Q. My question – what are the benefits of shooting raw? What are the differences between Jpeg and RAW?
In your camera, instead of film, there is a sensor. It is where the data is gathered when your lens opens and lets in light. That data is then written onto your memory card (so in a way, you could say that your memory card is also like the film). When the data shoots at lightening speed from your sensor to your memory card, it can either go straight on as a RAW file or you can allow the camera to decide how to interpret that information and compress it into a smaller piece of memory on your card as a JPEG. When you allow your camera to make that decision, you are taking away some of the editing possibilities like adjusting the white balance and changing the colours.
Remember, what the sensor gathers isn’t a picture, per se, it’s merely gathering information. If you allow that information to stay in its pure form in RAW, you can go in later and decide that you actually want the sky a different shade or intensity of blue and you want to adjust the shadows or highlights, or you want to change the white balance (colour temperature) to make the light in your back garden look more golden in the summer or cooler in the winter.