You might have heard over and over again about shooting RAW images. But, are you aware of its importance? Well, let’s know about it in detail…
RAW file format captures image data that will be recorded by the sensor when you capture a picture. While shooting with other formats, for instance, JPEG then the information will be compressed and lost but with RAW format, there is no loss of information and it produces high-quality images. Luckily, most of the cameras shoot RAW so you can take benefits by using RAW file format. Let’s go through the advantages of taking RAW images.
- Provides high-quality images
One of the biggest advantages of shooting a RAW is the high-quality image. When you shoot RAW, you can process yourself as to how the image should look and produce better results.
- Records brightness to greater levels
Levels of brightness are nothing but the number of steps from black to white in an image. The more you have, the smoother the transitions of tones. For instance, JPEG records about 256 levels of brightness whereas RAW records between 4,096 to 16,384 levels. This is usually described in terms of “bit”. JPEG captures in 8bit, and RAW is either 12bit or 14bit. With the additional steps of brightness adjustments, you can make certain adjustments such as exposure, blacks, fill light, recovery, contrast, brightness, etc. to your image without affecting its quality. You can even avoid/correct posterization in your images when you shoot in RAW.
- Corrects Dramatically Over/Under Exposed Images
Everyone needs to get best exposure in cameras but sometimes everything moves fast such as in weddings where you end up with a dramatically over or under exposed image. However, RAW images have additional information in the file, so it’s easier to correct the image without extreme reduction in quality.
- Adjusts White Balance
When you shoot JPEG then the white balance is applied to the image and you can’t choose another option. Whereas with RAW, the white balance will be recorded and it’s easy to adjust as there are essential for a better image. Thus shooting RAW image lets you make the adjustments easier, faster and give better results.
- Get Better Detail
When you shoot RAW, you will have access to sharpening and noise algorithms in a program like Lightroom which is more powerful than those found in your camera. As the sharpening and noise algorithms keep on improving, so in the future you can take advantage of these improvements in RAW images.
- Non-Destructive Editing
When you make adjustments to a RAW file, then you are actually not doing anything to the original data. The advantage of this is, you never have to worry about ruining an image, accidentally saving over, or unable to go back and make changes. You can reset your adjustments, and start over again.
- Get Better Prints
The finer gradation of tones and colors will make to get better prints from RAW files which are as important as ever.
- Select Color Space on Output
With RAW, you can choose from any color space while exporting it and you can adjust depending on the situation. If the image is going to the web, then output in the sRGB color space and ensures maximum compatibility with web browsers. If the files are heading to a client, then save it in the common Adobe RGB (1998) color space. If you want the widest color space possible then make use of ProPhoto RGB. Thus there are different color spaces that work best for different situations. However, with RAW you can export a single image in multiple spaces.
- Efficient Workflow
It’s easy to work through large batches of images by making use of a workflow-centric program like Lightroom or Aperture. These are designed to process groups of RAW images easily. Hence, to get complete benefits of Lightroom and Aperture shoot RAW.
- Pro Option
Professionals provide their clients with the highest quality such as achieving proper color balance, choosing the right color space for the situation, etc. By taking RAW images you can control and manage these problems to create the best results.
Downsides of RAW images
- Need to be processed
- Takes up more space
- Slows the camera down
- Proprietary format
However, protecting your RAW files are important but there are certain situations due to which you may lose RAW images such as interruptions while moving files, if storage device is corrupted, accidental deletion, etc. Hence, to overcome loss of RAW images, Remo has come up with Photo Recovery software. This software scans the entire drive to restore deleted or lost RAW images.
- Supports image formats such as NEF, 3FR, X3F, ARW, MRW, PEF, RAW, CRW CR2, etc.
- You can also recover photos from a digital camera of popular brands such as Canon, Nikon, Kodak and so on.
- Retrieve other photo formats like JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG, TIFF, JPG, GIF, etc.
- Other than photo recovery this tool helps in restoring audio files, video files, and other documents from hard drives, iPods, memory cards, etc.