Do you usually shoot in RAW, JPEG, or both?

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  • RAW

  • JPEG

  • BOTH


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Both (by which I mean RAW+JPEG), because otherwise it's more difficult to judge sharpness in camera (because when only shooting RAW, it uses the low-resolution JPEG preview inside the RAW).
 
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Jonynek

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I admit that I would rather take photos only in jpeg. It would save me a lot of time. But I guess I would have to be a much better photographer (maybe with a better camera?). However, I use the RAW format mainly to fix my own shooting errors.
 

ex machina

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When I first started I shot both, but very quickly learned the advantages of RAW file editing and the disadvantages of culling large numbers of photos. Haven't bothered to shoot anything but RAW since 2014.
 

PakkyT

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Both.

Mostly started because of when Oi.Share camera came out, you could only see and download the JPG images. So on vacations where my wife and daughter would like to steal a shot or two of mine to post to their social media accounts, it was much easier to allow them to connect to the camera with their own phones, browse all the photos, and grab what they wanted. Otherwise they would have to browse on my camera, tell me which ones they wanted, I would have to do an in camera conversion to JPG, and finally they could download it.

The Mac software, GraphicConverter, I use to download new photos from my SD card to my Mac allows you to only browse the RAW files, so it is very easy to only download the raw files, which is what I normally do. But I always have the option to grab a JPG when needed.

Compared to the sizes of SD cards these days, the size of RAW only vs. RAW+JPG is hardly noticeable.
 

Generationfourth

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For years I shot Raw only because that's what everyone told me to do and I am a purist. Early on I think this was a mistake because I had very little knowledge of Raw processing, but I am thankful I have those raws because I have revisited them.

Recently, especially with my two card cameras, I started shooting RAW + Jpg with the emphasis on editing the raw and the jpg being a back up. Then I started to notice in a lot of situations that the jpegs looked better than my edited raws. Also, I noticed that my biggest hang up with photography is all of the time spent culling and processing raws.

Now I shoot what I call "Jpeg + Raw". I offload the jpegs first, into my phone camera roll, and cull the images and do simple edits like slider nudges, cropping, and leveling horizons. 90% of the time I'm extremely happy with the jpeg (especially since switching to Olympus). The other 10% of the time there might be a mistake in my exposure or it simply might be a really demanding high DR image (like a landscape) that in camera processing just can't do justice. Then I'll track down that raw and edit it in LR or PS. For the most part, the vast majority of raws don't make it off the card and into storage.
 

Brownie

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Both because it's easier to preview on the computer. For some reason Windows 10 recognizes Sony RAW files and will show them, but not Panasonic, they just show up as an icon. I use the RAW 99% of the time. JPGs are used for things like photos for something I'm selling or the occasional gee-whiz shot.
 

doady

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Even with C-5060/7070 and its 1.8GB of storage total and 7 second write times for RAW, I quickly realized what a waste of time it was to make these photos and not have RAW files. So certainly now with E-M1 II and 256GB of storage, it is hard to see why shoot JPEG only. JPEG is a slightly more convenient and instant solution, but I am more concerned about the long term. A major long term loss for a small short term gain just makes no sense to me. The only reason for JPEG for me is to see thumbnails for RAW versions in Windows.
 
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Used to shoot in RAW+LSF JPG, but it was starting to overwhelm my storage. Plus, I would find myself looking only at the JPGs, and not working on the RAWs unless I saw something I needed to fix. And, I would usually post the JPGs rather than processing the RAWs. So, to be more selective, I shoot only RAW, which forces me to evaluate them in post, and to decide which ones deserve further processing. That also saves on storage space.
 

ac12

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For school sports pics, I shoot JPG. I shoot WAY toooo many to hassle with the extra time/work to do a RAW to JPG conversion.
Plus I am dealing with space issue. I just bought an 8TB drive to archive off two years of pics. Shooting RAW would significantly increase my data storage needs.​
With my dSLR I normally shot less than 700 frames of a game. With the EM1-mk2 at 18fps, I am often shooting about 2,000 frames at a game.​
For school pics in the theater, I shot RAW. Because the lighting was so difficult that I wanted the extra buffer to deal with the difficult lighting.
For my own pics, I normally shoot RAW.
But volume is a factor; on my vacation, I shot about 5,000 frames, so I shot JPG to ease the work when I got home.​
 

pdk42

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I can see that if you're into genres that require fast frame rates (sports, BIF etc) then JPEG may have an advantage in terms of handling the sheer volume of shots, but for anything else, I struggle to see the reasoning for it - certainly as a sole output format. JPEGs will always suffer some loss compared to the raw, and they will contain artifacts that can never be reversed (sharpening, NR, tone curve, WB). Why would you want to spend lots of £/$/€/yen/whatever on an expensive camera and then add compromises? It would be like buying a really expensive Hi-Fi and then passing the output through a lossy compress/expand speaker cable. I accept the "good enough" argument (since otherwise I'd be shooting Fuji medium format or such like), but unless the post processing really is too much for you, there's nothing that a JPEG can do that you can't get out of a raw. Then of course, there's always the chance that some later PP technology could enhance a shot you took years ago.

Anyhow - I rest my case!
 

John King

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I can see that if you're into genres that require fast frame rates (sports, BIF etc) then JPEG may have an advantage in terms of handling the sheer volume of shots, but for anything else, I struggle to see the reasoning for it - certainly as a sole output format. JPEGs will always suffer some loss compared to the raw, and they will contain artifacts that can never be reversed (sharpening, NR, tone curve, WB). Why would you want to spend lots of £/$/€/yen/whatever on an expensive camera and then add compromises? It would be like buying a really expensive Hi-Fi and then passing the output through a lossy compress/expand speaker cable. I accept the "good enough" argument (since otherwise I'd be shooting Fuji medium format or such like), but unless the post processing really is too much for you, there's nothing that a JPEG can do that you can't get out of a raw. Then of course, there's always the chance that some later PP technology could enhance a shot you took years ago.

Anyhow - I rest my case!
Paul, I'm reprocessing some of my 2005-6 Nikon Coolpix E5000 RAWs. The difference between CS2 (?) and CC 2020 is stark. The original JPEGs were rubbish.

Now, none of my LSF JPEGs could be called 'rubbish', but they remain what they were. Reprocessing the simultaneous RAWs is a whole other matter. Where they were acceptable, they are now good; where good, they are now excellent; where excellent, they are now terrific.

So I agree with you completely.
 

b_rubenstein

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For 10 years I worked as a second shooter/assistant/associate photographer for several full time, professional wedding photographers. I always shot RAW, because I had Nikons and the the folks I was working for used Canons. This way my pictures could be color matched to their pictures. This was also early in the use of digital cameras, so I would have cameras handed to me with the request to make them work. When I would photograph affairs for friends and family, I shot JPG's. If one really knows how to set exposure and do custom White Balances, RAW doesen't offer much in the way of advantages. The photographer that I most often worked with didn't even do his own processing. I sent him a CD with my files, he selected what he wanted and then sent our pics to a place to process them.
 

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