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November 29, 2010

Shooting in RAW

Often people say that is not necessary to save pictures in RAW and that is ok to shoot in JPG. In this way you can save space in your memory card and in your hard disk.
Today we want to delve into this subject and to underline the advantages in using the RAW format.
The RAW is the very image captured by your camera’s sensor without any change. It not “the digital equivalent of a negative” as some say, it’s definitely something more: it’s the digital equivalent of a film before devoloping.
As for the JPG format, every digital camera, immediately after shooting, “processes” the data from the sensor and it creates a JPG file, adding a bit of contrast, saturating colors and applying a series of algorythms that make the final image file on the memory card.
These steps and processes are the same as the old developing of the negative. Since it is a process, it causes noise together with other imperfection factors. Furthermore we also have a “no return” element of the data originally present on the sensor.

Processing the RAW image directly on the camera is more or less bringing the film to develop in a fast developing lab…. Maybe it’s ok… but it’s not the best.
If you want to keep under control the process of “developing” and get the best quality as well, it’s better to do it in a “professional lab”… that is on your PC with a good photo processing software, making specific choices for each image.
Using RAW format is then fundamental for everyone who wants to work seriously with his photos, keeping the original one grabbed by the sensor, managing at best the contrast and the color processing. And also making things you can only do with RAW: changing the exposure and the white balancing in postproduction.
No doubts… RAW rules!

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