Camera Tip #28 - How RAW should it be? - Part 2

Raw Image format - NYC Photo Safari


Before you start shooting in RAW, you need to take a few more things into consideration. First, unless you are shooting in the RAW format called DNG, your RAW file is proprietary. Each camera manufacturer has their own proprietary RAW format. In other words a RAW Canon file (known as a cr2) is different from a Nikon file (known as an nef). And with each iteration of cameras the file is also different. In other words, a Nikon nef file from a D5100 is different from a Nikon D700. But a jpg is a jpg no matter what camera it comes from. Why is this important? It's important because you have to wonder whether or not the file will be supported in the future. Will you be able to open up that file 10 years from now? Will adobe support every file format out there forever? Will adobe be out forever? If not, will the next software company support the RAW file I created today? This remains to be seen. We do not know.

Another problem with the RAW format is that only a few programs are capable of reading it. Web browsers, word processing programs and email programs are incapable of displaying RAW files. In order to display your RAW file, you must first convert it to a jpg or something similar. If you want to have a commercial lab print your images, you can not send a RAW file either; you must first convert it to a jpg or a tiff.

So should you or shouldn't you use RAW, really depends on how you plan to use and display your images.