Discussion in 'Photography' started by Richard Oliver, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Would someone please explain to me what the difference is between JPG
    and TIF formats.
    I notice on comparing the same picture saved in each of the two formats
    that they seem to be equal in all aspects except the size of the
    file,the JPG file being much smaller, and when comparing the two
    pictures I cannot see any real difference in quality.
    I assume that it is just a matter of compression.
    Which format would give the better print quality or other result?
    Eager to learn ---and thanks,Richard
    Richard Oliver, Apr 24, 2006
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  2. I am not exactly sure, but I believe I was told one time that is was
    that the TIF file preserved the original colors (maybe) better -
    probably better for printing.

    My uncle only saves his scanned images as TIF files - I generally stick
    to JPG to save space.

    Now again, I am not 100% sure, and would actually like to have it
    explained myself - unless I am right.

    Hope this helps.

    Robbie Wright, Apr 24, 2006
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  3. Richard Oliver

    dj_nme Guest

    Essentialy the difference is in the colour depth.
    Jpeg images are limited to 24 bit/8 bits per channel of colour
    information, where Tiff images can be saved in 48 bit/16 bits per
    channel of colour information.
    Printing the straight image with no editing, there will be little to no
    difference between a tif or jpg of the same scene.
    The real difference will be if go "pixel peeping" at 100% viewing size,
    a 48 bit tif will look a bit smoother because of the greater number of
    colours that it can show, although this is also limited by the ablity of
    your monitor to display all of the colours accurately.
    dj_nme, Apr 24, 2006
  4. Richard Oliver

    cat Guest

    Also, JPEG uses lossy compression, which means you lose some of the
    data each time you save, it is discarded in favour of smaller file
    sizes. If you just save once and keep the image quality high (max. 12)
    you will likely see little or no difference to a TIFF file, which saves
    in lossless format - meaning none of the information is discarded, thus
    resulting in higher file sizes.

    As far as I know, TIFF is the prefered file type for printing since any
    degradation of an image would be more noticable in a print. But if
    saving simply for the web I see no problems with JPEG at all.

    In an ideal world we would all have large enough hard drives to be able
    to save a high quality TIFF copy and a high quality JPEG copy of each
    image (I tried doing so myself for a while) but at 35mb a shot minimum
    if space is at a premium it becomes unrealistic very quickly.

    I think if you ever want to make a proper go of selling prints
    professionally then you will want to invest in some serious storage to
    have TIFF files of all your images, but otherwise don't worry.

    Of course, this brings up the problem of what if you have already
    converted all your files to JPEG? You can't then go back and make a
    high quality TIFF file from them because information has already been
    discarded and it will never be as good as it would have been had your
    first ever save been a TIFF save. If you shoot RAW and know how to
    replicate your final JPEG image then hold on to all the RAW files so
    you can create a TIFF file when needed, but then they are pretty hefty
    in size sometimes too, so why not just save a TIFF file at the
    beginning? Gah! There are no easy answers - you have to do what is
    right for you.

    cat, Apr 24, 2006
  5. Richard Oliver

    Stan Beck Guest

    What cat said is correct. jpg images makes the files smaller by throwing
    away picture information. The more compression, the more information is
    lost. Converting it back to tif will not restore the lost information.

    Most cameras allow you to save in jpg or RAW. Older cameras allowed for
    saving in tif. RAW and tif make bigger files. The best option I see, based
    upon your concerns, is to save the original on a CD or DVD, untouched, as an
    archive. Save a copy of that file as a tif, if you want to make edits,
    because you can save a tif as often as you want without losing information.
    You can always crop, edit and save in jpg format if you need to email it or

    Stan Beck
    From New Orleans to Brandon MS

    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    Stan Beck, Apr 24, 2006
  6. As always a wonderful response with all the info,Thank you all for the
    effort!! Much appreciated,Richard
    Richard Oliver, Apr 24, 2006
  7. Richard Oliver

    Eatmorepies Guest

    JPG is 8 bit and RAW to TIFF gives you 12 bit data.

    Pull out the tonal range on an 8 bit file and you will find gaps in the
    histogram. The 12 bit file is able to fill the gaps and give smoother
    changes in tone.

    For standard photos I use JPG but when the lighting is difficult or I feel a
    competition print coming on I slip into RAW and convert to TIFF before post

    Eatmorepies, Apr 24, 2006
  8. Richard Oliver

    philo Guest

    here is an important difference:
    you may not notice any difference when viewing a .jpg or a .tif
    but if you are *not* use the .jpg

    you will loose quality by editing a .jpg
    but you will not loose any quality of you just view if...
    so always convert the .jpg to some other non-compressed format...such as
    ..tif if you do any editing.

    but the .jpg is great for sending by email as it's a smaller file.
    you can save your .tif as a .jpg if you are done editing
    philo, Apr 24, 2006
  9. Richard Oliver

    Stan Beck Guest

    Yep, but when you convert to tif, you might have a 12 bit format, but the
    information is just 8 bit in a 12 bit format. However, converting the jpg
    to tif for editing will produce a quite nice image if there was only minimum
    compression to start with. You will likely not see a noticeable difference
    in print quality in most cases.

    Stan Beck
    From New Orleans to Brandon MS

    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    Stan Beck, Apr 24, 2006
  10. Richard Oliver

    Stan Beck Guest

    As far as I know, the jpg format is only in saved images and during the
    saving process. If I'm not mistaken, the image is in memory and is not
    affected during editing, but only experiences jpg compression and resulting
    artifacts during the save process. I don't think editing a jpg file will
    cause problems unless you save frequently while editing.

    The safest thing would be to convert to tif before editing.

    Stan Beck
    From New Orleans to Brandon MS

    To reply, remove 101 from address.
    Stan Beck, Apr 24, 2006
  11. Richard Oliver

    philo Guest

    Yes, when you edit and save...the image is degraded...
    convert to tif or other lossless format when editing
    philo, Apr 27, 2006
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