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Digital Stock Photography: The RAW vs JPG Debate

If you use aDigital Stock Photography and that camera is an SLR, then it most likely can record images in RAW format. In general, you should record your images at the highest resolution possible. If you only have a small memory card and are worried that you can only record a few RAW images on it, then it’s time to buy a bigger card! [They don’t cost much these days]. You can always shrink an image after it’s taken but you can’t enlarge a small one without introducing artifacts. At the very least, you should have your camera record images in Hires JPG format but RAW format is even better.

Design TrainingAny kind of JPG written to your camera’s memory card will be processed in some way. JPGs, by their very nature, lose information in an image. If you repeatedly save a JPG, you’ll lose more and more detail in it and see more artifacts appearing. Also, if you’ve set your camera up to do some image manipulation (e.g. contast/brightness adjustments), these will also be applied before your camera writes the image out to the memory card. In such cases, you could end up with images that have burned out highlights or shadows that are so deep that they contain no detail. Such areas of an image may be irreparable even with the likes of Adobe PhotoShop.

RAW images, on the other hand, are simply that – raw. What the camera sees is dumped (without any image manipulation whatsoever) onto the memory card. RAW images also tend to contain more information and detail and have larger file sizes than similar resolution JPGs. The problem with RAW files is that they’ve not been the easiest to work with; for example, Windows Explorer cannot show RAW files as thumbnail images so, unless you’ve renamed your image files with meaningful names, you won’t know what the images are when you come back to them a couple of months later.

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March 26, 2009 - Posted by | Design News, Design Training, Design Tutorials, Fonts Download, Free Photoshop Brushes, Free Web Templates, illustrations, photoshop brushes, Stock Photography, Web Design | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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