Raw Or Jpg(Jpeg)? : The unending conflict.

Raw or Jpg? You’ve probably heard or read about this unending conflict between this two. Actually I’ve never even heard of Raw until two years ago, when I started getting serious into my photography. I was still using my Sony CyberShot DSC-V1 5mp point and shoot at that time, which shoots only jpg and TIFF. Being curious on what a Raw file can do, is actually what drove me to getting a DSLR. I’ve read a lot of stuff about raw files and it’s capabilities and how powerful it can be compare to a jpg or tiff file, so instead of getting a regular point and shoot I decided to get a camera that has the capability of shooting in raw format, it doesn’t matter if it’s a DSLR or an advanced Point and Shoot, as long as it supports Raw as one of it’s file formats in addition to jpg and Tiff formats, curious me. Anyway, I both myself a Canon Rebel XS, and guess what, for a month or two I still enjoyed shooting in jpg , maybe because, it’s easy, the camera shoots a lot faster, and the images are ready, you don’t have to do anything, with raw I still have to process my images before I can use them.

mall But Terrible

So what really is a raw and a jpg files? In summary these are just two types of file that most camera can produce. All DSLR’s and most advanced point and shoot’s in the market supports the Raw File Format and those lower end, consumer grade, point and shoot camera’s support jpg’s and tiff.

What are the differences between Raw and Jpg?

A Raw file format is an un processed file and is not really an image yet, it is viewable in your camera, but not in your computer, unless you have a special software like your own camera manufacturer’s software that came with your camera when you bought it and  if you have softwares that can read raw files, like adobe photoshop  cs5 that comes complete with adobe camera raw 6.x and adobe bridge, adobe lightroom 3, aperture 3 for mac and a lot more. These softwares has special capabilities and were design for photographers so that they can process raw files according to their liking and intended purpose.

Here are some advantages in shooting using the Raw Format:

  • You have the power to manipulate, edit, and enhance the look and feel of your images according to your liking.
  • You have more room  to adjust exposure, white balance, noise reduction, sharpness, contrast, dynamic range and a lot more.
  • A lot of times you can still recorver what you thought was an unusable photo, like blown highlights, underexpose photo a lot more.
  • All data that were captured by your camera’s sensor are embedded in a raw file, untouched and unprocessed.
  • Editing a raw file doesn’t degrade it’s quality unlike jpg.
Disadvantages in shooting in Raw:
  • Raw files are extremely big in file size. Occupies a lot of space in your camera and hard drive.
  • You’ll need a special software to view and edit
  • You have to export a raw file to ordinary image format like jpg or tiff to be viewable.
  • Requires you to have a decent computer hardware to process, especially if you are dealing with lots of images.
  • Takes time and practice to process a raw file using your chosen software (Lightroom 3, Aperture 3, Photoshop CS5).
  • Proprietary. Each manufacturer has it’s own format and there isn’t a standard RAW file format

Next post, Advantages and Disadvantages of using Jpg Files, and which is really better, Raw or Jpg?

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