Settin' By The Roadside...With Fuji
Settin' by the roadside on a summer's day.
Chattin' with my daughter, passin' time away.
Lyin' in the shadows underneath the trees.
Goodness how delicious - jpegs are for me!
Apologies the Georgia militia - and the peanut industry. But I am really pleased to be able to report that the humble jpeg has come back into fashion - at least with the right camera and the right situation.
I went to the Hot Rod Show this year but as it was in Melbourne, I didn't fancy taking the entire Nikon D300 outfit with the extra Sigma lens and the flash unit - it is great gear and I have used it at our local shows with entire satisfaction but it has a weight and size penalty. As a traveller I want to go light and easy.
So I took the Fuji X-10 with me. I was new to the camera but not so new to photography that I made the mistake of trying to buy it duty free and learn how to use it on the plane. I got it a couple of weeks prior to the trip and figured out which settings I needed. At the time, there was no RAW support for this camera with the Photoshop Elements program I favoured - so I decided to set it on the largest fine jpeg setting available and resigned myself to just taking "record snaps" of the trip.
The operation of the camera seemed to be very easy and the screen displays at the back looked good, but it was not until I got home and whacked it onto the iMac that I could see that they were very good indeed. Even fresh on the plate with no extra fiddling, they looked like what I had seen on the ground, and more important, what I wanted to see. I had planned the finished results as my standard 9" x 6" print on A4 paper and the Fuji files are perfect for this.
Note to anyone wishing to use this camera or the fancier Fuji X-Pro1 or X-E1- Adobe and Apple now can decode the RAW information so if you want to go that route, by all means try it. I am willing to bet that the RAW and the jpeg results from the X-10 will be just about the same. On that basis, I am going to continue to set the X-10 on large fine jpeg for future trips.
Please also note that I generally don't advise people to use jpeg for some purposes here in Perth - specifically if asked about wedding shoots. I always advise people who have RAW on their cameras to resort to it - and then to make sure that they have the downstream processing power in their program of choice to break it open and present it for adjustment. In most cases the camera systems and computer systems will deal with a lot of the things better when the images have that one extra step.
Not to let too many cats out of the bag, RAW can cover a multitude of sins. I am not advocating sinning as a general sport, but occasionally I find myself making regrettable errors and it is nice to have a safety net. Yesterday I covered a wedding and as it was a bright morning the white balance on the camera could be safely set to "daylight". Then clouds came over and the wedding party moved under trees and the white balance was a bit better in the "shade " setting. All well and good, but when the guests and the sun came out again guess who forgot to re-set the white balance...Fortunately only for a dozen shots, and later on the recovery of that white balance was easily done in the RAW section of the computer program. Had I been shooting in jpeg there I would still have tried to recover the white balance but it would have been death to the skin tones and textures.
Please continue to use RAW with studio portraits and product shots. Also please continue to do custom white balances and shoot Macbeth cards and look at your results on a calibrated monitor when you haven't been drinking. But when you can afford to be light and cheerful, try jpeg.
PS: I figured out what pictograms mean on the camera. See the picture at the top of the blog - that's a 2011 Ford with the "retro" button pushed in hard.