Why aren't JPEGs better than they are?

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nevada5
nevada5 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,973
Why aren't JPEGs better than they are?

Every time I buy a camera I shoot raw +JPEG. I set up a simple preset for the raws (sharpening, saturation, clarity, etc) and I go for a very natural look. Then I compare it to the OOC JPEG. I tweak the in-camera JPEG settings, shoot again, re-tweak and shoot, etc. My goal is to finally be able to shoot JPEG only.

I am never able to get the JPEG to equal the quality of the raw. I recently bought a Sony RX100M6 and I'm at the same conclusion.

I'm not interested in a raw/JPEG debate, just an explanation if it's available. A friendly discussion.  Camera mfgs can set up a JPEG any way they want and it's safe to say they've come a long way with in-camera development (look at what they've done with phone software.)

I tackle one thing at a time thinking there must be a combination that will emulate the raw with my LR adjustments but it's always a no-go. Is it me? Is it unattainable?

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