I’ve been shooting exclusively with Fuji for almost 2 years now, and I am extremely impressed with the IQ that these guys kick out. In addition, I’ve noticed that my workflow and post processing efficiency has increased. Perhaps this can be attributed to my level of skill increasing, but nonetheless, my Fuji nails the shot every time (technically speaking). But something happened on Sunday night…you know, one of those moments where you get smacked upside the head because something was right in front of your face and you missed it.
The city where I live has a yearly Christmas festival, where everyone turns out. There’s food, music, arts, crafts, and general holiday cheer. Kids run around carelessly, excited to see Santa. Adults all know each other, as it’s a small community, and shoot the shit. I took my Fuji X-T1 with my XF35mm lens, and that’s it. For a change, instead of just capturing RAW, I decided to capture in both JPEG (F) + RAW. I also played around with a B&W simulation (Monochrome + G filter) since I was planning on shooting some portraits and wanted to try something different. I walked around, framed a few shots, pressed the shutter, and WOW…
I got home and downloaded and backed up the photos like I normally do after a shoot. I decided to play around with them in Lightroom to see if there were any keepers, or ones worth sharing. Lightroom pulled in the RAWs and they looked great. I then opened the jpegs to see what they looked like, and my mouth dropped open. They were beautiful, tack sharp, and just had something to them that I couldn’t understand. They completely blew the RAWs out of the water for some odd reason. Bottom line, I didn’t have to do ANY editing. I was overly happy with the beautiful jpegs that came straight out of the camera. See below.
The point I’m trying to make here, is that I didn’t have to do ANY editing using the SOOC jpegs vs the RAW files. My ultimate goal would be to do little, if not any post production depending on the type of shoot I’m doing.
Before this happened, I’ve been exploring more and more using the jpegs that come straight out of camera as my selects – for clients. This way of thinking forces me to make sure it’s perfect in-camera so that I can dramatically cut down on any post processing time. I’ve noticed that there seems to be something beautiful and magical about these Fuji jpeg files – even compared to my previous Canon 5D3. They definitely seem a bit sharper than the RAW files, and this has been explained pretty well in THIS ARTICLE by Peter Bridgwood. Also, with the new firmware coming out on December 18th, I’m pretty intrigued to shoot with the Classic Chrome simulation, as it seems to add a really nice, subtle quality to portraits, and I’d need to capture those in jpeg.
I’m pretty sure this all boils down to preference, but I’m still going to do some more research on this. Shooting in jpeg only would dramatically simplify all my travel photography and client jobs where I travel – especially with the ability to use Lightroom Mobile + Fuji’s cam remote/wifi feature that I previously wrote about. Of course I’ll still shoot RAW just in case for client shoots, but for personal work, I may save some HD space and go all jpeg.
I want to hear from YOU whether or not you regularly use SOOC jpegs for client selects. Do you?