JPG Vs. TIF files? Do you lose pixels?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MissPixer, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. MissPixer

    MissPixer TPF Noob!

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    My mother told me last night she heard that if you save a photo as a JPG file, eachtime you open the photo you will lose pixels and eventually have a shoddy photo. Instead, save as TIF files, that this would not happen. Is this true?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Almost, but not quite. Each time you open a .jpg, modify it and re-save it, you will lose some quality. Just opening it to view will have no effect.

    Ideally yes, you should save your images either as TIF or RAW files to do all of the editing on, and then do a 'Save as' each time you want a final version display.
     
  3. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    Yes, as mentioned in the post above, resaving (not opening) a jpg multiple times diminishes quality.

    I shoot all my photos in RAW and do the editing in RAW as well (Aperture for Mac OS X) and then do a single export to jpg. This keeps pictures at the highest possible quality. I always save my RAW files for future editing, rather than trying to edit a jpg that I already exported.
     
  4. MissPixer

    MissPixer TPF Noob!

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    How would I go about saving them as RAW initially? Forgive me if this is a basic question. I'm fairly new to photography.
     
  5. H.M.

    H.M. TPF Noob!

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    Your camera should allow you to set in which format your images are saved. One of the options on the better cameras is RAW. What camera have you got Miss?
     
  6. MissPixer

    MissPixer TPF Noob!

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    Kodak Z712 IS 7.1 mp 12x is zoom. Just a point and shoot at the moment. I think I should learn the basics with this before getting a DSLR. Or am I wrong? lol
     
  7. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd say you should, so long as the camera has basic manual modes (you control the exposure time and the aperture) and some "Priority" modes (you control the aperture, the camera controlls the shutter speed and vice versa).

    You can also try some composition techniques with the P&S, such as the rule of thirds (where you position the subject off-centre or split a landscape into 1/3rd sky, 1/3rd background and 1/3rd foreground, or 2/3rds sky and 1/3rd foreground, etc), and various experimental techniques. Just remember that rules are there to be broken! :)

    However, nothing will quite prepare you for the leap between P&S and an SLR camera. The hair-thin depth of field (DOF) you can get with even a DSLR's kit lens is amazing, and when you move up to pro lenses or even a 50mm f/1.8... wow. Also, the amount that you contribute to a photo is really quite stunning. Just don't leave it in Auto mode :D.
     
  8. macdsean

    macdsean TPF Noob!

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    To answer your question about RAW. None of the Point and Shoot cameras I know of can shoot in RAW. So you might be out of luck there. Honestly, unless you are editing your jpg's many times you probably won't notice the decrease in quality. Especially, if you are just taking the pictures for fun and to learn the basics.

    As for the SLR, I would make the leap whenever you can if you are serious about taking pictures. You have so much more control. And with the prices coming down (you can get a Nikon D40 for around $500) you can get a good SLR to learn the basics on without going broke.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Whether you're shooting RAW or jpg, you should save the image as a lossless format like TIFF or PSD in order to avoid data loss over time (multiple re-saves).
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lossless means no loss of info after a resave (even after a thousand saves). Lossy means loss of info after any resaves.

    RAW is lossless.
    Tiff is lossless.
    PSD is lossless.

    JPG, BMP and GIF are all lossy formats.
     

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