This one is mostly for people who have purchased their first DSLR. You are likely to have been shooting in JPEG, but will now be discovering RAW.

Below are some points about each;



  • Generally sharper
  • Smaller in size (goes both ways)
  • More widely used
  • Immediately suitable for printing
  • Higher contrast
  • Processed by your camera
  • most cameras can only use scene modes in JPEG


  • Less dynamic range
  • Compression is lossy, meaning that quality is lost
  • Processed by your camera (It can go both ways)
  • Smaller in size (goes both ways)

RAW, on the other hand;


  • Higher bit rate
  • Larger (can go both ways)
  • More dynamic range


  • Not suited to immediate printing
  • Larger (can go both ways)
  • read only
  • not as sharp
  • lower contrast
  • Needs special editing program


Suitable programs include;

Adobe camera Raw

Picasa (free)

Adobe Photoshop CS (2 or 3)

A software also often comes with your camera…

…And many more are coming out all the time


Some people believe that, one day, RAW will replace JPEG, but for now the two are living in competition. If you want More detail, and information in the image it is recommended that you shoot in RAW.