I've finally run out of reasons for not shooting RAW.
In days of yore, I used to be able to say:
1)' It's a TIME-CONSUMING step importing RAW photos' into my computer and into my image-processing software--but, truth be told now, it takes about the same time regardless of the format I shoot in. With Photoshop or Lightroom and the speed of the latest multi-core processors, getting a bunch of RAW files onto the computer isn't cumbersome at all and actually unifies the workflow.
2) 'The large files take up too much room'. Well, that's gone out the window, I just got a 16 GB SD card on sale last week for $19! And I'm sure there are even better deals on 32 GB cards. The harddrive on my laptop is 650 GB and I've barely used 20% of it after almost a year of shooting and editing photos and videos! And external storage drives are plentiful and cheap.
3) 'The difference between between RAW and JPEG is negligible'. Well, this was partially true when I wasn't editing after shooting that much and I wasn't examining the files too closely. But now that I tend to tweak exposure and white balance, etc. quite extensively and often, I do notice slight artifacts if I do a lot of re-editing of JPEGS, whereas with RAW, I'll always have that pristine original for safety. And if I'm doing a lot of retouching and using images at high resolution, the RAW files retain more information and detail.
4) 'RAW files are too big to work with'. Again, with the speed of 64-bit computers and 64-bit software and the huge amounts of RAM available, I don't notice any slowdown in working with RAW files. In fact, now that all my files go through the Adobe Camera Raw process, it actually speeds things up with presets and easily accessible editing menus.
5) 'Shooting RAW slows down camera operation'. Not really, I can still shoot as quickly with RAW as I do in JPEG in burst mode or any other mode. There is just a teensy delay if I've burst-moded a whack of shots and files are being written to the card, but it doesn't hamper my work at all.
So, I've given up. I shoot RAW all the time now and I find I appreciate the details in my photos more and I enjoy looking at them more. It may just be psychological but that's a rumination for another day!
With my camera I dont have a problem of shooting speed operation, but for many years I was a little insecure of using all the time Raw, but now I cant imagine take a image without Raw! It really gives you more control of the image!
Ive been shooting JPEG+RAW for the last year, but I'm too afraid to edit the raw inages, because I use GIMP and it wasnt able to open the raw file and had to use another program. Maybe this is leading me even more to start editing raw files.
There is no choise, in fact: RAW is mandatory. Shooting JPEG one (i) corrupts the image by strong compression (quality 8 by photoshop scale for my camera, e.g.) and (ii) losses 5 or even 6 bits for brightness depth (8 bits instead of 13 or 14) which may lead, e.g., to posterization when correcting the image contrast. Practically, 70% to 90% of information collected by sensor is lost forever and can't be recovered, anymore. As a matter of fact, shooting JPEG one allows the camera processor to perform postprocessing by unknown algorithm (which is not under ones control) and then save result with very low quality. Why???!!!
I'm a Lightroom guy, so shooting RAW is a must for lots of reasons! Being able to change white balance and recovery highlights are helpful, and I find that Lightroom processing gets better over time so that I can now submit higher ISO photos from my old RAWs. Would have been locked in a JPGs. I do find that RAW take longer in camera, but with updated cards and my new OM-D it is finally at a point where I don't notice any delay...
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