by Malinda VanDyne
Which is better, RAW or JPEG?
To answer that, you must address some underlying questions:
- What is the intended use of your photo?
- What constraints do you have as a photographer?
Following are a few examples.
- Photo art: RAW is the clear choice for photo art since it provides more color and image sharpening options.
- Action photography: JPEG tends to work best because it uses less camera memory. That means you can shoot at higher frames per second for longer periods of time. Also, you’ll get more shots per flash card.
- Poor lighting that you cannot control: RAW works best because it provides the most dynamic range (ratio between maximum and minimum measurable light intensities). That means you can use editing software to recover under or overexposed parts of an image.
- Limited disk space: JPEG is the clear choice when your disk space is limited. RAW files are 3-4 times larger (in megabytes). When you need to store a massive amount of photos, your hard drive will thank you for using JPEG.
In many cases RAW or JPEG will work equally well. You must decide what would work best for your situation, constraints, and personal preferences. The choice is yours.