Which to shoot RAW or JPEG?
This latest curve for me is compression of files. DSLR cameras store files in two formats: Lossless Compression and Lossy Compression. OK, that’s it that’s all I need to know, how easier can that be to pick the right file format for my images? Who wants lossy compressions? Well becoming the wizard of technology I have to know what that means in digital numbers. That’s what we have become, right, accounting photographers, having to keep track of all the numbers associated with the digital photography.
When I capture an image on a sensor it is processed and sent to the memory card. How much image data I keep and save to my memory card depends on how the DSLR formats my files. The more data I keep the more numbers to store and that means more space needed to store the captured images. I use 4G memory cards with a buffer to keep up with storage. I do keep a few memory cards in my bag so I will never run out of memory.
The two file formats I have to choose from are either RAW and JPEG.
1) RAW a Lossless Compression format. RAW captures everything the senor sees and loses no data, giving me more flexibility over the finished image. RAW files normally hold 14-bit or more of color information for post-processing and therefore the files are rather on the large size. RAW files have more information then JPEG files, but this does not eliminate noise. Most noise is generated after the image is captured by the camera’s senor and is being transfer to the memory card.
RAW files are unprocessed by the DSLR while the JPEG is corrected for image tone, color, sharpness, and WB all before saving it to memory card. With RAW files I can control all these corrections after downloading to computer.
RAW files are converted by software to either TIFF or JPEG. The TIFF file is a lossless compression file that can be opened and edit numerous times without loss to the original contents of the file. The DSLR camera manufacture includes software for converting RAW into TIFF OR JPEG files suitable for editing.
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Photo credits: , Aughty Venable.