Some examples below of what editing a RAW image can do versus the jpeg* image that the camera creates
* JPEG – these are files that are processed right within the camera Exactly how they are processed varies from model to model (of camera). While colour temperature and exposure are set based on camera settings when the image is shot, the camera will also process the image to add black, contrast, brightness, noise reduction, sharpening and then render the file to a compressed JPEG. These are finished files and can be viewed and printed immediatly after the shot. Because the image is compressed and saved to JPEG which is a “loss” file format, much of the initial image information and detail is discarded and cannot be recovered.
Photo editing was at one time a controversional step for photographers. The wide capabilities of software like photoshop made post-processing a quiet, private affair. No longer. Its generally accepted now that even the best images can benefit from a few basic or advanced enhancements with editing software.