RAW vs JPEG – How a Mirrorless Camera Can Turn You Into a JPEG Shooter

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Our good friend Marlene Hielema (DiscoverMirrorless.com and ImageMaven.com) has just gone through a conversion of sorts. You see, Marlene is a long time corporate photographer who is used to capturing all of her images in RAW format, but now that she’s shooting with a Panasonic Lumix GH3, that’s all could be changing.

Marlene writes…

“I’m a longtime raw shooter. Perfect WB. Perfect Exposure. Perfect tonal range. Perfect everything. Perfect for corporate photography. But perfect can sometimes be boring.

Then I got my Lumix GH3 camera, and soon discovered the Creative Control mode.

Soon after, she began to play with the camera’s built in creative presets. Such as:

  • Expressive
  • Retro
  • High key
  • Low key
  • Sepia – most cameras have this
  • Dynamic monochrome
  • Impressive art – my current fave
  • High dynamic
  • Cross process
  • Toy effect
  • Miniature effect
  • Soft focus
  • Star filter
  • One point color


Marlene stresses the importance of setting things up right…

“In this creative mode, you need to set up file size and quality, ISO, and white balance just like you usually do. But ….. you also need to shoot jpgs (or jpg + raw together).  If you have your camera set up to capture raw files only, you’ll see the preview and then when you open that raw file, the effects disappear into thin air, and you’ll be left with your perfectly boring raw file. You can’t easily recreate these effects from your raw file unless you like to spend an awful lot of time in Photoshop or Snapseed. And really who wants to do that?!”

But Won’t My DSLR Do That?

Marlene states that “Some dSLRs have scene modes like sepia and black and white, but I’m not sure that I’ve seen any with these highly stylized artistic settings.” (If you know of any, let us know in the comments.)

You can also use those same creative presets for video!!

As Marlene puts it, “Now when I create my hybrid eProducts I can shoot stills and video using those same funky artistic settings, and that means that I don’t have to do anything to match the files when I’m building my eProduct. They easily blend together with the same artistic look.If you have a mirrorless camera, or even a point and shoot camera, have a look inside your menus and see if you have any of these creative controls.”  (Read full article on DiscoverMirrorless.com)

My 2 Cents

I’m completely with Marlene on this one.  Scene modes and creative filters are fun and exciting tools that help you get the most out of your still images and videos, and they’re usually loaded up right on to your mirrorless camera (I’m having a ball with the ones in my Lumix G5!).  So go have fun with your creative filters, art modes, scene modes, etc.  – and please come back and post your images in the comments below.  We’d love to see them!

Here are some Great Mirrorless Cameras that are loaded up with creative features…

Panasonic Lumix GH3

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Sony NEX 6

Panasonic Lumix G5

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5

Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2

Sony RX100

Panasonic Lumix LX7


Joto says:

Raw requires to spend more time in processing. And jpeg would allow to get the result straight from camera. What an extraordinary news. Sounds like she really discover something!

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