Should You Shoot Videos In RAW?

Most photographers will vouch for the importance of shooting in RAW as it offers so many benefits. But what about when shooting videos? Should everyone shoot videos in RAW too?

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Why Shoot RAW Videos?

Just like the RAW settings when you shoot still pictures, the RAW setting for shooting videos also captures and saves all data with zero processing. That’s right, the camera saves whatever information the image sensor is feeding without deciding which one is important and which one should be scraped off.

Now, the biggest reason for setting the camera to record in RAW format is when you have lots to edit in post-processing. For instance, you need to shoot videos both indoor and outdoor where you cannot control the lighting. Shooting videos in RAW allows you to tweak the final video to look however you wish. If you want to correct the colors, shadows, and highlights, you can do so without fearing a loss in quality because all the data you need is right there.

Shooting in RAW is mostly reserved to the professionals who will not accept anything but the best and have the gears to actually shoot then edit the RAW footage. You see, the low-end video cameras like the Sony Handycams don’t have what it takes to shoot in RAW. Your laptop most likely doesn’t have enough processing power to edit the footage without significant lag too. Editing raw 4K files, for example, requires a serious workhorse.

“So, the average people don’t need to shoot in RAW, right?

Exactly. When you’re at your best friend’s wedding and you want to use your $3,500 DSLR to record videos, you can record in H.264 format and do away with it. Modern DSLRs have excellent video quality. And if the wedding is held indoor with consistent lighting, you won’t need to tinker with the end result anyway. Just make sure you spend the time to adjust the white balance, exposure, and other basic settings before shooting the video. After that, just let your camera do its magic.

“But what if I want to convert the video to another format?”

That’s hardly a problem. Let’s say you shoot using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV that saves its video using the MOV container. Using the online video converter tool, you can easily convert the video to AVI, MKV, MP4, or WEBM.

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