JPG vs RAW
One of the most common pieces of advice to anyone that wants to improve their photography is to shoot in RAW. For the most part people are right, if you want to improve individual photos there is no better way to that than shooting photos in RAW format.
What is RAW?
When a photo is taken light hits the sensor of the camera. The data that the sensor takes in is processed by the camera and under normal circumstances is compressed into a file format created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group or .JPG. When the camera forms a . JPG image data is lost so that the photo can be easily stored. A RAW image is the exact opposite of that. When a photo is written in RAW none of the data from the sensor is compressed this means that all the data can be accessed in post processing. The access to all of this data allows the photographer to craft a more desirable image.
When should I shoot RAW?
This is one of the most important questions you need to be able to answer for yourself. While shooting .RAW allows for better post processing there are several downsides to it. For one any because of it’s uncompressed size you will be you will only be able to take a quarter of the photos that you would normally be able to shoot. In addition to being able to take less photos there will also be an increase in processing time. This is because most programs do not read .RAW format. As a result if you want to send or display any of the photography you will need to process the photos yourself. If you are shooting an event where you will be taking hundreds of photos it may be more beneficial to shoot traditional .JPGs to save time later. On the other hand if you are doing portraits it will be more beneficial to shoot .RAW. The ability to modify the image is more important for the relatively few photos you would be delivering in a portrait shoot.