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If you should not record RAW images



RAW images contain much more data than JPEGs. If you use a SLR camera or a mirrorless camera, you should shoot with RAW most of the time – this will make the most of your camera. You can even record RAW on your iPhone. However, there are some situations where you do not have to take pictures or not ̵

1; RAW.

RELATED: How to make good RAW photos

When the photos do not matter or you want to be able to share them quickly

Occasionally, I'm photographed at a Christmas party or family celebration , These are not high quality portraits; they are just snapshots of – usually drunk – people. The only reason I am asked is that people know that I have a good camera. If you have made a name for yourself as a photographer, this will most likely happen to you.

If I get sick at one of these events, it's my concern to put my camera in the aperture priority mode and put a flash on my camera. If necessary, I'll do my own thing and occasionally take pictures. It's one of the few cases where I deliberately shoot jpeg images because at the end of the night, I can drag all the photos into a Dropbox folder (or any other folder) without looking at them and forward them to the organizer can. You get all the photos and I do not have to spend a few hours working with them in Lightroom.

When you take many pictures

When you take a picture with your camera, all the pictures are saved in a buffer before being written to the memory card. The size of this buffer is one of the most important things that limit how long you can shoot a burst. Since JPEGs are much smaller than RAW files, most cameras can store more JPEGs in their buffers, causing longer bursts.

RELATED: Why is my camera slowing down bursts or stopping them?

Example: my Canon 5DIII can take six RAW or JPEG shots per second. The buffer can only take 18 RAW photos, which means I get a three second burst at full speed before slowing down. However, it can record 64 JPEG images: that's a full ten seconds in continuous shooting.

RELATED: How do I make better shots in burst mode

Whenever I shoot sports games or other situations from a different position? If I want to decouple many fast bursts, I switch to JPEG. Sometimes it is more important to take the shot than to get a high quality photo of nothing.

When you take a time-lapse movie

Timelapse – these timelapse videos that take an hour, a day or even longer to a visible YouTube length – you need a huge number of photos. The most common format is 24 frames per second. For every second of footage you need to take 24 photos. This means that a two and a half minute time-lapse video consists of 3,360 photos.

Some time-lapse photographers shoot in RAW format, but they produce a tremendous amount of work and require a particularly powerful computer. Most laptops are unable to handle so much data. (At 25 MB per RAW file, this short period of time contains more than 80 GB of data.)

If you're just starting out, the easiest thing to do is to record on the spot and record JPEGs. Your computer will thank you.


There used to be another reason not to film from RAW – when space was tight – but that does not matter now: good SD cards cost between $ 10 and $ 30. Outside the above situations, you should record in RAW by default.


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