Why RAW or JPG?

Shoot RAW? Or JPG? Or both?

I would generally say: “Shoot only RAW”. Why not? It’s just another format.

But why could you do RAW+JPG, or just JPG? What would be valid reasons?

Here are a few.

  1. You want to be sure that you have the shot – a pic could be corrupt, but if you have two you may be OK.
  2. You may need to print a copy, like on a printer, straight from the card
  3. You have to upload loads of pictures quickly, like for a newspaper shoot of a sports match
  4. You want backups as in the first example, but you have two memory cards and can write to both at the same time. Every time I shoot, I save RAW to card 1, and JPG to card 2 – that way card 2 can be a 32GB while card 1 is a 64 GB.
  5. You want to compare the camera’s treatment of the raw data with your computer’s.

So a you see, there’s quite a few valid reasons. When you see super simple solutions on the Internet, like “Authority Figure X says ‘shoot RAW only” – well, the world may not in fact be that simple. Be wary of simplicity, while you chase it at the same time, because “less is more”.

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