The Power Of JPEG
Capture outstanding photos from JPEG-saved images by following these shooting guidelines
The two primary shooting formats for digital cameras are JPEG and RAW. JPEG is a file compression format that offers superb image quality when used correctly, while RAW is an excellent format for photographers who either need it or like working with it, but it isn't for everyone.
I largely shoot with JPEG and only shoot RAW when I need it for its greater tonal range or for dealing with problem situations. My images have appeared regularly on these pages and in my books, so obviously JPEG is a quality format. Newspaper photojournalists largely shoot JPEG, and so do many pros.
Because JPEG is such an important file format, I thought it was time someone provided pointers on how any photographer can get the most from it. There's no question that following many of these tips will improve RAW capture as well.
Why Shoot JPEG Anyway?
Let's begin by acknowledging that RAW offers superb benefits of increased adjustability for image files, and some photographers simply like working with all the adjustment possibilities it features.
RAW isn't the "pro" format and JPEG the "amateur" format, nor can it do miracles, however. Once exposure is beyond the range of the sensor, RAW offers no benefits over JPEG. Whether shooting RAW or JPEG, it's always good technique to shoot it right from the start. Adjusting a well-shot photo to make it look its best is always less work and more profitable than fixing a problem shot.