RAW vs Jpeg

RAW vs. Jpeg...here we go again. 

Yes I know that some of you have heard this argument over and over, but after a recent experience I wanted to give my input on this subject.

About a month and a half ago my girlfriend and I were shooting an event in Florida called the U.S. Street Nationals. This was going to be her first time shooting with a Dslr. We run a media/marketing company also (yes I am always busy) and that's why we were there to cover the event. 

None the less, I had rented her a Nikon D3300  from BorrowLenses.com, which is where I usually rent gear from. We were trying some new ways of doing our coverage and this was really a trial run with that body and the wifi transmitter. 

Being that it was her first go at it in the realm of Dslr camera's and that we were using the wifi to provide coverage right from the wall, I set the camera up, showed her where some of the settings were that she would need to use (by the way, I absolutely don't care for the menu system or anything else on the D3300 but she loved it) and then set the camera to Jpeg only as we needed to be able to transfer the files from the camera to the phone and then to our online outlets. 

In renting this body, or any other consumer based body I was under the impression that shooting Jpeg with a camera that is 7 years newer than what I shoot with (Nikon D3) would yield excellent results along with the ability to edit said photos later. ow before starting in about why I didn't set it up for RAW+Jpeg Fine instead of just Jpeg, I will answer that by again stating that this was hear first race out and I didn't want to be filling up a ton of cards and slowing our processes of what we were trying to accomplish down. Yes, I could have gone that route and I am fully aware of that.

Back to the subject at hand. When I got around to doing the final edits on what turned out to be great Jpegs that she had shot (she certainly has a natural talent) I was vastly disappointed in the lack of ability to properly get the look that I wanted out of those Jpegs. The "burned in" process that is used for Jpegs, at least in that camera seriously limited my editing abilities. The ability to bring out more shadow, and fine tune the things that I wanted to do. 

I then moved on to editing my RAW images from my Nikon D3. Now this is a camera body that I have been using for a while now and I always know what to expect from my RAW images. The ability to adjust the curves, bring out shadows, sharpen it just a touch more. So I take a Jpeg from a brand new consumer body and a RAW image from a pro body that dates back to 2007 with it's technology and hands down the winner is still the RAW images. Let me also state that this had nothing to do with the person operating the camera, as she is very aware of settings along with capturing images (multiple imagines of her's were used in a publication). 

The simple fact of the matter is if you are someone that takes your craft seriously and really wants to get the best out of your photos, I would always suggest shooting RAW and avoiding the snapshots that you get from shooting Jpeg. I equate shooting Jpeg to using full auto with your camera settings because that is exactly what you are doing. You are letting the camera decide how your photo will look instead of you deciding how your photo will look. 

Just something for all photographers to keep in mind when you want the best outcome, put the best effort you can into capturing the work and then put real effort in post to make it look the best.