JPEGs are better than RAW Images unless you check one thing

From 1982 till 2002 I shot film. I had to get it right in the camera. Most of this time I was shooting color transparency where either you nailed the exposure and white balance or you missed it. No fixing it in post.

When I transitioned to digital the parameters for nailing exposure were just as critical as transparencies. Having shot this way for 20+ years I continued to find it strange how many people rely on post processing to continue to fix what can be done in the camera.

One thing however that digital has given us today we didn’t have with film is the ability correct for the lens defects.  This is really cool and can make your images appear sharper and with better clarity than when we shot on film.

PhotoShop RAW Converter

If you are using PhotoShop to work on your RAW images you need to be sure you always click on the “Lens Icon”, select “Profile” and then check on “Enable Lens Profile Corrections” or you should be shooting JPEGs in camera to get the least amount of distortion with your images.

The Lens Profile Corrections helps with the following known distortions with lenses:

  • Vignetting
  • Barrel distortion
  • Pincushion distortion
  • Chromatic aberration

Each lens has been tested and the mathematical algorithms necessary to correct those distortions is what is being done when you select the enable.  The camera manufacturers have all this built into their cameras to correct for this when you shoot JPEGs, but when you shoot RAW you loose those manufacturer corrections.

Before enabling Lens Profile Corrections
After enabling Lens Profile Corrections


You can also do this using Adobe Lightroom in the “Develop Module.” Go to “Lens Corrections” click on the “Profile” tab and then be sure to check “Enable Profile Corrections.”
This is the first step I do with every image that I shoot RAW.  I recommend it becoming your first step for all your RAW images as well.