I’m not expert in photography, I’m just amateur at most, and my editing skill sucks. I’m not against shooting Raw, in fact most of the time I’m shooting Raw + Jpeg (though most of the time I ended up using the Jpeg file straight). My take to Raw is: Shoot Raw only if you know what you are doing and why you need the Raw files for. Jpeg from camera nowadays are pretty usable, and for those who are not good in photo editing, perhaps no matter how hard you try, you still can’t beat the in camera JPEG processor.
For me, I will use the Raw files only under certain condition:
When the scene’s dynamic range exceeded camera sensor’s capability, take bracketed shots and merge them later on during post processing to expand the dynamic range.
Shooting Raw allows you to adjust the white balance later, useful when shooting under mixed lighting condition where the camera simply can’t nail the correct white balance.
3. When I have a final image in my mind that can’t be captured as it is
Sometime looking at a scene, I know I will do post processing later for sure (e.g. Black and white landscape) then I’ll shoot in Raw to make sure I have most of the data with me to work with later on.
For professionals, they shoot Raw most of the time because they simply need the quality, they need the files to edit later to their taste, they need to make fine print and so on, therefore there’s a reason for them to shoot Raw. For hobbyists and amateur like me, I rather spend more time in shooting than post processing my pictures at home 🙂
Well, it’s just my personal preference. At the end of the day, you just need to do what you think is right. Enjoy shooting!
When I got myself the Canon PowerShot G12, I started to shoot only Raw and edit the pictures with Canon supplied DPP software. There’re more adjustments can be made, but the software is pretty limiting in terms of altering the feel of the picture and adding filter presets (maybe I was too noob to fully utilize it back then).
This brings me to the next step of editing… Lightroom. I think this happened around the era when I’m using the Canon PowerShot G1X. So I continue to shoot Raw and edit in Lightroom. The basic presets in Lightroom is pretty… basic, so I ended up spending more time in searching for free presets online, but the result is not very consistent as not all presets are suitable for all situations and file types.
Editing has slowly become more of a pain when I experimenting Photoshop during my DSLR era. I just cannot understand and making full use of the software, too complicated, haha. However, things get a little different when I started my journey with Fujifilm.
Fujifilm X series camera features a software function called “film simulation”. They are basically various types of “presets” that apply on your picture to replicate the colour and look of film print, namely Provia, Velvia, Astia, Pro Negative, Monochrome, Sepia and Classic Chrome. For people who don’t like to spend too much time in front of computer editing like me, this is like a saviour.
Other camera makers do have some sort of “profile” or “preset” built in, usually will be those like vivid, high contrast and so on. Well, they sort of get the job done, but not as elegant as what Fujifilm has achieved. My workflow has changed quite a bit after using Fujifilm camera. I’m shooting Raw+Jpeg now, and whenever I feel that the Jpeg is good enough, I’ll just use it and share it. If not, I’ll try adjusting using VSCO app on my iPhone with the Jpeg files. If I got something else on my mind, then I’ll work on the Raw files later on back home with Lightroom. Basically, my time spent on a computer editing the pictures has greatly reduced. And that simply means I got more time to actually go out and shoot!
I can also shoot in Raw, then do the conversion in camera to my desired film simulation. There’s also an option to shoot “film simulation bracketing”, which simply just took 3 shots of the same scene with 3 different film simulation. I’m looking forward to see what other film simulations will Fujifilm add in to their cameras in the future.