6 minute read

Straight-Out-of-Camera Photography: Why You Should Be Doing It

Learn all about straight-out-of-camera (SOOC) photography and how it could streamline your photography workflow

Photography can be a complex beast. From gear choice and camera settings to workflow and post-processing, there’s a lot to consider. For this reason, many photographers welcome any way to simplify their processes and SOOC photography can be a great way to do it.

What is SOOC photography?

SOOC photography describes a form of digital photography in which the image-making process is complete as soon as the image is exported from the camera.

While some adjustments can be made in-camera, SOOC photography involves no post-processing outside the camera body whatsoever.

What is the point of SOOC photography?

Depending on what type of photographer you are, there are a number of different reasons why you should be making photos SOOC.

It’s Fun and Authentic

For some, SOOC photography emphasizes authenticity and celebrates spontaneity. Aside from the digital zoom and crop functions that can be found in some models, there is no opportunity to alter compositions or add/remove aspects of the photo in camera. Therefore, a SOOC photo could be considered a truer encapsulation of a moment, as it happened.

Additionally, by removing the pressure of editing images and producing ‘perfect’ photographs, inhibitions can be released and creativity embraced.

Photo 2023 © Marisa Kraft | FUJIFILM X-S20 and FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR, 1/3200 sec at F2.8, ISO 160

It’s Challenging

For others, SOOC photography acts as a challenge to get it right in-camera, without any adjustments.

This is especially true for photographers using manual mode. In order to produce a technically great image SOOC, exposure, white balance, and composition must all be considered before the shutter is released.

As such, spending time practicing SOOC photography can be a fantastic way to work on your camera fundamentals and improve overall knowledge of the photography craft.

Photo 2023 © Ibarionex Perello | FUJIFILM X-T5 and FUJINON XF33mmF1.4 R LM WR, 1/10 sec at F5, ISO 125

It Saves Time and Money

Saving time and money is one advantage of SOOC photography that everyone can relate to.

The ease of digital photography and huge storage capacities available today mean that photographers can come away from a day’s creating with thousands of images. Editing each one in post-production can be a time-consuming process. SOOC photography eliminates this aspect of the workflow.

Furthermore, modern digital cameras include a huge number of settings that can be used to adjust the final look of an image. Whether it’s the color, contrast, highlights, or shadows, there are many ways to create your very own signature style in-camera, without the time or expensive equipment required for post-production.

How To Make Great Photos Straight Out of Camera


The first step to nailing SOOC photography is working on composition. While there are digital zoom and crop functions in some cameras, there won’t be the usual opportunity to crop or rotate your image using post-production software, so special attention must be paid to framing.

Make sure your subject fills the frame and use display tools like the Framing Guideline and Electronic Level to ensure your verticals and horizontals are lined up correctly.


If you want to manually expose your SOOC images, mirrorless digital cameras offer all the controls you need to achieve perfect results. However, you’ll need good knowledge of the exposure triangle, use of histograms and different metering settings, and a readiness to compensate exposure in order to produce images that look as captivating as possible.

When faced with challenging lighting conditions, the high dynamic range of modern camera sensors gives photographers a fair amount of leeway for correcting their exposures, and in many cases, this can be adjusted in camera. This further enhances a photographer’s ability to create the perfect image SOOC.

Photo 2023 © Cameron Seagle and Natasha Alden | FUJIFILM X-S20 and FUJINON XF10-24mmF4 R OIS WR, 1/1500 sec at F4, ISO 160

White Balance

It’s important that the colors in your images appear true to life – and the way to do this is by getting the right white balance setting at the time of making the photo.

The auto white balance in most modern cameras tends to be on the money in typical lighting scenarios, but if your colors are not quite how you would like them, it’s worth knowing how to control white balance using your camera’s presets.

Color Profile

SOOC photography doesn’t mean your output has to be limited to your camera’s default color profile. Most cameras come with a selection of color settings that can be adjusted to add flair and breathe extra life into your images.

Explore what your camera has to offer and when best to use each one to maximize the quality of your SOOC photos.

Auto Mode

While the above settings are great when you have time to adjust them, sometimes framing the perfect moment is all about the ability to react quickly. That’s where your camera’s auto mode comes in handy.

For example, some Fujifilm cameras feature an advanced Auto Mode that can automatically recognize the scene in front of it and optimize settings in a split second, to ensure the best result. When combined with AI-assisted subject detection autofocus (AF), you can be ready for anything in an instant.

Photo 2023 © THEGINGERB3ARDMEN | FUJIFILM GFX100S and FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR, 1/2500 sec at F6.4, ISO 500

Why Are Fujifilm Cameras Great for SOOC Photography?

Fujifilm Color Science

Fujifilm mirrorless digital cameras are well known for creating brilliant photos SOOC. The X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Processor combination at their heart have been developed using Fujifilm’s over 90 years of experience in producing high-end film stocks.

All X Series and GFX System cameras feature Film Simulation modes, mimicking the tone, contrast, and saturation profiles of classic analog films. Once a simulation is selected, it is applied on the camera’s screen and through the electronic viewfinder (EVF), so you can be sure you’ve made the perfect choice for the scene on front of you.

In-Camera Adjustments

In addition to this wide variety of Film Simulations, Fujifilm cameras also feature extensive in-camera adjustments. Once a Film Simulation is selected, it is possible to change settings such as the color, highlight tone, shadow tone, and sharpness, then save these settings as a preset for easy future access.

Additional options such as Grain Effect, Color Chrome Effect, and Clarity adjustments can further characterize your images.

This much versatility allows you to dial in a completely unique look that you know you can trust before you even press the shutter release.

Electronic Viewfinders

The exceptionally bright, high-resolution electronic viewfinders (EVFs) in Fujifilm cameras give image makers a near-perfect peek at exactly how the photo will appear once exported. FUJIFILM X-H2S, for example, comes equipped with a 5.76 million dot EVF.

Such quality ensures all adjustments to in-camera processing can be made with absolute confidence in the integrity of the end result.

Additionally, FUJIFILM XApp compatibility grants the ability to quickly transfer images via Bluetooth from camera to smartphone. This means you can share your SOOC images almost immediately – and even make images remotely.

So, whether you want to reduce the amount of time spent editing your photos – or cut it out completely – maybe it’s time to give SOOC photography a try.

Learn more about photography with our Fundamentals of Photography series, or browse all content on Exposure Center for education, inspiration, and insight from the world of photography.