First Step for Digital Photography for Beginner with File Format to Use

This is useful information, in this Digital Photography for Beginners article we will see the file format. In the past, photos will be caught in light-sensitive films. Then, after construction in the dark room, a negative item will be produced. With digital photography, images are stored as digital files. To view, the file is decoded – and there are 3 main file types used – JPEG, TIFF and RAW.┬áBefore we look at these file types, it is important to explain the difference between “lossy” and “lossless” files. When the picture is taken, the camera will record the data to the memory card as a file. If all data is stored, this is known as lossless file. These files are large. RAW files are unrivaled. To reduce the file size, the camera can remove some data that is not easily visible to the human eye. JPEG is a lossy file. TIFF files in principle are flexible formats that can be lossless or lossy.

JPEG – Is the most common file format used by amateur photographers, mainly because so many images can be recorded on one card. While the actual number will vary depending on the camera used, it is possible to take more than 1500 images using just one 2GB memory card.

Since this is a lossy file, the picture is compressed. This results in a larger number of images when compared to lossless files. The camera will allow you to adjust the compression level, so that more, or less, photos can be taken. Remember that the overall quality will be affected by increasingly compressed files. So, if you want to print the image above the standard size, you need to select a bit of compression.

RAW – These files take data directly from the camera sensor. This means they are not processed by the camera at all and represent the purest image, as taken. They are sometimes referred to as “digital negatives”. By using the optimal level of compression (ie at least), you can record only 100 images or less, on a 2GB card, using a 15megapixel camera. The main plus here is you will be able to produce prints with high quality A3 size and more. Professional and serious amateurs use RAW files.

Unlike JPEG, RAW files are not universal across different manufacturers. For example, Canon uses the term RAW, while the Nikon equivalent is known as an NEF file. These are incompatible with each other. However, each manufacturer will supply software with the camera to allow you to process and print images. RAW files are great for post-production image manipulation, since all original data is intact, and therefore workable.

TIFF – In practice, TIFF is commonly used as a lossless file format that does not use compression. As a result, file sizes can be large, but retain their data, and subsequent quality. However, the file size is very large when compared to identical JPEG files. Typical use of TIFF is as a working format for editing digital images in Photoshop, or equivalent. With JPEG editing, little degradation occurs on every new saved file. TIFF is lossless, if no compression is selected, so there is no loss of quality every time a file is changed and saved.

TIFF should not be used to display images on the web, due to file size. Most web browsers will not display TIFF images.

Hopefully this Digital Beginner’s Digital Photography article has helped clarify the difference between file formats. In short, if major quality and large printing are not required, JPEG files will be more than enough, and can also be used on the internet. RAW files are great for serious photographers who want maximum quality, and the ability to make detailed changes in post production. These files can be converted to TIFF or JPEG when ready. The TIFF file is no less qualified (if not compressed) so it’s good to do in post production, before finally saving it as JPEG.

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