Learn All About RAW And JPEG Photography File Formats

Raw and JPEG are the two popular file formats for photography. Most of the photographers are confused which one to choose for your task. This article addresses the concern and helps you choose the right one for your needs.

About JPEG file format

JPEG is a recognized image file format that makes it possible for simple and plain photographs. If you are printing your images or uploading to the web, then JPEG file format will definitely be the best choice to send photos. The JPEG image format is the commonest form of image compression that is used with the help of digital cameras. Canon RAW converter provides the ability to the user to convert raw files into jpeg file format.

The term image compression implies compressing the image into a smaller size by discarding a few pixels. Depending on the type of setting selected by you, it is easy to record your camera pictures. This leads to less or more compression. JPEG is a method of lossy form of compression that is ideal for photographic images. This property makes it useful at the time of clicking images and storing them on the computer.

Differences between a RAW file format and JPEG image format

On setting the camera the RAW format, it becomes impossible to process the image. Talking about the size of the image, the resultant file is of a larger size as compared to a JPEG file. RAW files need to be processed before they can be printed and posted on the web. A RAW file acts like an old negative film. To get a print from it requires a form of processing software for the conversion into usable file format. Now after the conversion the file is ready to be printed or uploaded.

Another critical difference when you deal with a RAW photo is that it is not easy to be used with any creative mode present on the digital camera. The manual settings can be used for shutter speed and aperture if you set the camera to “party” setting. Doing this, you switch from the RAW mode to the JPEG mode.

So, RAW format provides you a complete set of pixels of the image, but it requires to perform some level of processing.

Why RAW files are not recommended by professional photographers?

Here are a few reasons why photographers recommend the use of JPEG files over RAW files.

  • Not every camera can take pictures in RAW file format.
  • To achieve good results, stick to JPEG format. Addition of RAW enhances the workflow. It takes away a lot of time in clicking pictures.
  • The size of Raw file is more than two times of JPEG images. So, it fills up the storage card soon. It also takes a lot of hard drive space.
  • RAW formats are exclusive to specific cameras. Most of the older image processing programs aren’t able to read data from newer cameras.


There are several reasons to stick to the JPEG file format. If you have files in RAW file format, then you can easily convert them to JPEG format with the help of image conversion software.

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