Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It has been an ongoing struggle for me to decide whether I should be shooting my photos in RAW or JPEG format.  I've read various viewpoints from photographers who take either side of the argument, and it's never been clear to me what is best.  Currently I have my camera set to produce both a RAW and a JPEG file for each image...which takes up a lot of storage space and requires more time in post-processing, but at least has me covered until I make a knowledgeable decision.

I thought I'd share the following articles, which I just recently read (and watched) to help make my choice.  Check them out:

1. RAW vs. JPEG at Digital Photography School
2. How are they different? RAW vs JPEG by Elizabeth at Pretty Presets
3. RAW vs JPEG (JPG) – The Ultimate Visual Guide at [SLR]Lounge

My final decision?

  • If I'm out site-seeing or in a situation with a lot of shadows contrasted with bright light, AND I will have time and motivation to spend time adjusting my pictures later, I will use RAW.
  • If I'm in a really difficult lighting situation AND, again, will have time and motivation to edit later, I will use RAW.
  • Otherwise, which will mostly consist of at-home shots that I want to be able to quickly upload for family viewing, I will use JPEG.  Reason: I want my editing to be quick.  For the times I do want to fiddle in editing, there is still tons I can do with my images in JPEG format.  Plenty for me at my current editing level...especially considering that my photography is just a hobby and not a money-maker.
Photographer friends, what are your thoughts? RAW or JPEG?

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