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.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. For the selection of a variety of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog, Socket, M.videoand ebay и AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter | 500px.

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Comments: 131, on the topic: JPEG VS RAW in which format is better to shoot?

  • Serg

    As an amateur, I still give my vote for jpeg - after all, a really ordinary user cannot master RAW, but in principle he does not need it. But if you take a picture in jpeg, you can save time in converting.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      By the way, I know one photographer who for a long time shot in TIFF (for which there are fewer votes) because the photoshop (or rather the ditch camera for him) did not read the ditches from his camera.

    • silaew.san

      With each camera there is a program under RAV. Not so difficult. In general, for an amateur.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        And each program is limited in its capabilities.

  • serg

    If you shoot in the “burst shooting” mode, then the number of frames per series is definitely higher in the jpeg, since the opera memory is not rubber, but the camera is rather heavy and fills it quickly. Therefore, if you shoot sports, then I personally shoot in the jpeg ... but when there is time to think only rav)))

  • Igor

    Practical question: I have a D5100. The ViewNX 2 editor is bundled with it, in which I can work with NEF (RAW) files as well. And what should I do to make this NEF readable in Photoshop CS5.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Install Adobe Camera RAW Add-On Package

    • Jury

      Nikon's editors are tailored for Neff Viewix heavily loads the computer and is cut in terms of functions - there is no noise reduction, etc. I advise you not to go wrong and put Nikon's Capture NX there and it works 10 times faster than ViewNX / View - a viewer with editing, and Captcha - big difference

    • Jury

      And what does it mean to be imprisoned for neff - that in adobe, for example, you will see completely wrong colors ... You have to endlessly philosophize how to properly adjust the color so that the green is saturated green and not with an enhanced purple tint (BB cannot fix this)

  • Igor

    Thanks, I will try!

  • SONY

    It is a pity that it is impossible to choose two or three options in the survey ... I shoot with a DSLR in RAW, because I like to play with white balance, brightness, contrast, color saturation, etc. I shoot on a soap dish in JPEG, tk. in RAW (DNG), although she knows how to shoot, you can fall asleep until she finally spits it out on the card. And I shoot on film too ...

    By the way, the photographers of the Popular Mechanics magazine shoot in JPEG. This is to prove that professionals don't always shoot RAW.

    • Alex

      In order to shoot in "ass", you need to be sure of the correct WB, ISO, Shutter speed and aperture!

      • pusik

        there is a flash meter for this)))

  • Nika

    but how to install this camera ..? .. nothing happens….

  • I shoot only in RAW, although I agree that for non-photographers it’s better to shoot in Jpeg

  • Dima

    tell me, I shoot in RAW, I open the picture in ACDSee Pro3, the picture is cool, I resave in JPEG the colors change dramatically, it also happens if I resave in Photoshop CS5 kills all the colors. I changed the color extension to sRGB a little better, but not that ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      no way, use native converters

  • Boris

    I have a Canon 60D. Usually I shoot in two formats at once - JPEG and RAW. After review and rejection, I erase unnecessary RAWs. Usually my camera shoots in a row without flash about 10 JPEG + RAW and about 15 JPEG only.

  • anonym

    But I did not expect such a surprise .. I bought a camera and a bummer .. Moscow was not built right away, but I need to start somewhere ... I can do it a lot, but it turned out to be a bummer with the format.

  • Vladimir

    But how to understand on the d3100, in addition, the function JPEG + RAW. Thank you.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The camera saves images in two formats simultaneously in JPEG and RAW at the same time. Only JPEG is shown on the camera display, both files can be seen on the computer.

  • Vladimir

    Thanks Arkady.

  • gva-lev

    Usually, after shooting, you still have to do some kind of post-processing: crop, align, improve exposure and, often, reduce the volume without losing quality. Therefore, on my simple DSLR Nion D60 I have to shoot in raw mode. But the pros, as I've seen myself, often get by with jpg and get quite decent footage in their expensive cameras. So I'll take the next step, start the D7000 and try to switch only to jpg. Otherwise - a very large amount of frames, you can't save enough memory :-)

  • Dmitry

    In your opinion, the RAW format has as many as 5 minuses, and only 2 pluses? ..: O
    I shoot only in RAW.
    Images saved in jpeg are of dubious quality, and they cannot be compared with the same jpegs obtained even as a result of auto-conversion from RAW (in a native converter), and even more so they are far from RAWs with post-processing.
    I speak with full confidence, as I was convinced of this from personal experience.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Two pluses compensate for all the shortcomings. I myself shoot in RAW.

      • Dmitry

        Thanks for the reply.
        I read your articles with pleasure - it is always interesting to learn something new and enrich my experience :)

  • Valeria

    You can shoot in two formats at once), but then it takes up more space on the memory card.

  • Maksim

    I noticed that the picture taken in a jeep in good conditions is almost no different from a rab. Therefore, when I see that the shooting conditions are normal, I take them off in order to save space on the card. I have a Nikon D90.

    • Victor

      And it will not be any different from RAV if the piker's control is set to Neutral and D-Lighting is turned off. But all this can be set already in the converter, but the possibilities of processing RAV are much richer.

  • Victor

    I shoot in RAV, because photo processing is no less exciting process than photographing. In addition, most of the photos that receive a high rating in various photo communities are strongly processed in one way or another, and high-quality JPEG processing will fail. I shoot in JPEG if the photo needs to be immediately dumped to friends or relatives.

  • Paul

    I always shoot in RAW + JPEG, flash drives are not expensive right now and the problem of free space disappears. if I succeed, I leave JPEG, and if I under- or overexposed, it’s easier to pull out of RAW.

  • Vova

    Indeed, the trend of producing “large” and at the same time cheap and high-speed cards will soon make discussions about RAV and LPEG irrelevant: RAV + LPEG! And then do INTO hosh with them.

  • Vasil

    Of course it is necessary and raf and zhipeg even for insurance !!!

  • KGV008952

    Professionals with my experiments (Correct errors in the text)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Corrected. Thank you for your attention.

  • Igor

    I reviewed all topics, I think this is most suitable for my question.
    So .. I recently read that the NEF (RAW) format is actually closed and all third-party applications PS, Lr, etc. do not have 100% correct algorithms for working with it, unlike Nikon Capture Nx2.
    Is Capture Nx2 really better in quality and color reproduction? Have you compared Lr, ACR, and Capture Nx? I really do not like its outdated interface and usability, but at the same time, the desire to squeeze an adequate maximum with RAW.

    What do you process exactly? The same Nikon is probably hinting at the chain NEF-> CaptureNx2-> TIFF-> Photoshop, am I right?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Third-party software does not support Picture Control with its add-ons, that’s the whole secret of the difference in color reproduction, noise, etc. I am using Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW.

  • Vitaliy from Tambov

    Since I’m renting weddings, he’s only equal, he forgives mistakes, and the superprofiles, and even if there is a right to make mistakes, take less to jpg with him)

  • Senya

    I started shooting in Rav, I ran into a problem that the usual lightroom that I’m not familiar with sees these files, and requires a newer version to be installed. But the new lightroom is not installed on XP, the system is very reluctant to change, but I want to shoot it in a rave. Is it possible to make the old lightroom see files? or install 4 on xp? or can install some alternative?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For which camera?

      • Senya

        for d5100, lightroom 3.2 is installed, it requires, as I understand it, 4 or higher

        • Vladimir

          Lightroom did not try. In the camera, there is no Photoshop, anyone, cs6 did not try, there is no support for d5100, Nikon does not want to work normally with adobe, wants to sell his captura But there is support for d5100 in Photoshop elements 9, 10, 11, although there the camera is slightly castrated, but for most shots it’s enough, then you can transfer it to 8 bits and save the jeep, and if you want and make sense to play with the color, then save from the element .dng, and in any Photoshop, the camera will understand it. For Capture Nx2 you need to lay out 10k and look at the brakes even on a good computer, and viewNX2 generally sucks. A rave oh how you need !!!
          Jipeg only as an end result, watch, print, and write rav + jipeg is pointless on a card, FastStone Image Viewer is free, reads everything all in a row and if there is no reason to conjure a picture, then FastStone has very good editing options and then to everyone’s favorite jeepeg.

  • Perov Sergey

    I'm an amateur, but I get used to shooting in RAW, then it turns out more interesting, although photo processing takes some time ... but this is not critical

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