My Sunday Photo for this week is titled RAW or JPG
I have had the pleasure of playing with the excellent Panasonic Lumix TZ110 for the past few weeks. It is fair to say that I have been impressed by its capability. The TZ110 has performed well in a range of different conditions and regularly produces fantastic JPG photos straight off the camera.
Like many cameras these days, the Panasonic TZ110 is able to simultaneously generate a RAW file. I think this is incredibly valuable. If you are willing to take a little time to learn some basic photo editing skills, that RAW file can take your already excellent pictures to a whole other level.
Late yesterday afternoon I glanced out the back window and saw a sharp shaft of light cutting through the heavy shadow on the back fence. It immediately caught my eye – there was something extremely aesthetically pleasing about the sharp diagonal line of light and the way it cut across the shrub. I ran and grabbed the TZ110. I was sure that it would do a great job of capturing all of the detail in the highlights and the lowlights. Sure enough, this is what it produced.
I liked the photo and it came out as I knew it would, full of detail. But when I first saw the shaft of light, it was the great contrast between the light and dark parts of the fence that really grabbed my attention. I wanted to accentuate that contrast and really show off that shaft of light. This is where RAW comes in. A few simple alterations to the balance between the light and dark areas of the picture in a photo editor, and some other minor tweaks to colour and clarity, and this was the result…
This was much more like the image I had in my mind’s eye when I rushed upstairs to grab the camera. You could argue that it isn’t an exact representation of what I actually saw, and you would be right. However, the second photo is much closer to making me feel what I felt when I first glanced out my window. It is a much better representation of how interesting and engaging that shaft of light was when I fist saw it. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t look twice at that first picture. The second one grabs my attention, it makes me really see that pop of green on the plant. It invites me to explore the shadows.
The ability to take RAW and JPG photos simultaneously is handy to have. After all, you don’t want to be adjusting and converting several thousand photos after a family holiday (unless you are a sucker for punishment, like I am. That reminds me, I still haven’t finished that Japan photo album!). It allows you to have the bulk of your photos ready-made for printing or sharing on social media, but it also gives you the option to play with a select few of your photos and make something special.
The downside (there is always a downside) to shooting in RAW is the file sizes. the JPG of this photo is 6.48 MB, while the unedited RAW file is 22.3 MB. Taking a lot of RAW photos quickly drains space on your camera’s memory card, and on your computer’s storage. I would highly recommend investing in high-capacity memory cards and a decent home storage setup if you are planning on seriously getting into RAW files.
What do you think? Is the first picture better because that’s exactly what the camera produced, or is the second more captivating, even though you know it has been heavily edited? Do you think RAW photos are worth the effort?
Disclosure – Panasonic provided Blog Of Dad with the Panasonic LUMIX TZ110 for the purpose of review. The views expressed in this post are entirely my own, based on my experiences with the Panasonic LUMIX TZ110. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.