Is it better for me to shoot JPEG as opposed to RAW if I dont do any PP?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
marike6
Senior MemberPosts: 5,070Gear list
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8-bit vs 12 or 14-bit...
In reply to Smiller4128, 11 months ago

The real question is are you comfortable archiving your images as compressed 8-bit JPEGs?

In addition to giving you an uncompressed digital negative to archive, a RAW file which will give you the the ability to revisit a given image and do non-destructive edits to it, and export it to a JPEG whose parameters YOU set.

For me, in addition to giving up what I've talked about above, most camera makers JPEGs have kind of high sharpening, NR that is often too high for my taste, and gradients that are not nearly as nice as with RAW files, i.e. really drastic tone roll off from light to dark.  This is why I almost always shoot RAW.

In some cases, like if I don't have time or energy to post process a bunch of large RAW files, I'll shoot RAW + JPEG, and I'll use the JPEG if it looks good enough. But even that is rare.

But I suppose what format you shoot can depend on how important a photo shoot will be, what you plan to do with the image (will you archive them, or are they one-offs), and how happy (or unhappy) you are with the OOC JPEGs.  From memory, Canon JPEGs can be pretty nice at times, at least at normal viewing distance.  But to maximize IQ, you are really better shooting RAW or at least RAW + JPEG.  Then if you happen to shoot something special, or a really fantastic contest winner type capture, you will at least have the 14-bit uncompressed RAW for your archives.

Best of luck, Markus

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