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What's the difference between using black and white mode in-camera, and converting in post?

I'm not a professional photographer but I have an interest. I find myself interested in monochrome photography (BnW and Sepia). Typically, I set my camera to click in BnW (or Sepia, depending on my mood) but recently, it was pointed out to me that I should instead click in color and then desaturate it to BnW.

What are the pros and cons of clicking in colour and then converting as opposed to directly clicking in the required mode?

  • I remember deleting the question after a fellow user had pointed out that it's an exact duplicate (I was more than satisfied with the answer). Why retain it? – user10511 Jul 6 '12 at 19:26
  • Keeping duplicates open but linked to the others helps other people who might do a web search for your phrasing of the issue. – Please Read Profile Jul 6 '12 at 19:57