Friday's Photo Tip - RAW vs JPG
The debate to shoot RAW or JPG has gone on for years, and I believe it will always be this way.
Both sides have their pros and cons and the diehards for each side will continue to tout their way as the best.
For the most part, I shoot in the jpg format, but I have just had an experience that I think may have me changing my ways - but only on some photos.
When shooting jpg in the camera, the software in the camera compresses the file of the image, making it readable by most computer programs. It is considered the universal standard for photos.
When shooting raw, the file is saved without any compression. They are huge files, but they contain every exact pixel of info - no guessing going on with the raw format.
But every camera has a different way of processing raw files, and only one kind of software, designed just for it, can handle it most of the time. And when the firmware in the camera gets updated, it may need new software to process it. This makes old raw files obselete real quick.
A memory card will fill up extremely fast when shooting raw, and the processing of it takes longer too. If you are photoing action you need to wait for the camera to process the file before shooting the next frame.
Jpgs (also known as jpegs) allow you to fit more images on a memory card, and I have never had to wait for my camera to process them - it saves really quickly to the card.
Both types of files can be tweaked, but the raw ones need an extra step in the processing routine in order to make them tweakable in a program like photoshop. This is another program which just increases the processing time.
So, why would one want to shoot RAW when it makes more sense to shoot JPG?
I have been submitting images to a new stock agency, and they require the submitted file to be 48MB in size.
My jpg files are, on average, 28MB in size. This means I need to interpolate, or enlarge my file in order for it to even be considered for this agency.
When interpolating a compressed image, the program looks at the pixels and does its best to fill in the blank spaces to give this file 48MB of info. Since a jpg is compressed with a lot of guesswork to begin with, it is just more guessing which leads to artifacts and poor resolution when viewed at 100% in photoshop.
By using a RAW file, all of the info is there to interpolate with, not as much guessing going on as with the JPG. A cleaner and sharper image should be the result by interpolating a raw file as opposed to a jpg file.
Since I will only be sending certain images to this agency, I will shoot only the ones for them as RAW and will continue with JPG for all my other images.
But if one can afford the 24 megapixel DSLR, then none of this really matters - the JPGs will be just as gorgeous as the RAWs since the files will be so big to begin with.
It's always a numbers game!