JPEG is the workhorse of both photography and printing. Since its introduction in 1992, it has been the most widely used photography format, allowing seamless interaction with many popular websites and browsers. JPEG in shooting mode means different advantages for photographers.
Over the years, cameras have gotten significantly better at image processing. Digital SLRs are extremely smart at figuring out the technical aspect of a photograph. With just a click of a button, white balance, saturation, and noise reduction are adjusted for you in the camera and presented as a JPEG image, which is extremely handy for a beginner photographer who does not yet understand the technical aspects of photography. For seasoned photographers, this saves them a lot of time while working in busy environments.
File size and JPEG format:
CR2 images are on Canon cameras and in RAW files. Shooting in CR2 format renders maximum quality image files. The CR2 format for Canon users means that the sensor utilizes its full potential. You do not have to sacrifice anything in the processing. Moreover, this is the maximum amount of detail that the camera sensor can produce in a given environment.
Advantages when it comes to choosing CR2 or JPEG:
Different formats record different levels of brightness for images. The JPEG format records 256 levels of brightnesswhile the CR2 format records anywhere from 4,096 to 16,348 because JPEG captures in 8 bits while CR2 captures in either 12 bits or in 14 bits. These additional levels of brightness come in handy when capturing a gradient sky or any backdrop with lots of gradually changing colors. As you increase the bits, the posterization decreases, rendering a smoother and overall sharper image.
JPEG images store 24 bits per pixel; therefore, they store more than 16 million colors. However, CR2 files can store more than 68.7 billion colors, and a large color space means vibrant and lively images, which is perfect for landscape photography that depicts a vast amount of colors in nature.
Higher dynamic range is another factor when choosing between CR2 and JPEG. A higher-dynamic-range photograph gives a more accurate representation of what the human eye sees. In contrast to JPEG files, CR2 files have a very high dynamic range, which is why professional photographers tend to use this format more often.
CR2 files are straight out of the sensor images, not processed, which means the photographer has complete control over all of the aspects of post-production. Using software like Photoshop and Lightroom can save dimly lit or overexposed photos since the photos are untouched. Another reason why photographers prefer the CR2 format over the JPEG format is because it allows for a non-destructive editing process. You can always redo any change made to the original file later.
Limitations in choosing CR2 or JPEG
JPEG is known as the lossy format since its compression algorithm sacrifices many details in colors and brightness for a smaller file size. JPEG files also store information in 8 bits meaning they have significantly less dynamic range and color representation ability as compared to RAW formats.
On the other hand, CR2 images are notoriously large files, which can eat up file space very quickly on a busy shoot day; therefore, you need to fully prepare for extra storage. In addition, since the images are straight out of the sensor, the files are very flat in color representation. Although it stores colors in the file, they need some sort of boost during the post-processing stage. During the post-processing stage, the software can only recognize CR2 files if they are compatible with it. Moreover, opening CR2 files on third-party software can cause issues.