JPEG & Camera RAW Files


A jpeg file (Joint photographic experts group) is the most commonly used digital photography file format. They can produce excellent prints but are restricted by their ability to resist the affects of software editing products that we commonly use and the accuracy of the actual data they contain. When considering the two formats jpegs and camera raw, a good quality camera, offering both as media collection and processing solutions, will normally offer a variety of options such as small, large and various other combinations. If your camera can use both processes we recommend you collect both. However as professional photographers we will later review and modify (if necessary) the camera raw image.

Camera RAW

Camera raw is an image file format containing, as it implies, the raw data direct from the camera’s sensor having had little digital processing. The files do however have to be opened with particular software which then allows for the myriad of alterations and changes that can be made to make full benefit and use of this data. Raw data files offer much better quality in their finished state than a jpeg file but its disadvantage is the size of the file created is much larger than a jpeg. When you work with a raw file in the software available, an xmp file (known as a sidecar) is created so these changes are not actually saved on to the file itself. Which means you can go back and start again working with the basic raw file time and time again. Xmp stands for extensible metadata platform and was developed by Adobe. After processing in camera raw the file can be saved as other files types, like: psd, jpeg, and more.

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