Site Information

behars Loading... Please wait...


Photographers, camera enthusiasts and image specialists are creative by nature, always looking at the big picture. That’s why we’ve used this phrase in naming our blog—because we also see more when it comes to the world of photography. This monthly blog will share the latest on the products, techniques and opportunities that take your passion and your pictures to the next level. Thanks for joining us, and don’t forget to smile!

JPEG Versus RAW—What You Should Know About File Formats

Posted by Art's Cameras Plus on

Learning the basics about file formats can help you take better photos

When you buy a new digital SLR camera, you suddenly have a lot of options for taking better photos, but first you have to figure out the basics—like choosing whether to work with JPEG or RAW files. Better yet, start simply by decoding all those acronyms: SLR stands for single lens reflex; JPEG stands for joint photographic experts group, the people who developed this format for compressing image files; and RAW stands for …nothing.

RAW isn’t actually an acronym—it’s the industry term for a complex photo file that has not been processed or converted into an image. Thus it contains a massive amount of “raw” data from the camera sensor, which you can then download, select, and manipulate with special photographic software to create an ideal image for any need.

By comparison, a JPEG file is essentially assembled in your camera using preset contrast and color parameters. You can adjust the compression level for higher resolution and better quality, and since files are easy to work with and share, JPEG is the most popular image format.

Now that you know what each file is, here’s a quick list from the Certified Photographic Consultants at Art’s Cameras Plus of reasons why you might choose one over the other.

Benefits of Shooting in JPEG Format

  • Smaller file size of a JPEG means faster opening, editing, and transferring, plus it requires less data storage capacity so you can take more pictures.
  • JPEG is a standard format, readable by most image programs on the market. You will need professional conversion software to view or enhance RAW files.
  • JPEG is considered "user-friendly," even for computer amateurs. If you are not an experienced photographer with a solid understanding of all your camera’s capabilities and settings, shooting in JPEG is recommended for better results.

Benefits of Shooting in RAW Format

  • With significantly more data and control over creative details like tone, sharpness, and contrast, you can craft an ideal image.
  • Small flaws, such as over- or under-exposure, are easily corrected in a RAW file.
  • White balance, even if it’s not properly set when taking a photo, can be fixed in post-production.
  • It’s possible to enlarge an image beyond the sensor's resolution of your camera, while maintaining high contrast in the scene, for large-format prints or applications.
  • RAW files provide higher quality when converted to JPEG, compared to shooting directly in that mode.

Learn More in Our Local Photography Classes

Still unsure which format is best for you? The topic of JPEG vs. RAW is an ongoing debate in photography—one that Art’s has dedicated an entire class to. We encourage you to check out this and other sessions in the Art’s Photo Academy to learn about all your options and how to get the most out of your equipment. The more you know, the more you’ll enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of making memories through photography.

Take Better Outdoor Photos with These 5 Tips

Summer vacation season is just around the corner. Preserve your memories of special events, favorite destinations, and time with loved ones through exceptional outdoor photography. Here are five tips from the experts at Art’s Cameras Plus that can help you take better pictures: Go for the Gold—a common term in outdoor photography is shooting during the [...]

Read More »

Five Facts About Flash Photography

The technology in today’s cameras make the auto-flash feature pretty reliable—your equipment can quickly assess and adjust to lighting needs for better images. For really great images, however, you’ll need to understand and control lighting. When you do this, photography goes from ordinary to extraordinary. Here are five tips from the pros at Art’s Cameras [...]

Read More »

Art’s Gives Back

As one of only a few camera stores in the entire Midwest to not only survive the online shopping revolution, but to continue to thrive, Art’s Cameras Plus is all about gratitude. We know how fortunate we are to have made the right changes at the right time, and are grateful to every customer whose [...]

Read More »

Art’s Welcomes Every Photographer

Photography is popular for many reasons, with one of the most important being that anyone can capture a great image. Maybe you have all the right equipment, maybe you’ve positioned everyone and everything just right, or maybe you just have incredible luck or timing. At Art’s Cameras Plus, we love that photography is rewarding for [...]

Read More »

Classes for Photographers, By Photographers—At Art’s

You can learn almost anything online, but the difference is that little word: almost. When it comes to photography, there is no substitute, site, app, or video that can replace the hands-on experience of learning from an actual photographer who is passionate about what he or she does. That’s what you’ll find at Art’s Camera [...]

Read More »

Making Photography More Affordable: Trade Up, Buy Used, or Rent Equipment

Photography is a growing interest—not only are more people discovering the art of taking pictures, but once they start, their enthusiasm tends to grow as well. And so does their personal inventory of equipment. Developing your skills with new cameras, lenses, and accessories is fun, but it can also become expensive. At Art’s Cameras Plus, [...]

Read More »

Class Is Always in Session at Art’s!

While students of all ages are heading back to school, those students wanting to take better pictures are heading to Art’s Cameras Plus for some of the best photography classes in Milwaukee. Our education department, Art’s Photo Academy, offers more than 20 different classes each month to help people get familiar with the best equipment [...]

Read More »

Why Buy Online? Get Great Prices and a Better Experience at Art’s Cameras Plus

Today, it’s unusual to buy anything without at least looking online first, whether for prices or reviews. We get that. But when purchasing something as technical as today’s digital cameras online, being left on your own to figure it out when the box arrives can leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. At Art’s Cameras Plus, we [...]

Read More »

The Next 50 Years: Focusing on New Faces

Last month, Art’s Cameras Plus celebrated its 50th anniversary—and while that gave us a lot of reasons to look back, we’re always looking forward. Our business is changing, and we’re excited to be on the leading edge of technology, with the latest digital equipment and services. But high tech is only part of it—photography [...]

Read More »


Back to Top