Wednesday, August 29, 2007

RAW or JPEG Photo Format?

I have been using the RAW format for all the photos that I take with my Canon DSLR camera lately, until I found out that it was a big pain to convert large number of them later on to JPEG that is necessary to share with others. The converted files are in the order of 10 MB each. If I use JPEG format at the time I shoot the pictures then each picture comes to about 2.5 MB. So what am I really gaining from shooting in RAW format? It is supposed to give me maximum flexibility in editing with software like Photoshop, and it has the highest clarity and minimum processing leading to least artifacts possible. However, after weighing the advantages versus the combersome conversion to JPEG eventually I decided that it is not worth shooting in RAW format except for special purposes. Image editing software like Photoshop or GIMP can still process JPEG photos with as much flexibility as for RAW photos, and the end result is almost identical between the two formats for the naked eye.
Recently I visited Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, and I took this photo from my hotel room which had full view of the Falls. The original picture was shot in RAW format and was converted later to JPEG without any editing of the RAW picture. This picture was the pick of the day on the accuweather website at
Well, the fact that I did not need to alter or edit the original RAW photo shows that it was not necessary for me to shoot RAW in the first place. Of course this is not always the case, but as I mentioned one can still edit JPEG photos as easily and the end result is more or less the same.
So I'd say forget RAW for regular everyday shooting. Wouldn't you agree with me?