This post is for up-and-coming photogs that still ask themselves the question...
You've probably heard it over & over again, that most Pros suggest you shoot RAW files... But do you know why it’s so important? And what it really means for your images? Let’s sort it out!
First off, what is RAW? RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. When shooting in a format like JPEG image information is compressed and lots of that information is lost. Because no information is compressed with RAW you’re able to "tweek/correct" poorly exposed files in post-production, and ultimately produce a higher quality image, than you would, if tried to correct it from a JPG type file.
Here's a perfect example, of a not-so-perfect image of the father of the bride (and good friend) and I, at a recent wedding in Florida. For whatever reason, this shot was grossly under-exposed. Whether conditions were difficult, the flash batteries were dying, or you're simply having an off day, etc... shit happens! But with the magic of Camera raw and a few post-processing corrections, the photo is still rendered usable.
The downsides of shooting RAW, is yes, the files take up a considerable amount of space, need to be post-processed (longer to edit), but in the end, you'll be much happier with the overall results.