JPEG vs RAW – What’s the Difference?

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JPEG vs RAW picture

Are you curious about the differences between a JPEG and a RAW image file? Understanding the distinctions between these two popular file types is essential whether you’re just starting out with digital photography or have been taking photos for years.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss  what sets JPEGs and RAW files apart – including quality, size, the flexibility of editing options, and more – so that you can make an informed decision when deciding which format to use for your next project.


What is a JPEG file?


JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a common image format used to store digital photos. It is widely used by digital cameras, web browsers, and other applications that support this type of file.

JPEG files are generally smaller than RAW files because they use lossy compression, which reduces the amount of data within the image.

This makes them ideal for sharing online. However, they could be more suitable for editing as the image quality can be significantly reduced.

The benefits of using JPEG


JPEG files are more user-friendly than RAW files due to their smaller size and ease of use. JPEGs are also compatible with all image editing software, making them ideal for quick edits or projects that don’t require many adjustments.

What is a RAW file?


RAW files are digital images containing all the information captured by the camera’s sensor during the shooting. They are often referred to as ‘digital negatives’ and provide more flexibility when editing the image.

 RAW files are generally larger than JPEG files and require specialized software to process them.

The benefits of using RAW


Raw files offer many benefits over JPEGs, including higher image quality and greater flexibility in editing. RAW files also retain all the data captured by the camera’s sensor, which means they can be edited more extensively than JPEGs.

Additionally, JPEG files tend to become distorted or lose detail when heavily edited, whereas RAW files remain intact.

Which is Better: JPEG or RAW?


The answer depends largely on what your purpose for the photo is. A JPEG file will be sufficient if you want to share photos quickly online. On the other hand, if you’re looking to edit a photo or have more control over post-processing, choose a RAW file.

Depending on their use, JPEG and RAW files can produce great results. Understanding their differences and what suits your particular needs is important. That way, you can ensure you get the most out of your digital photos.

What is the difference between JPEG and RAW files?


When capturing images, professional and amateur photographers often wrestle with JPEG vs. RAW file choices. JPEGs are a commonly used file format that is smaller in size and requires minimal editing, while RAW files offer higher quality and more flexibility in post-processing.

To begin, JPEGs (or Joint Photographic Experts Group) are image files that have been compressed for easy storage and transmission. JPEG compression uses algorithms to discard certain image data to reduce the file size, making JPEGs ideal for simple, everyday photos or website images.

 JPEGs contain 8 bits of color information per pixel which is adequate for most purposes but lacks the level of detail that RAW files offer.

On the other hand, RAW files are uncompressed image formats that contain more data and higher levels of detail than JPEGs. Because RAW images are not compressed, they require more storage space but allow for greater flexibility when editing.

They also contain a broader range of color information – usually 12 or 14 bits per pixel – so you can adjust highlights, shadows, and mid-tones during post-processing with far greater precision than JPEGs.

Which File Format Should You Choose?


JPEGs and RAW images each have their benefits and drawbacks. JPEG, or Joint Photographic Experts Group, is the most common image format used by digital cameras and other imaging devices.

JPEG files are generally smaller than RAW files, making them easier to store and transfer; they can also be quickly edited with photo-editing tools. JPEGs also offer good image quality, especially for those just getting started with photography.

On the other hand, RAW images provide more control over the editing process and deliver higher-quality results. Because a JPEG file is compressed and all of its non-essential data is discarded when it’s saved, there are fewer options available to make adjustments after the fact.

With RAW images, however, you have access to your camera’s data – which means you can fine-tune colors and tones more precisely when post-processing for a polished result.

So which file format should you choose? JPEGs are ideal for quick snapshots or sharing images quickly, as they require minimal editing and have smaller file sizes.

 On the other hand, RAW files offer more flexibility in image editing and produce superior-quality results that are great for professional photography projects. Whichever format you decide to use, understanding JPEG vs. RAW is essential to creating the best-looking images.

No matter your experience level, knowing when JPEGs and RAW files are most appropriate will help you make the most of your digital photography. With this knowledge, you can decide which file type is right for any project, so start exploring JPEGs and RAW today!

How to save a file as a JPEG or RAW?


Open the photos in RAW format, JPEG file format, or other image editing software. JPEG files can be saved directly as JPEGs, while RAW files need to be converted before they can be saved in JPEG format. To convert a RAW photo, select “Save As” and choose JPEG from the drop-down menu.

The JPEG version of the photo will have lower quality than its RAW counterpart; however, JPEGs are perfect for sharing online or printing. If you plan to edit the photo afterward, it’s best to save your photos in RAW format than JPEG since JPEGs will compress the image and lose some of its details.



Is a RAW file bigger than a JPEG file?

Yes, RAW files are typically bigger than JPEGs because they contain much more data. JPEGs utilize lossy compression, which discards some information in a file to reduce its size, while RAW files don’t compress their data.

As a result, JPEG files tend to be smaller and easier to store or share online, while RAW files remain larger but offer higher-quality images.

What are the editing capabilities of JPEG and RAW files?

When it comes to editing, JPEG files are great for quick tweaks. However, since JPEGs use lossy compression, each time you save an edited JPEG file, you lose a little more of the original data and reduce image quality.

What’s the best JPEG vs. RAW file format for professional photography?

Ultimately, it depends on the project. JPEG files are great for making small adjustments and quickly sharing images online, while RAW files have a larger file size but offer more editing options.

Professional photographers may opt to use both JPEG and RAW formats to get the most out of their photos – JPEG for quick edits and RAW for more detailed adjustments and higher-quality images.

Is JPEG or RAW better for printing?

JPEG and RAW files can be used to print photos, though JPEGs are generally more suitable since they are already compressed. JPEG files also require less storage capacity, raw and jpeg files, and may be easier to manage when printing multiple copies of an image.

 However, a RAW file is best if you need higher-quality prints. RAW files contain all the data from a digital image and thus retain more detail, jpeg file formats, allowing for sharper, higher-quality prints.

Does converting RAW to JPEG affect quality?

Yes, converting a RAW file to JPEG can affect the quality of your image. JPEGs use compression to reduce their size, raw vs, which results in some data being lost when you convert a RAW file to JPEG.

 While JPEGs can still produce good-quality images, process raw files, shooting raw, they cannot achieve the same level of detail and clarity as RAW files.

Should you always shoot in RAW?

Not necessarily. JPEG files are generally more convenient, and you can still get great results shooting in JPEG if you know how to adjust the camera settings correctly.

 However, RAW files give you greater flexibility when it comes to editing, raw vs jpeg, jpeg images, shooting jpeg, allowing you to make more detailed adjustments while preserving image quality. Ultimately, it depends on what type of photography you’re doing and how much control you need over your images.



In conclusion, JPEG and RAW files each have unique features that offer different benefits to photographers. JPEGs are the best choice for quickly sharing, jpeg image, or printing images, as they’re smaller in size and require less time for editing.

Meanwhile, RAW files provide a higher-quality image with more flexibility when making adjustments during post-processing.


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Leon Olagh

Leon Olagh is an experienced photo retoucher and editor. He shares insights and expertise in the field of photography through his blog posts. His work reflects a meticulous approach to the art of creating and refining visual content.

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