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Photography1 Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

Photography - JPEG VS RAW

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


A file format that captures all possible inform­ation that could be accumu­lated at the time when the sensor was exposed to the light. Uncomp­ressed (or lossless) image file with all of the inform­ation captured by the camera providing far greater ability and control over the final image.
Much larger file sizes - Since RAW files have more uncomp­ressed inform­ation they can be 2-3 times larger than JPEG files.
Write Times - The larger RAWs take longer to save as the slowest part of the whole process is actually saving the file to your memory card.
Higher in dynamic range - RAW files have greater dynamic range than the JPEG files. RAW file uses 12-bits or 14-bits per channel which allows a dynamic range of 4096 (212) or 16384 (214) levels­/tones per channel.
Less sharpness & Lower in contrast - Because no processing occurs in camera the resulting file (before editing) will appear lower in contrast, flatter and washed out.
Requires photo editing - RAW files must be converted into JPEG or TIFF files before they can be used for printing, sharing or posting on the Web. Each image has to be processed to optimally enhance the image and to convert it into the required format. And this takes more time than for standard editing with JPEG files.
File Compat­ibility - Every camera model creates a different RAW file that has unique processing requir­ements, so only compatible RAW converters can view these images.
Error correction - A better ability to correct for errors made when you took the photograph (such as exposure and white balance) and a resulting much better final result than if a JPEG where altered for these errors.


Joint Photog­raphic Experts Group - A standard format referred to as a lossy compre­ssion format, which reduces quality and this can reduce colour inform­ation and image resolu­tion.
Much smaller file sizes - The JPEG compre­ssion will result in relatively (and sometimes signif­ica­ntly) smaller file sizes when compared with a RAW file of the same capture.
Write Times - JPEG images are more rapid in writing to memory. When shooting your camera on burst mode (shoot contin­uously for a few seconds), you’ll actually be able to shoot more continuous shots using JPEG than RAW.
Lower in dynamic range - JPEG uses 8-bit per channel with dynamic range of 256 (2^8) levels­/tones per channel.
Sharper & Higher in contrast
Minimal image processing required - Processed right within the camera. While color temper­ature and exposure are set based on your camera settings when the image is shot, the camera will also process the image to add blacks, contrast, bright­ness, noise reduction, sharpening and then render the file to a compressed JPEG.
File Compat­ibility - Easy to view and edit with any image editing program making the images immedi­ately available for printing, sharing or posting on the Web.
Error correction - It is more difficult to correct mistakes of color and exposure.