JPEG or Raw

Capturing photographs is one of the most common things one do in his/her everyday life. Can you even remember how many times a day you open the camera of your phone to click something. No matter what your subject is, you at least click one photo a day. And if you don’t, you should.

Capturing photographs is a way great way to express your feelings. There’s a famous saying, “A good photograph is worth a thousand words’. Photography is all about capturing the one perfect shot at a perfect moment. But their are different formats of a particular type of file.

For example: an audio file may have formats of MP3, Wav etc. or a video file may have formats of MP4, mkv, avi etc.

Similarly, when a photographer captures a photograph, he has options to shoot either in JPEG or Raw (CR2) format.

So the question arises, which one is better format to shoot?

Let’s talk about JPEG first. It is the format, which is mostly used by anyone who captures photographs. A photo captured using a mobile is always in JPEG format. The format is fully processed by the camera, and hence, can be used and shared easily.

Raw is not actually a picture, it’s a negative. Negative is actually an unprocessed image which can’t be directly shared anywhere. These are to be processed later by using editing apps and softwares into JPEG to share.

But now the question arises, why we need to shoot in RAW format if ultimately we need to convert the image into JPEG?

As mentioned above, Raw file must be post processed which means while editing, it would be easier to change the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows etc of Raw files rather than a JPEG file.

A JPEG file is of 8bit and it comprises of the basic colours (RGB) in the value of 256 each. This means in JPEG file, one gets total of 16 million colours in this format.

Whereas, Raw files is of 12bit or 14bit. If we talk about 12bit, it has total of 68 Billion colours in this format. Such a huge difference. Isn’t it?

This is why, it is always recommended to photographers to always shoot in RAW. The format helps them to insert the colours and the value of exposure, contrast etc. accordingly.

Though, there are few problems with RAW files too.

1. They are quite large in size, so one must use a memory card with high storage space to shoot in RAW.

2. While shooting Raw at higher shutter speed, the camera takes time to load and hence one can miss the perfect shot. So, a memory card of high speed to avoid this.

Still, if one is afraid to shoot in RAW because it takes time to edit the photographs in this format, he can use the format of RAW+JPEG. This format will give you both the files in your memory card and so, one can use the format accordingly.

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