RAW or jpg
The proverbial question… which format should I be shooting in.
To me the answer is simple: RAW
RAW captures the most data and more data means more alternatives when post processing an image. For those folks new to RAW, you may notice that the image you download, don’t really look like the images you saw on the LCD right after you captured them. And this can be frustrating; at least it was for me.
I remember thinking, why isn’t this what I remember?! Followed by expletives. Then, through discussions with friends that shared their knowledge with me, I learned that RAW images were unaltered by my camera, unlike the jpg thumbnail of my images I viewed on the LCD.
After you capture an image, your camera creates a jpg thumbnail so that you can view your image on your camera’s LCD/viewfinder. To create the jpg, your camera runs algorithms, established by the manufacturer, to create a viewable image. These algorithms include contrast, hue/saturation, and compression, among other enhancements. If you set your camera to capture jpgs, then the images you download from the camera will look like the jpgs you reviewed on the LCD/viewfinder.
However, if your capture your images in RAW format, your images will seem flat and dull in comparison to the thumbnails. This is because when the camera is set to RAW, no algorithms are applied to the files (other than in the creation for the jpg thumbnail used for review). The benefit is that you have so much more data to work with when you go to post process your images. But it doesn’t change the frustration you may feel when initially reviewing your image files.
In this video, I demonstrate the potential of the RAW file by showing how just a few minor adjustments can take a dull RAW file to something worth sharing.
To view the video, click here!