As far as I know, there are only two reasons why you wouldn’t use RAW when shooting pictures. RAW photos take longer to save to the memory card so people who are shooting in burst mode or to capture fast action (such as sports) tend to use JPEG only. And RAW files are much larger than JPEGs so they can fill up your memory card faster. Actually, I can think of a third reason – if you have a camera that doesn’t offer RAW mode.
I shoot RAW all the time. I think in the past few years the only time I didn’t was the year I was lucky enough to be down on the field for the Hong Kong Rugby 7’s and I was trying my hand at sports photography. RAW just gives you the ability to do so much more with your photos once you get them into your “digital darkroom.”
Rather than go on and on about it, here’s a great chart from the folks at Pixiq that illustrates the difference.
In other words, shooting in RAW preserves the information captured by your camera’s sensor. Shooting JPEG-only throws away a lot of data that might be useful later on.
Check the full post over at Pixiq where they go into more detail on this.