What is RAW format and should I use it?

RAW format refers to an unprocessed, uncompressed digital image file format. Unlike JPEG or PNG, RAW files are not ready-to-view. They capture all the image data recorded by the camera sensor when you take a photo, without any in-camera processing applied, such as sharpness, contrast, saturation, or white balance.

This gives photographers more flexibility in post-processing, as they can adjust various parameters without losing image quality. They can correct exposure problems, modify white balance, and bring out more detail in the highlights and shadows. RAW files also offer higher bit depth, meaning they can record a broader range of colors and tones.

However, RAW files are larger and take up more storage space. They also require more time to process and are not as universally compatible as JPEGs.

Whether you should use RAW or not depends on your photography needs. If you are shooting casually or need to save storage space, JPEG might be sufficient. But if you are aiming for professional-level results, shooting in RAW will give you the maximum potential for quality and control.