Friday, October 2, 2015

DigPhotog: Basic Tech: File Formats in Digital Photography [VID] (W6-P3) Fa15

And now, let's move from video back to still photography and from the artistic and on to the technical.

Let's start first with some discussion on how still photographs are stored digitally.  On your phone, camera memory card, or computer, digital photographs are stored in three possible formats.

The three primary file formats used in digital photography are jpeg, tiff and raw.*
Ever look at a list of photos on a computer and noticed ".jpg" at the end of the file name?  That photo was stored in the jpeg format.

So, what are the formats?  What are the differences?  What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?  Which should you use?*

Now with the basics out of the way, let's take a closer look at the idea of a raw file.  I like Mike Browne's cake metaphor.

If you want to learn more, I'd recommend "File Formats in Photography".

* Note that this discussion mainly applies to digital SLR cameras, since smartphones usually only allow jpeg formats.

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