February 4th, 2022


So, ask a Photographer if they shoot RAW, and the response is likely to be something along the lines of "Of course", or "There isn't any other way".  Naturally, RAW formats give you the best flexibility with the files for post processing.  But, I think the question should be, what is your intent and workflow?

I shoot a mixture.  On my Fujifilm X-T2, it has dual card slots.  So it writes RAW to slot 1, and JPG to Slot 2.  I could use it to make a  backup from slot 1 to slot 2.  But with the Fujis, their JPG and in camera settings are sublime.  So I like to have the flexibility of RAW but the Fuji colors as well.

My X-T2 is also normally used for heavier work, so important shoots, things I need to have the control of the file for any adjustments in post, hence the reason for RAW in slot 1.

But for my X-E3, it varies.  Quite often, it's in JPG mode and I'll pick a Film Simulation or JPG recipe to use.  It's great for casual walks around the city, family gatherings, etc.  The JPG files themselves are really good, so I'm often quite happy with the result.  If I'm out and I feel I may need to edit the file later, then I'll switch it to RAW as well.  But quite often I'm happy with the JPG results.

Additionally, it's good practice to set your settings up correctly when you shoot.  So you have little post processing to worry about.  For instance, make sure your white balance is set, don't use the idea of "I'll fix it in post".  I mean, yes you can, but it's better to be accurate from the start.  I recently got a gray card.  Use the custom white balance on your camera.  Get the color set before you shoot.

Also, watch your histogram.  My Fuji's let me overlay a histogram while I'm shooting (They don't have a optical viewfinder, or OVF as it's called).  So watch that you don't clip or burn out your highlights.  Watch the shadows too, but I find the highlights more important. 

Get it right in camera, and you won't need to worry so much about fixing it in post.  And it's a better habit to be in.  Yes with digital you don't have rolls of film, but it slows you down a little and makes you a better photographer when you focus on getting it right first.

Then, if you want to share or print a photo before you leave, or share with your model, you can do so, knowing it will look good straight off your camera.  Be methodical setting up your shot, not just the "spray and pray" mantra.  Control your scene, set things up, and then you can shoot and make wonderful photos, practically ready to go straight from camera.

Now let's get out and shoot some pictures!

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