Tuesday, September 20, 2011
RAW vs. JPEG
Should you be using one, the other or both?
Advocates of shooting JPEG fall into two camps. The first simply doesn't have any reason to shoot RAW. These photographers are happy to let the camera and its processing algorithms handle the image, and they like the results they get. They have no motivation to shoot RAW. The second camp doesn't buy into the advantages of RAW. These photographers feel like they get the exposure right when they push the shutter button. For these photographers, RAW is a crutch for sloppy camera work, and they don't need it because they aren't sloppy.
On the RAW side, advocates also fall into two camps. One wants the exposure, color and white-balance control that RAW files give. These photographers shudder at the thought of in-camera processors applying algorithms and compressing their precious image data. The second group is fundamentally concerned with the notion of having as much image data as possible. No one knows what the future will bring in terms of technology, and the RAW files offer the most potential to be ready for anything that can come, so images can have a longer life and they can be reworked to maximum benefit down the road.
Who's right? Well, all of these points of view have validity, and by now many readers will be asking a fundamental question: Since you can shoot RAW + JPEG without losing camera performance, why not just have the best of all worlds and forget the debate?
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