RAW snobbery.

Started Jan 13, 2012 | Discussions thread
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DavidAMWA
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RAW snobbery.
Jan 13, 2012

I have recently attended an advanced course on digital photography. The inevitable discussion on jpeg v raw came up. The instructor's comment was that "jpeg was a rubbish file", with all the usual things about compression, loss of information, banding of the sky etc. It has been my experience, after taking thousands of images since 1996 with my first digital camera, that there is very little to separate a well exposed jpeg and a raw file. I fully appreciate the advantages of raw and I use them myself in tricky lighting situations. I also use them for critical photo shoots like weddings, but for lots of situations, the jpeg algorithm suits me fine.

So you may ask why do I bring this point of controversy up if I am happy with my own findings. My concern is that continuing propagation of this idea that "jpegs are rubbish files" is a myth and easily proved to be so. I feel it has become a bit of a snobbery situation where if you are not taking pics in raw, you must be a second class photographer and your images will be sub-par.

It was interesting that when I asked the instructor how he saved his worked on raw file he answered that he usually converted them to jpeg! Where is the logic in that?

I appreciate these comments may result in some aggressive feed-back from fellow forum users, but my answer to this has always been, look at a final printed out image, and for "properly" exposed images, you will be hard pressed to see any difference, if at all.

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