A Day Shooting Jpeg - It Is Different


When I'm on vacation, I try to be more like a normal person and less like a photographer. One of the ways I do that is to put a compact camera in my pocket and leave everything else behind. This usually means that I'm shooting Jpeg.

It's funny, now that I've been shooting Raw for a couple years, I really notice a difference when I process Jpegs in Aperture. I'm so used to being able to recover vast amounts of image data in the highlights and shadows. I have so much information to work with regardless of the slider I'm using.

After processing a day's worth of Jpegs, I feel like I'm image editing with one hand tied behind my back. I move a slider expecting a certain result, and the image just doesn't respond "right." It's a good reminder of just how powerful Raw photography is.

Does this mean I'm going to start lugging all my photo gear around? Nope. I'm still on vacation. I'll shoot Raw when it's convenient. But the rest of the time, I'm still going to be a tourist.

Photo of Dragon's Teeth formation near Kapalua, Maui, by Derrick Story. Captured with a Canon SD700 IS in Program mode.

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That is why I bought the G9 this year, after to many bike trips missing photos I wish i could do over with a better camera. I understand completely.

I like the Canon G9, and have one myself. I have taken (and published) so many wonderful pictures with it. And I always shoot in Raw mode with it. But it doesn't fit in the pocket of my swim trunks. And if it did, its weight could lead to an embarrassing situation. But love that camera, no doubt.

So the big question remains, what is the smallest RAW capable camera available? I used the camera search facility at dpreview.com and came up with these 4 'ultra compact' cameras:

Leica D-Lux 4 (109 x 56 x 27 mm)
Lumix DMC-LX3 (109 x 60 x 27 mm)
Lumix DMC-FX150 (97 x 54 x 25 mm)
Leica D-Lux 3 (106 x 56 x 26 mm )

Does anyone have any experience with these camera? How do they compare to the G9