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

OK, so how do I select the option to shoot raw files on my camera?


Different types of raw files explained

Out of the box, most cameras will automatically shoot in JPEG mode, so you have to tell the camera to shoot in raw. How you do this depends on the camera.

On most SLRs and Compact System Cameras, you do it via an option in the menu (it’s usually found under Picture Quality or a similar setting – your manual can tell you exactly). Some newer cameras may have a dedicated button for selecting raw. Once this is done, you can start firing way.

Just remember that on some Canon SLRs, such as the EOS 60D and above, there are three raw file options called raw, mraw and sraw. These are simply different resolutions for the raw file you capture.

Raw is the full-resolution file, for example 18Mp with the EOS 7D, while mraw is 10Mp and sraw is 4.5Mp. These lower-resolution settings allow you to save space on your memory card if you know that you aren’t going to need to use the camera’s full resolution 
(to make enlargements, for example), but still want to make the most of the benefits of raw shooting.

On many Nikon cameras above the D7000 you also have a couple of settings for raw files, enabling you to set the level of compression or number of bits. Just remember, more bits, bigger file size!

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?


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