Is it better to shoot RAW or JPEG?


Table of Contents

No matter what you photograph, amateur or professional, every photographer has their preference for which format to use when capturing and storing images, especially E-commerce Product Image. In this article, we’ll look at both sides of the argument and compare RAW or JPEG files to discover why some people prefer one over the other.

What is a RAW Image?

RAW images are the untouched, unedited gems of digital photography. These “digital negatives” contain data directly from a camera sensor and produce higher-quality results than processed photographs.

A RAW image requires skillful post-processing in specialized software to perfect the composition before it is ready for print, display, or digital sharing.

RAW files are more complex to open, view and print – unlike JPEGs. This is because each RAW file format belongs exclusively to the specific camera model it was taken with, which means that software must also be compatible with any changes or alterations to a RAW image.


Enhancing RAW images can bring out much-hidden potential, with far better dynamic range and improved highlight/shadow detail than JPEG. The vibrant colors will truly make your photos stand apart from the rest.

RAW files give photographers unparalleled control over their works of art. The file data from the image sensor itself allows for a wide range of flexibility in editing and enhancing, along with an accompanying JPEG preview to help guide the process. All are accompanied by relevant header and metadata information that helps make sure your creations can be shared far and wide.

Advantages of RAW Format

Professional photographers are familiar with the advantages that RAW image files offer compared to JPEGs – such as having greater fidelity and more data for editing. Thus, many choose this format over others despite it being slightly harder to work with since the images need some post-processing before they can be shared or printed.

High-Quality Image Files

RAW format grants photographers ultimate control over their images, delivering almost unlimited possibilities. By capturing every detail the camera’s sensor receives and storing it in RAW files, your image will have its original quality intact – allowing you to craft a stunning final result easily.

Increased Brightness

Fine-tuning brightness can provide a range of subtle yet powerful effects on your photos. With increased luminosity, you’ll be able to craft more delicate tones and unlock an array of editing options without compromising quality.

To ensure your images retain their full detail and clarity, pay attention to brightness levels. Posterization can be a pesky issue – where bands of color obscure facts in bright backgrounds or skies – but by taking care with lighting adjustments, it’s easy to avoid this problem for beautiful results every time.

More Colors in Your Images

RAW files capture up to 68 billion more colors than JPEGs, providing a much more comprehensive range of shades and tones in your images. Shooting RAW ensures vibrant landscapes or fashion scenes will have clarity and color depth unlike any other format – allowing for truer-to-life representations that are sure to amaze viewers.

Higher Dynamic Range

Are you worried that your images lack visuals and details? Shooting in a RAW format allows for more excellent detail resolution with its incredibly high dynamic range. All the information is stored within one file, making it easier to adjust an overexposed or underexposed image during post-editing later on. This ensures stunning clarity no matter if lighting circumstances are challenging to control.

Disadvantages of RAW Format

A Large File Size


RAW files are not compressed and therefore take up a much larger file size, which can quickly fill the camera buffer and reduce its frame rate during an intensive shoot or event. To ensure you don’t run out of memory in these situations, it’s best to think ahead by bringing additional cards to keep shooting without pause.

For their quality, RAW files are highly sought after, but storage demands can be a significant hurdle. For those photographers who opt to shoot in RAW, computer specs and upgraded hard drives may mean added expenses that add up quickly – an important consideration before making the switch.

Image Processing is Required

Regarding photography, RAW files provide a golden opportunity for creative editing and adjustment. However, this level of freedom also requires extra effort – any photographer needs to invest time in fine-tuning their images on an image-by-image basis before they can be showcased at their best. Choosing between shooting RAW or JPEG will determine how much further post-processing is needed after a project has been completed.

Software Compatibility is a Must

RAW files are unique to a specific digital camera manufacturer, so make sure your editing software matches. If you have the latest model on the market, be aware that companies may need to update their software suites and enable compatibility with RAW file formats from new cameras.

To ensure your valuable RAW files remain accessible, Adobe has created DNG – Digital Negative – an open-source format compatible with Lightroom. Taking the extra step to convert into this universal standard will let you access and preserve those memories for years to come.

What is a JPEG Image?


JPEG, an image format utilizing lossy compression to store and display digital images, has become the most widely-adopted file type today. Its unparalleled efficiency in compressing files makes it easily viewable on almost any device or software with no extra effort involved.

Advantages of JPEG Format

A few benefits of shooting JPEG images include the following:

Image Processing is Done

Capturing JPEGs offers a convenient solution to photographers who don’t have time for intensive post-processing. The camera takes control, applying necessary settings like white balance and sharpening. At the same time, you focus on the perfect shot – allowing you to move seamlessly from shutter release to image review with minimal effort.

With this fantastic benefit, new photographers can take their photo skills to the next level. Capturing remarkable landscapes, wedding shots, and more has been made more straightforward than ever thanks to automatic white balancing, sharpening, and lighting features – allowing them to create stunning photos without worrying about post-processing.

A Smaller File Size

JPEGs are an ideal choice for busy photographers. By utilizing compression, these files ensure smaller file sizes that won’t take up a large amount of space on memory cards – perfect for fast-paced events and long shoots where swapping out storage can be bothersome.

Save money and space with smaller JPEGs. A digital camera can become quite expensive to maintain, but the flexibility of tiny file sizes offers a cost-effective way to capture more memories per memory card.

Easily Shareable for Quick Posting


With JPEGs, you can stay connected to your friends and family quickly. Share a high-quality snapshot of the moment in just minutes, from its processing by your digital camera to publication on social media accounts with lightning-fast upload times.

Disadvantages of JPEG Format

While JPEGs can be beneficial to new and seasoned photographers, they do have a few drawbacks, including:

Loss of Detail

JPEGs can be a practical choice for image storage and sharing, but the loss in detail during compression may have some photographers turning away from this format. Visual aspects such as graininess or pixelation are common occurrences when dealing with highly detailed images; sharp features tend to become visibly softened after reformatting into JPEG.

Though it’s possible to work around these issues later on down the line, once formatted, many photo editing tricks won’t quite make up for that initial lost detail of pristine photography quality.

Less Color Options

Your camera’s RAW format offers the definitive way to capture color and tone, as it captures a full range of trillions of colors available. JPEGs are 8-bit files, so much gets lost in translation with conversions – your stunning landscape may look dull because some tones will only survive conversion into this limited bit-depth file.

Lower Dynamic Range

Photographers must be aware of its limited dynamic range when shooting in JPEG format. This limits the brightest and darkest tones that can appear in an image. Overexposure or underexposure may occur, as well as shadowing issues that inhibit clarity. As these imperfections cannot be addressed after capture when working with JPEGs, it is essential to account for such limitations during photography sessions.

RAW or JPEG: Which One Is Better For You?

Deciding between RAW or JPEG can be a daunting task. With both options offering unique advantages, it’s essential to consider each format’s benefits (and limitations) before committing to one style or another. Let’s review what makes them extraordinary – RAW power vs. JPEG simplicity.

Pick JPEG for Quick and Easy Shots


JPEGs are ideal for capturing all of those special, candid moments with friends and family. Whether you’re shooting a profile picture or spending time at the ballpark, JPEGs offer quick loading times so your photos are ready to be shared in no time! They also provide flexibility when taking multiple images quickly under fast-paced conditions like sporting events and fashion shows.

Go RAW for Detailed, Stylized Shots

The RAW format is excellent for photographers who capture images’ most crucial detail and color. It allows you to adjust white balance, colors, and tones while editing in programs like Photoshop or Lightroom. You are making it perfect if you’re shooting with the intent of refining your photos later, especially when working on photography portfolios, high-fashion projects, and other creative endeavors that require uniform visioning.

Match Your Format with Your Needs

Selecting the proper file format for your work as a photographer is essential to success. Consider how you envision displaying or utilizing each shot and choose RAW or JPEG accordingly – considerations should be made based on the subject matter and desired end-result look of the images produced.

Make sure that you’re shooting confidently every time you hit “capture,” knowing you’ll walk away with excellent results! Observe top photographers in action by exploring their online photography portfolios –From filmography to travel memories and food artistry to monochrome masterpieces— these experts are excellent sources of motivation and technical advice.

It is generally better to shoot RAW than JPEG files because you have more post-processing flexibility and can produce higher-quality images. However, there are some situations where it might be beneficial to shoot JPEGs, such as when you need to save space on your memory card or if you will be posting photos online without any editing. Ultimately, it is up to the photographer to decide which file format best suits their needs.

See more»