Who creates the best jpgs.?

Nikon D800E 28mm f/1.8 lens - Out of Camera jpg.

The UK heatwave continues. Its around 27-31 degrees selsius every day currently with no end in sight. The Jet Stream has finally moved North and we have a high pressure system 'stuck' over the top of us for the foreseeable future. The consequence of this is that I'm shooting every day, plus getting a suntan!!. As you can imagine I'm accumulating lots of pictures and while I'm not particularly a fan of jpgs. I'm using them at the moment to edit and upload to picture libraries to cope with the huge backlog I currently have. Plus with the prospect that by the end of this summer I may have almost unmanageable amounts of images, I've recently become very interested in finding out which camera(s) shoot the best quality jpgs. 

While those the Fuji X-E1 creates have an excellent reputation, and rightly so, the best I've ever seen are from my Nikon D800E, followed closely by the D7100. I'm not particularly surprised by this since Nikon have always produced top-class jpgs. Since many of their professional users won't have the time to work with raw files, they have always looked to produce good quality out of camera images that can be sent to newspapers and magazines quickly and need minimal work. While there is still that jpg. softness these Nikon DSLR files are VERY close to what I get from raw, and what is also a help to me is that they are 'clean', noise free and use the lens profiles in camera, all of which saves me lots of time. Its not ideal, but if I process all the images I'm shooting as raw files, I'll be still editing what I'm taking now in a years time.