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Old Oct 25, 2007, 3:44 PM   #1
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I have been doing some reading online about the JPEG vs. TIFF formats and have learned that JPEG's lose image quality due to their compresssed size. When I download photos from my camera, it automatically saves them in JPEG format. Do I have the option to change this or is JPEG the standard for all digital cameras? I have a Canon S5.
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 3:54 PM   #2
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That all depends on how much compression you apply. Most cameras have different JPEG quality settings (higher quality = lower compression = larger file sizes) and the JPEG Extra Fine setting on your camera is going to be virtually indistinquishable from TIFF anyway, with lower space requirements.

If you want to read more about the differences, see this October 2004 Tech Corner article by Mike Chaney:

JPEG Images: Counting your Losses

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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I would just add that the big quality loss in going to highest-quality JPEG applies equally to TIFF -- the raw data is converted from 12-bit weird color channels format (more green than red or blue)to 8-bit three channel color with white balance and image sharpening already applied. It would be a VERY rare image where you could tell the difference between highest-quality lossy JPEG and lossless TIFF images, but you will have a HUGE difference in size of file (which also translates into lag time between shots). TIFF has pretty much disappeared from camera storage formats because it makes absolutely no sense -- you're eating as much or more storage space as for raw format, but getting no better quality or flexibility in post-processing than JPEG. It is truly the worst of both worlds.

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 3:53 PM   #4
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The S5 only saves images inJPEG format. If you have software that can save the image in TIFF format, you would save the image in that format after downloading it to your computer to prevent loss of information due to compression. I usually copy original images to a special archive directory and work with a copy for printing and other editing. During the processing phase,I save the image inTIFF or Photoshop format to preventcompression losses. Once I have my final image, I save it at the highest JPEG setting. I still keep the originalcopy from the camera. I usually don't save in theTIFF mode due to the space requirements for that format. A good rule of thumb is to use alossless format until you create the final image and possibly save that as a high quality JPEG if you're worried about space or you need to upload to the web.
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