RAW format images have gained extreme popularity in the world of digital photography! And not only professional photographers, but even professional photo editing and image editing service providers who offer image retouching, photo enhancement, photo restoration and photo sharpening at cost effective rates – prefer working on RAW images to get excellent results that meet client requirements.
This enormous popularity, definitely makes one wonder as to what is so special about RAW format photo editing – why is Raw file Editing the most preferred – Why it has found an exclusive place in the world of professional photography? There are various reasons to this popularity, hence, let’s understand why RAW images have become the FAVORITE!
What’s in RAW?
Before moving to the advantages and reasons for the growing popularity of raw images; let us learn more about RAW?
RAW isn’t an abbreviation. It is called RAW because it stores the ‘raw information about the image’ captured by the camera. The information captured in RAW format cannot be compressed nor does it get lost; unlike the photographs shot in JPEG format.
The RAW Advantages:
Extra Fine Details: While photo editing and retouching a RAW image, you have the complete liberty to sharpen and decrease the noise to a considerable level. In fact, any kind of minute detailing is achievable while working on RAW images.
Non-Destructive Photo Editing: While editing or retouching a RAW file, the original data does not get spoiled. The edited image gets stored in either JPEG or TIFF format while the original RAW file remains as it is – unchanged. Nor does it gets ruined nor is over-written, not even accidently.
World-Class Image Quality: As mentioned, even the minutest details captured in such images, remain intact in a RAW format. These details help a lot while editing images as it gives the image editor, a choice to make adjustments with things they want and discard the remaining. This, in turn helps in achieving the desired quality which is closer to client expectations.
Creating that Perfect White Balance: White Balance is one of the crucial aspects of photo editing. Shooting an image in RAW format helps you attune the White Balance easily unlike JPEG formats. In case of images that are in JPEG format, very limited options for customizing the white balance are available. However; attaining best quality, conveniently by adjusting White balance, is available for images in RAW format only.
Brightness Levels: RAW images have brightness levels from 4,096 to 16,384, as compared to 256 levels in JPEG. It portrays shades, ranging from black to white in an image. It is evidently visible that the brightness level can be meticulously adjusted, while photo editing the RAW images.
Repairing ‘Over/Under Exposed’ Images: It is probably very helpful for wedding photographers and fashion photographers who are supposed to capture objects, which are moving fast. With that extra information on the raw file, image editors can correct exposure of the images without ruining the image quality. This is one of those major reasons why several professional photo editing service providers choose RAW images.
Freedom to Select Color-Space: While exporting the images for photo editing, one can have liberty to select the color-space as well. Hence; people looking out to upload it for web; can go ahead and select the sRGB color-space, to make it compatible with various browsers. In other cases, common RGB color-space is also an option.
Like every coin; shooting in RAW has its own downside!
- RAW files are huge.
- They can consume your memory space up to 2-3 times as compared to JPEG and apparently slow down your camera.
- In case of RAW images, the time that goes in photo editing process is much higher as compared in JPEG format.
However; after understanding the advantages of RAW images, it seems the popularity is all set to increase with help of technological innovations and progress.
Ritesh Sanghani is a Director at HabileData for the past 15 years. He has worked with several international clients and has executed BPO projects of varying scales and complexities.