RAW Format is itself a tool that opens up many creative possibilities and allows to do much more easily like the pros. Lets know the benefits and bottlenecks of image RAW Format. If you have browsed through the menus of your digital camera, you probably have the option, in the section where you can choose the picture quality and the ability to use the RAW format. And if you have tried to take in this format, you will notice that it generates gigantic files and impossible to see with the normal programs. Basics about RAW format was discussed before so as how to use RAW Format. Let us go to analyze this RAW Format in the rest of the article.
RAW Format : Basics
The RAW Format photos are just raw, it contain the whole information recorded by the camera sensor. Conversely, if you do not know, the photos in JPEG format are compressed and this compression is lost to the data, information. RAW files are uncompressed, so their size is much higher than their counterpart. This work is done by image processor inside the camera in case of DSLR as well as point and shoot. In Mobile Phone Camera, the only processor, usually an ARM processor does all works.
The ability to shoot in RAW format is offered by all digital SLR cameras, bridge and many compact digital cameras. Also, one thing is to know is that for some obnoxious reason, each camera manufacturer adopt its own RAW format. The information contained in RAW files generated by different makes are for the most part is similar, but there are elements that distinguish them and which necessitate compatible software to use them.
Why We Use the RAW Format
The RAW format has one big advantage – since it is not compressed it puts the maximum amount of information possible to work on to get the image you want. This is why a picture in RAW format is called a digital negative, it is equivalent to the film negative that is produced by analog cameras. Making the comparison is not entirely appropriate, a photographer who can work on a RAW is as if he had access to a newly built house, completely deserted, in which is allowed to paint the walls, add light fixtures, choose the furnitures. A photographer who instead has available a JPEG file has a house in which it can not pierce the walls, can not paint them and does not have the ability to move the furniture already present.
The increased amount of information available in a RAW format photo has several very positive consequences:
- White balance can be completely redone by the software, it is not necessary to be correct at the time of shooting
- It is much easier to remove the noise (for example, it depends to a high value of ISO ), limiting the loss of quality of the photograph
- One can correct the exposure, using the appropriate software (such as Lightroom, Photoshop ). One can also adjust the exposure of individual elements within the picture.
- There is greater scope for action for all types of processing; contrast, sharpness, the tone curves, recovery of the elements which are underexposed or overexposed, etc.
Why and Where Not use the RAW Format
Every coin has two sides. In the face of the indisputable advantages of RAW, just listed above, there are some obvious disadvantages. First, the large size of the files has several negative consequences:
- Memory cards are filled much faster
- Sometimes using the RAW you can not use certain features of camera hardware or software
- Transferring the files to your computer is slower
Secondly, RAW files can not be displayed and processed without special programs. This makes it much slower production of the photos. You can not, for example, extract photos from the memory card and load them directly on the Internet, we must at least export them to JPEG. Fortunately, the availability of programs that can read and process the RAW files is very large, both as paid programs (among them, Lightroom ) and free ones (e.g. RawTherapee ).
Finally, when we open the RAW photos on our computers, we realize that it will not appear as we saw it on the screen of the camera. This happens because the camera normally applies the processes that are recorded in JPEG and the preview visible on the screen, but not in the RAW files themselves. Fortunately, it is very easy to find the presets for the various processing programs which enables one-click RAW processing.
What to Choose, RAW or JPEG ?
As you have seen, the RAW format is not perfect, it has some flaws. There are situations where we need to produce photos that are shared directly or when we have to make many shots per second (for example, when we take photograph of sport events). In these cases JPEG Format may be preferable. However, nowadays, most of the cameras is able to create good photos in JPEG format. However, many professional photographers earnestly suggest to capture all images in RAW format. This advice is especially true for those who aspire to be an artist rather than just collect the memories of the events of his life. In fact, the RAW format gives us an infinitely greater control in the production of the photo, in the transition from the acquisition of the light from the sensor to the finished image in which, thanks to digital processing.