Tuesday, February 13, 2018

DigPhotog: Basic Tech: File Formats in Digital Photography [VID] (W6-P3) Sp18

After comparing benefits of film photography to the benefits of digital photography, one of the next topics to be addressed would be how are digital photographs stored.  With traditional film photography, the photographs are stored on film negatives, but what about digital photographs?

How are 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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