Jpeg or RAW ( & Why) June 2013

Started Jun 8, 2013 | Photos thread
kevinparis Senior Member • Posts: 1,313
Re: Straightforward answer to your question

Bassam Guy wrote:

Size & Detail
-----------------

RAW is bigger but (on most modern cameras) has 16 bits of information for each color channel: Red, Green, and Blue.

actually there is probably only 12 or maybe 14 bits of information for each of the channels

JPEG is smaller but has only 8 bits of information for each color channel.

Therefore, RAW has an awful lot more detail than JPEG.

More information - not necessarily more detail

I prefer RAW because I can adjust exposure +/- 1.5 stops without noticeable loss of IQ, and set White Balance, saturation, etc. with no loss of IQ.

*About size. If you anticipate making any modification to your photographs and keep the originals, then RAW is actually smaller because you'll still have only one RAW file vs two or more JPEG files (original + modifications).

Portability
-------------

RAW formats are readable only by a handful of imaging programs.

RAW is an editing format, not a delivery format

JPEGs can be read and displayed by nearly every electronic device.

I still prefer RAW because I can make JPEGs from RAW but use JPEG occasionally for convenience.

Image Quality (IQ)
--------------------------

Out of the camera, JPEG has a slightly lower quality because of two things:
1. JPEG has a lossy compression - that is, some detail is lost although usually not enough to notice.

2. JPEG uses Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow (CMY) rather than Red, Green, and Blue (RGB) to represent colors and there is some loss of detail when your camera converts from RGB to CMY.

Complete nonsense - CMY(K) is entirely to do with the traditional printing industry.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG#Color_space_transformation

describes what happens with JPEG in relation to RGB

Every time you save a JPEG, there is more loss of IQ.

Only if you have made a change to the file

RAW files stay intact. You don't modify the RAW file itself but, rather, how the RAW file is displayed: Cropping, White Balance, Exposure Level, Color Saturation, Noise, Smoothing, etc. can be adjusted without changing the RAW file itself. 98% of modifications I make can be done with a RAW editor.

I prefer RAW because they stay intact.

Summary
------------

I usually use RAW because I am not a perfect photographer and want to be able make major color and lighting adjustments after uploading the photos to my computer. I don't always have time to check white balance setting, etc. before photographing my fast moving 5 yr old boy. I can't train him not to run from sun to shade or shade to sun.

I usually use RAW because I am not a perfect computer operator and would not want to accidentally overwrite the originals.

However, if you do not ordinarily make such adjustments to your pictures. then JPEG may be suitable for you. Maybe I'm just paranoid but this at least explains some of the trade offs.

sorry ... just correcting a few errors.

K

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