RAW vs JPEG: Using Real-World Examples to Illustrate the Difference

It’s not news that RAW files have a far greater latitude than the same JPEG photographs. However, many beginners only understand this difference on a theoretical level.

In the video above, photography educator Tony Northrup goes beyond theory, detailing the differences and actually showing us how much more leniency RAW files allow for in post-production.

Northrup introduces the video by briefly detailing the difference between the two formats. From there, he dives straight into Lightroom to take a look at a number of different photographs and lighting scenarios and illustrate the weaknesses of JPEG when compared to RAW.


By playing with the exposure, highlights, shadows, white balance and more, the various examples provide a great variation in comparisons, something that’s often left out.

It’s not going to give pros any new information or show you something you don’t already intuitively understand. But there’s a big gap between understanding that there is a difference, and seeing it with your own eyes. A gap this video does a fantastic job of closing.