Most digital cameras allow the individual to shoot in JPG, whereas the digital SLR will give you an option to shoot in RAW and JPG.
When an image is taken the camera is capturing the data from the sensor to produce the picture.
However when shooting in raw the data is saved before it is processed.The raw file allows you to have more editing control and flexibility over your image in post production. People who usually shoot in raw will be professional photographers, or the serious enthusiast who wishes to have more control over the image. These images will give you amazing quality photos.
When shooting raw files it is important to get the overall exposure correct.
The cameras analogue will turn light values into digital data, and so therefore getting the ISO correct when you shoot is also important. Since when shooting in higher ISO the camera amplifies the analogue signal first.
As the digital camera processes the image the white balance settings is also being applied and settings brightness, salutation, vibrancy , sharpness and colour contract can be modified on post production if you have shoot in Raw.
Raw files take up more space in your memory cards since they are larger files.
Raw files tend to hold more details and highlights detail, since these files give you best quality; however the downside is that you lose speed.
When shooting in raw this could sometimes present problems if you need to shoot a sequence of images continuously. This may be the case when shooting weddings or sports photography since speed is of the essence.
Raw shooting is also good for enlarged images or if you want to capture a single moment.
Raw images affect the number of images that can be taken in a continuous sequence. Here is an example of how many images a Nikon model produces:
MODEL - NIKON D7000
Raw images 15
JPG Images 100
This will also greatly affect the number of images you can store on your card. Depending on the size of the memory card.
An example of a 4GB SDHC card for the same Model Nikon D7000 is Raw images of 109 and JPEG images of 408.
Colour, tones, white balance, and many other tonal ranges can be changed with raw shooting.
Raw shooting can make you lazy and it’s better to try and get the exposure correct first time round.
When shooting in JPEG the cameras white balance will get rid of any spare colour data while the image is is processed. If you think that the setting was incorrect afterwards the only thing one can do is shift the remaining colour.
However if you have taken the image on Raw you will have full access to all the colour data captured by the sensor and the white balance can be changed on post production
Raw files can be very useful for high contrast subjects.
Distortion correction is vital and makes a difference when shooting artiecturial shoots which need to have straight lines.
JPEG files are compressed to keep file sizes smaller thus taking up less space which allows you to shoot more images.
JPEG images are now of a reasonable high quality and useful for sharing images via email and social media networks.
These files are useful for standard everyday shooting and for those who shoot for fun.