POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

Started May 1, 2014 | Polls thread
nicodimus22 Senior Member • Posts: 2,838
Re: POLL: How often do you shoot raw images?

I never personally shoot JPEG, although I'm not going to disparage people who do. I would not choose to automatically downgrade the quality of every image I took, even if it was only a minor downgrade. I have a 1440p monitor now, and I will have a 4K monitor in a couple of years...I can see every little artifact that shooting JPEG produces. I don't mind spending a few minutes processing my images for the absolute best result (and honestly, once you get some pre-sets made and you batch process, it doesn't require a ton of manual processing and is fairly quick.)

Where RAW really shines though, is when something goes wrong. I don't care if you've been taking photos for 50 years, you are still going to make mistakes and/or be in some situations with challenging lighting. When that happens, RAW will often let you salvage an image that you'd have to delete if you only shot JPEG, especially when it comes to white or black clipping. My mom recently went to Hawaii, and sent me several pictures to "fix" but I was unable to do so because the blown out whites in her JPEGs were permanently white. That may or may not have been the case if she had shot RAW, depending on how bad the overexposure was.

Despite my preference, I can see two perfectly legit reasons to shoot JPEG:

1) You are not the type to obsess over image quality. You don't want to be bothered with post-processing, because you could spend that time in the field taking more photos or doing something else. You just want a decent quality image that you can quickly turn around and stick on Facebook or Flickr.

2) You shoot fast-moving subjects in burst mode, and it's the only way you could obtain certain shots at all. If you shot RAW, you might completely miss that shot, because the camera takes more time to write the larger file to your card.

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"If I handed my 5-year old daughter my iPhone and asked her to take a picture of that, would your photo look any different from hers?" -Scott Kelby

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