It's only a gray card shot, but it's savable!
Are you getting the best images your camera can capture? Consider shooting in RAW instead of jpeg. Why? What's the difference? Here's a short explanation:
When you press the shutter, your camera captures an image and, if set on RAW, converts this information to a digital file and stores it on a memory card. If your camera is set on jpeg, it captures the image, compresses it, converts the file to jpeg format, and stores it on a memory card. So, what's the difference?
RAW has these advantages:
- More information to work with. When the file is compressed, it loses a large portion of its data. For instance, a Nikon D810 produces a RAW file of up to 80MB, while the compressed jpeg of the same image in jpeg is around 10MB. You lose 78% of the data!
- With the proper editing software (Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC, or On1 Photo RAW), the editing and enhancement capabilities are amazing.
Raw has these disadvantages:
- It produces very large files, requiring a large amount of memory, and you can't view and edit your images without the right software. (Adobe CC for Photographers is $11 per month, and includes both Lightroom and Photoshop CC. On1 Photo RAW 2018.1 is $120 for the full suite.).
- RAW editing takes a little more time. It adds another step to the process, and you have to convert it to a jpeg or tiff file to have it printed by your favorite lab.
jpeg has this advantages:
- It is universally readable. You can edit your images with free software you find on the internet.
- It requires far less memory to store the images on your memory card. (Have you ever really put 2,000 images on a single memory card?)
jpeg has these disadvantages:
- The quality of the out-of-camera image is good only if it has been properly exposed.
- With reduced editing and enhancement ability, there is less margin for error in the editing process than when editing a RAW file.
So here's the bottom line, as I see it: If you want better image quality, spend the money for the software, buy a few more memory cards (they're cheap) and learn to use Lightroom and Photoshop, or On1 Photo RAW. Then find a good print lab, not a drug store, to print your images.
If it's quick and easy that you're looking for, shoot jpegs.