This week’s question comes from Richard Smith of La Crosse, Wisconsin

“During Christmas this year I just purchased my semi-auto digital camera. It is the Fuji Film S100FD. I love the camera and have had fun using it so far. However, I do have a question about shooting in B & W versus shooting in color. Is it better to shoot digital in color then digitally convert it to B&W or is is better to shoot in B&W mode?”

Great question Richard. I am sure you will be able to find someone to disagree with me, but I strongly believe that in almost every case, you’re better off shooting in color mode, then bringing the image into something like Aperture, iPhoto, Lightroom or Photoshop to do the conversion to B&W. While I am not familiar with your specific camera, almost every camera I’ve used merely strips out some of the color data to create an in-camera B&W. In the long run, this is short-sighted since it gives you less data to work with when you move the image to post.

You should always hope to start with a maximum amount of data. A couple exceptions would be: 1) if you just plain love the look of your camera’s B&W images as is with no need for further correction. 2) if you need to immediately print or distribute the images in B&W from the camera without the use of a computer in between.

I hope this answers your question Richard. I welcome other questions for this segment of the blog. While we get many more questions than I can answer, I do use the questions to start ideas for other blog posts and will try to answer at least one question directly each week. Send your questions to twipphoto @