Shooting in RAW Format?

I am curious if anyone has any comments on shooting photographs in both jpeg and raw. Are there disadvantages to shooting in RAW?

I have been shooting in raw + jpeg since last spring, and I find myself asking why, a lot lately. In the last 7 months I can only think of one time I used the jpegs, and that was when a family member wanted copies of pics taken at an outing we had. It was just easier to send the jpegs (non-processed) and be done with it. When you think about it, it really doesn’t make since, because all you’re doing is taking up space on the card and your hard drive. If you want a jpeg just make one. When I switched and started shooting raw + jpeg, I did it because I wanted to be “safeâ€, I didn’t want to screw up the picture, and I felt safe if I had a jpeg. How dumb is that, lol. If you screw something up it doesn’t matter what form you save it in. Shooting in raw is like having a rubber stamp, and a jpeg is just the impression made by the stamp. If you want more jpegs, just stamp away. Unless you didn’t save the stamp! I think I’ll change my setting when I get home tonight. New years resolution #1, shoot only in raw!

Also, if you do screw something up, you'll have a better chance to try and salvage it from a raw file, than a jpeg.
From what I know, RAW files are bigger and will take longer to save, and you'll need a large memory card. But the big difference is that the camera will not process the image (things like color correction, brightness, saturation?), so it's likely you'll have to process the image yourself later, adjusting those levels.

— Possibly the biggest advantage of shooting raw is that one has a 16 bit image (post raw conversion) to work with. This means that the file has 65,536 levels to work with. This is opposed to a JPG file's 8 bit space with just 256 brightness levels available. This is important when editing an image, particularly if one is trying to open up shadows or alter brightness in any significant way.
I had banding issues(alternating red/green lines) while processing an image with a quick change from dark to light(back lit storm). I had this with an 8 bit tiff from raw conversion(8 bit jpg won't be any better). I started processing in 16 bit(impossible with a jpg) from my raw file and it went bye bye. You can make a jpg from a raw, you can't ever make a raw from a jpg. I see no reason not to shoot in raw. As for file size, I don't think a fine(high quality setting) jpg is much smaller than the raw file would be. Large capacity compact flash cars are getting cheaper and cheaper, as is storage in general. Go with RAW.

Like Kurt says, I don't see much point in shooting in both when you can just make a jpg later.
Correct me if I am wrong, but many short time frame journalists shoot in jpeg. They want to be able to print/post photos as quickly as possible, and of course they aren't going to be doing any editting.

I used to be a purist and only shoot in RAW, but now I go back and forth. Depends on the subject. Am I shooting fine art or vacation snapshots?
As for file size, I don't think a fine(high quality setting) jpg is much smaller than the raw file would be.

Actually, my Rebel XT highest quality jpgs are smaller than the raw files by a factor of about 5. However, Mike's other point trumps this fact. You can't make a raw file from a jpg. If you are going to do any real post processing at all, stick to the raw file format. I only use the jpg setting when shooting family-type events, where high image quality is not the primary goal, but sharing images is.

Correct me if I am wrong, but many short time frame journalists shoot in jpeg.

Yeah, maybe to upload images in a hurry - no way to process on the go.
2.5 times vs. 5 times. I wasn't any closer. Shows how often I actually shoot in jpg format.

It doesn't really matter as much with my photos currently as I still have yet to replace the kit lens - just woeful performance. I can't wait to have some money to spend...and not have to spend it on vehicle repairs.
As Mike mentioned through an example, shooting raw (especially 16 bit) affords you a great deal of flexibility during post processing. I use Adobe's PS CS2 with has a Camera Raw plug-in (there are other great raw software programs out there). You can do a number of alterations to your image before even bringing it into photoshop, from recovering or reducing stops of exposure, corrent white balance, to control of shadows/contrast/sharpening/color noise/vignetting/saturation/hue control/you name it.

Attempting to do this with a .jpg image in PS can be much more 'destructive' to the image as there is significantly less data to work with.

I shoot raw 99 percent of the time.

So when you guys are shooting in RAW Format do you still try to set everything the way you believe it should be? You still have to be concerned about exposure time and aperture. Correct?

When shooting in RAW Format what should you be most concerned about? Obviously focus...others?
All the same things you should if you weren't.
Thanks. That is what I figured. :) At least in RAW I can actually see what different K Temp settings look like. That gives me some idea what to set the camera at. It seems like there is so much to learn. I don't have time to take classes right now (but would like to do that). Trying to learn from trial and error...and reading some books.

Thanks for the tips. Now we need some snow here ;)
One thing I wouldn't count on is that exposure compensation in conversion doing much for you. I don't think it gets you much more than one can do in photoshop anyway(like using curves to open shadows or fix highlights some). With any digital I'd say you don't have to worry much about white balance. Even with jpg you can just use levels and the midtone adjustment and click on a grey area. DOF, focus and exposure all remain important with RAW.
If you shoot RAW, since the file size is much bigger (as mentioned), you should look at buying faster CF or SD cards. I use SanDisk Ultra II or faster so the wirte time is quicker and the buffer empties quicker. (Of course you guys shooting storms may not be ripping off a lot of photos in a row.)

Also, if you move forward to an EOS Professional series cameras, you can write to a CF card and SD card at the same time and do jpegs on one and RAW on another (or jpegs on both). This is great when shooting freelance (like me) using someone elses CF cards and then being able to still walkway with the images at the end of the day on my SD cards.