What is RAW format?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wwwdotcomdotnet, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. wwwdotcomdotnet macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2007
    What is RAW format? I can shoot the same resolution with or without RAW format on my camera, however the RAW format obviously allows for much less pictures. What is the difference?
  2. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    RAW is the raw, uninterpreted sensor data. It carries much more colour information than JPEG (normally 12-bit per channel, sometimes 14 instead of 8). In addition it bypasses any in-camera processing which can be detrimental to image quality.

    RAW allows for much more post-shoot on-computer processing and much higher fidelity. Memory cards are cheap, I shoot RAW only...
  4. wwwdotcomdotnet thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2007
  5. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    When shooting in RAW you need to have appropriate software to convert the images; Aperture, Adobe Camera RAW, etc. Right now Aperture is lagging behind as it is not yet compatible with NEF images from the Nikon D3 and D300.
  6. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Luckily, there are free options out there for doing this. Gimp or even the software that comes with your DSLR. I'd always shoot with RAW if you have the space. It's very comforting having such flexibility at the end of the day.
  7. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    RAW vs. JPG? I recommend you investigate it further then decide if it is right for you. There are a lot of articles that cover your exact inquiry.

    If you need the functionality I say go for it. RAW has a lot of capability.

    If you don't need it or won't be able to take advantage of RAW then shoot jpg. If you simply adjust brightness and resize then you may want to shoot jpg. Just don't keep saving your working images as jpg, use PS, GIMP or tiff format.

    One thing to keep in mind is if you shoot RAW you will probably have to convert any images you want to use on a web site, send in email, instant message, mobile message, etc-. RAW files can be big and when you gather, oh say 40 or 50 gigs worth you have to do something with them.

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