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Raw vs JPEG

edited July 2012 Posted in » Canon T2i Forum
The big debate...I have been taking pictures in JPEG format, but after some research I changed my settings to take a JPEG and a RAW. RAW looks completely different and completely better. Even after I convert from RAW to JPEG it looks better than if the camera took the pic in JPEG. What is your view on this?


  • edited July 2012
    Hi there.
    When you take a picture in RAW format every bit of data in the picture recorded by the sensor is retained which is why RAW files are so big. When taking pictures with JPG set, the camera actually takes a picture as a RAW, but it then processes it to make it a smaller file size. In order to compress the data some of it is lost which is why JPG is known as a 'lossy' format. Even after the camera has processed the JPG, if you then open it in an image editor and work on it yourself, then when you save it, even more data is lost.
    RAW files can be worked on as much as you like without losing data as can TIFF files.
    Hope this explanation makes sense.
  • This isn't my thread but I really appreciate the info! Thanks!
  • @kwrdkc: RAW files are picture files which retains all the color information as seen by the lens of your camera. Since a sensor of the DSLR picks up nearly all colors (but not equal) to what you see with your eyes, while you post-process (a term used to process the pictures 'after' you have had your photo shoot) the photos captured, you have lots of options to change the pic the way you want... So you can adjust many properties of the pic like the White balance, Color tones etc.
    JPEG files, on the other hand is a camera processed picture file. The camera processes the RAW file it had taken, compressing it so hard that the difference between some of the colors will not be observed [For example, in the RGB color band, the color (120,120,115) is very different from the color (120,120,110). But when the RAW format is converted to JPEG, you will not be able to distinguish between the two.]. So while post processing the JPEG files, again based on the compression algorithm which the software package uses, you may lose details.

    So it's always best to keep a RAW copy of your photos. The T2i even has an option to shoot in both of the format simultaneously. Jut make sure you use a Card reader (Device used to read the memory cards) to copy your files, and not copy the files directly from the camera (you won't be able to see the RAW files sometimes in Windows Operating System!)

    Hope this makes sense to you.
  • Microsoft has a Camera Codec Pack to enable Windows to see Raw files.
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