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Related Article: What is RAW


Nowadays, the majority of SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Cameras can shoot in both RAW format and JPEG format. So, what are the differences between these two image file formats? And when shall we shoot in RAW and when shall we use JPEG?

What is Raw

RAW file is a new image format, which remains uncompressed and contains unprocessed or undeveloped data from the image sensor of either a digital camera or scanner. If you choose to shoot in RAW format with a camera, it means that only the camera which captures the photo knows the information collected from the sensors. Many of the camera settings associated with them are not applied, and stored with minimum loss for later use.


Differences between RAW and JPEG

RAW file is basically an image preserves most of the information from camera, such as sharpness and contrast, without processing and compressing. However, RAW format need to be converted to JPEG and other image formats which are more convenient for printing and sharing.

JPEG file is a commonly-used image file format, which will be processed and compressed by the capture device according to the settings made by the user before archiving. It is a very popular image format, and can be easily opened in most computers. The users can freely set the compression level to preserve the quality for their JPEG files - easy to use and convenient!


Why Shoot in RAW?

Shooting in Raw format will give you more control over how your photograph shows and even be able to correct several small flaws when you capture the photo, such as the exposure. You can easily fix the white balance in RAW file if the white balance cannot be properly set with the camera when taking a photo.

If you choose to shoot in RAW, the photograph can be enlarged beyond the sensor's resolution of you camera and the scene of image will contain high contrast.

The quality of a JPEG file generated from RAW format is much better than the one directly shot in JPEG. So you can shoot in RAW and then convert it to JPEG, especially for those photos which will be printed as wallpaper or other large files output.

Why Shoot in JPEG?

The file size of JPEG format is much smaller than RAW format. That is to say, it needs less time to store JPEG file or transfer it to a computer than RAW file.

JPEG is a standard format readable by most of the image program on the market. While professional conversion application is required to open and edit RAW files. So once the software is not installed on your computer, the RAW files will not be able to be viewed or enhanced.

JPEG is more common and "user-friendly", even for computer amateurs. So if you are not an "expert" who understands photography quite well, we recommend you shoot in JPEG format.

ArcSoft PhotoStudio Darkroom 2 fully supports popular RAW photo formats and provides a non-destructive photo editing result. With a set of photo enhancement tools for all levels of users, the application gives you everything to retouch the photographs!

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