Importance of RAW file capture
As with most types of photography, RAW file capture is very useful and important for IR photography.
Although a RAW file is much larger than a JPEG, much more information is saved in the file. In fact, what is saved is the actual raw data off of the sensor. This means that it is possible to easily edit things like white balance, tone, contrast, etc using raw conversion software without a loss of quality.
This means that you don’t have to worry about getting everything perfect in camera or losing quality in the post-processing/editing software. With infrared, the main use for RAW is to make sure that white balance is correct, and to fine tune exposure and the specular highlights on things like foliage – which reflects infrared light – in infrared pictures.