If you’re serious about photography, then you need to be shooting RAW. I’m sure you have heard this statement more than a few times, but is it true? Recently I made a comparison in my book “Mastering Lightroom’s Develop Module” between the RAW files and JPEG images of a Fuji X-T2 camera. I must admit that I expected the RAW file output to blow the JPEG files away in terms of quality. But they didn’t.

Having seen the out of camera JPEG images, if I were short of memory card space, I would be happy to switch to shooting just JPEG. But generally, I’m not going to do that and that’s because of the processing I can access in the future.

If I look back around 10 years, the software and editing techniques we could apply to RAW files was limited. At the time I thought it was revolutionary, but now the results look very poor.

In this video I demonstrate the processing of a RAW file from 2006 using On1 Photo RAW 2018. When you see the original processed image in 2006 you can see the change in both my taste for processing and the power of the software we now have. The original image appears overly saturated and with too much contrast; it’s very similar to the old Fuji Velvia slide film. When I process the RAW file using On1, I can open the shadows to reveal detail that couldn’t easily be seen before.

This is the reason why you should be shooting RAW. It allows you to take advantage of tomorrows technology.

Watch this video on Youtube