February 7, 2011

Here’s Why I Shoot RAW

Copyright Scott Bourne 2009 - All Rights Reserved

People seem to still struggle with this. Should you shoot JPEG or RAW? I can’t answer that for you. But I can answer it for me. Here are just some of the reasons I shoot RAW.

When you shoot in RAW, you bring back a digital file that has more information than if you shoot in JPG. More is better in this case. You can make non-destructive changes in post with a RAW file. In some cases, the changes you can make are no different than they would have been had you made them in the field when making the photo in the first place.

If you shoot in JPG, things like the color balance, exposure, etc., are all “baked” into the file. While you can make further changes in post, these are destructive changes that cost data.

JPG files are already sharpened and saturated. I find sharpening in particular to be something I want complete control of and that I want to do last.

JPG is a distribution format. RAW is a capture format. This alone, is reason enough for me to shoot RAW.

There are some trade-offs. RAW files require conversion before you can work with them. RAW files take up more room on your memory card than JPGs and will cycle through your buffer more slowly. But most of the time, these are trade-offs I can accept.

For me, the amount of control I gain by having the most data possible in each image is the only way to go. Your mileage may vary.

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Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ScottBourne, katsanes, WeatherWarrior.Net, W. Lotus, Sherry and others. Sherry said: Very helpful RT @ScottBourne: Here's Why I Shoot RAW – http://photofocus.com/2011/02/07/heres-why-i-shoot-raw/ #Photography [...]

  2. [...] People seem to still struggle with this. Should you shoot JPEG or RAW? I can't answer that for you. But I can answer it for me. Here are just some of the reasons I shoot RAW. When you shoot in RAW, you bring back a digital file that has more information than if you shoot in JPG. More is better in this case. You can … Read More [...]

  3. [...] Here’s Why I Shoot RAW People seem to still struggle with this. Should you shoot JPEG or RAW? I can’t answer that for you. But I can [...] [...]

  4. [...] The reasons in this article are why I run CHDK on my Canon A720IS and shoot in Raw mode with my Pentax K-5. The more data that you can get into the computer, the more control of the resulting image you have. People seem to still struggle with this. Should you shoot JPEG or RAW? I can't answer that for you. But I can answer it for me. Here are just some of the reasons I shoot RAW. When you shoot in RAW, you bring back a digital file that has more information than if you shoot in JPG. More is better in this case. You can … Read More [...]

  5. [...] Here’s Why I Shoot RAW « Photofocus. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post [...]

  6. [...] Here’s Why I Shoot RAW (photofocus.com) [...]

  7. [...] should you use JPEG? Ahh, there are lots of discussions on this subject and I direct you to what Scott Bourne and I have written over at the Photofocus blog. Read what we have to say and make up your own [...]

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