This post is mostly for amateurs / enthusiasts that continue to struggle with post processing or simply don’t like it. This is not about whether it is better to shoot in RAW or Jpeg. That’s like asking which camera is better, Nikon or Canon? And, we all know the answer is Fuji. 😉
But, I think there is a big misconception out there that the only way to get a good picture is to shoot in RAW and then spend the afternoon in front of the computer fiddling with the tremendous latitude a RAW file affords one. I have found that with Fuji X Jpegs, most of the time that is just not necessary.
I shoot in RAW + Jpeg (Fine) mode. That way I get the best of both worlds, if needed. There are, of course, some draw backs with Jpegs, i.e., a little less dynamic range, unable to change White Balance, a little more noise, and generally less information in the file to manipulate. There are some compelling reasons to shoot Jpeg though. Fuji X cameras correct for lens distortions such as chromatic aberrations (purple fringing), lens diffraction at small apertures through the Lens Modulation Optimizer option, oh, and no mushy OOF foliage issues with Lightroom; 🙂 not to mention great Fuji colors SOOC!
Of course one has to understand the limitations of shooting / using Jpegs. Single images with high dynamic range values are usually best left for RAW. But know how to best shoot / use a Jpeg and wonderful images can happen. In other words, watch that live view histogram!
Below are four images all shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS Fujinon lens, from a recent trip to the Florida panhandle. This is my go to combination for travel until my X-Pro2 arrives. All four Jpeg images have been processed in Adobe Lightroom CC using VSCO presets. You should know VSCO says it is best to use their software on RAW images not Jpegs! Tweaks have been made to each image to suit my taste. In other words, the images have been majorly manipulated, but with minimal effort thanks to VSCO! One of them was even shot at 5000 ISO!
Bottom line, watch your light, shoot within Jpeg boundaries and enjoy your photography more. You don’t have to shoot in RAW to get nice pictures. It’s always there, if you need it, but, if not, no worries. Trust me. Each image is printable. I hate posting 100% crops!