Ever since I got my first DSLR, I’m shooting RAW. It’s just way better if you want to edit pictures. Lately I’ve noticed the old RAW vs JPEG discussion popping up in several photography groups on Facebook, and that’s why I’m going to explain why I always shoot RAW.
As mentioned, I always shoot RAW. That’s not just because I edit all of my pictures, but also because it’s more conveneint. Setting the white balance would be a good example. When shooting RAW, you can change it after the fact easily.
That is, because RAW files store way more data than JPEGs. Off course that also means that they can be absolutely huge in comparrison. While a JPEG might be around 2MB a RAW file can easily be 20MB or larger, depending on the camera. But SD cards and backup drives are getting affordable these days, so size isn’t an argument for me.
The downside to shooting RAW is that every file needs to be edited to look good and then exported in JPEG to be shared, and one argument that I read often was that because of this, some people prefer to shoot JPEG. That’s because they either want to share their pictures directly or don’t want to edit pictures at all (more on that later.).
For those who want to share their work immediately, there’s always the option of shooting RAW & JPEG simultaniously and than hand over the JPEG as a preview file.
For those who shoot JPEG because they don’t want to edit their pictures because “Photoshop isn’t photography” and “I only shoot SOC*” I can only say that their pictures will still be edited, only that the camera decides what’s best with it’s picture styles. And some people don’t even change those from standart.
For those who shoot JPEG because they don’t want to edit their pictures right now, I have to ask: What about later?
Now I have to say, you can also slightly tweak JPEGs. But editing RAW files is just so much easier, as you don’t have to worry about permanently altering your file. You can always undo your edits and start over again.
*SOC = straight out of camera