Camera RAW vs JPG - Dave May Photography
Ok, basically one “photographer” was trying to explain why to use raw format to another “photographer” and I just had to keep walking.
RAW shouldn’t be used to try to correct for failures in the capturing of a photograph. I get the impression that RAW has become the photographer’s bandaid below certain level. It IS possible to shoot jpg successfully if you are aware of it’s limitations and can light accordingly. That being said I do prefer RAW for specific creative reasons.
RAW format typically has a higher dynamic ranger (amount of detail in highlights and shadows). This means that while there may be more detail present in highlights, they can still be blown out. There seems to be some misconception that RAW means highlights can be recovered, but histograms will tell you where you stand regardless of your file format. RAW requires a certain amount of editing because the unprocessed image lacks sharpness, contrast, and saturation compared to the jpg counterpart with standard in-camera processing.
Wedding and sports photographers have long stuck with jpg to avoid needing to go in and making standard adjustments to each file. That being said, there are many photographers moving to RAW for creative applications requiring extensive editing to attain certain looks.
My preference is determined by the amount of control I want in my images beyond how the camera wants my saturation etc. That being said, the only thing that matters is the final image. It doesn’t matter what camera, light, or necessarily what lens and software was used if you and / or the client is happy.