which format??

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Rob A, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

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    hey guys, was just wandering which format has the best quality to save to? im using GIF mostly atm, but maybe JPEG? or even PSD (photoshop)

    what do you guys use?
     
  2. photong

    photong Typo Queen

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    Well not GIF. What are you using it for? Some may say PSD, TIFF and JPEG.

    I say if youre going to post the image online or print it, then JPEG. But for archiving I suppose TIFF (it's what I learnt in school). I just make them JPEG because I've always done that with no problems.

    I will save as PSD if there are layers on it to enhance the image. Otherwise they stay as JPEG which is what my camera saves at.

    When I scan an image I'll just make it JPEG.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Tiff and PSD are lossless...so you won't loose any quality when you save a file in these formats. If you save a file as JPG, you are compressing it and loosing some of the information. With Photoshop, you can choose the level of JPG compression.

    Even when you set your camera to save JPG files, you are losing some of the info.

    Once you have the file into photoshop, you should save it as PSD to preserve the quality. When you want to send it for printing, save a copy of it in JPG format but don't overwrite your working copy. Then when you want to upload it for web viewing, use the save for web option and adjust both the image size and JPG compression.

    If you plan to do a lot of shooting, you should come up with a system and stick to it. For example, you could save all the files right out of the camera and keep these as your "negatives". Then save a working copy to play with in PS. Then save a copy for printing and a different copy for web viewing. This will take up your memory space rather quickly so you might want to think about archiving your files onto CD or DVD etc.

    You could go with a more basic work flow if that suits you better but try to think about it rather than just filling up your computer with random files...it will make it easier for you in the future.
     
  4. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

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    ive just been doing gif for the web, but i have my best ones in jpeg atm but now youve said this il change to PSD i think! thanks guys!!
     
  5. Rob A

    Rob A TPF Noob!

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    is there a BIG difference between RAW and large JPEG by the way?
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are a few threads on that exact question...people argued about it back and forth for pages & pages...try a search, you might be able to find it.

    It really depends on your work flow and what you want to do with the images. If you want to keep the post processing to a minimum, make small prints and/or view on the web....JPG should be fine.

    However, RAW format does not have any loss of information and the camera does not tweak the image...which allows you to start fresh to do your own tweaking.

    Maybe more importantly, RAW format allows you to adjust the white balance after taking the photo...while JPG format already has the set white balance applied to the image.

    RAW format allows you more freedom to get the image just right but it involves more work to get there.
     
  7. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

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    If your not used to dealing with digital files then they're both probibly just digital files to you, but if you are used to digital files than yes there is a big difference.

    A RAW file is exactly what the CCD saw/recorded. The files will be huge with no compression. You can do pretty advanced editing on these types of files. JPEG necessarily has some compression. Therefore there will be information lost and some errors, usually minimal, introduced. If you need to do exposure compensation and or are intending to make large scale prints than RAW is for you.

    If you don't want to mess with it than highest quality JPEG's will probibly do fine.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Big Mike has pretty much said it all. I'll just add two things.

    Gifs are for graphic files, especially those with a limited color range. Always use jpg for posting photos online.

    Always save your photos as tiffs, because you can save all of your photoshop layers, losslessly, and the file sizes will be smaller than Psds, because tiffs use compression.
     

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