Why should I shoot in RAW?

This is a question people often ask, especially newbies, people who are just starting off in photography. As soon as pick up a digital camera you realise quickly that you can almost shoot more than twice as many JPEG images as you can RAW images on the same card. So what’s the advantage of shooting RAW?

When ever I get asked this question my answer is simple; a RAW file is like a CUBE which is three dimensional width x height x depth where as if you take a thin slice of a cube you get a RECTANGLE with width x height (very tiny depth), this is a JPEG. As the cube contains more volume this represents the data of the image where as there is little data in JPEG image.

Consider the example below, this image was shot at night (at the Bellagio in Las Vegas if you didn’t know) and was shot in RAW format.

Bellagio-LasVegas-Before

 

The fact is that the RAW file has so much detail and data that I can edit it in Adobe Camera Raw or Adobe Lightroom to bring out all the little details, enhance and saturate the image.

You can see how the above image is very dark in the corners, the only obvious thing there is the water fountain which is correctly exposed you can’t really see anything else.

Bellagio-LasVegas-After

This is the power of RAW image and that’s why I always shoot in RAW!!

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