Why do I need RAW if I can open JPEG in Photoshop Camera RAW?

Paul Sanduleac April 18, 2010

What is the advantage of shooting in RAW if I can open JPEG in Photoshop and edit in Camera Raw just as I do with the RAW files?

  1. Rosyg150
    October 6, 2011 at 5:35 am

    how can you edit your jpg like raw in photoshop.  How do you do it ??

    • Tina
      October 8, 2011 at 10:11 am


      I'm not sure I understand your question. However, if you are able to provide a better description, I recommend to submit a new question via the Ask a Question button. The reason is that this comment thread is very old and you are unlikely to receive a response to your question here.

  2. Oron Joffe
    April 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    A truly excellent answer from Saikat. It should be stressed that saving in JPEG is not only 'lossy' because of compression, but also because of changes to whitebalance,y'sharpen' filters applied by the camera etc, and THE ONLY way to bypass these (on most cameras anyway) is to use RAW. Using RAW is important for the ultimate quality (a choice for some) but also for batches of photos, to which you may want to apply the corrections (colour balance, exposure etc.) uniformly, rather than depending on the camera's judgement. There are also disadvantages to RAW: 1) files are much larger (and take longer to save in the camera) and 2) RAW formats are proprietary to each manufacturer (sometimes to particular models), reducing the range of software that can be used for processing them.

  3. Saikat Basu
    April 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    RAW is all the data that a camera sensor naturally captures. Think of it like a negative or an uncompressed image file. JPEG is processed and compressed version where some of the data gets lost. Quite simply, you cannot get back the 'lost' data.
    Photoshop Camera RAW is used to recognize and handle proprietary camera raw file formats from different manufacturers. It won't give you back the lost pixel information that was in the original RAW file.