I was walking down the street here in Paris, thinking about writing a Camera Corner post on shooting RAW vs JPEG (JPG) when I saw this painted on a industrial wall. Strange. It's almost as if the artist knew that this would be the perfect picture for me and illustrate my point: Shoot RAW!
However, in photography we don't just look at our images, we edit them, crop them, adjust colors, try to remove noise, etc., and to do this, it is best to have the original file with all the information. Think of it this way: does a music producer sit down and edit and mix MP3's? No way! When editing music or images you want to work with the highest quality master possible. You can also think of RAW images as multitrack recordings: there are more "channels" of information in a RAW image which allows you to more finely tune your photograph.
If you are among those people who are saving up to buy a really nice camera, yet you are still shooting in JPEG, please save your money and try shooting in RAW for a while. Would you go out and buy an expensive CD player and then play MP3's on it?
I will write about converting to DNG, archiving, file naming, organization and many other related subjects in future posts. Stay tuned and dont forget to sign up for the RSS feed or for email delivery ...it's free!