RAW Photography: Shooting in RAW for Beginners

The question of whether to shoot in RAW or JPEG format is one that frequently arises for photographers. Although JPEG is a popular format that is easy to work with and is compatible with the majority of devices, shooting in RAW gives photographers an unprecedented level of freedom and control over the photographs they capture.

In this piece, we will dig into the realm of RAW photography and walk beginners through the steps necessary to make use of its potential.

What is RAW Photography?

RAW is an image file format that does not do any compression or processing on the data that is captured by the camera’s sensor. It stores all of the data that is recorded. RAW files include data that has not been manipulated in any way and come directly from the sensor, in contrast to JPEG files, which apply changes and compression while still in the camera.

This information consists of the complete color spectrum, various levels of brightness, and other visual features.

Quality that is uncompressed and unaltered by compression

Since RAW files are not compressed in any way, the image quality that they contain is unaltered and of the highest possible standard.

Because of this, photographers are able to save the maximum amount of information, including color information, dynamic range, and details in their images.

Uncompressed and Lossless Quality

When it comes to post-processing, photographers benefit from the wide versatility offered by RAW files. You are able to make adjustments to a number of picture characteristics, including exposure, white balance, contrast, and saturation, while using RAW, all without affecting the image quality.

You will have the ability to fine-tune your photographs and bring out their full potential as a result of this freedom.

Greater Post-Processing Flexibility

RAW files offer a greater dynamic range, which allows them to capture more detail in the highlights as well as the shadows.

Because of this more considerable latitude, better control can be exerted over the tone range, which helps to minimize the loss of information in environments with challenging lighting conditions.

Non-Destructive Editing

When you edit RAW files, any changes you make will not affect the quality of the original file in any way. You won’t lose any of the original data, and you can always go back to the way things were before you made any changes.

During the process of editing, this function assures that no information will be irretrievably lost and offers a safety net for experimenting with different approaches.

How to Shoot in RAW

Set your camera to RAW mode: You may access the RAW file format option by going into the menu of the camera. Adjust the following additional settings: Make the necessary adjustments to the image settings that you want, such as the white balance, the ISO, and the exposure compensation.

Capture your images: You should begin shooting pictures in the same way that you would for any other format. The photographs are going to be saved as RAW files by the camera.

Understanding RAW Histograms

Histograms are graphical representations of the distribution of tonal values within a picture. Understanding histograms is absolutely necessary in order to properly evaluate exposure and make necessary changes.

When dealing with RAW data, it is essential to pay attention to the histogram in order to produce a picture that is correctly exposed and has an accurate portrayal of the tonal range.

Post-Processing RAW Images

Adjusting several different parameters during the post-processing of RAW photos is required in order to attain the desired effect. This can involve things like fine-tuning the exposure, altering the white balance, increasing the contrast, and making any necessary local modifications.

The software that processes RAW images gives user-friendly tools that perform these modifications quickly and easily.

RAW Photography on Mobile Devices

RAW photography is now a viable option on a variety of mobile devices, thanks to the rapid development of camera technology for smartphones.

RAW capture capabilities may be found in a variety of apps and software, making it possible for mobile photographers to make use of the advantages of shooting in RAW format.

RAW Photography for Different Genres

Different types of photography, such as landscape, portrait, animal, and even street photography, may all benefit from using the RAW file format.

RAW is a good choice for photographers who want to capture the essence of their subjects since it allows them to fine-tune their settings while still retaining the maximum amount of details.


Q. How do I shoot in RAW?
A. To shoot in RAW, set your camera to RAW mode in the settings menu before capturing your images.
Q. What software do I need to process RAW files?
A. There are various RAW processing software options available, such as Adobe Lightroom, Capture One, and DxO PhotoLab.
Q. Can I convert RAW files to JPEG later?
A. Yes, RAW files can be converted to JPEG or any other format during post-processing using RAW processing software.
Q. Are RAW files larger than JPEG files?
A. Yes, RAW files are larger in size compared to JPEG files due to the absence of compression.
Q. Is shooting in RAW suitable for beginners?
A. Yes, shooting in RAW is suitable for beginners as it provides more room for editing and improvement in post-processing.


Paul, a cornerstone member of the DSLRCameraSearch team since its inception, brings over two decades of rich experience as a tech journalist. His profound knowledge in the realm of photography is extensive, covering a wide spectrum from cameras to lenses. Renowned for his insightful analysis and deep understanding of photographic technology, Paul has been instrumental in shaping the website's content, offering readers expert advice and comprehensive reviews that reflect his long-standing expertise in the ever-evolving world of technology and photography.