There has been a lot of debate on which format is best to use when shooting – RAW or JPEG. Some photographers choose raw while others prefer the more widely used now – jpeg. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending how one perceives it.
Let’s get to know the two formats by describing each before we finally come up with an answer on which is the best.
JPEG is a small size format wherein the image captured by the camera is automatically processed by the camera’s firmware. The image that comes out is already compressed thus making it smaller than the original image taken by the camera.
Most JPEGs are ready for printing or sharing online and you don’t have to spend so much time on post production. This can be an advantage to wedding photographers who take a lot of pictures. JPEG is usually 8-bits per color and at times there is a loss of color due to the compression of the image. Data might be lost when the image is automatically edited by the camera.
One good thing about jpeg files is that you take many pictures without having to worry about your storage. A shot taken from an 8-megapixel camera will usually produce an image that is between 1 to 3 megapixels only.
RAW is a file format wherein a full image captured on camera remains unprocessed thus retaining the exact data and quality. This raw file can only be viewed using software and it is often referred to as digital negative. Unlike jpeg where the image is automatically processed, a raw file will not be processed by the camera but will be processed later by the photographer using his computer. Raw is often between 12 to 14 bit.
The good thing about RAW is that you can have more control in the editing process and this is the reason there are photographers (such as Wedding Photographers Los Angeles) who choose to shoot in raw. They can get the high quality, unprocessed image and will have the freedom to enhance it in the way they like. The level of brightness is also higher in raw files.
For photographers who don’t have much time to edit images or study how to shoot in raw, RAW might not be the right one for you since time needs to be allocated on it.
- If time is not a problem, then choose RAW since it can give you more flexibility to enhance or apply your creativity in the images.
- If storage is not a problem, then pick RAW so you can get high resolution pictures that your clients will surely love. Check out the website of this Devon Wedding Photographer to see examples of high resolution images.
- If you want to shoot more pictures without having to wait for the camera to save images on your memory card, then choose JPEG especially if you take quick shots.
- If you want to set up and study your camera fast, then choose JPEG so you don’t have to worry about studying the more complex RAW setting.
Your choice should depend on the following factors: the type of shooting, memory storage, time and your priorities. Both RAW and JPEG are great to use. You can take advantage of one or both if you study them first before making a choice on which one you’d like to focus on.