RAW Unleashed: Now At Your Courtesy

D-SLR cameras make use of RAW as its image format. Although there are many other extensions out there they are all pretty much the same when given the choice but at the same time each one gives off it’s own unique flare dissimilar to others.

What the camera captures is stored wit the metadata information in the file by the RAW format. Even though every single camera shoots in the RAW format when it comes down to editing and exporting it will be compressed down to a JPEG if you don’t do certain things correctly and some machines just aren’t able to keep it as a RAW. There are ups and downs to RAW, let’s start with the good.

Pros of RAW

A Raw file is ALWAYS at its best from when the photo is snapped to when you edit it on your computer as where the JPEG will drastically deter the quality of the photo.

Stunning visual conceptualization is gained when you are editing your photo as a RAW since you are able to set the white balance without altering the quality of the image in any way, shape, or form. Choose a point at which your white balance can be set after the photo is snapped instead of using a default settling like “Indoors”. If you shoot in raw you are in control when it comes down to editing and piecing together your pictures in the best quality you can fathom.

You have the ability to maintain the color saturation, the contrast and sharpness and many other formats by just making use of the RAW form. As expected if you choose to shoot your photos in JPEG you are going to get a “less than best” photo, to put it bluntly the image quality will suck. Why? Because compressed files are, as described, compressed as if scrunched together into one BIG file.

In RAW, the shadows and highlights are yours to command. The reason for this is that RAW is put together of 12 or 14 bits and the silly little JPEGS are at an abysmal 8 and are lacking in very discernable details that most would want in a completed photograph.

Cons of RAW

Okay, so we’ve said everything that’s awesome about RAW but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, even if that’s the impression you got. Nothing is perfect; believe me, sometimes things feel too good to be true and often times they are. To start off, RAW files are HUGE, much bigger then their enemy the JPEG. RAW files also take a while for the camera to save; buffering becomes a pain when saving your RAW file. If you’re intention is to take many photographs all at once, like if you’re snapping photo’s of a super model or something, RAWs probably aren’t gonna do it for you.

If you are using a RAW don’t expect to just snap a photo and have it appear perfectly set up on your computer if you wish to upload it, this requires much post-work before you can get it set up to snuff. RAWS are also not under any kind of standard format for different camera so you get what you pay for. Because of this, RAWS might not last as long as we’d hope/

And because of these different formats all of your editing software will need to be updated to their latest versions and we all know that can be a hassle especially if you just want to get this work done and out of the way.

Your choice and yours alone

If you’re looking to create the most amazing quality shots ever then the RAW is one hundred percent for you! But if you just captured a picture of your drunk roommate passed out on the ground, we’d be pretty confident you’re not into doing post-production for anything.

If you do wish to use a RAW then make sure you have the proper post-production software available but be wary as they can sometimes cost your CPU a lot of Megs. Even if the company offers you a specific kind of software do NOT accept it as there are better pieces of software available on the market that are actually BETTER then what’s offered by them. Such software is Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop (The most popular one). Of course these are all just a matter of opinion.

The best tool that some would say works well would be the Lightroom from Adobe. Another choice could be the Capture One from Phase one, with both a professional and consumer version available. If you have a MAC you can go for the Apple’s Aperture, which holds together with many powerful tools, again Megs will not be cheap. But as stated beforehand these are all just a matter of preference and in no way should reflect on what you use when you choose to edit your RAW, find what works best for you and decide for yourself what format and editing software works the best. Good luck.