I was able to change the exposure with the ease of a slider in Camera RAW CS3. (photo shop)
With some more photo shop, I ended up with this. Still not a perfect or amazing shot by any means, but WAY better than the original straight out of the camera shot. There is NO way this could have been saved if I had taken it as a JPEG. In my ((very un-professional)) opinion,
Here are my cons to shooting in RAW:
1. The files are huge! They take up WAY more memory than a JPEG.
2. Every shot has to be post processed. This takes a lot of time!
3. Usually a JPEG shot is more than good enough quality for most everyday shots.
How I was converted to RAW:
I certainly did not understand RAW at all when I first tried it out. I was nervous that I wouldn't know what to do with them. So, I decided to shoot in a mode that took a RAW image and a JPEG. This took a ton of memory, but it really proved the difference between the two. Seeing side by side comparison of the two exact shots was enough to make me realize that I was going RAW and would NEVER look back. When you shoot in RAW, no white balance is set. You get to choose the final outcome of your photo. When you shoot in JPEG, you camera chooses what it thinks your photo needs. Sometimes, I think it does a pretty good job, but I noticed my camera, when shot in JPEG mode made my photos darker than I liked. I had to always compensate and guess what settings would trick my camera to expose properly. This almost never worked. My camera also added too much of a warm ((red/orange)) finish to all my photos.
Here is an example of some of the photos I took in both JPEG and RAW. Visually seeing these straight out of the camera, side by side after shooting, I knew I had to start shooting in RAW all the time. To save time, I only post process the images I will be using. The way I look at it, is that I have digital negatives waiting for me to process when I need a certain picture. It works for me now. I do have to say that it was really overwhelming at first. But, after going RAW....I know I will never shoot JPEG again! It will make your good shots fantastic!