There is a never ending, internal battle in every photographer. Be is a hobbyist, amateur, or professional. At one point in time we all go through this battle. Why should I shoot RAW when my JPG images turn out fine?
Well, I am not here to answer the internal question… it is like trying to answer “What is the meaning of life?” No answer is correct. But, I will give my take on RAW imaging vs. JPG.
Remember using this? If not… you are just a youngin. These cute little rolls are how old folk like me used to get our images. When using an SLR camera, you hit the shutter button, the mirror flips up and the shutter opens and closes allowing light to ingrain the image on the film. Well the same with DSLR. The difference is the “D” for digital. Now, with the wonders of technology, we don’t have 10 rolls of film in the refrigerator. We have the memory card… and when we hit that shutter button, the same thing happens, however the image is digitally composed and stored on the card.
Back in the day– we had to use chemicals or take our used rolls to a developer to do the chemical processing for us. ( I was one of the latter… never learned the chemical mixture stuff) When the processing was done we had negative strips…
THIS WAS OUR RAW PHOTO!!
So, back to the question.. why shoot RAW? It is the ability to (digitally) adjust the exposure of the negative image. Just as if you wanted to develop the image above… you would need to keep it in the processing fluid for a longer or shorter amount of time to make the image lighter or darker…. It allows for more control of the negative BEFORE you do any layers, overlays, object removal etc.
Yes it is an extra step in processing.. but to me well worth it.
You can scan the image.. and try to change the exposure… but this changes the whole image exposure. You can try to select just portions of the image to change… but this makes the lighting off on the rest of the image and the selection will look “cut out” . The grain and pixelation of the image will also show differences throughout the image and that my friends, makes for a bad print.
All that is processing a JPG image. The Camera will automatically choose the colors and exposure of the image and compress it to JPG. The ability to change exposure, and saturation of color levels is diminished. Not gone completely, but diminished.
Either way, the choice is yours on how you want to shoot and process your images.
I hope my little post here helps some of you… If I am able to help one person… my job has been done 🙂