The reasons for raw

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Gerry Bishop
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The reasons for raw

If you regularly shoot JPEGs, you've likely heard this more than your ears can tolerate: It's far better to shoot in the raw format. So, just to make you more miserable, pasted in below are some specifics on why, from the the Daily Photo Tips website.

Did you know that the file format you use can play a huge role in the overall quality of your images? Often overlooked, the way in which your photographs are recorded and stored can significantly affect the look of your final product. Many novice photographers stick to JPEG formatting – however, professionals often opt to shoot RAW images. Why? Here are just a few reasons:
--Photographers can edit non-destructively with RAW file access. When editing a RAW file, you’re actually “writing” instructions on what adjustments should be made once the photograph is ready to be exported to a more manageable format. In other words, edits do not actually have an effect on the integrity of a RAW file, eliminating any fears of overwriting edits or losing access to an original image.
--RAW files have a larger tonal range as well as adjustable color space. RAW files simply capture more data than JPEGs. While an 8 bit JPEG retains 256 brightness levels, a 14 bit RAW file can retain up to 16,384 brightness levels, resulting in smoother tonal transitions. Because of the extra information the file format contains, it’s easy to make adjustments to details like white balance quickly and efficiently.
--More detail = higher quality prints. One of the major downsides of shooting RAW is the format’s massive file size. However, this allows for larger, in depth prints later down the road.
--With RAW files, photographers can restore details that might otherwise be lost. If you have a tendency to over or underexpose images, it’s possible to recover details from RAW files that might otherwise have been lost in a JPEGs limited tonal gamut.

RAW files allow users to maintain complete control over the appearance of their images. When shooting JPEGs, the camera automatically processes image files on its own. You know better than the camera what adjustments you’d like to make to an image, and your computer’s processing capabilities far surpass those of your camera.