B&H has an interview with a ‘pro’ who has shot... (show quote
Dirty little secret:
Photo labs of the late 1990s and all the way through the first decade of the 2000s (and beyond) could not accept raw files. That's because they use software that is non-proprietary, and every camera that makes raw files uses a proprietary scheme to create and process raw files. No lab wanted to use software designed for cottage industry photographers. They use industrial strength, enterprise grade, database-driven applications made for working with millions of files.
In the early 2000s, that was Kodak DP2 at the company I worked for. It processed KODAK raw files, but no one else's. We used Photoshop for retouching beyond what Kodak Professional Auto Retouching Software could do. Lightroom was too new, and we weren't going to teach our color correction team more than one application.
So we asked clients for JPEG files in the sRGB color space. We would let folks submit 8-bit uncompressed TIFFs in Adobe RGB if they labeled their DVDs in red Sharpie ink, "8-bit uncompressed TIFFs in Adobe RGB." That is because we had to set DP2 manually to recognize the profile space! It strips off all profiles and headers from files to save server space. 500KB is a lot of data when you process millions of files every month!
Working pros only make money when by selling and photographing. Post processing is an EXPENSE. So there is an aversion to processing files. Especially when you get a lot of volume, creating a carefully crafted all-JPEG or mostly-JPEG workflow is to your advantage.
Now, I don't know many top-tier wedding, event, and sports photographers who would stoop to using JPEGs for everything. They might use raw + JPEG so they have an instant proof or a slide show image, but they will hedge their bets in favor of quality by including raw capture.
The same goes for photojournalists. JPEG may be a necessity for deadline work, but the raw file will be used for anything worthy of archival use or stock images.
The fact is, both file formats have their uses. I have *never* seen that there is a valid argument in favor of exclusive use of either format for everything.
For professional results, JPEG workflow often requires lighting, planning, testing, exposure control, and "pre-processing" skills that most beginners don't have, hence photo educator, Will Crockett's adage, "Raw is for rookies." It's like working with transparency film used to be... In some professional situations, you have to get the image as close to its final state or that its use will require, before you ever expose it!
Meanwhile, raw affords an order of magnitude more latitude in all directions. Raw files can be manipulated further, and with more subtlety, than JPEGs. That's both good news and bad news, because if you capture raw files, you have to post-process them. That requires practice, skill, and a carefully calibrated monitor. In other words, it adds considerable TIME to the workflow, which is EXPENSE.
In photography and life, there are lots of little trade-offs. Both raw and JPEG workflows involve some compromises, especially from a professional point of view. Which workflow is appropriate depends upon the situation.