RAW vs JPEG – this debate on what file format to use and save to your camera has been beaten to death in the internet forums. But, for you guys who are still undecided which way to go:
1. RAW as the name suggests, is basically an uncooked version of your photo. The time you capture it, it is saved as it is. JPEG on the other hand undergoes in-camera processing and corrections and applies the settings you have set in your camera like sharpness, contrast, etc.
2. RAW is lossless and uncompressed. JPEG is compressed. When a file undergoes compression, it has to cram the data into a smaller file.
3. RAW is huge. JPEG is smaller.
4. RAW can be edited in software with a greater latitude without compromising quality of the file. JPEG though can withstand editing, but has way less latitude.
5. RAW must be opened by an image editing software or a raw converter program. JPEG can be easily opened by your Windows/Mac viewer.
I hope the above comparisons will give you a clearer idea on the differences between the two. I treat RAW as if it was the film negative of my photo and JPEG as the 3R/4R print, so if I was going to edit it, I have more latitude to do so on a negative. This is my .02 cents, if you are serious about photography, choose RAW. Other than that, JPEG will suffice.
I shoot RAW.
Photographer’s note: F/2.8, 1/160, ISO 400, Panasonic G3, Panasonic 20mm 1.7
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