There is always debate about the advantage of shooting in RAW rather than shooting in JPEG. Here is my opinion and contribution to the debate.

The modern digital cameras of today have more computing power built in to them than full sized desktop computers had in the early nineties. So what? Well, when you shoot a photograph in JPEG format, your camera converts the digital information into the more user friendly JPEG format but in doing so it ditches a ton of data. However, the amount of computing and processing power the cameras can access nowadays, means that they do a pretty good job of this conversion. I’m not going to get into too much detail in this post about what goes on during this conversion from RAW to JPEG inside your camera. Rather I simply want to highlight the advantage of shooting in RAW.

When you take a photograph using the RAW format, your camera retains all the data recorded by the sensor and does nothing with it. Nada! Zilch! Not a thing. So what, you may ask again? Well, this unadulterated data allows you to extract a lot more detail in post production. The original RAW image may look rubbish compared to a camera generated JPEG image but trust me it’s worth the extra work. To use the RAW it first needs to be converted manually, by you, into a JPEG format (or similar) before it can be printed or shared by email, Facebook, Instagram etc. So why bother? Why not just shoot in JPEG and skip this conversion hassle? The reason is image quality and the ability to extract all that information. Oops, I’m repeating myself so I’ll shut up and show you what I mean.

The images below are an example of why we believe you should always shoot RAW. The first image is the untouched RAW image and the second is the resulting edit using Adobe Lightroom only.

Advantage of shooting in RAW
Advantage of shooting in RAW

This must surely illustrate the advantage of shooting in RAW. Also, the original RAW image that I shot is still untouched and can be changed in countless other ways e.g. I could convert it to black and white and have two different JPEGs from the same RAW.

What are your thoughts?