cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

RAW or JPEG?

PhotosByNeva
Enthusiast

What is better when taking pictures? Setting it on RAW or L JPEG images? I have been using L (the best) setting, but I see a lot of photographers like to take RAW images. I noticed that RAW uses more memory on my card too.

What is your preference and why? I am still learning....

Thanks!

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

I started out using JPG, but once I got a little practice in using Litroom I started shooting RAW + JPG.  I did that for only a little while before I realized taking 2 images of everything was filling up my memory cards twice as fast, and it filled up the buffer in my camera and limiting the number of shots I could take in a burst.  I then went to just RAW.  

 

Some of the guys on here shot in the film days and probably developed a habit of thinking more carefully before they shoot than I sometimes do.  I find no matter how much I try, I cannot avoid little errors, including wrong white balance, and imperfect exposure.  Both of these things are much much easier to correct if you shot a RAW image.  White balance in particular highlights the benefit of RAW shooting, as you can fix it every time no matter how far off you shot it, whereas in JPG you really hit a limit in how far and how well you can tweak it.

 

You also have a better time working with RAW files in pretty much all post processing including noise reduction, contrast, vibrancy, sharpness, etc..

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

View solution in original post

One very important reason to consider RAW is the future. As time has marched forward so have RAW converters. We can now extract a lot more from an image shot in RAW than just a few years ago. I wanted to post some photos taken 5 years ago & I had far more control of the finished look with today's Camera Raw Plug In (an Adobe converter) than when they were shot. I was able to make nicer jpg's today than when shot thanks to still having the files & being able to find them. 

Unlike Scott I keep all my old files & although it costs money for big drives I do like having them. I did learn on film & shot film for many years & the cost was more careful use of your camera than today & you were very limited in resurecting bad photos. I rely heavily on quantity now & shoot 1000 to 1500 per day at an event & need roughly 200 good images from those for the event album, & I need to pick, process & get them om line within a few days so I've learned to be efficient & how to do it using jpg's. It doesn't always work however because some events have me shooting into the sun, and sometimes in crap light. That's when the RAW files save me, but they also slow me down. The more important the photo  is to you the more you'll want the option of having great soflware on hand for processing & extracting the detail & color.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

View solution in original post

6 REPLIES 6

jrhoffman75
Legend

If you use, or a willing to start using, a photo editor like Lightroom, Photoshop, Apple Photos, etc. , then you should shoot RAW. It captures the most data and provides the greatest opportunity for recovering from a poor shot. 

 

RAW does produce larger files, but memory card and computer disk storage capacity is cheap. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

cicopo
Elite

I've shot RAW + Large fine jpg since 2005 & rarely use the RAW files BUT by having them I CAN when needed. RAW is more important when your shot wasn't textbook perfect re lighting or settings for the situation. When I'm asked for a large print I use the RAW file. Also because I dive & underwater photos get a strong color cast I use the RAW there too, but in that situation I use the RAW 100% of the time. In good light & with good camera settings jpg will fit the needs of most but if you want even better end results RAW helps get them, but so does a proper understanding of photography basics & your camera's controls. 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

I started out using JPG, but once I got a little practice in using Litroom I started shooting RAW + JPG.  I did that for only a little while before I realized taking 2 images of everything was filling up my memory cards twice as fast, and it filled up the buffer in my camera and limiting the number of shots I could take in a burst.  I then went to just RAW.  

 

Some of the guys on here shot in the film days and probably developed a habit of thinking more carefully before they shoot than I sometimes do.  I find no matter how much I try, I cannot avoid little errors, including wrong white balance, and imperfect exposure.  Both of these things are much much easier to correct if you shot a RAW image.  White balance in particular highlights the benefit of RAW shooting, as you can fix it every time no matter how far off you shot it, whereas in JPG you really hit a limit in how far and how well you can tweak it.

 

You also have a better time working with RAW files in pretty much all post processing including noise reduction, contrast, vibrancy, sharpness, etc..

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

One very important reason to consider RAW is the future. As time has marched forward so have RAW converters. We can now extract a lot more from an image shot in RAW than just a few years ago. I wanted to post some photos taken 5 years ago & I had far more control of the finished look with today's Camera Raw Plug In (an Adobe converter) than when they were shot. I was able to make nicer jpg's today than when shot thanks to still having the files & being able to find them. 

Unlike Scott I keep all my old files & although it costs money for big drives I do like having them. I did learn on film & shot film for many years & the cost was more careful use of your camera than today & you were very limited in resurecting bad photos. I rely heavily on quantity now & shoot 1000 to 1500 per day at an event & need roughly 200 good images from those for the event album, & I need to pick, process & get them om line within a few days so I've learned to be efficient & how to do it using jpg's. It doesn't always work however because some events have me shooting into the sun, and sometimes in crap light. That's when the RAW files save me, but they also slow me down. The more important the photo  is to you the more you'll want the option of having great soflware on hand for processing & extracting the detail & color.  

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

cicopo's post is exactly why the Canon 1D series was developed in the early digital days with dual card slots. RAW files to the CF card and JPEG to the SD card. Runners, or the shooter, could quickly get images to print/the web where quality was second to timeliness.

 

RAW plus is also useful when traveling and you want to share with family & friends.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

buffalobreath
Contributor

I shoot both.  The JPG files easily identify those shots I want to print.  Then I take the corresponding RAW files into Photoshop for editing and printing.  If possible, store your RAW files on an external hard drive just in case.

Announcements
01/18/2023: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for EOS R6 Mark II
01/09/2023: Help ensure your autofocus is properly aligned with a Canon Precision Alignment
01/03/2023: Welcome to CES 2023!
12/08/2022: New firmware version 1.0.5.1 is available for EOS C70
12/07/2022: New firmware version 1.7.0 is available for EOS R5
12/07/2022: New firmware version 1.7.0 is available for EOS R6
11/22/2022: New firmware available for EOS R3, EOS R7 and EOS R10
11/16/2022: We're thrilled to be ranked among the Best Employers for Veterans in 2022 by Forbes.
08/31/2022: New firmware version 1.1.1 is available for RF 70-200mm L IS USM
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 300
08/09/2022: New firmware version 1.2.0 is available for CR-N 500
07/14/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1 is available for CR-X300
06/10/2022: Service Notice:UPDATE: Canon Inkjet Printer continuous reboot loop or powering down
06/07/2022: New firmware version 1.3.2 is available for PowerShot G7 X Mark III
05/31/2022: Did someone SAY Badges?
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.5.1 is available for EOS-C500 Mark II
05/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C300 Mark III
05/10/2022: Keep your Canon gear in optimal condition with a Canon Maintenance Service
05/05/2022: We are excited to announce that we have refreshed the ranking scale within the community!
04/26/2022: New firmware version 1.0.1.1 is available for EOS R5 C
03/23/2022: New firmware version 1.0.3.1 is available for EOS-C70
02/09/2022: Share Your Photos is back!
02/07/2022: New firmware version 1.6.1 is available for EOS-1DX Mark III
01/19/2022: READY FOR ANYTHING EOS-R5 C
01/13/2022: Community Update. We will be retiring the legacy profile avatars on 01/20/2022. Click this link to read more.