[tatsu_section bg_color= “” bg_repeat= “repeat” bg_attachment= “scroll” bg_position= “top left” bg_animation= “none” border_color= “” bg_video_mp4_src= “” bg_video_ogg_src= “” bg_video_webm_src= “” overlay_color= “” section_id= “” section_class= “” section_title= “” full_screen_header_scheme= “background–light” padding= “0px 0% 0px 0%” border= “0px 0px px 0px”][tatsu_row layout= “1/1”][tatsu_column layout= “1/1”][tatsu_text max_width= “” wrap_alignment= “center” animation_type= “fadeIn”]For years I have saved my images in RAW format on 2 memory cards in my camera and I frequently get asked why I shoot in RAW. I read an explanation for this a few days ago which I thought summed it up very well. Shooting in anything other than RAW, such as JPEG results in your in-camera processor converting the data from the sensor and compressing it, with a subsequent loss of detail. RAW literally means that the data recorded by the sensor is stored in on your memory card(s) uncompressed.

So how does this help? Well imagine you baked a cake and as you withdrew it from the oven you realised you hadn’t added sugar to the mix. You could put extra sugar on the icing and try and disguise it but the body of the cake will still be lacking in taste no matter what you do.

Same can be said for file formats other than RAW. When you load your file to your computer, lightroom (or whichever other product you use for manipulation) will not be able to pull back the missing detail from the compressed file and there is nothing you can do about it. Shooting in RAW means you bypass the in-camera processing and instead use your computer software to produce the end result you are looking for and in a non destructive way; so you can still go back to the original file (or baking mixture in the analogy). I always recommend non destructive manipulation of images – don’t even dream of doing anything else.

Of course RAW files are much bigger (in the case of my EOS 5DS they can be 60-70Mb) but the way I look at it is memory is relatively cheap; recovering detail in a non-RAW image is impossible.

Hope this helps your decision on file formats.[/tatsu_text][/tatsu_column][/tatsu_row][/tatsu_section]

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