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Am I wrong to shoot JPG....?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dragion, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    799
    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA
    William
    I usually shoot RAW with my Nikon D7000, but with the Sony A6000 I've been shooting JPG.
    I feel the in-camera corrections make it so much easier...I'm not a post-processing type.
    I keep the post-processing to a minimum.

    I have Lightroom 5, but just end up doing most of my processing using iPhoto's simple processing tool.

    Is it "wrong"? :confused:
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    It's not wrong. Whatever works for you, works for you. ;)

    But here's something to consider: I was recently going through an older library of photos, dating from when I was still shooting jpegs exclusively. Many of those old photos are well composed, with interesting subject matter, some from once-in-a-lifetime trips to faraway places. But many have problems with blocked shadows, or overblown highlights, or white balance problems, or excessive noise, or something else wrong with them that I could easily fix had I only shot them as raw files. But because I shot them as jpegs, I have very limited ability to fix them now. All of the latitude I get by shooting raw files has been discarded. They are locked in. Entombed.

    Over the years my post-processing skills have improved considerably, as have the software features built into raw developers such as Lightroom. And I have been able to convert many older images from "so-so" to keepers. But those old jpegs are stuck with what they were left with back in the day. It's too late now, but how I wish I had been shooting raw back then too.
     
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  3. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    799
    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA
    William
    The understanding of how post-processing has improved and I know shooting jpg is limited.
    At times, I might be telling myself that I'm just "lazy" for not shooting RAW, due to the extra work in post processing.

    I'm just a novice when it comes to photography and majority of my photos aren't that good, so the results shooting jpg are "fine" to me.
    They're for my personal collection just to be enjoyed and shared.

    If my work was for a professional nature, then there will be no doubt my shots would be in RAW.

    There so much RAW vs JPG controversy...it a bit confusing and leaves my head spinning! :126:
     
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  4. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    I've posted this before regarding jpeg v raw, but it still seems relevant.

    RAW works for me. I only shoot in RAW. But I recognise that it’s not for everyone.

    Many photographers are fully occupied with the opportunities they already have. They seem to be saying that if they have extra time, they want to spend it taking NEW pictures instead of sitting in front of their computers working with OLD ones. I have great respect for that argument.

    I understand why a serious digital photographer who is:

    • taking the time to make sure that the picture going in the lens is the one that he or she wants; and
    • does not intend to manipulate the image in the computer; and
    • wants to print at 8 x 10 or smaller (or directly to the web)
    will be happy to work with JPEGs.

    Also, I think that JPEG users are also right to see the format as future-proofed. JPEG will probably be around longer than most of the RAW formats – but perhaps not DNGs. (DNGs will be a discussion for another day.)

    And, finally, many of the pictures that we take are of family or friends. Working in JPEGs means that they are immediately portable. They can go into emails, social media sites, photography sites, blogs, into the new live photo frames, or many of the high-res digital TVs — with no more work to do.

    A family friend, for example, is an inveterate traveller and photographer. Her travel compact goes with her everywhere. She has a lovely eye, and is quite satisfied to capture moments in what can’t be described as anything other than Art. (With a capital "A.")

    In my youth, I did my time in the darkroom. In those days (the early 60's), the darkroom was the only avenue for photographic control and it was the only way to do photography on the cheap. I think that once you get a taste of that level of control, it’s hard to give it up. So, for me, shooting digital (and RAW) is that control – on steroids.

    So, if you have ambitions (and the time) to

    • print at exhibition sizes or quality;
    • work seriously in black and white;
    • rescue shots that might otherwise be lost;
    • maximise photos taken in low light;
    • exploit the full potential of photographs; or
    • improve the aesthetic appeal of your photos—
    then you should be working in RAW.

    But RAW is not without its troubles:

    Working with RAW as a once-in-awhile thing isn't fun. For me, working with RAW needed to be part of a regular workflow. (For this reason I found saving in RAW + JPEG, and and doing a bit of one and then a bit of the other unhelpful.)

    At first I was using Silkypix, Raw Therapee, Sagelight and Noise Ninja (all great programs), but in ad hoc sorts of ways. I had some success, but I struggled.

    There’s a learning curve with RAW – understanding what makes digital files tick. (If you don’t understand them, it’s harder to fix them.) I see now that, initially, I didn't have a firm grasp of all (okay, most) of the digital elements.

    Two things turned that around for me: First I bought Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom introduced me to a real workflow. Suddenly I had a, well, flow. Then I got the Luminous Landscape’s Lightroom videos. In addition to learning the program, that series of videos took what I knew about film and oriented it to digital photography. (While Lightroom worked for me, I'm not suggesting that similar results couldn't be obtained by other programs like Aperture.)

    So, Good Luck — with whatever path you choose.
     
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    That's pretty much how I'd describe myself, and I bet most of us here (if we'd care to compare ourselves against "good" photographers) would too. :p

    The main things to remember (IMO) are these: 1) raw files give you A LOT more data to work with, and therefore more leeway in post processing, 2) there's no need to post process every shot you take. I only post process about 5-10% of my images, if that, and 3) when you get comfortable with the software, post-processing takes very little time and effort. Most of my post-processing involves a little noodling with contrast, some highlight and shadow tweaks, and maybe a little saturation boost. It's rare that I linger more than a couple of minutes over any particular image. It's not anything that I'd consider a chore.
     
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  6. Damovich

    Damovich TalkEmount Regular

    25
    Jun 6, 2014
    I used to shoot RAW only, that really was a bird-photographer DSLR thing everybody was promoting at the time yet then I started shooting RAW+JPEG and noticed the Jpeg's were actually allready very well processed by the then Canon DSLR and very much allready looked like the RAW's I processed myself, give or take.

    After a while I decided to go the Jpeg-only road and I never regretted it as the (allready, in camera, processed pictures) only needed minimal tweaking, while the big thing about Lightroom is that the Jpegs can be altered in almost the very same way the Raw's can be altered minus the in-camera processing. In effect this meant higher burst rates, as Jpeg can get buffered very fast, less HD-space, faster loading pictures in my favorite editors and last but not least I needed only a minimal of time post processing, in fact less than half, in comparison to the RAW editing.

    Since someone asked me in my introduction thread to show some of my pictures this post provide a good enough means to showcase some :) these are Jpeg's only from a 10MP Canon DSLR which most certainly lacked the performance the NEX's boast though still its Jpegs were wonderfull nevertheless.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Gotta say I like that last one. But then, I am partial to Hawks (and other birds of prey). ;)



    Sent from TalkEmount app on iPad
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    It's photography, and if it's a hobby especially, then do whatever you like best. I switched to almost all jpg shooting now, too. I just don't want to post-process much anymore.
     
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  9. BruPri

    BruPri TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Aug 7, 2011
    Since I got my A6000 a few weeks ago, as I've always done, shot RAW. After reading your post and looking at Damovich's pics. I revisited RAW+JPG and peeped. The camera's JPG engine is faster and does MUCH better at processing than I can do in LR5 w/Dfine (NR) Maybe this is a turning point for me, save for the occasional underexposed shot or paid work (like that's ever happened!) I should throw caution to the wind and just do JPG. The only processor I've found that has the best NR and rendering is Phase One's Capture One, It's a disaster for me as far as workflow but boy when you import anything high ISO, it absolutely nails the noise reduction, it's amazing. That being said, the A6000 again does as good a job as Capture one and it cuts out having to muck about with the files. Thanks for the post...
     
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  10. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    799
    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA
    William

    That's pretty much how I feel about shooting JPG with the A6000.
    As I mentioned earlier, I find that JPGs straight out of camera was already good compared to RAW with post processing.

    I still take the JPGs and I might tweak them a bit in iPhoto, but that usually just some cropping and maybe some sharpening.

    I appreciate all the helpful feedback that has been posted! :D
     
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    YOU ARE WRONG!

    No, seriously, it's up to you. Just to give Damovich's post (awesome photos btw) some perspective - the RAW advantage will be much bigger in more difficult lighting situations.
     
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  12. dragion

    dragion TalkEmount Top Veteran

    799
    May 8, 2014
    Boston, MA
    William

    I do understand the advantages to shooting RAW.
    I just feel that the quality of the JPG conversions that come out of the A6000 looks good already to me.


    I agree that Damovich's photos look awesome...thanks for sharing. :)
     
  13. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    No problem, everybody should use whatever makes photography most enjoyable to them.
     
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  14. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    just a personal question here. Why then you do not try to shoot only raw and for sharing export fast with the same settings all your raw to jpegs? This does not take much time in lightroom.
     
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  15. shaolin95

    shaolin95 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    942
    Jul 3, 2013
    I either shoot RAW only when I need the extra speed for fast shooting events (hockey, figure skating, etc) or RAW and JPG.
    Just as has been mentioned before, you can extract more dynamic range from the RAW file and rescue details that will be lost forever in the JPG. I do shoot JPG too as not all images are crucial and if it looks good enough then I will just keep the JPG but any image I care for, I will work the RAW as I have yet to see the JPG able to do a better job than working on the RAW file manually with Ninja or DXO for example.
    Of course we all have our preferences and to me, PP is kind of a relaxing hobby :)
     
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  16. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    This is true. It doesn't have to take very long or be difficult. But it does sound like dragion is using iPhoto and I don't recall if that has the ability to add preset enhancements on import. It's also not necessarily the best software for managing and editing RAW files.

    Personally, I had been going back and forth between shooting JPEG, then raw, then both. For me JPEGs are probably just fine most of the time and I prefer to spend my time shooting rather than processing to the extent possible. However, I was finding that sometimes I would get some shots that could be really great if I had just gotten the white balance right, or the exposure, or ... etc. and the JPEG just wouldn't let me do the adjustments that were needed. After that happened a few times I decided raw made sense. Shooting raw and JPEG pairs would, I guess give the best of both worlds, but I was finding that a bit cumbersome to deal with, so now I am just shooting raw (unless using a particular camera feature that requires JPEG use). That said, I haven't really given the JPEGs on the A6000 a good trial, so maybe I'll do that and see what I think.

    Either way, I think everyone needs to do what works best and is most enjoyable for them. The enjoyment factor, after all, is probably part of what brought many of us to mirrorless cameras to begin with.
     
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  17. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Well, there is one thing you're wrong about: it's raw, not RAW. Raw is not an acronym. It's just... raw, as in uncooked. :p
     
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  18. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    unless you like to type RAW :)

    also, i'm looking at a nex6 and a fuji xe1 and both of them label it "RAW" rather than "raw"

    maybe because it's also an english word, so all-caps helps call it out?
     
  19. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Maybe so. But maybe I only care because I'm a pendantic twit. :biggrin:
     
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  20. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    You're right. Post edited. I didn't want to offend your sensibilities. :biggrin:
     
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