Never shoot JPG if you are serious about photography. Always shoot RAW! The excuse that RAW files are too big in file size isn’t a problem anymore, with cheap memory cards and terabytes of disk drives or SSDs.
Why RAW and not JPG?
When shooting in a format like JPG, image information is compressed and lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW, you’re able to produce higher quality images and correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPG format.
10 Reasons to shoot RAW
- Get the highest level of quality
- Record greater levels of brightness
- Easily correct dramatically over/underexposed images
- Easily adjust the white balance
- Get better detail
- Enjoy non-destructive Editing
- Get better prints
- Select colour space on the output
- Have an efficient workflow
- It’s the pro option
Before you set up your camera to shoot RAW, you need to be aware that RAW files need to be processed or better enhanced before you can show them to the public. RAW files straight out of the camera look dull. That’s why you always need to edit them with special software like Adobe Lightroom or, in my case Capture One Pro (in a future blog, I will explain my workflow).
Below you see an example of a RAW photo of a Shining Sunbeam. Straight out of the camera, it was underexposed and dull (Unprocessed RAW). However, after post-processing in Capture One Pro (correcting white-balance, exposure, contrast, colour and sharpness), the result (processed RAW). These corrections were not possible with a JPG file.