RAW or JPeg? That is the question.

Okay, so I’m finally brave enough to use my manual settings. I’ve gotten over my issues with Photoshopping and other post processing stuff. (Although, that’s not to say I actually know what I’m doing with it…)

Now the question is, am I gutsy enough to shoot RAW?

I’ve been going back and forth about this for a while now. I didn’t know a whole lot about RAW, other than it takes up more memory, you need to do post processing in order to view it, and it makes for higher-quality pictures.

I even talked with my photographer friend about this, and he sent me a really handy article, which helped a bit.

I definitely think I want to give it a go. BUT, the question is, do I try it while in Ireland?

Here’s my dilemma: I leave very soon. Too soon to really give me any practice at handling RAW files. But, my goal while in Ireland is to take some amazing photos — ones that are so amazing that I can blow them up and hang them on my wall. I can get better quality photos for blowing up if I try RAW. But what if I mess them up? Or I can’t figure out how to process them. Or if I just take entirely too many photos and don’t have time to process them all. (This last worry is entirely possible, because I tend to take a LOT of pictures.)

Do you shoot raw? Do you like it? Do you think I need to try it this time around, or will jpeg be okay for me right now? (I can just use the highest quality jpeg and that might be good enough.)

What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “RAW or JPeg? That is the question.

  1. I think the driving factor in this decision is how much storage space you have on your camera. When I go on a trip like this, I estimate that I shoot 100-150 shots/day. So multiplied by 14 (you’re gone for 2 weeks?) means that, if you’re like me, you can expect to have upwards of 1500 shots by the time you’re done. A JPEG file will take, an average of, say, 6 MB on your camera, whereas a RAW file will be more like 20-25 MB. So that means if you want to shoot RAW, you’d better have at least 32 GB of memory card space (on the low end!), or a laptop that you can download your pictures to when your card gets full. On the other hand, if you shoot JPEG, you can get by with about 8GB of storage space.

    In terms of your other concerns, shooting in RAW is just like shooting JPEG. You won’t notice any difference at all when you take the shot. And, by the same token, the difference in print image quality if you shoot in RAW vs. JPEG is going to be unnoticeable, for all intents and purposes, unless you’re planning to make *huge* prints. With your camera, you can probably expect to get decent (JPEG) image quality up to, say 16×20 or something along those lines (and since you have to convert to JPEG to get prints made anyways, you’re not going to get much more than that even shooting RAW). I find my maximum is around 11×17, but my camera has worse resolution than yours, so… *shrug*.

    Either way, I think you’ll be fine.

    • Oh, and wrt to the space issue, you can get an estimate of how many shots you’ll be able to take in RAW by just switching over temporarily; it should tell you how many you have left on your LCD. I usually take that number with a grain of salt, though. I find it’s usually a little generous.

  2. Thanks! That was really helpful.

    I have a 16 GB memory card. I think I’ll just take the high-quality JPEG shots for now, and work on figuring out RAW when I get home. 🙂

  3. Another thing I learned while reading the instruction manual is that there’s an option to save two files, one RAW and one “L” quality JPEG, simultaneously. That, obviously, takes even more memory, but it might be worth using when I start practicing RAW.

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