Storage is cheap nowadays, and carrying a few extra SD-cards aint to heavy. Is there a real downside to this option? Besides filling up more memory and some extended loading times?

The question is regarding dSLR cameras (Canon 5D mkII / Canon 600D) but additional information is more than welcome.


The biggest disadvantage of RAW + JPEG is that the camera needs to push more data through its pipeline, so it's slower and the buffer size is smaller. Taking DPReview's numbers for the 600D, but it will be the same for other cameras:

  • RAW: 3.6 fps for 6 frames, then around 0.77 fps. 8 seconds to recover.
  • RAW+JPEG 3.6 fps for 3 frames, then two slower frames followed by 0.5 fps. 8.5 seconds to recover.

In terms of IQ advantages, there's pretty much none. While it's generally impossible to exactly recreate the in-camera JPEG processing from a RAW file, you can almost always get close enough that you're not going to be able to tell the difference, so RAW is strictly superior to JPEG in that regard.

  • Thanks for the answer. So, to be clear, a better way would be to exclusive shoot in RAW and then run the "not gonna bother to edit these"-photos through a software like Lightroom for jpg-converting, due to the fact that these are going to be "close enough" to what the camera would've done anyways? – Tindra Dec 12 '16 at 10:35
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    Lightroom may well be further from the camera than the first party RAW converter (i.e. DPP for Canon) - it certainly gives me very different white balance at times, and will definitely give you different results if you use things like Auto Lighting Optimizer. – Philip Kendall Dec 12 '16 at 10:49

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