Every camera has two formats for shooting an image which is jpeg and raw. In this post we’ll talk about why the raw format is the better option.
What Is The Difference Between Raw And Jpeg?
A RAW file is often compared to the negative of the past that has yet to be developed. You could also compare RAW with a rough diamond that still has to be cut. That’s because a RAW file contains all raw and raw information. It comes out of the camera completely unedited. This means that there is still a lot to be done before a RAW file becomes the desired image. For example, a RAW file always lacks some color and contrast.
A raw image contains all the data that the camera can capture. The file takes up a lot of space, but with it you can edit the image down to the smallest detail.
Unlike a RAW file, compression is applied to a JPEG file. A JPEG photo comes ready to use from your camera. What you do with RAW in Lightroom, the camera does with JPEG in the camera. The result is a small file with color and contrast, ready to share. See the difference between a RAW file and a JPEG file below.
When you shoot in jpeg, the camera compresses the file for you, so that it does not take up as much space, and you also get an edited image format that you can use directly from the camera to e.g. post on Facebook.
Why should you choose raw format?
A raw file contains more information. This means that the uncompressed raw file has a larger dynamic range and a more balanced color space compared to a compressed jpeg file.
The raw file contains information about how much light each pixel on the sensor has captured, and all this raw information needs to go through a process in a raw conversion program, where e.g. colors, brightness and sharpness can be adjusted after which the file can then be exported to, for example, jpeg.
Even though the raw files need to go through a lot of editing process, it is still more advantageous to shoot in raw format. Below is a compilation of five reasons why you should take pictures in the raw format.
1) You get more details with raw format
The raw file contains the untouched image data that the camera generates, while the jpeg file is a version that the camera has already processed and compressed automatically.
If you process images in raw format, you will get a much better result in terms of noise and details. However, you should think about what you are going to use the image for when choosing settings for the raw conversion. An image to be printed requires other edits than one to be posted on the internet.
2) You have control over the end result
The big advantage of a RAW file is that it contains all raw data and that you can edit that data. Because a RAW file contains all information, it is possible to easily make large adjustments without loss of quality. Think of adjusting the highlights and shadows, color and contrast and white balance. Cropping the photo is also easier. You have complete control over the end result. This also means that you can make mistakes while shooting, because you can fix these mistakes (to a certain extent) in post-production.
3) Raw format gives exact colors
You might have experienced a situation where you photographed a beautiful landscape at sunset, but on getting home to look at the pictures properly, the colours didn’t come out as you would have wanted it.
If you have photographed in raw format, you can change the colors of the image during image processing. In the raw converter, you can decide the white balance and thus color reproduction – without loss of quality.
However, if you were shooting in jpeg format, the camera would have selected the white balance already, and the quality will be affected if you try to correct colors in the image processing.
4) It provides better exposure
If your exposure is incorrect and an area of the image looks completely white or black, you can pick out the details in the raw conversion.In the jpeg version, large parts of a sky can be chalk white without you being able to do anything about it. With raw format, you have much better opportunities to get the shades back.<
Raw format is not a remedy for poorly exposed images, but it is always possible to save more of the image compared to a jpeg image.
5) Less noise in the raw images
Sometimes we encounter demanding light conditions when we take pictures. It can be that there are high-contrast subjects with deep shadows and bright highlights. Here, the raw format can also help you get better pictures.
When you lighten dark areas in a raw file, you usually get less noise than when you do the same in a jpeg file.
In addition, you can adjust to a much better ratio of noise to detail than the camera’s default setting can handle.
6) Reuse the original raw file
If you have edited an image and not happy with the result, you can always go back to the original file and start over.
All adjustments are in a page file or in the raw converter database. You can even reset the image and start all over again.
With the jpeg file, you overwrite the original as you adjust. If you want to avoid this, you need to save several versions of the same image, which takes up space on your hard drive and often leads to confusion.