JPEG VS RAW in which format is better to shoot?


There is a lot of controversy on the Internet about what format to shoot. People go crazy testing the quality of these two giants of the photo industry, professionals make vivid reviews in favor of the superiority of RAW over JPEG, but the fact remains that the end user needs exactly JPEG.
Few people consider for what purpose these formats are intended, and depending on the goals you need to choose the format.



So a couple of tricks for filming:

1. If you have an ordinary soap dish, most likely there is no way to shoot in RAW, this should not sadden you, the quality of the pictures will not be displayed on this.
2. If you have a SLR of any level, most likely there is an opportunity to shoot in RAW, the choice depends on what purpose you shoot

Still shoot in RAW, but what about JPEG? And also different PNJ, TIFF, NEF, CR2?
It is very simple if you need or plan to modify the picture on your computer, I definitely recommend RAW, it will help to save more details, shooting information and allow you to make corrections to the main image settings (such as BB, work with noise, color settings, work on sharpness) with little or no loss at all as a picture.
If the plans do not include post-processing of photos - feel free to set the JPEG mode and know that the photos will be of the same good quality as after direct conversion with RAW.
If you are a professional and every level of shades, balances is very important, then you will undoubtedly have to use RAW, in prof. cameras have the ability to increase the amount of color information to 14 bits per pixel, while JPEG has only 8 bits per pixel. The same can be said for other specific data formats for saving photos. I advise you to read my experiment, which shows the difference in the processing capabilities of RAW versus JPEG.

Cons RAW
1. GREAT file weight, usually files cannot be compressed using camera processor algorithms and quickly fill the space on the memory card. For example RAW Nikon D90 weigh an average of 10 mb each, Nikon D40 just 5 mb each. The volume is highly dependent on the number of megapixels on the camera and the compression level.
2. Variety of formats - Each company has its own standard of "raw images" and it will take a lot of time to find the necessary software, install, configure and understand how it works.
3. The necessary knowledge to work with files - if there is no necessary basic knowledge about the parameters of photography and their refinement, then it makes no sense to simply shoot in RAW, and then simply convert to auto settings - the same thing you can do by shooting just in JPEG.
4. RAW revision time at times exceeds the time for the shooting itself.
5. Some cameras shoot in RAW format much slower (especially with 14 bit color depth), for example, Nikon D300 can shoot only 2.5 fps at 14 bit RAW

RAW Pros
1. The picture carries more source image information
2. It is possible to modify the basic shooting parameters within reasonable limits without loss of quality (you can adjust the exposure up to 3 steps without loss of detail, etc.).

Highlights of JPEG
1. His accumulative propertiesand - if something was changed and saved, then it is simply not possible to return it back without losing quality.
2. A smaller range of color shades than RAW, but for the average user, and even on a poor monitor, the difference is simply not noticeable, even when printing, the costs of working with RAW are not always worth the advantage. At the same time, you basically have to pinch in JPEG to print a photograph.

The main advantages of JPEG
1. Universalism - any device will be able to recognize and read this format. You have come to friends and you can always show the photo in JPEG, and if you came to friends with RAW you will have to spend a lot of time to open the photo.
2. Compression dynamics - You can put any level of compression and get files of any size.

Conclusions: the answer to the question "in what format to shoot" comes with experience and needs, I personally recommend not to bother and shoot in JPEG.
And do not believe that all professionals shoot in RAW, professionals shoot because it is convenient and practical.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 132, on the topic: JPEG VS RAW in which format is better to shoot?

  • yert

    Guys, tell me, please, why when you open a CR2 file with Photoshop, it looks darker and less colorful than if you open it, for example, with the built-in Photos application of windows 10, and some other viewers? I have a hypothesis that photoshop does not use the camera-set auto-correction of brightness, while other applications use this parameter, demonistrating CR2 to us. Correct me, please, if I'm wrong.

  • Oleg


  • Charles

    "Go crazy" - correct, plz.
    It's a shame - such an interesting blog and such an illiterate ...

    • Arkady Shapoval


    • Ivan

      Well then, and “minuses”, and not “minusA”, and in the word “notice” at the end you need a soft sign.

  • Alexander

    Rav and only Rav! When processing you do not waste time, but learn to see the world through the eyes of the camera, notice your mistakes, understand where you don't even need to try to take pictures. Over time, you notice that if you got into the light and did not make a mistake with the exposure, then it is easy and quick to edit the pictures, and you mercilessly remove the garbage that seemed to be a “masterpiece”. In the same way, shoot only in M ​​or A, S and no auto and scenes If you have already got to this page, it means that soap dishes and smartphones do not suit you, then we are mastering photography in full. Otherwise, take your iPhone, lie on a sun lounger on the beach, snap neighbors' asses and immediately send them to Instagram. In general, you don't need to take a steam bath and delve into the essence of what RAW and JPEG are.

    • Sergei

      By the way, raw is already in phones)

  • Sergei

    Thank you, Arkady, for this article, as well as for everyone else. Not everyone is able to transfer their knowledge to paper so clearly and clearly. Even if the topic is known to me, all the same, in addition I find something new and useful with you. Which, unfortunately, is not possible to find in the seemingly so many COMMENTS. There is mostly empty chatter. I would love to purchase your articles in print.

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