Shooting photos in a RAW or JPG format depends on some factors. Understand some technical differences to identify when it is better to use RAW and in which situation to use JPG. Within a camera, every photo is captured in RAW format.
Different brands save it differently and need to be decrypted before visualizing. Only then will a photographer be able to adjust the brightness, sharpness, colors, noise, and more to improve the image. After editing the RAW form, the photographer will save this image file generally in a .jpg format but in some cases .tiff format for super quality for finally sharing and printing.
If you have a Canon camera then your images will be in a CR2 format, which is Canon’s proprietary file extension. It is a RAW file extension that holds lots of details, which could get lost in the sky highlights blown-out. You can pull a lot in the RAW CR2 file. However, there will be a need for a CR2 file to JPG converter online for post-processing. ReaConverter is the best software program that is easy to use and allows batch conversion.
CR2 versus JPG
- RAW files contain every detail captured by the camera’s sensor. There is no processing or compression applied to the RAW file.
- JPG setting in the camera compresses the file but there is a loss of details sensors fail to detect during exposure.
- Using JPG image’s brightness and darkness is lost. In cases of over or underexposure, the details of these areas are unrecoverable.
- In RAW files, issues like over or under-exposed images can be corrected with ease.
In RAW files, the white balance can be adjusted with ease along with many creative options during post-processing. Alternatively, JPG files offer less control in setting colors and white balance visible in the image.
RAW files grant a wide artistic range to the photographer. For example, in RAW file brightness ranging from 4000 – 16,000 levels can be recorded, while in JPG brightness is >300 levels. Brightness level records directly impact adjustment effects to be made in post-processing. Photographers who desire bold images can shoot in RAW because it offers creative control.
RAW files hold less saturation and contrast than images seen on the view screen. The camera manufacturers are aware that you will develop images using converter software. Alternatively, JPG files hold the same saturation and contrast seen in the view screen of the camera. However, if you want to print or share shots right from the camera without processing then JPG is fine.
JPG files will seem sharp because of the processing system in your camera. Nevertheless, the processing system available for the computer is more advanced. So, you can attain the greatest sharpness and detail in your RAW files with editing software.
With RAW format editing is not destructive. The original file is not affected directly. When you process JPG files, there is a loss in image quality.
Which format is better?
Which works better depends on personal preference and workflow. However, if you are using a Canon camera then use reaConverter to transform your .cr2 file into .jpg for post-processing.