Digital Camera Raw or Jpeg?

  Newuser939 19:21 25 Jul 2012

My camera (a Panasonic FZ50) will take pictures in either RAW format or various qualities of Jpeg. In theory, the RAW format should produce a better image as data is discarded in producing a Jpeg picture. However, am I likely to notice much difference in practice if I just stick to the best quality Jpeg format? It is certainly a much smaller file size (about 4.5Mb compared with about 20Mb).

  Nontek 20:03 25 Jul 2012

Probably best to stick with jpg. Mainly because it is the most widely used and versatile format.

That is, unless you want to reproduce extra large pics.

  johndrew 20:06 25 Jul 2012

As you say RAW uses a larger amount of memory but produces a far better image. However, unless you intend to enlarge the image to poster size, a good jpeg is as good as you need.

  eedcam 22:12 25 Jul 2012

Your camera should do both at the same time can you see any difference ? Also is Raw better quality the advantage of raw is it can be edited much more than than Jpeg so unless you are a really serious photographer not much point.

  frybluff 22:25 25 Jul 2012

It does depend on how much editing you intend to do. Jpeg is supported by most basic editing software, but it's not the most efficient editing format, as, because of the way it compresses data, every time you carry out an edit process, you lose some data.

Having said that, for a 6x4 print, 2Mp is ample. So, if you start with 4Mp, or more, you can do some editing, without it being an issue, provided you don't want to enlarge, substantially. With RAW, you get to keep virtually all your data, except when cropping. If you have the facility, Tiff format is supposed to be more data efficient than Jpeg, but doesn't use up the space of RAW. I tend to just use Jpeg, or RAW, depending on what "post" work I want to do.

  john bunyan 23:23 25 Jul 2012

If you have Photoshop then RAW retains the original quality of the shot - like a negative. You could manipulate in RAW and save "snapshots as jpeg - which loses a bit each time it is modified, and good stuff as TIFF. You would need a bit more storage.If yiu wait a bit, the Guru on all this is Hssutton - hopefully he will see this and give a definitive answer!!!

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