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What are the advantages of shooting in RAW?

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#1 Amy



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Posted 28 December 2013 - 12:50 AM

My DSLR lets me pick between RAW + JPEG or JPEG. What's the advantage to editing in RAW?

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#2 Photographa



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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:45 AM

RAW files contain all the sensor data from your camera so they're significantly larger in size. They need to be processed by your computer before they can be displayed, so this slows down your import speed, and you'll need software that can read your camera's specific RAW files.



  • Larger files take up more space to store.
  • Larger files take longer to write to your SD card, so you can't shoot as fast.
  • You can't pop the SD card into any computer and view your photos.


  • RAW files can't be edited, so saving them is like saving a negative - you'll never have to worry about editing over your original.
  • Since all the sensor data is there, adjusting highlights and shadows can bring out much more detail.
  • If algorithms improve in the future, you'll be able to re-process your RAW files to get your photos in better quality.

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