From JPEG to RAW: A Beginners Guide to Start Shooting in RAW – The Easy Way

Written By Christina Greve

Shooting in RAW

I absolutely love to shoot in RAW format. The control it gives me in post production is a wonderful feeling. In fact, it’s magical.

When I first started photography, I didn’t understand what Raw files were, nor did I know how to set my camera to shoot in Raw format. But when I finally took the time to learn it, I loved it instantly. I think you will, too.

Perhaps you feel the way I did, that it’s a bit daunting, like stepping into an unknown field. If so work with me here: I promise you that you will love how it improves your photography. :-)

It can be intimidating to try new things. So much of what photographers do is technical and can be complicated to learn. Fearing failure, we stick to what we know.

I think it’s important to look at it like this:

Learning photography is like learning to ride a car or bicycle. It´s such a challenge when you first begin because there are so may details and things to remember. But then all of a sudden—WOW—you ride your bike or you drive that car and it seems like the easiest thing in the world! It’s the same with photography.

Just take it one step at a time and you´ll be fine.

Be patient with yourself. Don’t fear failure, because failure dosen´t actually exist. With each step you take, you are growing and learning—no matter the outcome and no matter how long it takes to learn a new skill.

Image: The before and after image below shows just how helpful and powerful shooting in Raw can be. You can truly rescue a photo which was not lit well.

Making the switch from JPEG to RAW

If you want to see more detailed images, and have the versatility and creative control of the editing then taking photographs in Raw can be very rewarding, especially once you see the end results.

If you love to shoot Jpeg and are happy with your results, then that’s awesome. Continue with what you’re doing, because shooting in Raw will make your workflow take a little longer. But if you secretly dream of improving your photos, why not give Raw a chance?

If you are a portrait photographer then shooting in Raw is a definitely a good thing. To do professional retouching you need to work on a Raw file for the optimal results.

Changing to Raw will not be an instant magic pill, which suddenly gives you state-of-the-art photos. It will take a little time to get it it right. As with everything, patience and practice makes perfect. :-)

The major benefits of shooting in RAW 

As a photographer you should always aim to “get it right in camera.” As a self-taught photographer I know that this can be difficult at first. This is why shooting in Raw is essential.

You get a second chance to get it right—first chance when you take the picture; second chance when you edit the picture inside the Raw converter.

Which is really helpful when you are still learning to nail the perfect exposure! If you over-exposed or under-exposed your photo, you will be able to recover details and rescue what, otherwise, may be lost. In other words, you can make a decent photo out of a not-so-decent one, which is fantastic.

Image: The image below shows how you are able to restore details and highlights that are overexposed – as long as you shoot in Raw you can do this.

When shooting in Raw, you no longer need to worry about your white balance. Say, for example, you take a photo of your family during an evening when everyone is gathered around the dinner table. There’s not much day light available so all the artificial lights in the house are turned on. There may even be candles lit.

When you look at the back of your camera the photo appears to have a yellow tone. This yellow light comes from the lamps that are surrounding you. What happens is that the light from the lamps interferes with the available light in the room.

It’s not very attractive, so here’s the main reason you will love Raw files: they’re easy to fix and you can make changes without damaging the photo file.

Image: The image below shows how you are able to correct the white balance.

Raw editing is simply non-destructive, unlike a Jpeg file in which any changes made to the image are permanent. What’s great about a Raw file is that you can never destroy it, no matter how many changes you make. And you can go back to a specific photo at any time and re-process it over and over again.

Raw files tend to be dull and boring straight out of the camera. It’s because they are not finished inside the camera as Jpegs are.

You will need to finish it on your computer, which is beneficial: it will give you control over the final image output. The richness, sharpness, color range and ability to adjust these settings end up being so much greater with a Raw file, even if a Raw file looks dull before processing.

Shooting Raw is helpful in these situations:

  • Portraits and headshots. To ensure professional retouching without losing image quality.
  • When you risk blown out highlights. For example, you shoot outside on a bright sunny day and the sky turns out white. In a Raw file, you can often restore details and highlights that are overexposed.
  • When your white balance is off and your photo is affected by sourroundings that are interfering with the available light. This can make your photos look yellow or green.
  • When you are going to enlarge the photo and print it in a big size. With Raw you never have to worry about loss of quality.

Positive attributes of JPEGs

If you just need to take everyday snapshots, such as pictures of your kids’ school play, your grandma’s birthday or shoes you want to sell on ebay.

If you are a blogger and post many photos on a daily basis, Jpeg can give you a fast and easy workflow.

Jpeg is also great if you need to email photos or post them to Facebook without much hassle. Whenever you need to process photos quickly, and the quality is less important, then Jpeg is perfectly fine.

But if you shoot fine art, fashion, portraits—photos that clients are paying for—it’s time to shift into Raw mode to upgrade your image quality.

JPEG VS RAW: What are the differences?

jpeg vs raw


  • Standard format
  • Processed by the camera
  • Fairly small in size
  • Higher in contrast
  • Sharper straight out of the camera
  • Immediately suitable for printing and web posting
  • Takes up less space on your hard drive
  • Is like a print
  • Takes up less space on your memory card

Shoot in Jpeg when you:

  • Photograph in perfect daylight conditions
  • Want a quick workflow
  • Don’t need to do much post-processing
  • Want to save space on your hard drive
  • Take everyday snapshots


  • Uncompressed format
  • Waiting to be processed by software like Photoshop or Lightroom
  • Large in size
  • Not as sharp. You get to fine-tune sharpen in Photoshop
  • Gives you great control over exposure, highlights, contrast, colors, etc.
  • Not suitable for printing directly from the camera
  • Is like having a negative
  • Takes up a lot of space on your memory card

Shoot in RAW when you:

  • Photograph in not-so-perfect light conditions
  • Want a perfect white balance
  • Want quality photos for your portfolio and clients
  • Want full control over the final look of your image
  • Print large photos and posters

Organizing and storing raw files

There are some downsides to shooting in Raw:

  • The files are much bigger
  • There is no standard Raw format
  • Every camera manufacturer has its own format
  • Raw takes longer for the camera to write, which decreases the FPS (frames per second)
  • Most software has to be updated to support the latest cameras.
  • When you’re shooting Raw, the camera has a larger amount of data to process so there will be more megabytes to save to the memory card. (Shooting in jpeg will allow you to capture 2 or 3 times more images.) This also means that the images will take up much more space on your computer.

What you can do

The best thing you can do is to buy an external hard drive. Personally, I don´t want my Raw files stored on my computer because they quickly take up all the space, and the computer slows down and can make software programs like Photoshop crash while being used.

When I upload Raw images to the computer after a photoshoot I immediately transfer them to an external hard disk.

As soon as I have backed up all the pictures, I delete them from my computer, leaving my computer fresh, clean and fast. :-)

What Kind of Software to use

When you shoot in RAW you’re using computer software to convert your images. It’s similar to taking a negative into the darkroom. You´ll need to use the software that came with your camera, or you could use a software such as Adobe photoshop CC, photoshop elements or Lightroom.

6 easy steps to start shooting in RAW:

1. Set your camera to Raw. In camera settings click on quality (Canon) and choose Raw. If you can´t find it, grab your camera manual and look for Raw.

2. Take a few pictures with your camera in Raw mode.

3. Connect your camera to your computer and upload the photos.

4. Pick a photo you wish to work on and open it up in Photoshop. When you upload a RAW file into Photoshop the Raw converter program will automatically open up. The Raw converter program comes free with Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. If you don’t have Photoshop you can use Lightroom.

5. Inside the Raw converter play with the sliders to the right side. Each slider control a specific adjustment like exposure, contrast, brightness, color tones, shadows, saturation. This is where you get to finish your Raw file. It’s sort of like being inside a darkroom working on a negative. You can adjust so many things inside Camera Raw, but as a beginner this is enough to familiarize yourself with this part of the program.

6. When you are happy with the result, you can now use the image in Photoshop to make final adjustments. To bring your photo into Photoshop, simply click on “Open Image” down in the right-hand corner. In Photoshop you can choose to do even more adjustments and/or save it as a JPEG file.

6 easy steps to shoot in raw

That’s it! I hope you are inspired to try shooting in RAW :-)

Much Love,

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94 thoughts on “From JPEG to RAW: A Beginners Guide to Start Shooting in RAW – The Easy Way

  1. Thank you Julie!

    My portfolio pictures are a mix of both. Many of the girls looks like pro models because of the makeup and styling. This is a transformation I love to work with :-)

  2. Thank you Christina – well done! And I totally agree!
    I have been shooting in RAW for a little while now, and I use Adobe Lightroom to process the files before opening them in Photoshop or PSE. Recently I went back to try adjusting some of my earlier photos, which I had shot in JPEG. The difference really became clear when I tried that – I have so much more control of the final output of my RAW photos…whereas the JPEGs almost become ‘muddy’ if I try to make adjustments. I almost always shoot in RAW now.

    BTW, some cameras have a setting that takes both RAW & JPEG at the same time. That’s how I started out. It takes up more space on the memory but for beginners who are nervous (like me!) it is a good option to have both.

    1. Hi Karen

      I agree with you – RAW is love, right :-)

      I started shooting with both JPEG and RAW too when I started – I felt more safe doing so. So yes, that´s a great beginners tip. Then they can skip JPEG when they feel confident in RAW :-)

      Hugs/ C

  3. I can’t miss your posts !hehe I always learn something new from them! Like: “Raw takes longer for the camera to write, which decreases the FPS (frames per second)” Wow, If I read this before- I don’t remember, all I know is that NOW I know!! Lol 😉

  4. Hi Christina, I just bought a Canon 7D and had decided it was now or never to shoot in raw! So happy to have found you at this particular time. Joan McGraw

  5. I have only taken few pictures in RAW, but I have had the opportunity to photoshop a ton of RAW pictures from a concert, and I really loved what you can do in Photoshop with a RAW picture much more than just a JPEG. Really need to start taking more pictures with RAW!

  6. Wow, I’ve just discovered your blog and I definitely love it!! So happy to see all those tutorials and tricks!!
    I started some month ago to shot in RAW and from the beginning it amazed me how flexible it is and how much you can edit afterwards. Thanks for the tips!! 😉

  7. Wow, great article! This was so helpful, I’m definitely gonna give RAW a try. But I have a doubt. When you finish editing the picture in photoshop in which format should you save the final picture?

  8. Hello Christina,
    just passed by to say a big thank you for this post.
    I had read many a times before about raw but had never given it a try as it seemed difficult.
    Your article though made it look so easy… so i tried… and i succeeded!!!
    Such a big difference in the quality of the pics.
    Again: many many thanks!!!

  9. Thank you SO much for this information. I have been using a Canon EOS 400D for the last 6 years and "discovered" RAW format about 12 months ago. It is an extremely interesting format of picture, and I am having lots of fun playing with the menus. However, I am noticing that the Canon EOS RAW program is developing faster & faster. Does anyone know how I go about keeping my OEM software up to date without updating my camera?

  10. in my experience, shoot in raw whenever you have enough space on your card. for instance, i went to a 2-day trip round north-israel and took a 2gb card with me, that i knew i would never fully occupy, so every shot was a raw :)
    the biggest advantage in my opinion the the ability to produce a decent photo even when you messed-up the exposure.
    finally, even if youre not shooting in RAW+jpeg mode, most software now have a batch convert option. that way you dont need to manually convert every picture for upload\print.

  11. Hi Ms Greve,
    Recently, I decided to return to my love of photography and use it in my artwork. I’ve been looking around at the information on various blogs and read yours today. I found it both interesting and informative. Before I continue my learning period, I need to have some input about starting with an old camera. It is an AE1 Cannon that I was given about 15 years ago. It shoots in an automatic mode and also allows me to pick my own settings. Is it worth starting out with a camera that needs film or should I invest in a new digital camera? I suspect that getting my negatives uploaded to my computer is possible but can’t think of any advantages. I don’t know how much I will be using this in my work but I believe that it will be an asset for me to be able to take professional quality photographs. I’d be interested in knowing what you would recommend.
    Alice G.

    1. Dear Alice

      I guess it depends on your budget and also what you feel like doing. Remember it´s not the camera that makes you good – it´s your eyes, your creativity, your connection with the world. I started with a really bad camera as well, but I think I did okay :)

      If you choose to shoot film you need to really want to do this, because it´s a little more work to get good pictures. But you´ll learn many great things from shooting film – as you only have 24 or 36 shots in one role, you need to be selective and get it right and that´s really great training. It´s also a matter of style – what style do you wish to be known for in the future – film or digital?

      Personally I´d go for digital, I love the control it gives me over my images. I think your decision is very much a style decision – do you love film or digital – my answer would be to follow your heart :-)

  12. Christina,
    Thanks for the post! It’s very informative! I have an old version of Photoshop. I mean very old! I have Photoshop2… do I have to download anything from Adobe in order to download RAW files onto my computer?

    1. Hi Liz, You can always find the latest RAW update for your camera on :-) Not sure how it works with such an old version though.

  13. Christina,
    Thanks so much for your post, it’s very informative and answered so many of my questions-some i didn’t even know i had :). I’ve had a passion for photography for years and recently started working towards making it my profession, but since i am just starting out i think it goes without saying that i am, as you said, scared of failure and tend to stick with what i know. However I’m very interested in trying RAW. Two questions i have are 1. do i need to change other settings on my camera while shooting RAW (i have a canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D) or is RAW the only one and Photoshop will do the rest? 3. i have lightroom4 Photoshop. is that one a good Photoshop to have for photos that are shot RAW?
    Again, thanks so much for your post! I’m exited to look into your tips from the past and eager for the ones to come! :)

    1. Hi Jami

      I´m happy you liked my post about going from JPEG to RAW -trust me you´ll never go back :-)

      You don´t have to do more in your camera settings other than set it to shoot in RAW – make sure to check your manual to see that you do it correct.

      Lightroom is not the same as photoshop – it´s two seperate programs. Lightroom is excellent for editing RAW and is all you need. When you advance and want to do more, for example Retouch a portrait, photoshop comes in handy :-) Photoshop can do much more than Lightroom, but Lightroom is truly great for all the basic editing and in many cases it´s all you need.

      Hope it helps :-)

      Hugs/ C

      1. Thanks for all the great advice.

        So here’s my question, why have both Photoshop and Lightroom. Could you not just use Photoshop, is there not just 1 program that will do both jobs well?

  14. Dear Christina,

    I’m already started shooting in RAW, but your article definitely clearified a few things for me. I was wondering why my images were so dark and didn’t have the atmosphere I was looking for. I shot a picture in RAW and when I looked at the preview on my Canon 600D screen it was so much different than it was in photoshop, but now I understand. Thank you very much and I really admire your work.

    Greetings from the Netherlands.


  15. Ok, I just switched my camera to RAW!! Wish me luck! I did wonder though when i switched it to raw do i set the JPEG to the – setting?

    1. Hi Krista.

      Good for you girl!

      You can start by shooting in both RAW and JPEG and then when you feel more confident, go for only RAW :-) So on your setting go for RAW + Jpeg, or just RAW :-)

  16. hi! I’ve snapped some really nice pictures in jpeg format & when I looked thru them in my canon 70d it was super clear and nice.. but when I opened them to view in imac, it looks so blur and unfocused!! I’m feeling devastated as my families are dying to see nice pictures using this dslr!! help pls??

    1. The thing is, you can never rely on the little preview-screen on the camera to tell you how sharp your images are – unless you use the zoom button to zoom all the way in on the eyes to check. But rarely to we do that when we are busy shooting – nevertheless it´s a good habit to develop. Unfortunately unsharp images are difficult to rescue with a nice result, but don´t be to sad, because you learned SO much from this experience – I know you´ll never let this happen again. Now you are already a much better photographer :-)

      You can sign up for my free 5-day course and learn more about how to take tack sharp images :-)

      xoxo, Christina

  17. Hi Christina,

    Thanks for the post, I just searched ur site..and found it very helpful @ quick time..thanks A lot..
    Do add some pics..and techniques

    Thanks Neel

  18. Christina,
    Thank for for taking the time to write this very informative article. I am an avid amateur and have always shot in JPEG and never felt the need to take up the extra space with raw. However, on my last camping trip I have some beautiful sunset shots on a beach but they have a huge dynamic range and Lightroom with maximum adjustments was able to get detail in both the highlights and the shadows but it looks pretty grainy on screen and I am guessing I can’t print the image very large. So I am thinking about shooting in raw.
    My dilemma is that maybe half or three quarters of what I shoot I want to be able to print in large format but the other half I want to be able to quickly email or post on a social network site to family and friends. I like being able to just export an image from Lightroom and attach it to an email to show someone where I was or a nice sunset without doing much editing.
    I also currently have all my images on my MacBook because I like to screen and edit them when I travel.
    I was wondering if you have any suggestions for my situation?

    1. Hi Scoot

      Well done with sunset photos :-)

      Well first of all I would suggest that you consider each situation before you decide to shoot in RAW or JPEG. With experience you might know this already – depending on the light and the situation, is it an everyday snapshot or is it fine-art you are going for aka sunset for print? You can quickly change the settings on your camera.

      In situations where you don´t know for sure, I suggest you shoot in both RAW and JPEG. Then if one of your photos turn out absolutely amazing and you would love to print it, you know you have the RAW file and you can edit that one for perfection :-) Then simply delete those RAW files you don´t need or save them on an external hard disk. You still have the JPEG´s for easy editing and email.

      Second of all I would highly suggest you get two external hard disk´s (small ones). Then empty your computer for photos (maybe except for the ones you are working on at the moment). Fill both hard disks with all the photos and now you have a faster computer + back up on your work. Keep one external hard disk some where safe in your home and take the other one with you one the go (it can easily fit into your camera bag and when you want to edit, you just plug it into the computer).

      If you keep all your photos on your computer, you risk it will be slow and start collapsing photoshop or lightroom while you work. And if something happens to your computer you might loose all your work – so external hard drives are your best friends :-)

      Hope my tips can help you a little :-)

  19. Hi Christina,

    I have a question (as a fairly new beginner): If I purchased elements do I also need to purchase Photoshop in order to complete the process of RAW photos? I’m a little confused, although your article was so incredibly easy to read! Right now I am using JPEG. I want to explore RAW but do not have Photoshop, Elements, etc. My camera is capable of shooting RAW; I just tried and when I uploaded the memory card, all the pictures I took in RAW did not show up, only the pictures I took in JPEG! Can you shed more light for me. Thanks so much.

    1. You need to update your RAW converter. Elements is the same as photoshop, just in a smaller version, but it still has RAW editing. Find out which element program you have – fx elements 10 google it like this: photoshop elements 10 + raw update. Hope this helps :-) As soon as you have downloaded the update it should be able to find your RAW photos.

  20. Thanks. Sense at last ! I just got an EOS 550d. solely to shoot better quality photos so went straight to RAW. Didn’t even know it existed but saw that it took most memory. Brilliant, so glad I did. Have adjusted to Picasa as windows photo gallery can’t deal.
    Just one thing. I exported from Picasa to my laptop, deleted the original files (not wanted) then noticed that the photos are now JPEG? How? is it just a compressed RAW file? Have zoomed in and will be able to print even larger than poster I think which is what I have done so far. Go RAW :)

  21. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been a jpeg user for EVER- but I always play with the images in psd afterwards, and am often disappointed with how even tiny edits make the quality of the original just look awful. You… pretty much made my day! Thanks for the RAW guide! Now to try it on the dozens of photos I just took!

  22. Great article – I am going to give it a try since I like to do some editing -when time allows me.
    Thank you for posting such a helpful article

  23. This really is an awesome introduction to RAW! I’ve been mostly shooting RAW ever since I bought my first DSLR because I love how much you can improve the light with it! :)

  24. Hi there Christina! Gosh, I am such a fan of your beautiful photography. I sure wish you were in the US so you could teach classes! It would be very helpful and interesting if you maybe made a video of you editing a photo in Lightroom so we can see how oyu bring your images to life? Thank you!


    1. Hi Kat

      Thank you :-)

      I do offer free photoshop videos to watch here on the blog. Also I teach online training so it does not matter where in the world you live. In my online training I offer about five hours of photoshop training, so you will get to know my full workflow and learn all my secrets :-)

  25. i have a canon powershot sx160 is and i have been trying to locate the raw feature. does my camera not have this??? if so, do you know how i get to it??? thank you!!!!

  26. thank you for letting me know. it still takes great pics and i use a program that does what i need it to so im okay with that :)

  27. Hi Christina,
    I’m about to buy my first DSLR and I have been doing a bit of research on how to, like you teach myself photography and how to use all the settings. I came across this post of yours and wanted to say how helpful it was. Thank you. I endeavor to research you some more as you have a great way explaining. Any websites and or tips would be appreciated.
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Mark

      Thanks for your kind words :-) My best tip would be to try this: spend 30 minutes every day for 2 weeks with your camera and it´s manual. Go through the manual and step by step and test what you read on your camera right away. I promise you this will greatly improve your knowledge of your camera and what you can do with it :-) Have fun!

      1. Thanks for the tip Christina. Just got my first DSLR, I got the Nikon D5300, it came with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens, but I also got myself the 50mm f/1.8G, awesome lens. Only had it a couple of days now, WOW very daunting but exciting. Thanks again.

        1. Congrats Mark, I´m sure you will soon be a confident photographer – just take one step at a time and you will do just fine :-)

          1. Hi, I hope you don’t mind that I wrote you here on this vein of thinking, I too just found your site and just bought a NikonD5300. Up until now I had a Lumix FZ150 single lens. I just started shooting raw format photos about 6 months ago and love working with them via my PSE11!! Imagine my dismay last night when I downloaded my first sample sets of photos to work with and PSE11 said I couldn’t open the RAW format photos!!! Is there any photo processing program that does work with that camera, do you think? I know about the DNG converter but I so want to work with the RAW format. If you can give me any advice or tell me where to go to get some, I really would appreciate it! This article was an excellent article on raw formatting and I enjoyed it! Have a great day!
            (p.s. how will I know if you answer my question here?)

  28. Love the way you explain this subject, I only would like to know what is a good size for a jpg file. I have Lightroom on my computer and would like to know the perfect jpg size so they sill look great when I enlarge them for print.
    In Lightroom the software asks me how large I want to make the jpg file

    Thank you xoxoxo

  29. Wonderful article…thank you! I don’t have photo shop just what came with my canon 70D. I have just started shooting in raw but have not uploaded any of the photos. I didn’t realize they are so large and use a laptop. I also took my pictures, not realizing it, on the raw/jpeg setting. When I load them on my computer will it differentiate? Thanks again!

  30. Hi!

    I really found your article to be very encouraging, for sure! I have had a problem with my RAW files since I started a couple of months ago. I could be as careful as you have recommended and no matter what I do, my photos get fuzzy. My ISO will be all the way down to 100 and my aperture around 2.8 or so. I am able to make all these incredible edits but I can’t avoid the fuzziness. What should I do?

    1. Perhaps you are photographing in low light settings? Make sure you have enough available light. Also make sure your shutter speed is always higher than the length of your lens. If your lens is 40mm make sure your shutter speed is 50 or above, if your lens is a 85mm make sure shutter speed is above 100 and so on. If that does not help, get to the store and have your camera + lens checked out to see if something is wrong. Good luck :-)

  31. Hello, Thank you very much for all of your advise. It will really help me. I’ve been very scared to make the change to RAW from JPEG but now that I’m actually shoots for prints I know that I need to shoot raw to ensure maximum quality of pictures.

    Thank you!

  32. Really informative post – enjoyed reading it.

    I’ve just started shooting Raw and so far happy with the results. I’m having issues with my macbook currently, so wondered if anyone had any sucess in editing raw on a tablet? I have piRAWner application, which is excellent – but does tend to crash. Any other suggestions?

  33. Thank you! I can’t believe I have completed two photography courses and my tutor never mentioned raw. I am still learning and wanted to go over to raw but my understanding limited. Great clear article. My camera is now set on raw and can’t wait to give it a go!

  34. Christina,

    Thanks so much for the explanation……not only the “how”, but the “why.” I needed that!

    Keep up the great work!


  35. Hi Christina!
    I just found your site and I’m thankful for all the info. I just purchased my first DSLR – Nikon D5300. My mentor told me to shoot in RAW from the start, along with JPEG. Then, when I learn how to use the editing tools, I can go back to my first photos and improve them. I know the RAW files are larger, so I am wondering if there is a way to download them directly to an external drive without overwhelming my older PC’s memory?
    I was happy to find out that my point-and-shoot also can shoot in RAW.
    Wow – so much to learn!
    Thank you for all the advice and help on your site!

  36. Hi,Christina,when I shoot in raw and make changes in PHOTOSHOP and convert to jpeg can you tell me why the size of the file decreases .Thank you Seamus

  37. been trawling internet for days starving for info till now. thank you christina. i have a brand new canon 600d out of the box so apart from choosing RAW and pointing and shooting do i have to alter camera settings eg; iso / AF / al servo. terrible examples sorry. specially if i use potrait /closeup/sports etc any info will be hungrilly accepted. thanks again :0)

  38. You make it sound so simple…

    I am going to Prague this weekend and I am now so inspired I am considering moving my camera setting over to shoot in RAW!

    What a great post – thanks!

  39. Thanks for a simple explanation. I have a couple thousand slides from the 60’s on up. I’m going to copy them using my camera and want the highest quality possible and the ability to do corrections. Many of the slides, because of age have shifted exposure and color. I have a Nikon D5100 with an old manual 55mm macro lens and a couple of extension tubes. I’ll probably use the Nikon slide copy attachment.

  40. Wow, this was so helpful! I recently bought a Canon and have been wondering what exactly is RAW and how can it help me in my adventure into the world of photography! Thank you so much for this post!! I need to check out all your other posts! You are obviously very experienced in photography! :)
    Again thanks, and God bless!

  41. Hey! Your post really helped me a lot. ..I have heard the talk about how great it is to shoot in Raw but never knew it be not do.complicated. Truth be told I kinda shunned away from it for awhile thinking I could mess up.people’s images like this. Thnx for boouting my confidence

  42. Thanks to your article, I will switch to raw. I just went from a Canon F -1 film camera to Canon’s EOS 6D full frame DSLR. There is only one memory card slot, so it’s either/or when it comes to JPEG/RAW. I primarily shoot macro and look for tack sharp images. I was not sure which file to use until I happened across the article. Thank you…

  43. Heya, just want to say, ‘Thank you!’ =) thanks to your simple and easy to follow instructions I now finally understand what RAW is all about, I just got myself a compact that can shoot RAW and can’t wait to try it out, thanks again!

  44. Hi there, thank you so much for posting this…. I am going to give RAW images a try! I have a Fuji-film finepix S4430….

  45. Christina…I was looking for something relating to a problem with my 7D when I discovered your BLOG…I am impressed Dear…this information for beginners is RIGHT ON…Dear I shoot a lot. AND I know that what you are providing in this thread is going to be more beneficial to those as you say, intimidated to try RAW…I also shoot with a 5D Mark II , but my main camera is the 7D…can’t wait to try the 7D Mark II…combining those two great cameras plus with some beefed up features will make this camera a must to own…Best to you Dear…Rj

  46. Hi!
    Love your article, I have found the courage to start shooting in raw format. I’ using a canon EOS 600D. I have a question about taking the actual picture in “raw format”. All my pictures turn out pitch black on the screen. Am I doing something wrong here? Then I open the black picture onto photoshop elements 12 editor and no converstion happens, which is suppose to as you mentioned if you shoot in RAW format. The picture just uploads and when I begin editing it, you can not work with the image as it is dark and useless. Please help =)

  47. When I transfer my files from my computer to my external hard drive, my photos convert to jpeg. How do I have them transfer and stay in raw? Thanks!!

  48. Hi Christina,

    I have just come across this post and found it very informative, so thank you. I was actually out shooting this morning with my new Canon 5D mark 3 and it was set up to shoot purely in raw. However, when uploading my images, they were all jpeg files. Have you come across this problem before?

  49. This is my workflow as well. Another thing that I am doing is saving my finished edits to a cloud service, like BOX (free 50gb) so in case something happens to my external drive, I have another backup. You can also zip the files and put them on a cloud OR zip them and burn them to a DVD. I do that because external hard drives can fail and I’d just DIE if I lost my files.

  50. Interesting article about RAW. I have a Canon EOS 350D. I shot six or seven pictures yesterday in RAW. But when it came to uploading to my laptop, I finally turned the camera off because I had waited 30 minutes and the camera was still busy. I was loading through a usb port. How long does it take to load RAW?

    1. It should not take very long to load RAW not more than JPEG. So something else must be wrong. Try updating your editing software and see how it goes :-)

      1. Is my editing software PhotoShop? If so, the version I have is CS2. Is there some other software I need to upload RAW images?

        1. Photoshop is perfect for RAW, but CS2 is very old and that might be what is giving you trouble. If you upgrade to a new version of photoshop or Lightroom I´m sure it will work. You could try their free 30 day trail and see if it works :-)

  51. Hi christina! Thank you for clarifying raw and JPEG so nicely. I’m a fairly new photographer and i have been shooting in raw for a while but when I want to upload my pictures that look very sharp and net ino sites like Flickr they loose quality and dont look as sharp… Shall I convert them into JPEG before i post them or what is the best solution?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Leila

      Make sure to save your photos as JPEGS and also before you upload them to Flickr it´s best to resize them. An original photo is a large file and and not suitable for the web, therefore you must resize them and make sure they have a lower resolution. I recommend a resolution of 72 and a photo size of 700-1000 px in width. Hope this helps.

  52. Thank you for your help in understanding RAW and JPEG images. I’m still trying to work around storage of all the data

  53. Hi Christina!

    Great article, thank you for your help! I am going to give RAW a try. Question, I have not purchased photoshop or lightroom yet, but i plan on doing so ASAP. I was planning on starting out with lightroom. Is that a good choice? Can I still control the white balance and all the other settings you talked about in this article?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

  54. Christina, Thank you for your unselfish sharing, I am an old film photographer wanting to do photography in this digital era. I love digital, but at times I am frustrated because of how hard it is to create a good image. You have been a big help, now I just need to get out there and do it.

    Thank You, so much


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