Frequently Asked Questions (14off)

3. Jpeg or Raw?

  • June 20, 2013

In my opinion both “Jpeg” and “Raw” images have their own principle purpose of use and I would like to take this opportunity to explain my thoughts about both formats.

“Jpeg Images”  This format is commonly found in use by all or if not, most certainly the majority of compact camera users, and many if not of the hybrid camera users. The advantages are that all Jpeg images, even those classed as Hi resolution are considerably smaller than a conventional Raw image. Because of this you can get more images to a memory card in comparison with Raw images. This also applies to internal and external hard drives. In addition and as another major problem is that “Jpegs” are classed as a “destructible” master image, by this I mean you can alter/manipulate the original and save it on top of the original, in turn loosing the original master copy unless you have made a copy of the original. If you make a master copy you are doubling the amount of space used on your hard drives for each image. As each copy is saved you will generate minute artefacts which in turn degenerates each copy made.

“Raw Images”  This format is commonly used by the more serious enthusiasts, semi pro and professional photographers, simply because it is a totally indestructible format, there you are unable to alter in anyway the original master or copy master. Even the cameras metadata (EXIF and IPTC) is safe. The down side to this format is first of all you will need an additional piece of software called a “Raw Convertor”, larger memory cards and in turn larger internal and external hard drives. However you find most, if all, professional photographers, even press snappers will use this format. The usual way a press snapper will work is by using a top of the range camera which offer the facility of being able to insert two memory cards and then configure one to save “Raw” and one to save “Jpeg’s”. This will enable the photographer to immediately send the jpeg via the internet (mobile phone) to a picture editor ready for possible publication in the next edition etc. Lets be honest we have all seen a newspaper picture and thought what rubbish quality, well that may be the reason why. They are also left with a hi-resolution “Raw” image on the second card to sell or pass to their stock agency.

I do hope this helps, if you have any further questions please feel free to give me a shout.

Keep on clickin.  John