First, let’s start off with what a RAW image is compared to a JPG image.

JPEG

  • Equivalent to a PRINT (from a negative) in the film days.
  •  Immediately suitable for printing, sharing, or posting on the Web.
  •  Higher in contrast.
  •  Sharper.
  •  Compressed.
  •  Smaller file size.
  •  Takes up LESS SPACE on your memory cards as well as on your computer.
  •  Takes LESS TIME to write to your memory card.

 

RAW

  •  Equivalent to a NEGATIVE in the film days.
  •  Not suitable for printing directly from the camera or without post processing.
  •  Requires an image processing software to make adjustments to the image for printing/sharing.
  •  More FLEXIBILITY to change and MANIPULATE a photograph.
  •  Lacking in contrast (flatter, washed out looking).
  •  Not as sharp.
  •  Uncompressed
  •  Bigger file size.
  •  Takes up MORE SPACE on your memory cards as well as on your computer.
  •  Takes MORE TIME to write to your memory card.


Should YOU Shoot In RAW?
Q. Do you have enough storage capacity (the size of your memory cards/how many memory cards do you have for what you are currently shooting)?

Q. Do you have enough room on your internal hard drive to house all the RAW images? More so, do you own an external hard drive to BACKUP your photos?

Q. Do you have an image processing application you can use to edit the RAW photos? Some of the bigger names that come to mind are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, Aperture, and Capture NX. Believe it or not, even iPhoto can edit RAW images if you have a Mac.

A. If your answer is yes to the above, there is no reason now that you know the benefits, not to shoot in RAW.

Lastly, if you’re really wondering, you could shoot in both RAW + JPG, but that’s a whole different story.