Photo file formats

  It's Me 17:23 09 Sep 2004

At the moment I use .png for the files that I am saving. As I understand it, this is a lossless compression type.

However, I find that a others seem to use .tiff files, which I assume are not compressed.

Would I be better advised to use .tiff. or indeed, some other format. My HDD space is not at a premium.

  Pesala 17:45 09 Sep 2004

Since TIFF and PNG are both lossless it doesn't really matter, which you use. PNG files are often smaller due to better compression. click here for a useful site on the pros and cons of different digital image formats.

  €dstowe 17:57 09 Sep 2004

This thread developed from click here and to which I made a contribution.

I perhaps ought to explain that my studio uses TIFF as it gives the high quality and resolution required for our work and it is the format that is universally acceptable by other graphics studios and printers.

.png is, I understand, a system developed for Internet browsers, which do not figure highly in our work or interests and is thus not used by printers.

Please note that by "printers" I mean commercial printing companies, not the little thing by Epson HP or whatever that sits beside your computer.

  Old Shep 20:57 09 Sep 2004

You could use this free program click here which I use to make photo's smaller in size to e.mail.

  Simon_P 20:57 09 Sep 2004

From a professional point of view €dstowe is spot on and TIFF is a universally used file format, I think that the thread that €dstowe has linked to is your printer thread.

I think the answer for you may lie in what you really want to achieve.

And it may depend on what you are saving your files from.

If you are using a digital camera and it captures images in Jpg then saving them to TIFF won’t make them any better but it will provide a more stable image for storage, and also prevent loss of quality for editing. Once an image is edited it can be either converted to Jpg or kept as TIFF

If you are capturing images in TIFF then save them in TIFF for storage, a desktop printer will print TIFF, some labs will only accept Jpg, as TIFF are too big for them to handle efficiently.

If you are scanning images then I would save them as TIFF’s and convert to Jpg as required.

TIFF can easily be converted to Jpg for printing, as €dstowe has said most professional printers/studios (printing businesses) will only accept TIFF

If storage space is a problem then saving to CD or DVD could be an option


  siouxah1 22:23 09 Sep 2004

I tend to use TIFF if I want anything other than JPG or RAW, this allows me to keep the exif file attached to the picture.

This of course presupposes that you would wish to keep the exif.

As Simon7063 says, always work on a backup and keep the original.

Brian j

  Filch 13:05 10 Sep 2004

TIFF files can be compresses. You should be given a choice to compress or not when you save the file. There is no loss when compressed.

  ventanas 13:42 10 Sep 2004

I always use the format for the program I am using, be it .psd, .psp or whatever. When finished the final save is always .tif.

  It's Me 21:03 10 Sep 2004

Thank you everyone.

  Kate B 00:12 11 Sep 2004

Careful with TIFFs - I work on a newspaper and a huge uncompressed TIFF can cause our slightly elderly machines to choke. For newspaper reproduction we just require jpgs with a res of 200dpi and an equivalent print size of 5"x7".

A professional printer wouldn't have the same hardware problems but it's always a good idea to ask the person on the receiving end of your image file just what they require.

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