Do I really need Raw

Started Apr 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,833
Re: Do I really need Raw

I'm pretty careful about exposure and JPEG engines are pretty good these days, so most of the time the improvement in RAW vs JPEG is not huge. (This was also true, in the old days, of the differences between slide film and negative film.) Where the RAW files have a great advantage is in shadow and highlight recovery (also true of the negative film).

Here are two versions of the same window which I deliberately shot at +2 EV from the metered exposure. In the JPEG, the highlights were unrecoverable. In the RAW, the image contains almost as much highlight detail as the JPEG that was shot as metered by the camera.

JPEG overexposed two stops, processed in Photoshop

RAW file captured simultaneously, processed in ACR and Photoshop

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