RAW vs JPEG: what's the difference? (Topic)

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RAW vs JPEG: what's the difference?


JPEG is one of the most commonly used image formats. It provides 10: 1 compression with little loss of quality. Most photographers shoot with a DSLR in RAW format and then convert the resulting photos to JPEG.

However, when you are pressed for time or in order to quickly share an image, RAW is not suitable. It is preferable when you have enough time to do post-processing and have the necessary tools at hand.

The image quality largely depends not on the selected format, but on the camera settings: in manual mode, you can control all the parameters. But RAW has an advantage over JPEG in that it can be processed to eliminate camera errors without compromising the appearance of the image.

Here's what you need to know before choosing a format to shoot.

Explore your camera

All cameras behave differently in different conditions. For example, Canon cameras shoot perfectly in JPEG even with automatic settings, thanks to good algorithms for exposure, white balance and saturation. Pictures taken with Nikon in daylight appear duller in color. Examine your machine and you can determine which is preferable in your case - manual or automatic settings. If you choose manual ones, first figure out the white balance and exposure controls.

Shoot in JPEG if:

  • want to share photos right after shooting;
  • publish photos on the Internet;
  • your device has limited memory;
  • love to shoot fast.

Shoot RAW if:

  • you need professional shots suitable for magazine covers;
  • you want to be able to customize it in detail;
  • your device has a lot of memory;
  • you are very familiar with graphic editors.

JPEG Capabilities

One of the most important settings when shooting in JPEG is the color mode. The default one gives good results, but besides it there are options with increased saturation, which are suitable for landscapes, and special settings for portraits. As for the color mode, this is an individual choice. Don't get too carried away exploring color combinations, your main goal is simply to create eye-catching images.

Avoid heavy JPEG compression

If you intend to use your images on social networks, convert the originals in the highest quality. JPEG is not a lossless format: every conversion is fraught with quality loss for it.

The Topic of Article: RAW vs JPEG: what's the difference?.
Author: Jake Pinkman