Monday, 4 August 2014


A lot depends upon what you are doing and the quality of the jpeg processor in your camera. In the past those processors were somewhat crude and gave results which were not really acceptable, especially if you submitted work to picture agencies so it had to be RAW converted to jpeg or sometimes tiff to get that high quality. However as with all things electronic, things change very fast. 

For me the writing was on the wall when I bought a Leica DL2 some 15 years ago, Leica recommended using jpeg at 100 ISO unless large prints were required and the results were very good though I did use RAW in both the Leica and Nikon D200's most of the time as in those days I did not know what the image could end up being used for by the client. Above 100 ISO the Leica was virtually useless due to noise from the small sensor, a common problem. 

How things have changed, I can only speak for the Fuji's I now use but the jpeg results from both the X100 (APS sensor) and the X20 (2/3 sensor) are excellent and are more than adequate for what I now use images for, that is slide shows and Blurb books. If I think there may be a commercial image in the offing or I know the image could be a difficult one to process I use the RAW plus jpeg option. Vast improvements have been made with less expensive cameras, Margaret has a small Panasonic which, in all but the most difficult lighting gives excellent results. In a Blurb book it's difficult to see which images taken in normal conditions were made with the £150 Panasonic or the £1000 Fuji.

With jpegs it's even more important that your exposure has to be as accurate as possible. Also if you are one of those who has to manipulate an image to with in an inch of it's life stick with RAW as jpeg is a lossy format so each time you modify and close the file you lose a little data. 

The choice is, of course, yours  but whatever you do make sure you enjoy your photography.

Tony Middleton

No comments:

Post a Comment