The RAW dictatorship HAS-TO-END !

And here we go again. Only a few days ago I complained about constantly being criticized, attacked and ridiculed by RAW extremists for my choice of shooting -and editing- jpeg files, almost exclusively.

Today the world’s largest and most widely consulted photography oriented website,, has published his long awaited Sony A7 (not R) review. They did a pretty good job (if you ask me), and concluded that it’s a fantastic camera, but not without a lot of glitches, among which they listed first its terrible jpeg output.

It was only a few minutes before all hell broke lose, and comments came flooding in, saying how it’s totally ridiculous to judge such a camera on its jpeg output, as no one in their right mind would shoot, edit and re-save jepgs only out of this class of camera. Err… excuse me, but I do. Last time I checked there was no law prohibiting such practice, either. Jpeg output is one legit and important aspect of any camera, and jpeg shooters shouldn’t be attacked, victimized or ridiculed for their choice of workflow !! The RAW dictatorship just has to END.

About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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14 Responses to The RAW dictatorship HAS-TO-END !

  1. Hi, David of SOUNDIMAGPLUS was also astounded that this would be the criticism of the A7. He has both the A7 and A7r and finds that he is working with the jpegs rather RAW output from these cameras, including for his business, and can’t even imagine why the reviewer criticized the JPEG output of these cameras.
    I am using the A7r mainly for landscapes, and after fiddling with the RAW files have found that the jpegs are so good that I simply work with them a little to get the output I want. I love reading your blog and seeing the photos you post. Susan.

    • marla2008 says:

      Hi Susan 🙂 I’ve had several private reports that the R version had much better jpeg output. Anyway my post wasn’t so much about whether DPR made a valid claim, but rather about the incessant and loud criticism us jpeg shooters have to bear. This old horse has been beaten for over a decade, and I’d love to see it put to rest. Intolerance and extremism tend to unhinge me a bit ! Thanks for the kind words, I hope you’ll keep on visiting the blog !

  2. mjwc1 says:

    Of course shooting JPEG is a legitimate choice (I often do it, so it must be OK). Why add an extra level of processing when you have already worked hard to get your exposure and composition right in camera?
    Modern cameras are full of options and whatever you choose is legitimate. Want to only shoot RAW? Want to shoot everything with art filters or saturation on full? Want to buy a pro-level full frame DSLR, never take it off auto and put a plastic Holga lens on it? These are all legitimate choices. Not always wise, perhaps, but legitimate.
    What has to end is people on internet forums perpetually trying to control other people’s decisions and persecute them for their choices. Does it really matter whether someone on the other side of the planet, who you will never meet in real life, decides to shoot JPEG or buy a Sony (or Olympus or Pentax Q or P&S or whatever)? No, it doesn’t.

  3. marla2008 says:

    Words of wisdom my friend ! Think that might be my next move : pro DSLR, P mode (pro bodies don’t have full Auto…), and a 80€ 50/1.8. Should try that for a year and see what happens. All in jpeg, of course 😉

  4. mjwc1 says:

    I was thinking more the Holga plastic lens – 60mm f/8 (and only f/8). I have one in Nikon f mount, so if you buy the D4 (or, maybe even better, a Df) I’ll send it to you. Save you 80 Euros!

  5. antoine says:

    maybe some news to reconsiliate everybody: jpeg is apparently getting a major update!

  6. Hi Marla-Claire, Taking JPEG pictures is indispensable when using a Picture Effect (Posterization (Color, B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R, G, B, Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, Illustration) with the A7. I wanted a 35mm digital camera to use with my high-quality manual-focus legacy lenses (including the Minolta MD 16mm/f2.8 fisheye) with the shallowest DoF possible and with in-camera Picture Effects. A7 is the only camera today that can deliver these. I am just a fun-photographer (nothing serious), and I just admire your beautiful professional-grade photos. The JPEGs of A7 are “good enough” for me; actually, I can see them terrific, gorgeous, amazing; but, I am just a progressing beginner. I was very happy with my Nikon V1, too; but, now with the A7, hah, this is completely another level/dimension/world/universe, I cannot stop taking pictures, I have been hooked. Your photography, Marla-Claire, helped me a lot to enjoy taking photos for fun and preserving memories. Take care, Miki

  7. Surely, people who have enough time to spend on dpreview to rant, comment, and endlessly criticize each other are not a representative sample of the photographer population (if they have that much time to waste on the internet, surely they are mostly the raw shooter type). Jpeg shooters are probably underrepresented on those forums, simply because their time is too precious to waste. They would rather shoot more, spend more time with their family, take a nap ( I need the latest pretty badly, actually), or read a good blog post.

    I sometimes look at my past few months of pictures, and try to imagine which ones could have been significantly better in raw (I don’t think that many), and which one I would have missed because of RAW shooting (many action shots about my son, I am sure). I weight pros and cons, and at the end, I always choose to get extra sleep.

    Maybe one day my kids will be gone, and I will be retired, bored and grumpy, and I will shoot in RAW. I am not sure what I will shoot, though.

  8. marla2008 says:

    Hello Miki ! I’m glad to hear your A7 is serving you well, and fulfilling your passion for photography. It’s a very lovable camera, indeed. The fact I didn’t get along with it shouldn’t deter anyone to try one, it’s a fantastic machine. I tend to bond with my cameras. Unless I can do that, I don’t budge from the previous one that has stolen my heart. As of January 23rd 2014, the NEX7 still holds this spot. Whether the new Fuji or a future Sony will change that remains to be seen. What matters is to enjoy one’s hobby and the joy it brings us, whatever model we use, whatever format we shoot, or save our files in.

  9. Dave Uhlig says:

    Hey Marla,

    I switched from Canon to Sony Nex a year ago in November. I shot Raw for years on the Canon system. I think you almost had to, for the images to get as most as you could out of them. With the Sony, I have been working in Jpeg since day one, and have not looked back. So great to throw the card in the computer, do a couple tweaks in LightRoom. My processing time has gone down drastically. I haven’t had any of the white balance issues I would get with Canon, everything had a pink hue, especially outdoor portraits. Drove me nuts. The color on the Sony is perfect, combined with the dynamic range in the files, is a winner for me. I was shocked last week when you tried out the 6D. Just for the files alone, I wouldn’t go back to Canon.

    • marla2008 says:

      Dave what little work I have seen from you is very impressive, and the B&W conversions alone let me pining for your editing recipe 😉 I found the 6D to be absolutely phenomenal at high ISO, but the WB was OFF on *everything* and in ALL modes, a total jpeg nightmare. I remembered then that this had been a main reason for switch (back) to Nikon, a few years back. Sony’ jpegs have been much maligned, however I always found those of the NEX perfectly good, and very easy to deal with. Until the A7, that is…

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