Difference Between JPEG and RAW

When the world used to be free of technology, the best way to keep memories was to click a simple photograph of that and keep a hard copy of that forever or paint the memory with actual colors.

But as the grasp of technology has increased on the lives of humans, multiple formats of keeping images, particularly memories, have come into play. Two such formats are JPEG and RAW. A lot of differences lie between these two. 


The main difference between JPEG and RAW is that the former is known as a file format that happens to be a processed one and can be used by almost all devices all across the world, but on the other hand, the latter refers to an image that is basically an unprocessed one and can only be edited by some specifically enabled devices or software programs only. 


The term JPEG in itself refers to a full form that refers to a particular group named as joint photographic experts group, and this format is widely popular or across the world, because it allows all the users, no matter what kind of device they use, to open the image as well as edit it as per their own choice. 

While on the other hand, RAW in terms of photography, refers to a particular image format that is not processed yet by any of the devices, and to edit an image in this particular format, it is necessary at the person should only use software that has been manufactured by the company by whose camera the actual picture was taken. 

Comparison Table Between JPEG and RAW 

Parameters of Comparison JPEG  RAW 
Meaning  The term refers to a particular image format that is widely popular all across the world. Victim refers to another image format that is popular in a limited variety of people. 
Full form Joint photographic experts group is the full form of the term.No such full form is available. 
Space occupied  This particular format occupies less space. This particular format occupies a lot of space in the device in which it is stored. 
Color yielding 256 colors  16 million colors  
Information stored Very little information about the image is stored in this format Almost all kinds of possible information about the image are stored in this format. 
Capability of compression  The images are compressed to a very wide extent and hence less space is occupied. The images are not compressed and the original file stays in place. 

What is JPEG? 

JPEG is known to be the most standard form of image format all across the world, and no matter what kind of device a person is using, accessing this particular format is quite simple in all of them, and this is what makes this format a universally accepted one.  

The term itself refers to a group named a joint photographic experts’ group and entails certain specific qualities of an image format for any digitally created or stored image.

The very first quality that this particular format entails is that it allows the user to not only store or open this in any device belonging to any company but also allows the user to edit the image as per his own liking.  

Another very crucial quality of this image format is that it compresses the images to a very significant extent and thereby occupies very little space on any device, so it can be said that it is very feasible to use this particular format for almost all the images.

However, one downside attached with this format is that it contains limited information about the image in question and does not tell all about the image. 

What is RAW? 

The term raw in the field of photography represents a very significant image format that is unknown to many people due to its rare qualities and the strange accessibility technique it entails.

The very basic nature of this format is that it is an unprocessed one and usually refers to an image that has just been clicked and has not been processed in a fully developed image; therefore, in other words, it can also be called a negative that exists not in the hard copy but in the soft copy.  

A very significant advantage attached to this particular format is that when an image belongs to this format, the user may know all about the image because the format contains all the information that is even remotely related to the image.

But this advantage brings a downside as well that due to containing all the information about the images, this format occupies a lot of space in any device.  

The particular reason behind this format being less popular than other formats is that it can only be accessed in software that has been manufactured by the same company that has manufactured the original camera by which the photo was taken, and due to this strange condition, many people tend to ignore this format. 

Main Differences Between JPEG and RAW 

  1. JPEG refers to joint photographic experts’ group, while on the other hand, RAW does not have a definite full form. 
  2. JPEG stores very less information about the image while on the other hand, RAW stores a lot of information about the image and contains almost everything. 
  3. JPEG compresses the images so much and alters the size a lot, while on the other hand, RAW does not compress the image at all and retains the original size. 
  4. JPEG can be accessed on all platforms, while on the other hand, RAW contains certain limitations as to accessibility. 
  5. JPEG stores very little space on the device while on the other hand, RAW stores a lot of space on the device. 
Difference Between JPEG and RAW


Images are nowadays as important as food for human beings because they not only contain information about the whole world but also contain precious memories that happened to be very significant to some people.

In order to store these images virtually or in software, certain formats have been developed from time to time, and these formats have always helped people to access all the images in a manner that they like.  

JPEG and RAW Are two very popular formats of storing and sharing images, and there are certain pros and cons attached to both of them because of which people tend to prefer one over the other at many chances.

But keeping in mind the significance of both of these formats, it becomes absolutely crucial to have known the differences that lie between these two formats. 


  1. https://www.cv-foundation.org/openaccess/content_cvpr_2016/html/Nguyen_RAW_Image_Reconstruction_CVPR_2016_paper.html 
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6126492/  
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