However, if your camera has the ability to shoot RAW and you have a program on your computer to correct and use RAW images, then I highly suggest you take advantage of the power of RAW photos. RAW is normally a 16-bit format which means it has more color information than what is available on jpg's which are only 8-bit in nature.
Why is having 16-bit file important if the final intended file format is only 8-bit? The reason, more information in that RAW file. Having more color information to work with allows us a little more control over the image when working it post processing. Also, if you happen to be lucky enough to have a printer that supports 16-bit images, you will get better transitions in your gradients with less banding and such if you keep your image in the 16-bit format.
The biggest draw for myself to shooting RAW is it allows me to adjust exposure nearly one f-stop each way on my images without much distortion or added noise. Many times, I find a few shots that I just didn't get a good exposure for one reason or another. I also find that I can recover minor blown out highlights easier in RAW which is also another nice reason.
I was trained many years ago to process 8-bit images such as .jpgs and .tiffs but now days, I would much rather adjust my images in the 16-bit realm because of the additional control and room for error. Now I work everything in RAW first... then later I export to .jpg for posting on the internet or sharing with friends and family. I always keep that RAW image back for times when I might want a different look or make more adjustments. I always make my copies from the RAW image.
Powered by ScribeFire.