No more raw (as standard)

Since cameras were able to shoot in both raw and jpeg, I’ve shot in both. During my decades of Nikon shooting I predominantly used the raw file to edit as I truly hated the colour science of Nikon cameras. About a year ago I deleted around 600GB of Nikon raw files I had accumulated over time.

I’m now in the situation where I have accumulated around 300GB of Fujifilm raw files, so it’s time to take a look at what I’m doing, what I need for the future and what I should be doing.

Firstly, almost every single sale I’ve made, or commission I’ve done, I have used the Fujifilm jpeg file. The only exceptions are very low light images and images I want to play with film simulations later. Everything else has been from the jpeg image.

Secondly, I’m just enjoying photography now and not concentrating on sales. More than ever I’ve been trying to have beautiful images in camera, with minimal tweaks in post processing. Thanks to Fujifilms colour science and quite malleable jpegs, I’ve relied less and less on raw files.

The other day I sat down to look at my photos, straightened a few images, adjusted exposure if needed and was making very minor tweaks when I realised the last time I edited a raw file for myself (as opposed to editing to test software updates etc) was a long time ago!

Why was I also shooting raw then?

I always think to myself that if the jpeg is unusable for any reason, then I have the raw file as a backup. Also, in many years time I might want to go back over an image. I think a lot of people think like this, it’s like storing old newspapers/magazines for a time you want to re-read them. That time never comes around and you end up with piles of old newspapers/magazines.

As I said, in very low light, I was always use raw files over jpegs, because on this occasion it makes total sense.

Why jpeg only from now on?

I enjoy treating the art of photography like film. With film, we didn’t have a second chance, we took the photos, sent them to be developed (yes we all dabbled in the dark room, but for the most part, and for most people, film was sent away) and enjoyed the results.

Of course, we can edit the jpeg file enough to correct things like exposure and other tweaks, so there is an element of safety, plus it’s super simple to add an LUT or preset if needed.

I don’t believe shooting one way or the other makes you any better/worse a photographer. No one cares how you get to the final result when they buy your images, or enter competitions or when they study your images on the wall. No one at all! So I’m happy to go jpeg only from this point forward.


I am a semi-professional photographer who runs a weekly meeting photography group as well as numerous Facebook groups (Great Photography Walks South Wales and Fujifilm Lovers Worldwide Group). I also have a brand-new blog website dedicated to various other things which I like to call The Ramblings Of A Welshman. I hope you can join me there; you might find it interesting! You’ll find my YouTube Channel Here!

Published by Mark G.Adams

Fujifilm Documentary Photographer & Blogger.

15 thoughts on “No more raw (as standard)

  1. Hmm, I’ve wondered the same thing since Fuji (I use the X-S10) has gotten so good with JPEGs it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. Plus I like to take the lazy route ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have access to scalable storage, and continue to shoot RAW based on my experiences of wishing I could go back and re-edit my past images. This is especially true for the images I wish I could still edit using newer software that I only have JPG files for. I have a simple workflow; edit the RAW file, then save a TIF and a JPG, and this way, I can rest assured that I can always go back and make whatever changes I want to later on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a great workflow. As I say, there’ll be certain times (such as paid work), when I will use raw. But generally I don’t reprocess any images once I’ve finished editing them. Thanks 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I came up shooting slide film. The end result was the actual piece of film that was in the camera as the shutter fired. There was no do-over, it was correctly exposed and composed or it was not. And depending on the film used, each frame was about .75 (film and processing), so you learned to get it right or you wasted a lot of money.

    Shooting digital now, I never lost my process from that 50 years of film photography. I shoot jpegs with my Fujifilm cameras and do it with the mindset of get it right BEFORE I press the shutter. I lived for decades without “fix it in Photoshop”, and I continue to.

    Maybe of some interest is this book that I bought which reinforces my jpeg only philosophy.

    In Camera: Perfect Pictures Straight out of the Camera https://www.amazon.com/dp/1781573611/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_XMEZTQYZ4A9263PRTWQB

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Albert, I fully agree with you. As I’ve said many times over the years, getting it right in camera is what really makes me happy. Like you, shooting film drummed this into me. Thank you for the link 🙏 much appreciated.

      Like

  4. Well thought out, something for many to think about.
    It was about the same with me Mark,
    my old Pentax jpegs weren’t bad, but the manually developed Raws were way better.
    Maybe the jpegs with the newer models are better, I don’t know.
    I do know that jpegs are especially better when they come from a Fujifilm camera, because I still edit photos from my Olympus cameras.
    However anyone does it, the chances of you editing a photo afterwards (and I mean after a longer period of time) are indeed slim – so dumping your Raws makes good sense.
    You could opt to keep the raw of your very best photos, I also used Tif for a short time, but they are five times larger than a Raw, so I don’t think that makes much sense.
    So like I said, something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was keeping raw files for around 2 years after I had taken them, but honestly, after the initial editing, I never go back to them. Especially general images of regular stuff.

      It’s going to save me so much space. I know that they say storage is cheap, but it’s wasted storage if you never use them!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Alas with JPG not all the colours are there and what is there is done in camera. With RAW all the 16bit colours are there so you got a choice of using AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB. Prophoto has more colours in it than Adobe rgb. JPG only 8bit. But if that is what you like and want so be it. Well Done on doing your Good Blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

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