Updated: Aug 8, 2018
You've got a new a camera. All the power of the cosmos is in your hands. You can finally shoot like the pros. But what are all these dials, controls, buttons, settings? Auto, Auto +, Portrait, Landscape, Manual, Panorama, Burst.... It can get overwhelming, and quick. Fear not. We're going to get in to them one by one. All of them.. eventually. But first and foremost. New rule #1: ALWAYS Shoot RAW.
Breaking the 4th Wall
LISTEN UP NERDS.
I'm aiming to keep this simple to digest and apply. If you want to get uber technical, I'm game. But hold off until the end. Then, feel free to start a fight 👊🏼 with me in the comments section.
JPEG Images - Quick, Dirty, Highly Transportable, Not great for editing
Camera's by default shoot in a JPEG format. JPEG is a compressed lossy version of your image. Whats great about JPEG? It's small, portable, and universal, readable on almost any device. Great for sharing on the web/mobile. JPEG weak points: What you see is what you get. All camera settings are "burned" in to the image. No take backs, no change your mind later. Reduced color information, reduced luminance information (light), reduced details/resolution.
RAW Images - Highest Quality, Large File Size, Best for Editing
Most camera's allow for shooting RAW, even your iphone or galaxy will allow you do to so with special apps like Adobe Lightroom Mobile. RAW captures everything on the sensor without compression. This allows you to change things like color balance, exposure, contrast and more even after you've shot it. It writes these EDITABLE details into the exif metadata of the file. You can edit these attributes with a standalone RAW editor or inside of Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop, etc. (these have RAW editors built in) RAW saves the highest amount of color, light, and sensor data each time you take a picture. This give you far greater ability to edit/save/restore images in post. To set your camera up for RAW shooting, Grab your camera's instruction manual or find it on the web. Normally its on the first few pages of your camera's menu system. Sometimes its called "quality" setting.
Shooting low quality JPG 🚫🙅🏻♀️
Shooting high res RAW 😎💪🏽💃🏼💜
JPG: compressed, low res, small file size for Sharing
RAW: uncompressed, high res, large file size for Editing