Photoshop on computer-1-2

It’s not unsual these days to find myself in conversation about the pros and cons of shooting in JPG verses RAW.

Both are digital image files that come out of the camera.


JPGs are the more common type, they are relatively small files compared with RAW and they are readily viewable and share-able between just about everyone.

RAW are much bigger files (too big for most people to attach to an email for instance), and they contain a lot more image-data. So when you edit them, you can do much more with them… and your opportunities for creativity are increased.

Many purists prefer to shoot in jpg because they feel that editing photos is wrong.  That it somehow is cheating.  They often argue that a good photo shouldn’t need any further editing.

And whilst I can completely understand their viewpoint, what many of them fail to grasp, is that the photo they took as a JPG, has in fact been edited by the camera (courtsey of the manufacturer’s programming).

So in that respect, there is no such thing as an unedited JPG.

That aside, most cameras produce outstanding JPGs these days and that is why for me, I shoot jpgs for personal use, such as holidays or family events.

The JPGs from my Fuji X-Series cameras are heavenly.  Fuji, as a film manufacturer, has recreated the look of their film stock range in their digital X-Series cameras.  This means I can shoot in a number of film simulation modes including Velvia and Classic Chrome.  There is even a choice of black & white stock with Red, Green & Yellow filter options.  Quite outstanding.


But if am shooting for clients, whether it be domestic or commecial, I have to shoot in RAW.

Kevin shooting in board room-1

The file sizes are significantly larger than JPGs due to the fact that the data has not been compressed to make them smaller

The increased latitude in RAW files means I have more scope to correct  images that may be over or under-exposed.

But the level of editing available doesn’t stop there.  The RAW engines (as they are called) in Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop provide the photographer with a massive range of editing options.  For those who enjoy the editing process, and a great many photographers do, this makes RAW files the royalty amongst image file types.

In the video below, I explain in more detail the difference between RAW and JPG.


Any questions?

If you have any questions about RAW or JPG files, please post them below and I will do my best to answer them



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Kevin Ahronson

Kevin is a full-time professional photographer and has been teaching photography since 2009. He founded the Hampshire School of Photography where he runs photography workshops and gives one to one mentoring to photographers at all levels, from complete beginners through to those who want to turn professional

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