is different software for raw.

sunset docks

Benefits of Shooting in RAW

One of the main benefits is that RAW photos are clearer, sharper and of highest quality. They are also more durable files than JPEG. Smaller JPEG files can fade in a few years, while this cannot happen with raw files. That is why raw photographs are perfect for keeping in archives. One main question is whether the raw pictures should be amended? Well that depends on personal preference, some photographers do that while others do not. RAW files are usually a lot larger than JPEG files. JPEG photos are usually around couple of megabytes in size, while most of the raw images go around thirty megabytes. The main advantage of the bigger raw files is that due to the fact that the images are larger they come with fantastic sharpness, definition and top quality.

Switching to raw mode is done very easily. You just use menu in your camera. Enter the menu, go to ‘image size’ and make the simple switch to raw. That way all next photographs you shoot will be in raw mode. If you do not want to shoot all the time in raw you still have the option for concurrently shooting in JPEG and RAW modes. However, have in mind that if you select both options simultaneously the pictures you take will take a bigger space on your camera memory card. This is because the camera will need more space to store two shots of different quality at the same time. As mentioned before, RAW files can be ten times bigger in size than JPEG files, so that should be taken into consideration. A good idea is to always have a spare memory card which you can immediately use in case your initial memory card gets filled with images.

The majority of professional photographers today are only shooting their photographs in RAW. This is because raw files come with best quality. If you wish to make a JPEG file for evaluation purposes you can always create a copy of the image later on. In the meantime you can enjoy the best quality that comes with raw. Your pictures will look clearer and sharper and will last for a long time.

Another reason for shooting in RAW instead of JPEG is that raw is a more creative option. Colors you get with raw are sharper, pictures have a better exposure, and all the landscapes are a lot clearer. Highlights and shades are also perfect, unlike in JPEG where they often come with exposure problems. Raw also balances the lightning better as it picks up the finer details from the photo scene. RAW is a perfect option for photographing different ceremonies like weddings and birthdays where there are lots of people, as well as for taking night shots. Natural colors and people`s skin looks much better and softer in the photographs taken in raw mode. That is why most of the wedding photographers are shooting in raw.

night sky

Shooting in RAW is better than shooting in JPEG because you will love the amazing quality of the photo. Photographs will look crisper, clearer and sharper. Light and vibrancy will also be healthier, and all of that will significantly improve your photos.