Testing JPG vs RAW

Most of you know JPG, it’s the most popular image file format and what you get from most digital cameras. Professional and prosumer cameras have the option of producing image in RAW format, which is an unprocessed format akin to having a digital negative. With JPG, the camera basically does all the processing for you, picking exposure, white balance, sharpness, contrast, etc. RAW gives the photographer a bit more control and flexibility since the camera doesn’t really attribute those parameters and the photographer can tweak it at will in the post-processing stage. The biggest disadvantage of RAW is that it produces much larger images. On my 10 megapixels DLSR that means if I shot the at highest quality JPG I could fit 132 pictures and at RAW 82. It also requires a bit more time post processing afterwards. Since I have the possibility to shoot RAW+JPG, I tried that today to compare.

Here’s what I got. The top picture was shot as JPG and later cropped and adjusted a bit. The bottom one is the RAW image, post processed and cropped similarly.

Coffee at Louies_JPG.jpg

Coffee at Louies_RAW.jpg

Hmmm, it looks like I could have worked on the contrast of the RAW picture better… What’s your impression?

Segue uma versão lado a lado (RAW na esquerda e JPG na direita)

RAWJPG

É impressão minha ou a RAW apresenta mais detalhes na espuma do café?…

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

3 thoughts on “Testing JPG vs RAW”

  1. definitivamente a em raw esta melhor porque tem mais densidade nos tons escuros.
    Na verdade nao vale a pena sempre fotografar em raw porque nem todas as imagens necessitam de ajuste. Eu tomo tempo pra fazer a foto mas nao sou muito engajada em retoques, tenho preguiça da tela me olhando…

  2. JPG vs RAW is a difficult call to make. Some pros swear by JPG, citing no standard in the RAW format. If Abode ever releases its digital negative file format, and Canon and Nikon adopt it, perhaps there will be more acceptance of RAW.

    For me, i used RAW in difficult lighting situations, when I think I will need to tweak later. RAW + Photoshop plug-ins can lead to some amazing images.

    What are your thoughts?

  3. I agree – I don’t think every shot needs to be in RAW… only those in very special lighting conditions. The other day I went out to shoot the Gay Pride Parade. It was sunny, middle-of-the-day kind of bright and I expected to shoot over one hundred pictures. So I used JPG. It eased the post-processing a lot and I don’t think the pictures suffered…

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