I want to edit my pictures, what is the best way to do that? RAW vs JEPG

Choosing a file type when taking pictures.

You are on a beautiful hike and you can tell the sunset will be an awesome one. As the light improves, you take out your digital camera and start shooting. When you get home, you want to make the photos you took stand out so you can print them and hang them on your wall.

If your intention is to shoot pictures and be able to print and display the at a size larger on your phone, you will want to shoot in the RAW format rather than in JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group). The most common file format to save photos in is .jpg. When the camera takes a picture and is set on JPEG, the camera processes the file and all settings like color saturation, tone curve, sharpening and color space are baked in. This saves a lot of time and storage space because it is basically ready to use. Since cameras fully process JPEG images, any camera setting that can damage the resulting image will be irreversible. More than half of the original data is thrown away making it more challenging to make the photo look its best.

Compared to an 8-bit JPEG image that can only contain up to 16.8 million colors (256 tonal values for Red, Green and Blue channels), a 16-bit RAW image results in 65,536 tonal values per color channel, resulting in mind-boggling 281 trillion colors. If you are wondering about the difference between this number vs JPEG, that’s 16.8 million times larger!

The RAW (Read And Write) format saves ALL of the information from the camera’s sensor. This is known as lossless. In addition to the trillions of colors saved, luminance values (dynamic range) are also much larger in RAW. Thus, when you go to adjust the image after you take it (post processing) you have a much much more information to work with to make the picture the best it can be. (Sharper, more dynamic range etc). The downside is that the RAW picture is NOT ready to go. It requires post-processing and it take a lot more space.

Take Care

I am happy to answer any questions and I am willing to edit your JPG photos!