Raw Image Advantages

There are many different ways to perfect your photography. First, you can use a high-quality lens. Secondly, you can invest a small number of hours editing your images in Photoshop or Lightroom. These ways will certainly make a big change to your photography. Is there anything else we know how to do to progress our images? Yes, there is.

Another approach to capture tack sharp and high-quality pictures is to photograph in RAW. Working in RAW is equivalent to generating a negative of the photo. The camera will photograph the image in a manner that is a whole lot  more detailed than JPEG. Let me explain.

RAW is a kind of photo file. When you capture images in RAW you achieve much more quality and have the potential to see more sharpness. You acquire this contained within regions of light and shade, vibrancy, and hue. This excellence and definition simply means that the digital camera is gathering more information. When you photograph in RAW the camera is able to handle this information a lot faster and more effectively.

Let’s take the case of a flower. In reality the flower is a rose-pink red color (this is what our eyes observe). When you take pictures of the flower in JPEG you may lose some of the pink in the color. The bloom may appear as a sturdy red color instead. That is for the reason that JPEG basically cannot reproduce the mid tones of color as fine as RAW can.

JPEG might discover in-between hues and colors tricky to identify. It simply isn’t seeking for the finer, subtle detail in your photo and this is why it does not distinguish it. However, when you change over to shooting in RAW format, you will find that the camera picks up reddish pink tone of the flower. Simply put, the digital camera replicates much finer details when you capture in RAW.

There is one downside though. RAW image files cannot be seen in just any program. You need special software to see raw photos. Depending on the kind of camera model you have, the software will be different. Canon has special software called Digital Photo Professional. This software allows you to see your RAW shots. As a Canon user, I’m only able to use Canon RAW software. If I capture a photo with a Nikon camera I’m not able to use this software program. Nikon has RAW platforms that are available to Nikon users.

Should you amend your RAW pictures? Many people ask me if you should generate a JPEG file duplicate in order to persevere with the RAW file untouched. My answer is that it depends on your personal preference. Many photographers do this different ways. I like to create a copy of the raw file for editing. That way I have the untouched original photo. If anything happens to the JPEG photo then I still retain the original as backup. The only reason that I will create a copy of the raw shot a JPEG is if I like to keep it on a website or upload it.

RAW files are fairly large. The JPEG photo might be about 3 Mb. Lots of the raw images that I capture in are about 30Mb. What is the advantage of this? This is massively useful because when the raw file is larger it means it has photographed terrific quality, definition and sharpness. The better a photograph, usually, the better quality it will be present.

Shifting your working mode over the raw is so easy. It is done using the menu in your digital camera. When you open the menu go to “image size” you will typically find it effortless to change over. This will mean that you can select to shoot in RAW only. Then again you can concurrently shoot in RAW and JPEG. Be mindful that when these two shots are created at the same time you will eat through your memory cards. The camera just needs more space if it is to create two shots at once. The JPEG file might only be 3Mb but your RAW file will be 20Mb. After a few hours of photographing, the space on your memory card will begin to lessen. Always take two memory cards when you shoot to avoid running out of memory space.

Many professional photographers, like me, will only photograph in RAW. This is because we want the quality. If we desire to produce a JPEG file for assessment purposes we can simply create a copy later on. In the meantime we know that we are producing superior quality. The pictures look sharper and clearer. We also know they will stand the test of time.

Raw is more interesting from a creative sense. Colors are very sharp, landscapes clearer, and your pictures are better exposed. The shade and highlights are not as prone to exposure problems as they would be in JPEG. RAW seems to balance out the lighting. In truth, it’s simply picking up more finer details in the scene. This is ideal for photographing people and wedding ceremonies, night, and dim light shots.

Wedding photos can be fairly complicated when you have many different regions of light. Some of these highlights can work in opposition to somebody’s skin tone. Shooting in raw can help retain beauty in skin color tones. A person’s skin and natural coloring will look warm and soft when you photograph in RAW. This is why lots of wedding and portrait photographers photograph in RAW alone.

I recommend shooting in raw all the time. Not only will it be better than a JPEG shot but you will love the quality. Your photos look sharper, clearer, and more crisp. You get a healthier variety of vibrancy and light. It will dramatically improve your photography. Happy shooting!

About the Author:
Amy Renfrey writes for DigitalPhotographySuccess.com. She is a professional photographer and photography teacher. She shows you how to take the most breathtaking, brilliant and incredibly stunning photos every single time you press the shutter button, even if you know nothing about photography and have never used a digital camera before.

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9 Comments

  1. Joel Rouse says:

    This is probably the worst article yet in the war against JPEG.

  2. Manfred says:

    RAW files are a lot sharper than jpegs ??? Hmmm…

  3. Tony Murtagh says:

    The author states that “You need special software to see raw photos. Canon has special software called Digital Photo Professional. As a Canon user I am only able to use Canon raw software. ”
    I sometimes shoot in RAW on my Canon and process it in Photoshop Elements 9. Am I doing something wrong?

  4. Gonzo says:

    Geez Louize woman, if you’re going to write articles, at least get SOME of your facts straight. There are so many incorrect statements and so much must plain WRONG information in this article I really don’t even know where to start.

    RAW files are what come straight from the sensor of the camera, with no modification by the internal software of that camera. When you shoot in JPEG, you are still getting all the same information from the sensor, but it has been processed by the camera’s internal software to adjust sharpness, contrast, saturation and other similar parameters, which are then saved as a JPG file.

    The REAL difference here is that contunial editing of a JPEG file adds losses, artifacts, and degradation of the image,. Starting with a RAW file you can edit, modify, and save as something like a Photoshop PSD file that is also lossless

    The totally incorrect information that JPG’s aren’t as sharp is not true. If anything, RAW files usually look softer, less saturated, and with less “pop” than a JPEG file, because they have not been processed internally by the camera depending on how those internal setting are configured.

    If you’re just shooting snapshots, aren’t going to do any edting, or are shooting for publication where its going to be a small image in a magazine or newspaper, RAW is a complete waste of your time, not to mention storage space on your camera’s memory card and your computer’s hard drive.

    RAW is great if you’re doing high detail work, portraiture, or just about anything where you will be doing a lot of serious editing and enhancing. You have a much “cleaner” slate to start with in a RAW image.

    What’s really scary is that the woman who wrote this article is a teacher, and she’s teaching such wrong information to people.

  5. Claude says:

    I agree 100% with the RAW is far more superior then JPEG.
    The software I use is Lightroom 4 it can handle the JPEG and RAW. And it is easily possible to compare
    the same picture as long as you settle the camera to get picture in JPEG and RAW. In many recent camera you have the choice to filed the pictures in JPEG or RAW and/or both in the same click.

    But my question is when I process in RAW, when I print or send by mail it is get converted automatically in JPEG, but did I loose the quality of the final processed picture in returning from RAW to JPEG?

    Yould appreciate and answer …

    Thanks.

  6. Claude says:

    Other site when you can get another discussion: “RAW, huh! What is it good for?” http://www.picturesocial.com/forum/topics/raw-huh-what-is-it-good-for

  7. Nic says:

    There is nothing wrong with shooting jpg if you get your settings right in camera. Shooting raw doesn’t make you a better tog or create better images, but it does give you LATITUDE to recover from exposure issues and allows white balance corrections post shoot.
    Nic

  8. Yvon says:

    Raw is definetely a great way to work BUT…it’s bringing also a lot of problems
    Very heavy files, long time to process, require a most expensive and strong computer and hard disk,

    And after post processing with different softwares who accept the raw file, you still have to compress the file as PSD, Tiff or other format, and then…you still loose in quality.

    So, why starting with Raw File and finaly have to modified it ???

    With a top quality lens and a very goog knowledge JPEG fine is offering amazing pictures

  9. Yvon says:

    Why my comment disepear ?

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