When I got my first DSLR camera 10 years ago, I remember other photographers told me to shoot in RAW and not in JPG. I thought there was no big difference in RAW and JPG, but I was wrong! Shooting in RAW makes your photos look more professional because you are able to edit everything. Say goodbye to over- or under exposed images!
What is RAW?
RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. When shooting in JPG, the information of your photo is compressed and lost. With RAW you’re able to produce higher quality images and you can correct the photos that would be unrecoverable if shot in JPG format.
The benefits of RAW
1. Correct over/under exposed photos – You can see the unedited photos, the RAW file is not over exposed, while the JPG is over exposed at her left hand and a bit of her face the sky!
2. No image-sharpening is performed on RAW files – This means that you can use better and more complex sharpening tools for your photos in your RAW editing. Look at her eyes, the JPG photo seems more sharp.
3. Record the best levels of brightness – Levels of brightness are the number of steps from black to white in your photo. The more steps, the smoother the transitions of tones. Just to show you the difference: JPEG records 256 levels of brightness, and RAW records between 4,096 to 16,384 levels.
4. Adjust the white balance and colors – With RAW you record more data than JPG, so you can easily adjust the white balance to your photo without destroying it.
5. More details – You can edit your RAW files in Photoshop and Lightroom where you will find the best sharpening and noise algorithms for better results!
6. Capture highest level of quality – When you shoot in RAW you record all of the data from the sensor. That is why you are able to work with the highest quality files. And of course that is what you want! When you shoot in JPG format the camera does it’s own processing and that is not always the best and when you shoot in RAW, you will do that processing yourself. In this way the photo will turn out how you wanted it to be!
Do you shoot in RAW?