View Full Version : Raw vs. Jpeg

04-14-2011, 10:56 AM
So I have a Canon T2i and have basically just been trying to teach myself how to use it and become familiar with the settings. I have been shooting everything in JPEG but have been reading about the advantages of shooting in RAW. Looking for some guidance here. My take on what I have read it sounds like if I just out shooting a kids birthday party JPEG is fine, but if I want the highest quality images with the most flexibility then RAW is the way to go. Here are a couple I shot around our jobsite and one of the NC State Capital last night.

04-15-2011, 02:04 PM
Hi John-
I am a Canon shooter as well and prefer shooting in RAW. There are advantages to both RAW and JPEG. JPEGS dont require additional processing in the computer and take up less hard drive space. They are fine for snapshots and everyday type images, but here is the rub.. everytime you open one of those images and resave it- it degrades the quality of the image.. (strike one). Shooting in jpeg, the camera makes a decision FOR YOU when it is processed about color tone/sharpness/contrast etc.(strike two) if you get the color balance wrong, or the exposure wrong you have very little leeway to fix it later in post processing (strike three)

RAW is like having the negative of the file.. you can play/modify/crop/change color/sharpness/etc WITHOUT degrading or altering your original file.. you will always have the negative to go back to. If you blow out the highlights shooting on the water, you can recover most of them.. shadow areas too dark? you can add fill your pictures have a color tint from varied lighting sources? you can easily change that... pictures look noisy because of high ISO's? easy to fix in a RAW file.

Having said that, when I converted from JPEG to RAW shooting, I actually had my camera set to shoot RAW + JPEG for a while. I would just delete the raw files I didnt want, BUT if I had a great shot, I had the ability to fix/alter/improve it in post processing. Within a few weeks I was shooting exclusively RAW because I think I can do a better job of processing my photos than the camera can. RAW may seem like more processing work, but actually most programs are set up where you can process one photo of your batch, and apply those settings to the rest of your shots with just a keystroke, which is a great time saver.. I would suggest setting your camera to RAW + JPEG- go take some interesting shots, and some in low light, bright sunlight, and some with lots of detail... process the raw files and then compare them to the "what the camera decided jpeg shots"... I would bet money that you will shoot exclusively raw after that.

04-18-2011, 12:17 PM
I have actually been shooting in the JPEG and RAW like you are talking about. I just haven't done anything with the RAW files. What program do you use for processing?