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    If you’ve ever uploaded a video to youtube and later realized how bad it looks after uploading it, then you’ve already experienced the downsides of compressed video, but compression does a lot more than just make videos look bad.

    To understand the benefits of RAW, you first have to understand how cameras capture images. All cameras have sensors that capture focused light from the lens (similar to the retina in your eye). this captured light is converted into data which makes up a raw image. After the image is captured, the camera will usually put it through color correction, noise reduction and other various filters before being saved out to a compressed image file like JPEG. Once the final compressed image is created, the result is a relatively small file that generally looks better than the raw image, but all of the extra light information (like highlight and shadow detail) is lost. When shooting video, the process is similar, but all of the images are compressed even further and turned into a video file. When shooting videos or pictures in RAW, all of the original image data that was captured from the sensor is recorded, which means that YOU get to decide how the image comes out. If the sky in your image is a big white blob, you can bring the exposure down and recover the clouds. If you realized after shooting that the scene looks too dark, you can bring the exposure up to recover details in shadows that you didn’t even know existed. You can even add intense color grades to give your shots a certain look without sacrificing any video quality.

    A video file is like a cake. When it’s raw, you have complete control over how it turns out, but once you put it in the oven there isn’t much you can do to fix any issues it has. For the average person, shooting in RAW would be a terrible idea because the amount of storage space it requires is simply massive, but if you have the storage, computing power and time to work with RAW video than it’s definitely something you should consider.