mlech wrote in post #13799048
Wow a lot of these examples I just viewed alone in the last 10 pages have convinced me about going RAW from now on.
With RAW it just seems like you are able to pull more out of the picture in terms of editing?
I always shot JPEG and processed in lightroom/photoshop.
Well, there are several advantages to shooting and working with the Raw format:
When the camera creates a jpeg, it uses your Picture Style, White Balance and other in-camera settings to render an image from the Raw data, then throws away "unused" data to bring the image "down" to an 8-bit-per-channel RGB jpeg. The Raw file, on the other hand, keeps all captured data, including highlight and shadow detail that would otherwise have been discarded, and a wide range of color and tonal data that would be lost in the jpeg conversion.
What this means is that in a Raw processor, you can "massage" the Raw data further than you can with a jpeg. You can "recover" highlight and shadow detail to a greater degree, and you can also shift the tones and colors of your images to a degree that you would not be able to with a jpeg without running into some "messy" results.
Also important is White Balance: with a Raw file WB has not been "applied" to an image. Rather, it is a bit of data stored into the file, and your Raw processor reads that data and then applies it to the image you are working with. But with Raw, you are free to change that around, since the underlying data has not been changed.
With a jpeg, the WB has been applied in the camera and the RGB values of the individual pixels have been "set" accordingly. What this means is that in you pp software, whether a Raw processor or an editor such as Photoshop, you don't have the free latitude to set a new White Balance or WB "values" without possibly "messing up" your image or needing to do "serious" graphical editing.
That's a lot of it in a "nutshell".
All that being said, jpegs can be quick and convenient when you have a scene that you can "nail" without needing the advantages of the Raw format. Plenty of good photogs are happy shooting jpegs, others shoot Raw+jpeg, others shoot jpegs for either work or, say, for family "snapshots" but know to switch to Raw for "serious" photography.
A great way to get a feel of things is to do some Raw+jpeg shooting and compare. Shoot a variety of scenes and conditions -- some with well-controlled lighting so you can "nail" the exposure and where Raw may not benefit you so much unless you really want to "mess with" the color balance, and then some scenes with a high "dynamic range" of highlights and shadows where the highlight, shadow, and the broader tonal adjustments possible with Raw could make a huge difference.
And, play with things like White Balance and RGB curves in your Raw processor, and in Lightroom you have the HSL sliders where you can "tweak" the Hue, Saturation and Luminance of individual colors.
Compare the Raw with the jpegs with all these things, and you can decide for yourself what works best with your photography!