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An Example Why I Love To Shoot RAW

Above you can see a photo of Charlie, the dog of my mother. It was basically a snapshot, I had the camera in my hand without checking what it was set to and then I took the photo. I realized the photo was underexposed, but since I shoot in RAW I was very sure that I could fix it at home in Lightroom. I just moved the exposure slider to the right, and the picture above was the result. No real quality loss, still looking very nice. Here is how it looked before…

That’s what I really like about RAW. You can basically do a lot of stuff wrong when you are outside, but you can still fix it at home in many cases. With JPG it’s more difficult because the image would already be processed and compressed in the camera, thus a lot of data in the image is lost and can’t be recovered. That’s basically when people talk about “Dynamic Range”, it’s the tonal range detail of the shadows to the highlights. It doesn’t mean that you can’t fix JPG images, but you have a much smaller dynamic range, which means moving the sliders too much and you end up with a mess in the image. But RAW files are more forgiving with you.

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4 Comments »

    • I do generally try to do it right and that the photo is good “out of the box”… but sometimes I you have your camera set wrong, or there are any type of human errors 😀 That’s where RAW files are really handy because it is vey forgiving. So, in editing you can improve bad RAW files to the point that no one would think that the original had issues. 🙂 Especialy talking about exposure, shadows, highlights and stuff like that.

        • It’s still worth it to shoot JPG when you need camera speed, like shooting flying birds and so… my D7100 camera cache is filling very fast with RAW, but less so with JPG, which means I can do longer continues shots with JPG. But for everything else I do always shoot in RAW 🙂 I am glad you discovered the benefits too 🙂

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