According to Jamie Taylor of SouthCape Photography, shooting Raw is not an option. It is a necessity. And while you may feel it is or strongly that it is not, I love her dedication and the way she argues her point below. Enjoy!
Camera Raw is an unprocessed, uncompressed raw file.
Jpeg is a processed and compressed file.
Now, Let’s explore the two.
When you shoot in jpeg mode, you are taking your file and processing it in camera – that means, adding color wonkiness, keeping your photo either under-/over exposed and compressing the heck out of it. These changes are permanent, and although you might be deft at the adjustments menu, you will always lose out on detail.
When a file compresses, be it by computer or camera, it looks to find like pixels (pixels that are deemed extra, because there are others that are like it in an area) and it throws them away, in the trashcan, forever. This is how it makes a really large file small.
What is that I hear you say? If they were the same pixels, then it shouldn’t matter, right? Wrong. By compressing your photo, you are taking away very valuable detail. Think sharp over tack sharp.
And, as we all know, or should, when you process a photo that has less than perfect exposure (or anything really), the results can leave you frustrated – noise, artifacts and weird colors to say the least.
Bottom line, when you save in jpeg, you commit to whatever it may look like when you press that shutter.
I am not really so sure why people are scared of this. Especially, when of all things, there is an ability to capture RAW+JPeg, it’s a win win for those that are afraid of the unknown.
Well, now to the enlightening part. Read it out loud, look in the mirror & say it ten times, in fact, make sure these are the first words any of your (future, considering) children say. RAW IS YOUR FRIEND
Raw may sound mean but he is not going to: chew your photo’s up, make all your subject’s Cyclops’, break your camera or scare little children. What RAW will do is allow to you fix those little mistakes without any loss to the quality of your picture. That’s right, you heard it, RAW is lossless.
Why is RAW lossless? Well, because unlike jpeg over there, RAW minds his business and doesn’t mess with your photos. RAW captures the scene as is, at full strength and then lets you decide how to process it.
Not to mention, RAW’s personal life statement is, “Size does matter”.
Do you even know how easy it is to edit a RAW image? (and yes, I am talking to all you RAW haters) Seriously, listen to this.
1. In any (well, any I have tried) RAW editing programs, all of your adjustments are on one screen. No Menus, nothing. Just straight out, in your face, BAM.
2. NO clicking. What the heck are you talking about, you crazy lady..? Well, RAW programs use slider’s to make all your edits. Slide to the left, slide to the right. Don’t like the results? Slide it back. No harm, nothing is permanent (until you save it, of course, because then it becomes… a jpeg)
3. Raw can instantly fix funky WB issues and minor to moderate exposure problems. But wait, there’s more. For only 6 payments of $49.99 each, you will get the option of sliding your way into photo heaven, with, clarity, curves, tint, sat, vibrance, sharpness, color calibration, fringe removal and much, much more.
4. But, I like my actions. GOOD for you! They are just called presets in a RAW program!
5. Your broke you say? From buying all this equipment (and those glorious actions)? Never fear, Rawtherapee to the rescue. www.rawtherapee.com has a program similar to Lightroom, and get this, it’s FREE. No trial, no hidden tricks, just free. (and its rather good, too)
So, now, after reading this, you only have one option. To shoot in RAW. And if you don’t, JPeg will hunt down your pictures and make them scream UNCLE!