Poll: What File Format Do You Shoot In?


This week's poll is obviously for digital camera users and revolves around a seemingly endless debate about the merits or drawbacks of each format. While we have expressed some of our thoughts on the RAW vs. JPG debate before, we would love to know what our readers actually use and why.

The absolute short of the debate is this:

RAW keeps lots of information but creates large files.

JPG requires less storage, but also captures less information about the shot.

Which format do you shoot and why?

[polldaddy poll=4105328]

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Everybody shoots RAW. The question really is do we let the camera process the information captured or do we want to control that aspect as well.
IMO those who don’t understand what is best for them (let alone someone else) debate the “issue”.
Those that know are comfortable with their choice and there is nothing to debate. I shoot RAW because I want to process the image myself. Just like I did in the chemical darkroom years past. I couldn’t care less what you do…it’s all fine with me.

I shoot RAW in order to preserve as much info as possible. I resort to JPEG when shooting bursts and then only because I can capture so many more shots before filling my buffer.

I shoot RAW but I’m beginning to think that shooting in JPEG would be better:

Shooting JPEG forces you to get things like exposure and white balance right in camera, therefore meaning that you don’t have to spend time at your computer trying to get it looking perfect.

How do you figure that, Tim? Getting the exposure ‘right’ can be done by the photographer or the camera depending on whether you set you camera on manual or auto and this can be done in RAW or JPEG. Shooting in JPEG means you leave a lot to the computer in the camera which uses a range of pre-sets to figure out what it thinks you need and don’t need. That’s like having a wife. This can be OK when you’re in a hurry or sloppy or don’t really care what you get. When you start caring about your images and how they look I’m sure you will reconsider. And stay single.

I shoot RAW only.

I have the time and enjoy processing my images and learning the process that goes along with it. I like that I have total control and not the camera.

If, on the other hand, I was short on time, or large files were a problem, I’d have no problem shooting jpg. Many photojournalists/sports photogs shoot in jpg for that reason.

I selected JPG but these days it really depends what I am shooting. Mostly its JPG due to file size but if its somethiing special and I’m only ever going to get one chance at it then I’ll shoot RAW and JPG to give me the best chance of getting a good result.

I tend to shoot in both. I use a Sony a550 and an a100. Both provide the capability of recording images as jpg AND raw.
Why? Jpgs go on Flickr and raw files get processed into TIF for prints.

Usually RAW.
But I have a 1D now – on my trip to Japan I did RAW+jpeg, with jpg on SD card, then loaded the jpgs straight on to iPad for social networking and kept the RAWs for myself for later.
I found it to be a really neat way of doing things.

I shoot both but only use the JPG for viewing when I’m on the road and then use the RAW for processing after I get home.

I used to use JPG only but now there’s no contest. RAW all the way.

I used to take JPEG, but when I started taking underwater photos, I got really burned when my white balance was wrong, and I had no way to fix it after. Now, my attitude is “space is cheap” and “I may never get to take this photo again” so use RAW – it’s the most information that my camera can capture – why risk getting it wrong?

99% the time RAW.

The only arguments in favour of JPG are due to limitations, either in hardware (buffer-size / DAC processing rates) or the user’s processing time (which is a pathetic excuse).

Always RAW. Storage is cheap and these days of high enough capacity. RAW images allow the greatest post-processing capability, one that has been increasing as image software improves. I often find subtleties in RAW images shot years ago thanks to ever-better software.

As a “newcomer” I shoot in both jpeg and raw,but I find myself leaning towards editing raw files as I learn more about the art.

For me Raw is better if you need to do a lot of post processing. if you need to edit your photographs, Jpegs will lose a lot of quality whereas Raw doesn’t

I shoot in both RAW and high res JPG on my Canon XSi. Most of the time, the JPG is just fine, but for those rare occasions that it is not- I have the RAW to work with. I don’t often go to the RAW and can usually get what I want from the JPG and I find that is faster. I would rather take pictures than post process pictures! The only draw back is the shorter bursts, but hoping to get a 7D by spring and that should be much improved!

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