What is the difference between RAW and JPEG in digital camera terms?

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What is the difference between RAW and JPEG in digital camera terms?

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In digital camera terms, RAW is simply the raw information on the sensor–just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. A jpeg is inherently a photographic file. Or, put another way, RAW is simply film that has been exposed but not developed. Jpeg is film that has been developed in a set, standard way to make an image. Because RAW has to be “processed” to make an image, it gives you more control over how the image ultimately comes out, because you can adjust things like color, contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc. With jpeg, because it’s already undergone the fixed “development”, it’s much more limited with what you can do to adjust the image. This is because jpeg is “lossy,” that is, it throws away data that it doesn’t think is needed. Example: Suppose you shoot in daylight but have the white balance set to indoor shooting. Your photos will come out blue. With RAW, no problem to fix, because you have the original data and you just change the white balance when processing the RAW file to make an image.

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