Raw vs Jpeg make a better choice

Raw vs Jpeg make a better choice

Today in this post I will be talking about a widely used topic :Raw vs jpeg. I have been asked much by people about Raw and Jpeg so this is what I have to share with you. Raw vs Jpeg make a better choice.

Pros and COns of RAW and JPEG

Pros and COns of RAW and JPEG


Raw file  is a file type that is full of possibilities awaiting to be processed in your image editing software without any loss of dynamic range of image. It is lower in contrast and looks poor than jpeg but don’t belittle that Raw format are proprietary format(with the exception of Adobe’s DNG format that isn’t widely used yet).It stores more information  and has lots of control in Post Production.


Jpeg files are highly rich in color than Raw which is widely used in market and supported by many available softwares. It is high in contrast and sharper than raw. It is a quick processing, as soon as the camera sensor captures information of image it will give compressed image with its own value  and loss of other information about image that cannot be recovered later effectively. If you are not doing much of post production this Format will be the best.

Why you should be Editing on  raw Format ?

Its seems like Jpeg images are more beautiful than Raw before it is addressed for editing. A very good example would be buying a fast food from the market. You have no control how it’s cooked , you just eat what you get. Similarly, JPEGs are created by camera as soon as we click Images. It gives its own values  contrast, sharpening, white balance and the image effect.You cannot alter these changes the way you want, but it does not mean you cannot edit Jpeg. You just cannot get smooth editing and may suffer from branding problem and posterization. And believe me you would not want to do that once you know the possibilities with RAW.
Raw file stores all the possible information your image can get so while post-production, we can retouch the way we want it. In some photos, you may need to recover the detail, increase color, minimize highlight, remove shadows, etc. It’s like you get a jackpot while editing. You get smooth transition gradient and don’t have to suffer branding problem and posterization.

The figure below illustrate processing step of RAW and JPEG

Flowchart of Raw Vs Jpeg

Raw vs Jpeg

Terms In Bit

No doubt Raw files have advantage of holding lots of information than Jpeg. What is the reason behind it? The Reason for this is Jpeg format are the standard format for storing 8 bit which means that Each RGB (3 channel red , green , blue) channel has a choice of 256 values for each which all together it gives possibility of 16.7 million colors. Whereas  RAW can hold either 12 bit or 14 bit per channel depending upon camera which all together can give 42 bit color images which can produce trillions of colors range.

Lets me Describe Tonal range of Raw vs JPEG

From the DSLR, we can get five levels of tones in our picture.At brightest tones, Jpeg can Play with 69 levels of  Brightness whereas RAW files give 2048 levels. Similarly we can play 20 levels of darkest tones with Jpeg and 128 levels  with Raw. What it does mean that in post production if we want to play with shadows and highlight. Raw Files give lots of possibilities playing with Tonal  Range. I have  listed Different Tonal Range with its respective value in JPEG and RAW.

Tone range of JPG and RAW

Raw vs jpg



At last, we need to decide  what we want to choose while shooting. Yes there are the advantaged and disadvantages of  both. So here I have mentioned the PROS and CONS of  both.

Pros and COns of RAW and JPEG

Raw vs jpg



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About author

Anup Ghimire
Anup Ghimire 60 posts

Anup ghimire is a self learned Photographer/Designer and recently graduated in multimedia technologies from London metropolitan university.Traveling is something he loves the most after photography. You can see some of his photos at his facebook photography page https://www.facebook.com/intomyviewfinder

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