Raw Tuesday: the honest truth on what raw files can do for your photography

How and Why To Shoot Raw: the full truth on what raw can do for your photos

All professional photographers shoot raw files, don’t they?


Not always. While it’s true that many pros shoot raw, there are exceptions (check out our 33 myths of the professional photographer).

For some professional photographers the speed and convenience of JPEG is more important than the quality benefits offered by raw shooting.

This is particularly true of sports and some news photographers, who need to take, edit and send shots really quickly.

Below is a list of some more pros and cons for shooting raw files professional photographers take into consideration when setting up their cameras to shoot:

The pros

  •  Potential for higher-quality images
  •  Non-destructive editing as standard, so you are not losing image data
  •  You get more highlight/shadow detail than with
  • a standard JPEG
  •  Greater scope for post-shoot adjustment – colour, white balance, sharpening etc

The cons

  •  Larger files than JPEG
  •  Slower to write to your memory card, and fills the buffer faster
  •  It takes more time to edit and process raw images
  •  You need to save raw files as JPEG or another format to print them
  •  Editing raw files takes some getting used to.

PAGE 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of shooting raw?
PAGE 2: What’s the most useful thing I can do with a raw file that I can’t with a JPEG?
PAGE 3: All professional photographers shoot raw files, don’t they?
PAGE 4: How do I select the option to shoot raw files on my camera?
PAGE 5: Which settings can I ignore and which do I still need to set in-camera?


Stop Wasting Pictures! 10 tips for bagging a keeper every time

Digital camera effects from A-Z

101 Photoshop tips you have to know

How to blend two photos for the perfect exposure
49 awesome photography tips and time savers
Download free photography cheat sheets