The recording formats

November 2017
The recording formats
Photo credit: Julien Achard


The recording formats

Once the image processed by the sensor, your camera offers several record types: JPEG, RAW or Tiff. Each file format has a different compression ratio, some altering a bit more quality of your photos.

Jpeg, most used

The recording formatsThe JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is today the most used format digital photography. Offers a very good weight / quality, is appreciated by most photographers. The devices offer different compression ratios JPEG, each level reduces the file size. However, the greater the compression, the higher the quality is low. The larger your file is compressed, the more quickly recorded, allowing you to move to the next shot (useful if you want to shoot continuously).
The biggest disadvantage of this format is JPEG compression, which can be embarrassing for a fussy photographer loss of some information, deterioration of your images in post-processing and editing.
The main advantage is the compression ratio that optimizes archiving your images, but also the fact that this format is universal for web use, a send to a friend, the file will be read by any browser or software viewing.

The Raw, a raw image

The recording formatsThe Raw (plain English) is a recording format for keeping a totally raw file. This type of format also allows to remember the different settings independently as white balance, for example, instead of integrating it directly to the image compression. The resulting raw file is slightly compressed without loss (unlike JPEG) in a format specific to each manufacturer: .nef for Nikon, Canon .cr2, .arw Sony, Pentax .ptx etc. The weight of the resulting files is therefore more than Jpeg image is less compressed.
This format, however, is not universal, specific software is necessarily required to read and operate. Offered by the brand for the purchase of your device, the software reads your raw file and can also develop in order to use it afterwards.
Software retouching or editing, such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture One can process the raw file. There are also several free programs like FastStone Image Viewer, which make it easy to read that file type.

The Tiff file a heavy but quality

The recording formatsThe TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a file format for the digital image. Uncompressed, it will keep the best quality for editing, or for printing as it is aware and read by most visualization software. However, it suffers from a major defect, compared to Raw or JPEG Fine (jpeg least compressed), it is the weight of its files. Indeed, the format was quickly abandoned on cameras lack of storage capacity and especially shooting rate. At registration, a heavier file takes longer to be transferred to the memory card, thus preventing the photographer to move to the next shot.
This type of format is most interesting in computer recording: maximum quality and reduced risk of deterioration in the transfer. It also has a big advantage for impressions, especially when you drop your files in a laboratory. The file being read by different software, laboratories will have no trouble to open it. You benefit from a high quality print, while Jpeg could deteriorate the image by compressing.

Sources pictures: Julien Achard, Adobe Photoshop.

See also

Download this article (PDF)
download this article (PDF