Shooting in the RAW format enables your editor to revisit an image after capture to indicate which specific levels and settings are to be applied. A JPEG file is processed according to the user settings in camera, and all excess information within an image file is either compressed or discarded. RAW files maintain all the original image data so the editor decides which information needs correcting, compressing, or can be discarded.
Another reason for shooting RAW is the XMP sidecar file that is created to tag along with MOST RAW files which acts as the middle man between the editor and the actual file. All RAW image edits that take place in Adobe Lightroom or Bridge are written to an .xmp file. The .xmp tells the RAW file which adjustments have been made to the image, however, these .xmp files do not permanently apply the edits until exporting to another file format, allowing for a clean, nondestructive edit.
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