Is RAW overhyped?

Started Jul 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Tim A2
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Is RAW overhyped?
Jul 26, 2013

Please don't think I am anti-RAW. I am just looking for the true specific  reality of why it is better than jpegs. I believe in RAW and am learning to use it at least if I need to recover some blown highlights. At this point I think I might shoot RAW + JPEG and delete the RAW image if the exposure and color balance are OK., or if it turns out processing 16 bits truely is significantly better then I can use the RAW data and process 16 bit images in Paint Shop Pro and not shoot jpegs at all.

Here is the way I see  it at this point in my learning curve. Please add any true significant advantages that I don't know about.

1) hightlight/shadow recovery. Number 1 advantage, but not needed very often, but when you do, wow what a difference.

2) white balance. I have found very few jpeg images that I couldn't correct with Paint Shop Pro, but my limition is knowing what the colors should look like , so maybe you can take this with a grain of salt. If it matters I let my wife do it.

3) get to process 16 bit images instead of 8 bits. The only advantage of that I have found is that avoids posterization. Is that it and just how big a deal is that really? What advantages should I expect from 16 bits vs 8 bits when using tools like curves, levels, tone control, unsharp mask, noise reduction, etc.?

I say all this not to argue for jpegs, but to provide a basis for you who  actually know about this stuff to educate me (and hopefully others) about the true specififc and not vague reality of RAW processing. Maybe I should have posted this in the begineers forum, but I figure the folks who  really know the true reality hang out here.

Tim

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