I could have sworn I just heard Lightroom say: “WTF?”
Anyone who knows me as well as my computer does, will know I never shoot Jpegs. EVER.
Compared to the extra quality, tonality and latitude inherent in the extra bit-depth of the Raw File, Jpegs just don’t cut the mustard.
So why now?
Well it’s all down to the fact I’ve been playing I Spy with an Eye-Fi for my Wi-Fi.
The Eye-Fi is an SD card on steroids. Not only does it function as a normal 4GB card in my trusty Nikons, it also has built-in wireless capability. Using the wireless router connected to my studio’s network, it can upload images direct to the computer as I shoot them.
A couple of years ago, this was only possible wirelessly by using an expensive piece of kit bolted to the camera. Or alternatively by being tethered with a cumbersome cable to the computer.
Now then… Anyone who has investigated the Eye-Fi already (or follows this link to their web site) will know that it comes in two flavours. The standard card that will only upload Jpegs and a professional version that can handle Raw Files. So why did Birchall go for the standard version?
Well it’s not because I’m a skinflint. True, it is less than half the price at just fifty quid. However, it was more to do with upload speeds and the manner in which I intend to use it. The relatively small Jpegs upload in seconds whereas raw files take considerably longer. So I can quickly preview my shots before uploading the meatier Raws for processing.
With the Nikon set to capture “Raw+Jpeg”. The latter is uploaded wirelessly the instant it is written to the Eye-Fi card. These files go straight into a “watched folder” from where Lightroom displays them full screen.
Now I can check my shots for composition, sharpness, expression etc., as I shoot and review the images with my client immediately we have finished.
As a result, I will inevitably take fewer shots which will be a massive post-processing time saver.
Once the shoot is finished and the client has left, all that remains is to connect the camera by cable to start uploading the RAW files whilst I brew a nice cup of tea.
The initial tests are very encouraging and I’m now investigating ways of refining the workflow. All of which will be divulged in my next post.