Which is Better: Shooting in RAW or JPEG?

professional photographyUpon entering the field of photography, an amateur photographer is often faced with questions that require him/her to make a choice. One of these important questions is: Which is better, shooting in raw or jpeg?

If you try to ask this question to professional photographers, you will surely get various answers and mixed reactions. Some will convince you to go for raw while others will justify the need to shoot in jpeg. Well, the final choice is still up to you hence you will need to know the right information about these two in order to pick one that you think is a better choice.

To help you understand and decide later which one is better, here are some facts on RAW and JPEG. Let’s begin by defining what RAW and Jpeg are.

RAW refers to unprocessed, uncompressed files that you get when choosing this option from your camera.  On the other hand, JPEG refers to files or captured images that are immediately processed by the camera and are said to be ready for display and print. There are advantages and disadvantage for each file which you should know in order so you can weigh in and choose the one that you think is best for you. Let us compare the two through the different factors below

  1. Information

In RAW, no information is lost upon capturing your image. You get the data recorded by your camera thus giving your more flexibility later when editing your files using editing software.

On the other hand, in jpeg, the image is right away processed when captured by your camera. This would mean that some information gets lost and you do not get the exact data you are expecting from it.

  1. Quality

When you shoot in RAW, you usually get dull-looking and darker images compared to those shot in jpeg. But the advantage to this, is that the images from RAW are higher and you will notice it once you transfer the files to your computer for post processing.

  1. File size

When it comes to the file size, RAW is usually two to three times bigger than a Jpeg and this can be a problem to photographers who have limited memory space in their drive. Some photographers take this as an advantage to use jpeg while others still stick to RAW for they believe it is worth choosing even if it takes too much space.

  1. Post Processing

Photographers who shoot in RAW have the intention to edit their images using a program like Photoshop or Lightroom. Enhancing or modifying images to get their desired perfect shots will usually take hours for them to do but they don’t usually mind it as long as they can produce the shots will satisfy them and their clients.

Meanwhile, with JPEG, there is no need to edit or process images although you can still do it if you want to. Photographers who shoot in JPEG usually prefer to do so to save valuable time.

Well, to sum up, RAW usually gives you higher quality images and more flexibility in editing while Jpeg can save you storage space, time and files are ready for printing. It is up to you know on which one you think is suitable for your photography needs.