Thursday, March 13, 2014

WHAT ? - You Don't Shoot RAW !

Many non photographers would think this question alluded to shooting animals while naked. There is an element of elitism which can creep into photographic discussions and dismissing someone because they use a compact camera, prefer to shoot jpeg or operate their camera in 'auto' mode is a tad naive. Shooting RAW is only a twist of a dial in settings and while I've heard all the justification for doing it, and appreciate the value of doing so, I still shoot in jpeg for preference, sometimes both modes as a backup. If I can't extract enough detail, I'll access the RAW files.  No doubt once I become more familiar with Photoshop tweaks or decide to have any of my images printed, I may be inclined to change over but so far, I'm content. I'm not one for dragging around a pile of equipment like a packhorse so I like my battery and memory cards to last at least one complete shoot. RAW eats up the memory and the battery power, that's why I'm steering clear for the moment.

I was interested to see a post on Lightstalking - Is Program mode for idiots ? supporting the choice to shoot in Program mode when the occasion calls for it. I usually take two cameras on shoots, my Canon 70D with my wide angle lens and my Canon Powershot SX50HS with its super zoom. In this way I can cover all scenarios without having to drag around a pile of lenses. Both cameras are lightweight in comparison to full frame DSLRs . I generally shoot in Manual mode on the 70D and have the Powershot by default set to Auto so I'm ready for non anticipated opportunities as I walk along. I believe it's better to get the shot rather than miss an opportunity because I was too busy changing a lens. The article proves that I'm not the voice in the wilderness. 

It's easy to  be seduced by all the gear that people acquire. Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a fun read and the 7 Stages of G.A.S is quirky and pretty close to the mark I would imagine.  I'm lucky I'm not wealthy enough to be caught up by the trend but  I don't agree that you need the most expensive full frame camera and a collection of Zeiss lenses to produce some inspiring images. I've seen some great macro shots using compacts with a macro setting and some pretty unimpressive examples using expensive specialty lenses. 

Photography deserves to be an enjoyable experience - make it so by shooting what and how works for you and consider the hype, but don't get too caught up in it so you can't make your own decisions.


  1. Thank you so much for this article. I tend to agree with your theories on getting the shot when opportunities pop up. I have shot RAW in the past when on land and want precise detail, but as I am mostly a hobbyist (at sea), except for a couple of magazine shots which they can edit anyway and they want it like yesterday, (that's another subject all together) I choose to shot fine jpg. I carry a Nikon D7000 with 18-200m as a walk around, with all kinds of other lens if needed and a couple of PL filters for on the water shots, backed up with an P&S Olympus Tough TG2 waterproof as a pocket camera. I have loads of filters in storage and othe bits and pieces that I could play with but I also choose not to. I'm not printing poster size stuff, I print for family and friends and the mags print for themselves. Jpg fine is enough for me.
    Cheers Nancy
    ps. you have some great articles

  2. I think sometimes we become fixated on what is 'current thinking' or the default view. There can be a certain snobbishness amongst photographers who dismiss any who are new to the hobby unless they have all the bells and whistles. All the money in the world and a technical brain procure no advantage in many creative fields. The artistic eye is a natural gift not a commodity. Great to have you drop by Nancy. I don't use Flickr anymore. Like you, I please myself and follow my own leads :-) You are blessed to have Nature as your daily companion. Appreciate your feedback.