Why You Should Only Shoot in RAW
My friend, and partner of Click Start Club, Stacie from Simply Stacie is guest posting today on why you should only shoot in RAW. Take it away Stacie!
I waited years before I finally started shooting in RAW on my DSLR. The main reasons were that I wasn’t sure if it would be hard to shoot in RAW (it’s not) and I thought my pictures looked ok the way they were as JPGs. Even after I’d had Lightroom for a few months, I’d still be processing all my JPGs in there. It wasn’t until a friend of mine asked me point blank why I wouldn’t be shooting in RAW? At that point, I didn’t understand all the benefits nor did I realize how it could take my photos to a whole new level. Now that I 100% shoot only in RAW, I realize what a game changer it has been for me and I’d never go back to JPG. RAW for the win!
I know you’re probably thinking, but what’s the big deal? Is there really that much of a difference between the two. The short answer is YES, a huge difference!
I’ve been asked this question a few times so I figured I’d address it once and for all in a post. Here are the reasons why you should only shoot in RAW.
- You’ll have WAY MORE control in the editing process. With a JPG file, the camera will compress the file so it’s smaller and do some of the processing before you output it. With a RAW file, YOU do all the processing yourself to get the photo looking how you want it to look. You don’t rely on the camera to make those decisions for you.
If you don’t like the white balance, it’s an easy fix with RAW unlike with a JPG, you are very limited on how much you can change. If you blow out a highlight, you can easily fix it. Blown out highlights have ruined many of my JPGs and made the photos unusable.
- You don’t have to worry as much about getting the settings perfect in the camera. If you under or overexpose a RAW file, it’s not that big of a deal. You can fix that later in post-processing. If your photo has a blue cast to it, you can warm it up later. It makes the shooting process less stressful for me since I’m not worried about getting my photos perfect straight out of the camera.
- You’ll get higher quality images with RAW. This also means it will be a bigger file because ALL the data is recorded. Nothing is compressed like it would be with a JPG file.
- Your images will have more details. If you compare the same RAW and JPG photograph, you’ll notice that the RAW photo has more tiny details to sharpen. Nothing is lost or compressed and I find the images cleaner and crisper.
- You won’t lose quality every time you edit. JPGs are “lossy” files which basically means you lose data every time you open to edit it. With RAW files, you can make all the adjustments you want in your editing program and the data will remain intact.
With that said, there are a couple of drawbacks to shooting in RAW. The files are huge so you’ll want to have an external hard drive to store them long term. You’ll also need an editing program like Lightroom and Photoshop to process them.
Ready to shoot in RAW, but not sure about how to edit your photos? Don’t worry – we have a solution for you! We’ll be launching a series of eBooks about these topics and more to help you take your photos, videos, and blog to the next level. Get on the list now to be the first in line when it’s available!
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Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!
That’s how I take pictures as well. It’s easier to go back and edit them later then take them wrong the first time.
You bet! I like how I can go back in and adjust exposure or white balance without ruining the image.
Your pictures must look amazing. I hope someday I’ll get a more sophisticated camera and take better pictures.
So interesting. I don’t know a whole lot about shooting in RAW, but sounds like it’s such a great option! Especially is there is more details.
This is definitely an interesting point. The editing process is definitely easier shooting this way!
I learned this in a photography class I took a few years back. I wish the files werent so big though!
There are a few options on what size of the raw file but yeah. They’re large. After I edit the file and save it to jpeg, I usually delete the raw. However, maybe I shouldn’t…
This is a goal of mine to do soon. I just started feeling comfortable shooting in manual, so this is next!
I would love to get better with my photography. I pinned this for future reference.
Thanks for pinning Diana!
I always shoot in RAW. It makes things so much easier when it comes time to do my final tweaks.
I am just earning how to use my camera. I had no idea there were so many differences. I will have to try shooting in RAW this weekend.
It’s a game changer Ann!
I have never heard of the term RAW before. Boy do I need a photography lesson!
Don’t stress about it! I never “formally” learned either. Check out http://clickstartclub.com and join out waiting list. We’ll be doing walk throughs on our editing process and video making.
Great tips about photography. I never even thought about it.
Great motivation to switch over to RAW. It can be hard to adjust to any changes to how I’m used to doing things, but the benefits pay off quickly.
I get it! It takes some time. Stacie and I will be doing a walk through on how we edit in Click Start Club when it’s released in a few months.
I shoot all my photos in RAW. I love it. Having all of the control when it comes to editing is definitely a plus.
I love seeing how everyone does this! It’s great!
Good photography is SO important to my business. RAW is definitely the way to go.
Completely agree Dawn! Since I improved my photography, everything has changed. My income, my pageviews – everything!
That makes total sense. I work with someone who always shoots in raw, but I kept refusing to do this – I need to finally do it
You’ll notice that it helps your photography. It’s super easy!
I just got a new mirrorless camera and I hope to start taking better photos. I also need to get lightroom as my photoshop is so old it doesn’t update any longer. heh
I love shooting in raw. It gives great output and options when editing!
I’m looking into getting a better camera. These are some great tips to keep in mind as I start figuring out how to get the best pictures. Thanks for the tips!
You’re welcome Jonna!
That’s how I take pictures as well. It’s better to go back and edit them later. I do need more light in my photo studio, natural light! Working on getting a table to fix that! My kitchen is so dark, not good for pictures!
My kitchen is dark too, with 90’s purple countertops. I’m renovating in two weeks, pure white everything. I may or may not have chosen that because of photography…
I am really trying to improve my photog skills and must look into this! Totally taking notes!
I totally agree with this!