Why Shoot JPEG Instead Of RAW

why shoot jpeg looking towards the mouth of the grey river

Why shoot JPEG?

Why shoot JPEG instead of raw is not a question I ever really asked myself. I was sold on RAW when I purchased my first DSLR and the salesperson explained the concept of RAW files to me.

I am a self-confessed lazy photographer. I rarely, if ever, plan a photographic outing and tend to rely on an opportunistic approach that sometimes works for me and sometimes (as in most times…) doesn’t.

I cheat too. I don’t strive to get my images correct in camera. I use DxO Photolab and the Nik Collection to correct the errors of my exposure ways, and as a result, spend far too much time in front of my computer correcting RAW files and converting them into JPEGs.

But just a couple of days ago I decided to stop shooting RAW and concentrate on shooting JPEGs only.

The two main reasons for this decision are essentially time and space.

I need to spend more time making images and less time tweaking them; and JPEGs don’t take up so much space on my SD-cards, on my computer, on my back-up, and so on.

In addition to those reasons, I am considering upgrading my trusty old Nikon D5100 – now 8 years old, and showing its age – to a modern mirrorless marvel.

Upgrading my camera creates another dilemma for me! If I go to a modern camera that has too many megapixels then my Mac won’t handle it – speed-wise and storage-wise. So it’s either a new Mac or a new camera – and I know which I prefer, or rather can afford, to upgrade.

I am also hoping of course, that my photography overall will benefit from shooting JPEG only. Now I will need to concentrate more on getting better results SOOC (straight-out-of-camera).

I remember listening to a talk quite some time ago from award-winning,  NZ photographer Ron Willems about his approach to photography and was surprised when he said he shot virtually all of his photographs in JPEG only. I’ve never forgotten that!

So I figured if he can win awards with his JPEGs, I can produce quality JPEG images as well. Award winning too maybe…yeah, right!

So here is my first batch of shooting-in-JPEG-only photographs from my stay in Greymouth.

Essentially these are SOOC. All that I have done in post-processing is run them through DxO Photolab to correct optical distortions, straighten horizons (I can never hold my camera level…), then resize and rename for the web.


world famous in greymouth santa fe dairy
The world-famous-in-Greymouth Santa Fe Dairy


tainui street greymouth as seen from the floodwall
 Tainui Street, Greymouth


the building that used to be the home of #ZA radio Scenicland
 Rear of the old Radio Scenicland building


old bnz building greymouth
 A New Land


looking towards the mouth of the grey river nearing sunset
 View towards the mouth of the Grey River


kells hotel cobden greymouth
 Kell’s Hotel, Cobden


disused royal hotel greymouth
 Royal Hotel, Greymouth


cobden bridge over the grey river
 Cobden Bridge


award winning dpi cafe greymouth
 Award winning DPI Cafe

And to finish this story about why shoot JPEGs – a series of photographs taken on the Grandjeans Creek Walkway which has been the stomping ground for me to walk our three dogs over the past week and a half. For those of you familiar with the Greymouth of old,  the Grandjeans Creek Walkway runs off what used to be Perotti Park which is now, unfortunately little more than a privately-owned, neglected mud bath area.


grandjeans creek walkway
 Grandjeans Creek Walkway


deep in the grandjeans creek walkway
 Deep inside the Grandjeans Creek Walkway


typical west coast bush grandjeans creek walkway
 Typical West Coast bush


grandjeans creek - why shoot jpeg instead of raw
 Grandjeans Creek


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2 Responses

  1. I am like you in some ways . Id rather spend time shooting and getting it right while shooting then waste time and space processing. When i shot film altho i processed all my pics in the darkroom i wasnt shooting nearly as much. While shooting herons at the beach i can come home w over 700 photos and takes hours just to go thru and do small edits like straighten horizen and the odd lighten image.

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever come home from a shoot with over 700 photos Joanne – not sure how I’d cope if I did. Culling 700 from a 5-week road trip is challenging enough. Happy photography, Rick

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