Monthly Archives: Dec 2016

DSLR Training Picture Format

The RAW file DSLR Training Picture Format which do you choose?

This third tutorial is about DSLR Training Picture Format and how to choose what you use.

Before we go further you need to make a decision, which format do you want to take your photos in, RAW or Jpeg, why you ask?

Both formats have advantages, Jpeg being the finished image that is used for most viewings.

RAW, the unprocessed information of a photo as it was taken; this requires post processing in digital software (Photoshop/Lightroom). The Raw file is a large file, only after it has been saved will the size be reduced. This is normally saved (compressed) in a Jpeg.

It is important to remember that you DO NOT keep saving images from a Jpeg. The reason is that every time you save another image the image compresses again. Eventually it will degrade and you will not have all the information. Have a look at this video from

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), this format is a compressed image and as such is a smaller file for storage. This has a trade off in that the degree of post processing is limited in digital software. It does have its place for quicker retrieval of images, or shooting at an event. This is also the format used by the camera when it is set to an automatic mode. Oh and one more thing, the image you see on the back of the camera, that’s in a JPEG format.

Practical Use

If you are just practicing the use of the camera then use JPEG, if you want to experiment in post processing then use RAW. You can save your worked on images in Jpeg.

There are other formats but they are mostly used when processing images in digital software and they will be explained in a future tutorial.

As part of this DSLR Training Picture Format tutorial I am also going to mention the common camera settings and what they do.

Mode Dial Settings

When starting out learning about photography, the beginner is likely to set the camera on the green rectangle. This allows the operator to obtain correctly exposed images every time. However it doesn’t allow the novice to learn by making mistakes. That is to say, learn about the other functions on the camera.

Green rectangle for dslr training picture format





Mde dial for dslr training picture format










Here are a list of the main dial settings and what they do.

Green Square                  

Fully automatic camera use, literally point and shoot.

Aperture Priority Setting (Av for Canon Cameras)

This allows you to set the size of the aperture and ISO, the camera chooses the shutter speed. The aperture priority allows you to set a depth of field (DOF); it’s what appears sharpest in an image between the nearest and farthest objects.

Time Shutter Priority Setting (Tv for Canon Cameras)

This allows you to set the size of the shutter speed and ISO, the camera chooses the aperture. This setting allows you freeze or portray motion.

Manual Setting

This allows you to be in total control of the camera, you set the ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

To start experimenting turn the mode dial to the aperture setting and play with different f settings but use the same item(s) to photograph. This will give you an idea of the depth of field.


Go out and take some pictures using the RAW and Jpeg settings. Experiment with the settings you have read about in the last two tutorials. What are the differences in the images?

Download your images onto a PC. Look at your images, if you can side by side or slideshow them. Can you see the difference in the colour of the images? Let me know what you find.

What to do next

 If you would like to receive more of this series contact Martin here. Want more info on a given subject to be covered, drop him a line.

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