I remember asking Mr Jones in high school if I should shoot jpeg or raw. He went into detail about the size of the image and all the advantages of each, but I mostly remember him telling me that there was no reason not to shoot raw.
He's brilliant, that Mr Jones.
I was taking images for the softball team and was looking for a quick answer. So if that's you, here's what you need to know: there's no reason not to shoot in raw.
In college, I tried editing a few jpeg images in Lightroom and you really can't push them like the raw images. You can't recover any whites or blacks that didn't make the cut with the limited HDR in digital.
Woah, there. That sounds ultra-techy. Here's what you need to know...
Should you shoot Raw or Jpeg?
Digital doesn't handle the high dynamic range (HDR) quite like film.
In order to push an image to the light & airy look without killing highlights or blacks, you've gotta know a few editing hacks. (More on that later.) But you will also need to have enough data in the image to acheive the light & airy look.
Should you shoot jpeg?
The only time you should shoot jpeg is if the editing you plan to do is so minor that you could hardly tell a difference. Or if you want to do no editing at all.
On most DSLR cameras, there's an option in the menu to shoot raw and digital. It wouldn't hurt to add a jpeg copy for every raw image, but in my opinion, there's no reason to take up storage on a memory card for that.
Should you shoot raw?
Yes, oh yes. You'll be able to pull off some serious editing with the raw file. And if you get it right in camera, it makes for an even better edit.
In order to use the Light & Airy Presets, you'll need to shoot in RAW. Since there's so much more data in a raw image, there's so much flexibility when you're editing.
Related: Portra vs Fuji: Which film type are you?
If you've only ever shot jpeg and you want to make the switch, think about switching to the raw + jpeg option in your camera settings. When it's time to edit the images, just work with the RAW and tell me what you think! The jpegs will give you something to fall back on if you need it.
For instance, I believe that you need a later version of Lightroom to handle the Canon 5D Mark III raw files. I remember that I had to upgrade once I made the switch.
So, tell me - do you shoot raw or jpeg when you're shooting digital?