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Raw vs. JPEG


TPF Noob!
Nov 19, 2007
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Chicago suburbs
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I've had my camera set on JPEG but read on here that most people set it on raw. Whats the advantages/disadvantages? Should I switch?
Advantages - Better control over boo-boos done while you were out in the field (bad exposure control, improper white-balance set, etc.)

Disadvantages - File size. Drains battery faster. Cannot direct print a RAW file, must open with first or third party software.

Prepare to be told to "learn how to search, noob!".
RAW has a substantial increase in information 8-bit vs. 12-bit. WB doesn't matter, and images are generally more detailed.

And when doing extensive post production, there's no jpeg compression that you need to worry about.
It's kinda like working in TIFF in photoshop. Doesn't compress anything, has greater bit depth, and huge file size.

It does allow you to change yoru white balance with one click...as well as making it easier to adjust exposure.

If you're happy with your pictures in Jpeg, you don't really have a reason to switch.
Drains battery faster.

It does? References? I Can't think of any good reason why it should....

my $.02 worth - I like RAW because I'm a crap photographer, and can fix mistakes better :wink: I Started shooting raw when I took a lovely candid portrait of my daughter under some trees, and because of the trees, there was a green tinge throughout the photo - Would have been much easier to fix, and a much nicer result, had I been shooting RAW!
In the digital age, bit depth is everything. Better to have more information than not enough. There is only so much data that Photoshop and other programs can render before it starts making stuff up. Especially when scaling and multiple filters come into play. I have pretty much shot RAW from the get go. It's advantage far outweigh any negatives. IMO.
Example. I just captured a flying hawk in which it was back-lit and practically a silhouette. Since RAW files capture all the data that the sensor captured (Like a negative) I was able to increase exposure without burinig out the lighter sky and losing contrast. Basically made a shot out of nothing. As a test, I converted the original RAW file into a jpeg and tried the same lightening technique. Everything ended washed out and it took a whole lot of work to achieve a similar result I had with the RAW file.
JPEG groups similar pixes together as the camera process the shot. RAW its basically the digital negative of an image. the same as the cell on normal film. I only use it if I'm creating an album or I need the highest quality, when it comes to P&S JPEG does the job to a high standard, but RAW gives you the chance to change almost any aspect of the image later on when your using PC software

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