Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This is a follow up on previous post from Paul.  If you are wondering how the camera processed the JPEG, and RAW file.  I have attached the flow chart above to show you how the file stored in your memory card, and file conversion.  As you can see why the JPEG picture is always looks more detail than the RAW picture, because the data it goes through the Bayer interpolation, is modified by in the camera set parameters such as white balance, saturation, sharpness, contrast ect, is subject to JPEG compression and then stored.

When to shoot RAW, when to shot JPEG? 
The main reason to shoot JPEG is that you get more shots on a memory card and it's faster, both in camera and afterwards.  If you shoot RAW files you have to then convert them to TIFF or JPEG on a PC before you can view or print them.  If you hundreds of images, this can take some time.  If you know you have the correct exposure and white balance as well as the optimum camera set parameters, then a high quality JPEG will give you a print just as good as one from a converted RAW file, so you may as well shoot JPEG.

You shoot RAW when you expect to have to do some post exposure processing.  If you're not sure about the exposure or white balance, or if you want to maintain the maximum possible allowable post exposure processing, then you'll want to shoot RAW files, convert to 16-bit TIFF, do all your processing, then convert to 8-bit files for printing.  You lose nothing by shooting RAW except for time and the number of images you can fit on a memory card.  Also, you can shoot RAW+JPEG, this is the best of both worlds.

Happy shooting everyone!


  1. Flow charts on the blog? Who would have guessed! LOL

    Thanks for the info Q! I knew you would be able to explain it better than me.

    RAW+JPEG? I'm would need a lot more memory cards!

  2. Thank you Q, this makes a great deal of sense!

    I have my camera set to RAW + JPEG for the time being, sure eats up the memory and the battery too surprisingly enough!


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