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A Reader's Response to Those Who Get Upset at My Article About RAW vs. JPG
© 2005 KenRockwell.com

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This was written by a reader of this site to address those who enjoy poking fun of me. You can contact him . Personally I enjoy the discussion and publish this site with my findings to help those who ask. I don't claim it to be Gospel. Only Ansel can write the Gospel as you can read here.

The page which generates controversy is here.


His (Ken's) basic point is that RAW consumes much more space on your memory cards and hard drive and more time to process.

Now, there's nothing there that indicates to me that Ken stated JPG was ABSOLUTELY better than RAW. Nor do I see him advocating that people not shoot in it. He's simply stating his opinion.

I would guess that many of Ken's readers are amateurs. And I think his advice is actually quite sound. Most amateurs would benefit from taking more photographs than they would from having fewer photographs that they could tweak more fully. Personally, I do a lot of my shooting in JPG simply because it gives me more of an opportunity to experiment with no fears at all about the space in my memory cards.

I use RAW for commercial or more serious "art" work. I think Ken's advice is sound. All sorts of amateurs can't extract the full value of RAW. Many wouldn't even want to. Many amateurs would be thrilled with a bunch of "very good" over a few "very, very good" images. Clogging up the harddrives of people who don't even bother batch processing their images is kind of silly. There are plenty of very good amateurs who rarely print larger than 8x10 and only use photoshop for re-sizing images to email to friends and family.

The other unfair criticism of Ken is that he "admits" to often times not even having used the product he reviews. I'm not sure exactly what the problem is or how people in any way feel cheated when Ken makes such a confession. The fact that he presents the specs of some item, often links to find more information, and various comments can in and of itself be helpful.
Ken frequently makes the point about it only being his opinion and that other people may legitimately have quite different needs. If you're unable to take what Ken says, compare it to what other people say, and sufficiently analyze your own needs, that's not Ken's problem.

The bottom line is we have people here outraged about something Ken didn't say. We have people who are somehow annoyed to find their personal preferences are not Ken's, irrespective of any different needs or priorities that they may have with Ken. And we have people worked up over the fact that Ken has the unmitigated gall to provide some specifications, features, history and other information products that he openly and repeatedly stresses that he's not personally handled.

Oh, and since this is a Nikon forum let us all consider what else Ken is doing: serving as arguably the single most persuasive voice to lead aspiring amateurs to NIKON dSLRs. Those of us who are Nikon users should be happy for that: as the market expands it will provide better incentives for Nikon to develop new lenses.

So, here we have this guy named Ken Rockwell who is providing a lot of information, a guy who is a more skilled photographer than most people on this forum, and a guy doing more to spread the gospel of Nikon dSLRs than most people on this forum. And his general fairness, emphatic stressing that many things come to personal preferences (and explaining the reasons for and against those preferences), and willing to admit he's not handled a product he's speaking is certainly beyond many people on this forum, as well. And people are somehow upset about this man?

With enemies like Ken Rockwell, who needs friends?

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