Jpeg or RAW ( & Why) June 2013

Started Jun 8, 2013 | Photos thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,190
RAW does truly make sense

josbiker wrote:

I think for NOW that with RAW you can make your OWN mistakes a little better, but the fundamental had to be good and if so there is ABSOLUTE no necessary to shoot in raw!

RAW can be the safety net for difficult (for the jpeg) shots but nowadays with storage so cheap and RAW converters both paid and free being so good it is definitely worthwhile to always take RAW+jpeg and at least experiment with the RAWs.

If the lighting is not terribly contrasty then there's maybe not much to gain from the RAW, but when things get difficult with the usual high dynamic range in a typical sunny day with deep shadows the jpegs definitely are in trouble - with usually the sky and clouds blown in an attempt to get the scenery with a decent exposure. The RAW can fix that with those 16 extra levels of brightness available in between each of the jpeg steps. Highlight recovery without posterisation is the usual result with the RAW.

You can not make an UGLY shot in RAW to a WOW shot, so in my opinion look at all the things that matter for a good shot, and the is nothing you can better with RAW, so JPEG is good when you do the things right, just LEARN how to do that! USE your own eyes and that is the judge.

There's so much more information in the RAW file so it is completely logical that it can be used to get better or more versatile results than the jpeg can ever manage to do.

Indeed you do need to take a decent shot in the first place but like the canyon shots above start to indicate, the RAW can save the day and yield the image that the photographer wanted to see instead of what the jpeg would probably deliver and be near impossible to improve.

It's true that a properly done in-camera jpeg can be all you need, but sometimes that just isn't going to deliver.

Regards...... Guy

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