Should You Shoot JPEG as a Professional Photographer?

Should You Shoot JPEG as a Professional Photographer?

Can you shoot exclusively in JPEG as a professional photographer? Check out our interview with award winning wedding and portrait photographer Scott Robert Lim, as he explains why he's been shooting only in JPEG for over 23 years.

I recently had the opportunity to interview award-winning master photographer and Sony Artisan of Imagery Scott Robert Lim. Scott has over 70 international awards to his name and is regarded as one of the world's finest wedding and portrait photographers.

A few years ago, I attended one of Scott's presentations and was blown away when he mentioned that he shoots exclusively in JPEG as a professional. Like many others, I've always associated being a pro with shooting in raw, so when Scott mentioned that he's a pro JPEG shooter, I had to learn more. 

Take a look at the interview below to learn more about Scott, better understand his approach, and some of the reasons behind why he's chosen to shoot in JPEG as a professional photographer for over two decades. 

The Interview

Q: Tell us a bit about your background, your style of work, and how long you’ve been shooting in JPEG versus raw.

A: I've been a professional photographer for 23 years and have been shooting in JPEG for my entire career. I started as a wedding photographer and have shot hundreds of weddings around the world. I've transitioned into teaching, mentoring, and coaching photographers of all levels. I'm usually teaching or hosting workshops every other week somewhere around the country or internationally. I photograph at 30 events a year, give or take. I love shooting on-location portraits and also love the challenge of shooting everything from sports, to street, and landscape.

Q: What made you decide to switch your workflow from raw to JPEG?

A: When you shoot in JPEG, it makes everything faster. Back in 2001 when I was shooting four-megapixel files, shooting raw meant having a buffer of maybe three images, and then you had to wait for it to copy to your card. On the other hand, if I shot JPEG, I could easily double that speed, and usually never had to wait for my camera to buffer. I just couldn't afford to wait for my camera to write to my card, which made shooting in JPEG ideal. 

In addition to the buffering advantage, during the beginning of my career, I would incur many more image errors when shooting raw. I consulted a famous wedding photographer who shot hundreds of weddings a year and told me not to shoot in raw. This was because his studio would incur many image errors due to shooting in raw. It was hard for older camera technology to write larger files on a memory card back then. If I bumped my camera when it was writing an image to a CF card, there was a higher chance of an image error.

Another reason I started shooting in JPEG is cost savings. My general rule for data backup is 3-2-1: three copies, two locations, and one online storage location. Shooting in JPEG with 24-megapixel to 60-megapixel files, I usually use 2 TB of storage per year. In order to be safe, I make three copies of my work, meaning for every year that I shoot, I have to have around 6 TB of storage. If I shoot in raw with files five times the size, I now have to store 30 TB of data per year, which is a lot to manage, and also costs much more! I recently transferred all of my digital files onto a single 14 TB drive, which I can easily clone onto another drive, and give to a friend or relative to store for me. In contrast, if I shot in raw for all of those images, I would have needed 50-60 TB to store everything on. Shooting in raw makes it much harder and more expensive to store and copy my images, since there are no low-cost 50 TB drives.

Q: What would you say the biggest benefit has been for you since switching to JPEG for editing?

A: Speed! It's so much faster to work with JPEG versus raw images on your computer. Basically, if you want to double the speed of your computer, just shoot in JPEG. Sometimes, I'm scrolling through thousands of images in Lightroom, and shaving seconds per image adds up to a lot of time saved. Shooting in JPEG also means that you don't have to use the latest and greatest computers to edit your images, saving you even more time and money. I know that raw has much more dynamic range and detail, but I've had my images published all around the world, and not once has anyone noticed that I shot them in JPEG. Post-processing can also make up for image shortcomings. I have people wonder how I get my images so sharp.

Q: What are some of the most important considerations that new photographers should keep in mind if they decide to shoot JPEG exclusively?

A: The better you are at lighting and getting a balanced exposure, the easier it is for you to shoot in JPEG. You don't want to over-expose large areas of your frame with no detail on a regular basis. If you are a photographer that loves to use off-camera lighting or is very good at using natural light, the transition to JPEG should be relatively easy. Shooting in JPEG, you get about two stops of compensation, whereas with raw files, you get about four (as I'm told, as I don't really know because I don't shoot raw). It's like shooting slide film from back in the day, where the exposure needed to be right on. With modern mirrorless cameras, it's now much easier to nail the right exposure, or be within a couple of stops, because if you weren't, you'd never take the picture! You would instantly see that it's a bad exposure and fix it before shooting!

Q: Are there any examples of situations when you were shooting in JPEG, and you wished you would have chosen to shoot in raw?

A: Shooting in raw would be nice in situations where I need to pull back the highlights in a bright sky, especially when my subject is backlit by the sun, and I'm unable to light my subject with an off-camera light to balance the exposure. Lightroom and Photoshop make it easy to deal with this challenge now, so I can still change the exposure of my background, or swap out a sky with literally one click. I don't find that I would ever shoot raw for what I do, given that I can overcome these challenges through post-processing.

Q: Are there any non-negotiable situations where raw is absolutely necessary?

A: Yes, if my client demands the files in raw. I usually explain to my client that I've shot in JPEG for my entire career, and 99% won't care how I shoot, as long as I get the results that they're looking for. However, if they insist that I shoot in raw, then I do.

Q: Any general advice for creators who want to consider optimizing their workflow for JPEG?

A: If you're unsure about switching to JPEG, keep in mind that most cameras have two card slots. Start shooting in both JPEG and raw, so you can practice using the JPEG files to edit and still have the raw files in case you need them. Once you start gaining confidence in shooting JPEG, you can stop saving the raw files. After doing this for 6–12 shoots, you'll learn if shooting in JPEG works for you. Every photographer should have a decent backup workflow with their files. Remember the simple data redundancy formula of 3-2-1: three copies, two locations, and one online storage location.

Will You Switch to Shooting JPEG?

What are your takeaways from Scott's advice and experience? Shooting in JPEG seems to offer many advantages: speeding up your workflow, reducing the load on your computer, and cost savings from having less data to store. All of these things seem like compelling reasons to shoot JPEG as a professional, so it may be worth considering.

Share your thoughts in the comments below, and let us know why you would or wouldn't switch to an all-JPEG workflow!

Images used with permission of Scott Robert Lim.

Reza Malayeri's picture

Reza is a professional photographer, cinematographer, and educator based in Seattle WA. He specializes in a variety of creative fields, including wedding photography, portrait photography, cinematography, and FAA Part 107 drone aerials. As an educator, Reza's aim is to produce compelling educational content that inspires and empowers creators.

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I shoot JPEG for Sports --- when you're shooting anywhere from 800-1500 photos per game, and need to deliver quick turnaround times, then JPEG by far is the way to go.

But for anything else that requires any retouching, color grading, etc, RAW all day long. Why handicap yourself when editing by using only 30% of the data captured.

I shoot raw on one card and jpeg on another. Gives me lot of options

Lets say that card crashes were more common in the very very early 2000 than today, but to make them sound like that's all they did, please... They were expensive yes, but it would have been crazy to shoot an entire wedding and not swap cards regularly. Not only that but some cards like the original Micro Drives were probably best left 1/3 empty. There were plenty of rules to observe no matter if you shot jpg or RAW and you would have a second camera with a different lens and shoot anything critical with both. With a little bit of thinking, even if you had a card failure all that crossing and swapping would reduce the risk to something nearly insignificant. You were safe and much safer than the film days by a long shot.
Now the storage argument I read here is really a choice rather than anything else. It's been a long time since cameras have two slots and the buffer issue has not been much of an issue for awhile. So even shooting jpg, saving in RAW as well is a great way to have a back up to extract more data if the canned jpg preset can't handle the situation. Just go to the RAW do what you need to extract, save in jpg if that's your choice and just archive that jpg. When the client has received their photos and they are happy, just flush the RAW files. No one has to save their RAW if they choose not to because of space and cost. Sounds actually scary that jpg people can't figure out alternatives as technology improves.

Good points. I'd rather have two one-slot cameras than one two-slot camera. And, of course, even with two slots I'd still never shoot an event with just one body. There are many ways to dilute risk. Dual slots is just one way and is not, by itself, sufficient.

As for storage, it's so cheap now that, as a stills pro, I don't see any reason to base my choice of file format on it. At $10 per TB, my storage cost, including backup, for an event job amounts to just 0.025% of my income from the job. Years ago, I used to archive my RAW keepers and delete the finished JPEGs after delivery, knowing that I could always batch export new JPEGs if needed. Now I just keep them all. A pair of 16TB drives costing $300 total would probably last me five years at my current rate.

Depends on what I'm shooting. If Im shooting fashion, engagement, portraits it's RAW. Anything with sports or quick turnaround times I shoot JPEG+ Raw so I have a ready to go image, but still a raw image if I need to edit something.

STRONG NO to jpeg but wow these images are phenomenal !

Haha! Don't knock it till you try it Michelle :D and agreed! Scott's work is phenomenal!

Why such a strong no, especially when you yourself noted the quality of Scott's images?

Well, do you think there is less post processing on the images presented than if they were shot RAW. It's debatable.

What does that matter, though? I mean, we shot and edited JPEG for YEARS before everyone "had" to shoot in raw format. Which, honestly, I do still shoot a ton of work in raw, but there's something to be said for shooting JPEG especially when you get it right in camera.

In my opinion anyone can use what they want and no one has ever "had" to shoot RAW. Has anyone been arrested for shooting RAW... or jpg?. I shot RAW from day one because early digital backs had no option to "shoot jpg" and honestly for a studio in a pre-press house, we would have had zero reason to use jpg.
"Especially when..." I think you got that right, sometimes stuff happens and we have bad days when not everything goes as planned. So what happen to a jpg when it didn't go as planned but the photographer assume he did nail it? Truth is, I'm pretty sure no one plans intentionally to over or under any photo without a good reason and I have never met such individual personally.

We can usually count on this discussion coming by at least once a year on FS.

In practice, the advantages of dynamic range for modern sensors means more to the person shooting RAW, JPEG has been associated to amateurs when in reality you have to be a better photographer to shoot JPEG and nail the exposure.

Marc said it well in his comment… if you need to shoot fast, JPEGs are great. Everything else is RAW.

People who shoot jpg nail it where RAW people don’t is an assumption that is extremely weak and I would never ever use it. First, Scott shot weddings in early 2000s, meaning that he most likely comes from a world that used almost exclusively negative film. If not coming from film, at least his “do not shoot RAW” mentor sound like he did. Negative is the de facto of “poor exposure is still okay” when Chrome is the you have to “nail it”. Have you ever worked in photo labs and witnessed it on a daily basis? In fact a large part of wedding photographers in the film days didn’t even know how to print because color printing for almost any photographer wasn’t something they did at home or in their studio and most already barely had a b&w lab. So the latitude of their exposure was really mostly known at the lab. When done by hand on an enlarger, the filtration itself requires quite some practice because unlike b&w where you can be very creative on the enlarger, color paper does not react at all the same way. Forget about all the tricks, you can only nail it or spend more money on another sheet and the next one and that's for basic paper. It gets trickier with printing slides on an enlarger like with Cibachrome. That's why automated machine read and print makes it easier, just not perfect. Most people can’t read a negative with a naked eye. Looking directly at a strip of negative frames, unlike a slide, doesn’t reveal that much and certainly not regarding colors.
When shooting chrome for publications or advertising, your sheets or rolls would be processed, cataloged and possibly send to an editor for separation. That’s it, no print, no way to tweak reality. The photographer was getting another assignment if he did good or that was the end with that client for the photographer. Not so much with wedding photographers.
Additionally apart from early digital backs, every single digital camera has a display, even a histogram and priority everything. That makes it really super old school to tell that RAW photography is for people who can’t expose properly. Shooting Jpg is entirely a deliberate choice. There is nothing wrong if people want to choose that format but claiming that people shoot raw because they can’t expose properly is an old myth that is so erroneous, it simply needs to go away forever. Go to any media room at an event and start looking at how many photographers start restoring/fixing their jpg captures on site and you’ll understand what I mean.

"People who shoot jpg nail it where RAW people don’t is an assumption that is extremely weak and I would never ever use it." I don't thing that is what he said. Daniel Miller wrote " reality you have to be a better photographer to shoot JPEG and nail the exposure." His mention of RAW was its importance more dynamic range. I think you are inferring that he said people who shoot RAW don't worry about nailing exposure.

Using myself as an example. I'm a hobbyist of around 45 years. Starting with film (negatives and chrome) in high school. With digital, I shoot RAW with a JPEG backup. I prefer editing RAW files, and still try to get get the exposure as close as possible in camera. Just like I did with chromes. I also worked in a one hour lab and a lab in a camera store. Both before machine printing was largely automated. I tried read the negs as best as possible. Reprints costs the lab/camera store money and was time consuming to reprint.

It's not wrong to assume that if people want to extract the best of what they specifically want out of a RAW, they also will tend to be very careful about their exposure.
"Go to any media room at an event and start looking at how many photographers start restoring/fixing their jpg captures on site and you’ll understand what I mean". I'll clarify, a lot of experienced jpg only photographers heavily retouch their files in post, they just never talk about it and I'm not talking about post effects, I'm talking about basics like color temp and exposure.

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Scott never shot weddings on film.

In the past, jpeg may have had a speed advantage on the PC, but today, it is not a hinderance unless you are scrolling as fast as possible. If you have a good NVME SSD (that isn't using the horrid QLC NAND, or a really bad NAND controller), then with a decently modern CPU, programs like lightroom as well as adobe bridge can scan and render previews for thousands of raw files at a speed fast enough that you won't find any meaningful speed benefit for jpeg.
If needed try using a drive such as the 2TB WD black SN850X SSD for the working drive for the OS and photos.

Beyond that, if you plan to edit, then why hinder yourself by shooting jpeg? It is like buying a fully cooked chicken that is a little too dry, and then trying to fix it by seasoning it and re-cooking it to some extent.

As for storage concerns, hard drives have gotten cheaper, after you are done working on your raw files, move them to your hard drives.

Depending on which motherboard you used when building your PC, you likely have 6-8 SATA ports. Use all of the extra SATA ports to add multiple 8-12TB hard drives (for 2023, 8-12TB drives offer a decent cost per GB). And if your case is large enough or if you have a full sized ATX case, then consider buying an 8-10 SATA port PCIe card, and adding a few more hard drives.
The same can be done for your NAS build as well.
For storage, it is something that you gradually increase when there are good sales going on.

I tend to shoot in RAW as that seemed to be the norm. Until I did some work with a wedding photographer, She told me to shoot in Jpeg. as for much of the reasons that were explained in the article speed. But I have started dabbling in street photography and tend to shoot in B/W and have started using Raw + Jpeg as I can use the Jpeg for reference to what image I was trying to capture and if I don't like it I always have the Raw file to fall back on. Just Me ?

I'm an event shooter, and for situations where I have both time and control, sure, JPEGs are fine. For example, when shooting lit portraits onsite I can ensure consistent exposure and white balance. But most of my work involves moving between very different lighting situations and having to work very fast. There isn't time to shoot a gray patch for WB each time I move, and while my cameras do a pretty good job with auto WB, I really want to apply a manual WB in post for frame-to-frame consistency.

Shooting RAW actually lets me work faster during an event, because I don't need to sweat WB or exposure. I can leave contrast management for later (think of a dimly lit ballroom audience facing a brightly lit stage) rather than constantly tweaking in-camera JPEG settings. Because my cameras are ISO-invariant, I can protect highlights by shooting with -2 stops exposure compensation dialed in, then boost brightness in post with no noise penalty. I save time on the back end, too, because this is a one-click batch process and I don't need to do any local adjustments on highlights later.

More importantly, I often shoot at very high ISO, and no camera's built-in noise reduction comes anywhere close to DxO PhotoLab's DeepPRIME. DxO allows me to comfortably shoot at ISO 25,600 with confidence that my processed images are going to look great.

If asked in advance to deliver JPEGs onsite, I shoot RAW to one card and JPEG to the other, with EC set normally. The JPEGs look fine, and they serve as backup. But, I always process RAW and deliver final images after the event, and the improvement in both quality and consistency is substantial. It's extra work, but I set my rates accordingly, and the results set me apart from much of my OOC JPEG competition.

Agreed on the in camera noise reduction, it tends to be really sub par, even on the highest end cameras, though the limitations are understandable. Many high end cameras rely on dedicated ASICs for focus, tracking, basic image signal processing, and encoding, while using a rather slow ARM CPU for everything else as their focus tend to be more towards battery life. If they need to do noise reduction in camera, then it will be a simple form that can be done very quickly for still images.
For video, at a lower resolution, they can do multi frame noise reduction which has gotten pretty decent over the years.

Spend so much money on these cameras just to shoot raw. Where's all that nonsense about color science etc when you're not taking advantage of the inprocessing of the camera. Also many are too much of digital hoarder. Learn to get the shot if can in camera so there's less post processing unless necessary pertaining to aim and taste rather than keeping raw you'll never look at to re-edit when you will more likely retake the shot when presented

Some shots can't be retaken, think travel or wildlife photography.

As for hoarding, only keep keepers or images that show promise (also use DAM)

On re-editing - Mate, I've re-edited RAW files numerous times as my skill and the technology have improved. I've had Canon 20D images go from unrecoverable highlights to wonderfully exposed thanks to changes in LightRoom's process versions.

Also, how is relying on the latitude that RAW provides not an example of getting the shot in camera? For example shooting with an ISO invariant camera in an environ where you can't viably use supplemental lighting, exposing for the highlights knowing that the shadow recovery won't add more noise than exposing for the shadows in the first place...

As for colour science, that's still applied in RAW except that you get to choose the premade look.

I'm struggling to get my head around some of the arguments made in favour of JPG. Perhaps it's my technical background.

When I moved to digital, I did some experiments with JPG vs RAW and even 17 years ago the encumbrance of RAW wasn't anywhere near enough to outweigh the limitations of JPG. Tech has moved on and now I can't see that I'd ever need the "speed" of JPG, especially with apps like Photo Mechanic.

I've reprocessed RAW images from 2005 that had blown highlights, but are now within range all thanks to improvements in LR and it's RAW engine. I've also shot JPG once accidentally (long story) and was only able to salvage a few images (exp slightly off).

I've been wondering if it's part of the film culture when for so long, all you had to do was load, shoot and get your prints later. All that big industry behind film, making chemicals and prints were just names for nearly every body. Kodak for example loved that don't worry people we are there to do it for you culture it created. Look at where the digital camera was invented (and held back), look at how Fuji grew so big in the 90's by listening to pros and labs and then turning new products that the consumer loved. I mean Kodachrome in the 90's, really? That stuff could be difficult to separate on a scanner and no real pro in advertising or any type of sports would even touch a roll. It was all Ekta or Fujichrome, the later really taking over the market in a landslide toward the end.
I mean, the Brownie Camera didn't get invented for the user to buy dry chemicals to prepare and mix at home. While you could and still can today, it was thousands of times more practical and much economical and profitable for Kodak to mix it in big volume at its labs. I have no doubt that the profit from processing in a line was absurd from day one. So yeah it was great but the idea that the photographer processes his/her own film and prints just vanished a long time ago.
And then digital came with images in form of data (superior). Manufacturers had to make it easy on newcomers and photographers who had never stepped in a lab. Jpg and canned profiles/filters were perfect at providing instant results but backward if you consider the technology. That also helped the industry at a time when memory, its portability and its miniaturization were barely anything.
By providing the option to save at data level and a "lab kits", the RAW processor, with each of their camera, it's obvious that manufacturers view RAW as a way to let the user fully control the use of the product in any way they decide to. This is really incredible at a time when Apple wants to make sure that you never feel being 100% the owner of the product you just bought and all the Googles and Co. watch you 24/7.
But there is no way that jpg will disappear any time soon from cameras because a buck is a buck and most people who use jpg have genuinely no interest or intention to learn what a RAW is or what for. I'm not sure what the problem is with those who know the benefits of a RAW but regularly criticize it, but I feel it's their problem.

Omg I remember shooting kodachrome 2 or 3 times in the 90s as a novelty just to check it out. I had to send it to Texas and wait weeks to get it back. By the time it would arrive in the mail, I'd already forgotten that I'd shot it in the first place. Thank God those days are over...don't miss em at all

The work he shows is great but just shooting jpeg seems like a weird flex, the 'whys' IMO are odd as well. But whatever works. The flashing back to early 2000s cameras and slow cards and computers is a dated benchmark.
I shoot raw+jpg in most situations as I stopped worrying about processing speed and card and hard drive space years ago. I use both now and deliver jpgs most of the time.

I cannot see any justification to permanently throw away image information and fix in stone my edit. With memory cards being extremely fast and laptops that can import masses of raw files in a blink and process them in another blink... why... ok for very fast turn around and masses of images, I can see a use. I have raw files from 2004 from my canon 1ds and it's still great play with them.

Apparently, the author and I don't live on the same planet. On my planet, except for certain specific genres of photography, and other than if you are a casual shooter that is not interested in bothering with post-processing, it is madness to hamstring yourself by not shooting in raw.

I know he posted a few very nice images that apparently are more or less SOOC, but it would appear that they are all studio/location shots with the luxury of artificial lighting and some preplanning. I can assure you that, say, wildlife photographers, don't have that luxury.

All the reasons given for jpeg-only shooting are nonsense. Modern computing power handles gigabytes of raw images just fine. Hard drive storage gets bigger and cheaper all the time. Modern cameras don't grind to a halt in raw. If you are serious about your photography, then there is no reason not to maximize the ability to edit your photography in post. The only thing I agree with is the "3-2-1" backup strategy. That part is sound. Can you get some nice shots with SOOC jpegs and only minor edit tweaks? Sure. But foregoing the ability to edit in raw as some sort of "that's how we did it in the old days" flex is self-limiting.

I was a wedding photographer from 1974-1994. I shot 6x6 Bronica S2A. I also shot 35mm for other projects. One thing I learned from the earlier work is how to avoid cropping in the darkroom ir at all possible. This forced me to shoot it correctly at the time, especially when shooting slides. Also, I had to "get it right" shen shooting slides while shooting. So when I went digital in the early 2000s and carried that shooting style into digital. I literally never have needed RAW. RAW is very nice but this guy makes valid points to over dependance on RAW. A little braketing solves that as well. I also shot video commercially for 32 years as a side business. There was no second chance with that either. The main goal was happy customers both in film and later digital. I'm retired now so you can ignore this comment. All I know is I never missed a deadline and that meant I continued to work.

Jpg shooters unite!

RAW is definitely better, but jpg was faster for me when shooting 100s of useable images a day as a content producer. I always deleted any bad exposures, bad framings and bad focus shots before uploading them to a server. There was no reason to do anything in post and so raw just added an unecessary step. But I do come from a solid film background and have always treated digital like it was slide film. Also, I mostly used studio lights with low iso and didn't have to worry about noise problems. The biggest problem I've had in digital had to do with aa filters because they always shot soft no matter what lens was being used. Two of my cameras lacked aa filters and they shot as sharp as film and never needed additional sharpening in post. I don't shoot digital anymore and that's why everything is in the past tense. There really is value to shooting just jpgs (in certain situations) but it probably is not a good idea at all for most photographers. In the future, metadata could become important and some photographers might want to avoid creating too much manipulation history. In that case, shooting jpgs could still be useful even if speed is no longer an issue.

I think the confusion is in thinking that RAW shooters do so with the idea of fixing it in post.

That couldn't be further from the truth for me. I shoot as close to perfect in camera as time and resources allow, however by shooting in RAW I'm able to get _more_ from the image.

JPG is sRGB, RAW is (usually) Adobe RGB. Sorry for pasting from wikipedia: "sRGB's color gamut encompasses just 35% of the visible colors specified by CIE, whereas Adobe RGB (1998) encompasses slightly more than 50% of all visible colors. Adobe RGB (1998) extends into richer cyans and greens than does sRGB – for all levels of luminance. The two gamuts are often compared in mid-tone values (~50% luminance), but clear differences are evident in shadows (~25% luminance) and highlights (~75% luminance) as well. In fact, Adobe RGB (1998) expands its advantages to areas of intense orange, yellow, and magenta regions".

In English, it means that I can get more detail in the shadows or highlights rather than living with SooC JPG and it's very limited ability to be edited. It means that if I have a situation where there is too much DR, I can recover several stops by changing how I meter. It means that if the background of a bird portrait is too bright/dark but the bird is properly exposed, I can fix it. It's about having options to present either an image that more closely matches what you saw, or one that is more idealised should that be what you're after.

When I shot film, I never had the skill to try trannies. Wouldn't mind trying now, except that I now find film frustrating and expensive.

Same here. I didnt need a meter. I knew my exposure based on experience and education.

"Speed! It's so much faster to work with JPEG versus raw images on your computer."
My $1099 M1 Mac mini handles my 42MP RAW workflow fast enough that the bottleneck is ME.

But when you treat each keeper image as a real treasure, and are going to spend a lot of time editing it with a lot of very fine, detailed cloning and so forth, does that speed really come into play? I think speed in editing is only a thing if you process lots of images and don't treat each one like a masterpiece for fine art presentation. Am I wrong about that?

The point people like me are making is that if you post edit your in camera processed jpgs, then the advantage vs Raw is gone if not counter productive. For basic alterations, it takes no time in RAW to apply a corrected color temp, a curve or some color grading to one and batch it to an entire folder. Now you can even highlight/select all your raw files and select the subject or sky for all the selected images at once and each picture will have the subject selected individually, meaning where ever the subject is on each individual image. I don't think you can export the selection yet but there may be a way to do it coming up. Right now it's made to apply adjustments to all images selected at once or one or what ever number of images you want and then you can make a tweak to one or a group of images because may be the light has changes, clouds came in and out...
The problem with digital photography is that people tend to think rgb in a silver halide days way, but PS and newer applications are all based on pre-press workflow and techniques which is actually extremely complex and advanced. PS was first created for prepress and scanning technicians, not primarily for the average photographer.

Speed definitely matters to high-volume shooters like me, and, presumably, the OP, who shoots weddings. I shoot about 800-1200 images per day covering corporate events, and being able to quickly cull and process the roughly 50% that are keepers is the difference between taking my kids to a museum on the weekend or not.

Even so, I'm not convinced that I could save much time by shooting JPEGs without substantially lowering the bar for quality of my delivered product. I'm not willing to do that.

And, I don't need to, as my M1 Mac mini, with Lightroom Classic for culling and DxO PhotoLab for processing my 42MP RAW files, moves as fast as my eyes, fingers and brain can go, with the sole exception of the final export, which takes 10 seconds per image.

Whenever I can - and it's not possible on all of my cameras - I shoot both.

This topic was raised a year or two ago, by a pro who tried both and asked readers for their views. I set to and tried both - and it providedd quite interesting.

Ignoring the fact JPGs have less detail - because frankly the difference in outcomes isn't really all that great - the two produce quite interesting results.

I checked over a hundred of mine - both before any post processing, and again at the end.

They in fact divided into three groups.

Some we better - quite clearly better - as JPGs. The colors, or the tonal range, or both.

Others, the same was true with the RAW images.

And the rest - the largest group of the three - you couldn't see the difference.

And those differences persisted, through the post processing of the images.

The pro who raised the issue in the first place said much the same, when he tried it on his.

Maybe someone else could share their experiences, and let us all know wha they found, with their images. Quite likely these outcomes depend on the subject matter and/or the lighting conditions, as much as anything else. So I wouldn't expect everyone to have the same outomce.

I can see where Scott is coming from when shooting and editing raws were slow back in the day. But, that was then. Nowadays, the fallacy with his logic is he ends up editing and color grading the jpg images. Unless you are going to deliver sooc jpgs, with maybe very slight tweaks, might as well shoot raw. Otherwise, you're not really getting a speed benefit.

I shot jpeg for the remainder if my career after trasitioning from medium format Hasselblad.
Nailing exposure based on experience and skill gave me great image files.
Shooting manually with medium format taught me how to determine exposure in my head. Didnt need a meter.

I can respect and appreciate that. But honestly, getting correct or perfect exposure often isn't enough, because the scene we re photographing has more dynamic range than our sensors can properly record. That is why we need RAW and the greater latitude that it allows us with adjustments - because we so often photograph things that lie outside (sometimes FAR outside) the range or our sensor's abilities, and HDR is not possible in many situations, due to moving subjects, etc.

Agreed. My early career was largely shooting slide film - 35mm and 67 - which is extremely unforgiving of exposure or color errors. I loved the look, but I am much happier with the greater performance envelope that RAW offers, especially under very contrasty lighting conditions.

Man photographers really love to argue pointlessly. The guy has a very successful career shooting jpg only and so can you. But no one is forcing you either way and no one is saying it's better than raw so chill out and shoot what works best for you. Bunch of tribalist nonesense in these comment sections.

Many of the posts here are legitimately exploring the pros and cons. So "chill out and shoot what works best for you."

Some are elitists, though, so I understand to a degree where he's coming from.

To a degree I agree with you but it ain't that deep lol. I just ignore the elitists and pay more attention to the other comments.

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