RAW versus JPEG: What is the difference when working in Lightroom?

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

In this video I take a look at the practical differences of processing RAW and JPEG images in Lightroom.

By comparing and processing a RAW and JPEG version of the same image you can see how much more detail you can get and recover from a RAW file.

Check out the video below for a few practical examples of how file type will influence the effectiveness of your Lightroom processing as well as some thoughts on RAW files from the Wild Eye team.

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As you can see the details you can recover, even when just using the Shadows slider, is quite dramatic.

Here is a quick comparison between the RAW and JPEG image.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife & Nature Photography

Noise reduction will obviously depend on various factors but even in this quick example you can see the difference.

As shown in the video, the same adjustments were made to both the RAW and JPEG file and you can even see the difference in quality and sharpness below.  Remember, this is a close up crop of the unedited images and only a small amount of noise reduction applied.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife & Nature Photography

There are still those who shoot in JPEG and there are most definitely times when that’s fine but when you know and understand what RAW files can do for you and how they can fit into your digital workflow there really is only one choice.

Do you shoot in RAW?

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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Comments 0

  1. AmyEmilia

    Thank you for this simple explanation of the value of RAW. I’ve been told that RAW files are the digital version of the film negative, and that helped me appreciate the value of the format. I’m still learning a lot about how to process RAW. Your video is very helpful!

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  2. Kelly

    I always shoot in RAW even if it’s just a ‘memory’ shot or pictures of my kitties because you never know when you’ll want to edit something 🙂

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