This Pro Says Beginners Should Take Raw Photos and Advanced Shooters Can “Get By” with JPEGs (VIDEO)

Conventional wisdom is that if you’re serious about photography you should always shoot in the Raw file format and reserve JPEG files for less important tasks such as emailing and posting images on the Internet. But this ongoing debate isn’t going to end any time soon, and in the video below you’ll see why one pro says he’s shooting JPEGs more and more often.

When it comes to ultimate image quality, uncompressed Raw files have an advantage because they provide what is essentially a “digital negative” that you can edit in post processing with “non-destructive” enhancements that are easily reversible. At the same time, Raw files are much larger than JPEGs, creating storage issues, and the editing process can be cumbersome and slow.

The problem with shooting JPEGs, is that you don’t have much control over how the camera processes an image, and it’s impossible to undo in-camera sharpening, noise reduction, and exposure adjustments after the fact.

In the video below, photographer Tony Northrup explains why he shoots JPEGs for certain purposes, and he takes a rather controversial stance on the JPEG vs. Raw debate. That’s because he says beginners should shoot Raw, while more experienced photographers can get away with the convenience offered by JPEGs, “because they don’t need the margin or error provided by shooting Raw.”

There are more interesting videos on Northrup’s YouTube channel, and be sure to take a look at the earlier tutorial of his we shared, revealing the best camera settings for just about any scene imaginable.

Algesoft's picture

I am missing the point of this article. Is getting by a new standard for the professionals? Or that anything controversial offers you better chance to be published? Following the logic of this sage advice we should all leave the full frame cameras to the amateurs because a pro can get by with a cropped sensor.