I’m starting to shoot in the RAW format on my Lumix DMC-FZ35. The main disadvantage for me is the length of time it takes to save the photo to the camera’s card. This limits how quickly I can snap my next shot. RAW alone takes 5 seconds. JPEG at highest quality takes around 1 second, and 1 second is annoying enough, especially when I’m shooting on the street. The other disadvantage is storage, saving as RAW requires roughly 4 times the size of saving as the highest quality JPEG my camera can generate. But after experimenting with the RAW editing software that came with my camera (Silkypix Developer Studio 3.0) the ability to reduce digital noise and the range of color corrections I can do is really sweet. Silkypix, so far, does as much as I really need, and it does it non-destructively. When it is developed, you save to JPEG, as well as save the editing parameter you applied to the RAW file, but without altering the original photo data.
So, I’m really glad this post on Reddit convinced me to explore RAW. It is good to have in my photography tool bag, for specific occasions where the lag is not a factor.
This photo of the old Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, was developed to JPEG, then reduced to web size in Irfan View, and then processed by Flickr again. But I think I was able to keep the digital noise to a minimum, or at least far less than I would have been able to do with only a JPEG save.