Updated: Feb 7
There are many different reasons as to why you should always shoot in RAW format instead of JPEG. In this blogpost we'll explain these reasons.
When it comes to shooting photos as a photographer or content creator you will most likely want as high quality images as possible for either yourself or your clients. This is where the RAW file format is beneficial to you as it captures all image data recorded in your camera's sensor and no details will be discarded.
The RAW file format is uncompressed information and you're able to produce high quality images while JPEG have image information that is both compressed, lost & unrecoverable. RAW records between 4,096 - 16,384 levels of brightness also referred to as 'bit' and it goes up to 14bit whereas JPEG only records 256 levels and 8bit.
If you like your images to be printed out and put up on your wall shooting in RAW will bring out finer gradations of the images' tones and colors! If your image is over/under exposed you can easily correct this without a huge reduction of the quality even with blown out highlights or shadows.
If you want to change the white balance of your image that will be very simple with an image shot in RAW as there will be way more data to do so. With a JPEG the white balance is applied to the image and you won't be having a lot of data to change it again.
If you want your images to really stand out you will need to make adjustments to it in for example a program such as Lightroom that gives you the option to correct any issues found in your photo. This program is designed to EASILY process your RAW images. You won't destroy the data of your RAW image when you edit it in Lightroom or other editing programs whereas with JPEG you lose the quality every time you make adjustments to them, saves them and opens them again. Then you would have to duplicate the image - With RAW you can simply just reset your adjustments and start all over again.
Are there any downsides to RAW images?
RAW files are uncompressed information so they will automatically take up more space on your memory card but nowadays memory cards and hard drives are very affordable so in our opinion it's no longer a huge problem. It will fill up your camera's buffer quicker but will shoot the same frames per second. If it's a problem you have the option to buy faster memory cards aswell.
So to wrap it up - if you want the most out of your photos now and in the future, always shoot in RAW.