Benefits of RAW Format Photography
How to Take Great Colorful Pictures #02 – Shoot RAW Format
Saving your files using the RAW format is essential for any serious photographer. This format saves the entire output from your camera’s sensor, untouched. Such raw data (hence the name) offers the greatest flexibility for further editing.
A traditional camera saves images as JPEG or a similar format after it has been heavily filtered and compressed digitally. The processing happens behind the scenes before the image is ever even saved. For casual photographers, this is a convenient feature that results in smaller file sizes, but does so at the expense of quality and flexibility for the experienced photographer.
More Options With RAW Format
If you use the RAW format, you can ignore the white balance settings on your digital camera. Your images remain unprocessed until opened with photo editing software. White balance and other settings can be adjusted on your computer with no loss of image quality.
Shooting RAW format rather than in JPEG offers many other benefits other than simply more flexibility when editing the white balance. It is also possible to adjust the saturation of your image, apply color filters, sharpen the image, brighten it, or any other type of edit you can imagine. You are free to use any editing software without losing quality or getting stuck down a dead end.
Problems with JPEG
On the other hand, shooting in JPEG and editing it at home with Photoshop or another editing program will lead to major problems with the quality of your images. When shooting in JPEG, your images are already processed and compressed inside the camera without extra edits in mind. Trying to further alter the JPEG file later will lead to ugly compression artifacts and other problems.
Shooting with RAW format also frees up more time out in the field to focus on other aspects of photography like composition, metering and setting the right exposure. So, if your camera has the option and you have the time to edit your own images, switching to the RAW format will reward you with more options and higher quality images.