What are RAW images? Why should you use it when taking photos?

What are RAW images? Why should you use it when taking photos?

A common setting for many digital cameras, RAW is a file type option that many professional photographers prefer than JPG. Find out why, what RAW is, and how you can benefit from using this professional quality file.

What are RAW images?

RAW is an answer to the limitations of the JPG file format, the original file type developed specifically for digital photography by Joint Photographic Experts Group. When shooting with JPG, the combination between you and your camera makes a decision about the type of information captured and stored as a digital file. When shooting with JPG, these decisions are processed and displayed and then determined in a limited number of colors of the RGB color space. What does that mean? Although it seems that it means it is simply an uncompressed file format, you will be wrong. Yes, you will be right and wrong, because RAW does not compress in the JPG way, but it is more than a file with no JPG artifacts.

24 bit RGB, the most popular format for JPG digital photography, is more limited than the colors your eyes can see. Any color space (also called color gamut). Depending on the camera, RAW files actually capture a larger range of colors and provide minimal in-camera processing, allowing photographers to then condense image information when see fit later, rather than the camera seeing fit during the shoot. Confused? Keep reading, since it can be difficult to explain the reason behind RAW in one section.

Raw is similar to Digital Negative (Digital Negative)

RAW is a minimal processed format. "Minimal Processing" means that RAW images store more information, such as up to 12 bits per color channel compared to JPEGs that only store 8 bits. Therefore, images stored in RAW format are usually 3 to 6 times larger than JPEG images. This gives photographers the same level of control as working with negative films, except that the controls are bigger and more dynamic, as RAW is digital. When images are filmed on light-sensitive film, no matter what processing has been done, light has hit this light-sensitive film, and a smart photographer can develop film under or out, or avoid it. Avoid and burn prints to get the range and light colors that really hit the film.

RAW is based on a similar idea. JPG is like a final product; A print has been made from a negative – a static final product. RAW is a simple record of light moving through the lens, soundproofing is a record of the light that turns it on when the aperture is opened. Although displayed in pixels, these pixels have more information "behind the scenes" than you might think looking at that RAW image in the digital display screen of an SLR camera.

What is the use of RAW images for?

The biggest reason to shoot in RAW format is when you want to make edits to the image. Because it saves more information about the image than JPEG, you can edit white balance, brightness easily for photos without losing the detail. While JPEG images erase most of the information about the low-contrast (because the human eye is difficult to recognize), so when editing will easily lead to breakage, noise.

With RAW images, you can edit even more things like noise reduction or sharpening. On JPEG images, similar edits will be ineffective because it has been impacted to increase sharpness or reduce noise previously. Another plus of RAW is that images can be exported to any "color space". The most popular color space on the web is sRGB, but with printing people often choose Adobe or ProPhoto RGB.

Nhật Anh

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