RAW Vs JPEG – Professionals and Cons of uncooked and JPEG

Could 30, 2022

Uncooked Vs JPEG Professionals and Cons – If you happen to’re new to images then the uncooked vs JPEG query could be a tough one to get your head round. For that purpose on this information we’ll cowl what uncooked and JPEG information are, how they differ and the professionals and cons of capturing in every. We’ll additionally contact upon uncooked software program and picture enhancing suggestions so if you wish to take that subsequent step together with your images you possibly can.


Welcome to the AP Enhance Your Pictures Collection – in partnership with MPB – This sequence is designed to take you from the beginnings of images, introduce completely different capturing abilities and kinds, and educate you the best way to develop as a photographer, so you possibly can take pleasure in producing wonderful images (and video), to take you to the following stage, whether or not that’s earning money or just mastering your artwork kind.

Every week you’ll discover a new article so make certain to come back again to proceed your journey. The beginning could seem primary to some photographers, nevertheless it’s an essential step in ensuring you’re snug together with your gear and the fundamentals of images, because it’s a part of the foundations that assist construct into nice images, and as soon as you understand these, you’ll be capable of play with them, and perceive additional articles on this sequence.


If you’re new to photography it can be tricky to know whether to shoot in Raw or JPEG. Copyright: Claire Gillo

If you happen to’re new to images it may be tough to know whether or not to shoot in uncooked or JPEG. Copyright: Claire Gillo

Uncooked and JPEG? I’m confused…

In a nutshell uncooked and JPEG are merely file codecs that your digital camera information. You possibly can set your digital camera to shoot in simply uncooked, JPEG or each. Relying in your digital camera system will rely on the way you entry the setting – most are below an ‘Picture High quality’ setting in the principle capturing menu.

Look under the Image Quality setting on your camera to access the Raw and JPEG shooting options. Copyright: Claire Gillo

Look below the Picture High quality setting in your digital camera to entry the uncooked and JPEG capturing choices. Copyright: Claire Gillo

What’s a Uncooked file?

A uncooked file is an uncompressed and unprocessed picture. It’s value noting many cameras on fashionable smartphones can shoot in uncooked too. Most, if not in all probability all, skilled photographers and critical hobbyists shoot utilizing a uncooked file format as they produce far greater high quality outcomes in comparison with a JPEG.

A uncooked file just isn’t able to be printed or displayed till it has been processed by means of some kind of picture enhancing software program. Actually a uncooked file seems boring and gentle when it comes out of the digital camera. Rookies could even suppose there’s something incorrect with their digital camera when reviewing a uncooked picture file as they’ll look very flat!

Consider uncooked like capturing movie (for these sufficiently old to recollect!) When you’ve shot a movie, to see the photographs it’s essential to develop and course of the negatives. It’s the identical for digital uncooked picture. When you’ve shot your pictures it’s essential to develop and course of the uncooked information on a pc to convey out what you’ve captured. The way you course of them we’ll cowl afterward.

This image shows the difference between how an image appears before and after it has been processed. Copyright: Claire Gillo

This picture exhibits the distinction between how a picture seems earlier than (proper) and after it has been processed (left). Copyright: Claire Gillo

What’s a JPEG file?

A JPEG file is a compressed picture file format that your digital camera has processed. Because the file has been compressed it means your digital camera has intentionally misplaced a few of the picture knowledge to make the file smaller in measurement.

When capturing within the JPEG format your digital camera processes primary settings just like the distinction, saturation and sharpening results. That is nice you probably have no intention or enthusiasm to course of your remaining pictures, nonetheless on the draw back your digital camera is making all of the inventive selections for you, and you’ve got much less management over the ultimate final result.

It’s additionally essential when capturing in a JPEG file format to make sure your publicity settings are spot on. There’s a lot much less choice to rescue any incorrectly uncovered shadow and spotlight element on the enhancing stage. You possibly can nonetheless edit a JPEG file to a sure diploma however should you push and pull the pixels round an excessive amount of you’ll begin to encounter an issue known as banding the place your pictures seem extra pixelated.

We advocate that should you’re going to shoot JPEGs, set your digital camera to the very best attainable high quality. You possibly can at all times downsize your JPEG pictures in your pc should you want them to be smaller however you possibly can’t upscale them should you’ve shot the orginals at a decrease high quality (with out further problem).

A JPEG comes out of your camera with basic edit adjustments already made. It’s harder to rescue the highlights and detail so make sure your exposure is spot on. Copyright: Claire Gillo

A JPEG comes out of your digital camera with primary edit changes already made. It’s tougher to rescue the highlights and element so make certain your publicity is spot on. Copyright: Claire Gillo

Now you understand what Jpegs and uncooked information are, lets recap on the benefits and drawbacks:

Professionals and cons of capturing RAW

What are some great benefits of capturing in uncooked?

  • Uncooked information produce prime quality outcomes.
  • You possibly can get well the spotlight and shadow element in a uncooked file to a far better stage in contrast with a JPEG, giving improved dynamic vary.
  • You possibly can extensively edit uncooked information to spice up the tone, sharpen the picture, and make many different primary picture changes.
  • You possibly can alter the white stability setting in a uncooked file publish manufacturing that means you don’t want to fret about this setting when capturing.

What are the disadvantages of capturing in uncooked?

  • The file sizes are bigger than JPEGs subsequently they take up extra cupboard space in your reminiscence card and pc.
  • Uncooked information come out of the digital camera showing flat. If you happen to don’t course of them they’re no good. You can’t add uncooked information on to social media or on-line.

Professionals and cons of capturing JPEGs

What are some great benefits of capturing JPEG?

  • They’re much smaller in measurement so subsequently take up much less cupboard space in your reminiscence card and pc.
  • Your digital camera makes all the fundamental edit changes – this is a bonus you probably have no real interest in enhancing your pictures otherwise you wish to rapidly add pictures from a shoot onto social media with minimal fuss.

What are the disadvantages of capturing JPEG?

  • Much less inventive management on the enhancing stage, for instance you’re unlikely to have the ability to rescue the blown out highlights within the sky of a JPEG file.
  • Your digital camera is making the fundamental picture edit changes. This implies you may have much less inventive management over the ultimate final result.
  • You possibly can’t right the white stability setting on the enhancing stage. It’s essential to shoot this proper in digital camera.
  • If you happen to over edit a JPEG file you get a technical concern known as banding and the picture seems extra pixelated.
There are advantages and disadvantages to shooting in both formats however for better image quality Raw files come out on top. Copyright: Claire Gillo

There are benefits and drawbacks to capturing in each codecs nonetheless for higher picture high quality uncooked information come out on high. Copyright: Claire Gillo

What software program ought to I exploit?

Whether or not you select to shoot in uncooked or JPEG you’ll want picture enhancing software program to take advantage of out of your pictures.

If you happen to’ve shot in uncooked it’s essential to make certain the picture software program you’re utilizing is suitable together with your digital camera’s uncooked format. Relying on the make of digital camera will decide what kind of uncooked file your digital camera produces. For instance a Canon digital camera produces a .CR2/.CR3 uncooked file, Nikon a .NEF file, Sony an .ARW and Fujifilm’s uncooked format is an .RAF to call only a few of the most important digital camera producers. If you’re having compatibility points you possibly can convert your unique uncooked file to a DNG file utilizing Adobe’s DNG Converter. A DNG stands for Digital Unfavourable and is a extra universally learn uncooked picture file format.

There are a lot of wonderful software program packages on the market designed to spice up your pictures – some you need to pay for whereas others are free. For instance Nikon’s personal uncooked software program NX Studio is free to obtain (for Nikon customers solely), and Canon have the same program known as Digital Picture Skilled (DPP) which has been designed for the CR2/CR3 file (Canon customers solely). When you’ve got a unique digital camera see our information to producers picture enhancing software program.

Different picture enhancing packages which will by of curiosity:

  • Adobe Lightroom Basic
  • Adobe Lightroom CC
  • Adobe Digital camera Uncooked
  • Adobe Photoshop Components
  • Seize One
  • Affinity Picture
  • DxO PhotoLab
  • DxO PureRaw 2
  • ON1 Picture RAW
  • Publicity X7
  • CyberLink PhotoDirector
Lightroom Classic appeals to many professional photographers, however there are many Raw image editing softwares available out there that all perform the same task. Copyright: Claire Gillo

Lightroom Basic appeals to {many professional} photographers, nonetheless there are various uncooked picture enhancing softwares accessible on the market that every one carry out the identical process. Copyright: Claire Gillo

What are the fundamental picture changes?

For individuals who at the moment are feeling keen about uncooked you’ll have to get your head round these primary settings. We’d advocate you having a mess around with every of them to see how the picture reacts as you alter. You’ll study by adjusting:

  • Publicity – Determines how vibrant or darkish the picture is.
  • Highlights – Selects the sunshine components of your picture and makes them lighter or darker. You possibly can get well some or all spotlight element which will have gotten blown out.
  • Shadows – Works the darker components of your picture and will increase or decreases the sunshine relying on the look you need. If you happen to’ve misplaced element within the shadows you possibly can improve to get it again.
  • Whites – Works much like the spotlight slider however this slider simply impacts the whites within the picture somewhat than a variety of highlights.
  • Blacks – This slider impacts the black components within the picture and may rescue misplaced element.
  • Distinction – By rising the distinction you make the shadows darker and the highlights lighter.
  • White Steadiness – This controls the color temperature of your picture. You may make it hotter or cooler utilizing the temperature slides.
  • Saturation – This slider boosts all the colors in your picture.
  • Sharpening – You’ll have to sharpen your uncooked information as they arrive out out of your digital camera somewhat gentle.

Uncooked examples, earlier than and after processing:

BEFORE: This image was shot in Raw. Before processing. Copyright: Claire Gillo

BEFORE: This picture was shot in uncooked. Earlier than processing. Copyright: Claire Gillo

This image was shot in Raw. The detail in the sky was able to be recovered and the details in the land were also rescued from the shadows. Copyright: Claire Gillo

AFTER processing: This picture was shot in uncooked. The element within the sky was in a position to be recovered and the small print within the land had been additionally rescued from the shadows. Copyright: Claire Gillo

What now – JPEG or Uncooked?

It’s fully as much as you and what your wants are! If you’d like your images to progress we advocate capturing in uncooked or at the least giving it a go from time to time so that you get used to the picture processing process. When you’ve obtained your head across the fundamentals you’ll discover your images will elevate to the following stage after which transcend!


Uncooked vs JPEG – Regularly requested questions (FAQ):

What does JPEG stand for?

JPEG is an ancronym for “Joint Photographic Consultants Group” the group that created the file format commonplace in 1992. If you happen to’re occupied with extra technical data on JPEG, take a look at this Wikipedia entry.

Is it JPG or JPEG?

JPEG is the total title, however the majority of information easy finish in .JPG. Some folks use .JPEG, and that additionally works, however the majority of individuals use .jpg.

How do you pronounce JPEG?

Jay-peg. Think about you’ve seen a Jay (chook), and it was flying by means of the sky while carrying a peg, of all issues! That’s the way you say JPEG, as Jay-peg.

Is it uncooked or RAW?

As uncooked is a “phrase” somewhat than an acronym, it doesn’t have to be capitalised, though it usually is by many individuals. If you’d like further data, take a look at this Wikipedia entry.


Article: Claire Gillo


Tune in subsequent week, for the following article within the sequence of the AP Enhance Your Pictures Collection – in partnership with MPB.

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