7 Reasons to Shoot in RAW

Capture Photographs

Capture PhotographsYou’ve probably heard it from a friend the moment you grabbed your camera: “shoot photographs in RAW.” Chances are, you have also heard the same thing from professional photographers. Once you decide to buy a DSLR, everyone seems to start harping about the wonders of shooting in RAW.

It’s an easy concept to follow, but most people wonder why they would do such a thing. After all, shooting RAW means the photos you take would consume way more storage than usual, not to mention it could slow down your camera’s performance. So, here are seven reasons to shoot in RAW:

Capture Greater Brightness Levels

The first reason is because RAW records more levels of brightness than the typical JPEG format. EOS World explains that JPEG produces an 8bit output, whilst RAW could go up to 12bit or 14bit. In larger numbers, the former can only capture 256 levels of brightness; the latter, on the other hand, goes as far as 4,096 to 16,384 levels.

How does this impact your photography? The more levels you have, the more you can correct the shot without ruining its quality. Ergo, it’s always good to have a lot of levels to work with.

Improve Image Quality

Speaking of correcting the image, a RAW record helps you improve the image quality altogether. Brightness is only the first thing you can alter. You can also correct underexposed or overexposed shots, tweak the white balance, and more.

Refine Image Detail

The detail of your image is only as good as how sharp your shot is. Chances are you’d use these functions in Lightroom or another program to play with it, but it’s a whole lot simpler when you use it on RAW files. JPEG distorts more easily, anyway.

Make Editing Easier

Editing JPEG using Photoshop or Lightroom changes the composition of the picture for good. RAW, on the other hand, lets you edit the image in a non-destructive way because you are yet to decide the final output for it.

Be Flexible with the Output’s Colour Space

Flexibility over the colour space of your output is also a good reason. As RAW isn’t final yet, you can decide whether you’d go for sRGB (for online publication) or the common Adobe RGB (for general purposes).

Streamline Your Workflow

Shooting in RAW also improves your efficiency while working in batches. Aperture, Lightroom, and similar programs work faster through large batches of images. Photoshop is a different case, but it can still edit photos one at a time.

Shoot Like a Pro

Last but not the least, it’s because this is how the pros do it. When you start practicing in RAW, the faster you can learn the ropes to step up your craft. Fake it ‘til you make it, so they say.

The next time you bring out your camera, capture your shots in RAW. Trust the pros. What they say about this really works wonders.

3 Comments

  1. I’m NEVER shooting just jpeg again. RAW really works wonders. I can’t believe how easy post-processing has become after I switched to RAW shooting. Yes, it may eat away through your 16GB card easily, but that’s a small price to pay.

  2. Michael L. Corcoran January 12, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Finally! Someone who actually knows why it’s important to shoot in RAW. Listen up, newbies, this person knows the craft. There’s just better flexibility in everything when you’re tweaking a RAW file than a JPEG.

  3. The thing with jpeg files is that it’s compressed by the time it reaches editing. It’s like editing an mp3 file instead of a wav. Really, I don’t even understand why RAW isn’t in the default setting of most cameras today.

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