Image File Types

For this assignment, part of the research has been looking at the different file types applicable to photography, and when it suitable to use these different file types. We also had to be comfortable with the difference between Lossy and Lossless compression.

Definition Advantages Disadvantages
Lossy Lossy Data compression is a compression method that reduces data from the original image. The amount of data reduction possible in lossy data compression is more than what is possible in lossless data compression. Lossy data compression has higher compression rates, which would mean the file sizes could be reduced.

This means more files can be added to a small storage medium than if it was a lossless data compression

Less of the original data is intact as the file has to be compressed, therefore lossy data compression, is not always suitable for editing image files as you have less information to work with.

Depending on the compression used will depend on the amount of original data that is kept intact, however this will then factor how many images you can store.

Lossless Lossless data compression is way a way to compress image data without losing any information of the original file.

Lossless compression is used in cases where the user needs the original data to be intact.

Lossless data compression is good because you have all of the data to work with. So when editing a RAW file in photoshop you can do a lot more to the image, than if it was a .JPEG which is a Lossy data compression Lossless Data compression doesn’t allow for much file size reduction, which means a lot of storage is required.
File type Characteristics When you would use
Tiff Tiff is a very flexible file format as it can be a lossy or a lossless file depending on the settings chosen by the user in the graphics application. Tiff can be used for a variety of reasons as it used between graphics applications allowing some compatibility between graphics applications when otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

It reduces file size but generally keeps the file size down.

Jpg JPEG is a Lossy file however unlike a TIFF file you cannot switch between Lossy or Lossless. You can only choose the lossy compression on the JPEG file. JPEG is a widley used format for storing images from a camera and to viewing images on a computer in general. If you want to take a lot of pictures on a camera, and you don’t have a large memory card or there isn’t a need to edit the images once taken.
Raw RAW is a Lossless file which is used for by a camera to capture all the information within the image. This allows the user to edit the best possible image available. It isn’t always a widely supported format as RAW files differ from different manufactures so support for RAW files can vary from computer to computer. It is used to capture the best possible images from the camera and allows you to edit the information. Therefore giving you the best files to work with it captures every possibility of the shot.
psd PSD is a lossless file which is primarily used by photoshop, when working on an image in photoshop. It allows you to keep the information which has been created regarding the editing of the images. This file type is used when working within photoshop and you need to keep all of the information regarding the editing you have done to the image (layers).
pdf PDF or public document folder is a file type that can have both Lossy and Lossless data compression applied to it. It is a widely used format for viewing documents and most internet browsers can view a PDF file within the application. So you don’t have to get a document viewer. This file can be used to send the document to people without the worry of the viewer of the document changing the contents.
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