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Thread: Help needed in Storing pics as TIFF

  1. #1
    TSC
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    Default Help needed in Storing pics as TIFF

    Guys, what file formats you guys store ur pics in? I currently store them as JPEG cos' I shoot in JPEGs with my 5050. However, I have been told that it is better to store as TIFF as there would not be any image degradation in TIFF format, but JPEGs will eventually degrade.

    The only problem is - How do I convert all my thousands of JPEGs to TIFF in a convenient manner? I am using MS XP Home.

    I tried shooting my pics in TIFF format, but it takes too long to save into my camera CF card and also, it takes up way too much space. Can anyone help?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help needed in Storing pics as TIFF

    This is the first time I hear JPEG will eventually degrade. Sorry, couldn't help it, u've been misled by your friends.

    Originally posted by TSC
    Guys, what file formats you guys store ur pics in? I currently store them as JPEG cos' I shoot in JPEGs with my 5050. However, I have been told that it is better to store as TIFF as there would not be any image degradation in TIFF format, but JPEGs will eventually degrade.

    The only problem is - How do I convert all my thousands of JPEGs to TIFF in a convenient manner? I am using MS XP Home.

    I tried shooting my pics in TIFF format, but it takes too long to save into my camera CF card and also, it takes up way too much space. Can anyone help?
    Last edited by AJ23; 30th June 2003 at 12:10 AM.

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    To save in JPEG or TIFF, that depends on what you want to do with the final output. If u just want to shoot and store the files or make an electronic album, I think JPEG is good enough. If u want to print it or want better image quality, choose JPEG with low compression (1:4?). You should be fine.

    But if you want to send for printing on magazines, books, etc or you simply want the best image quality, you can choose to save it in TIFF. The reason being TIFF is a lossless format, you will not lose any information during the saving, while JPEG is a lossy format, some information will be lost during saving and conversion. There are some technical differences which I shall not touch.

    To convert JPEG to TIFF, there is a lot of programs. But if u have Photoshop, u can set actions to batch convert all the files to TIFF. There's a thread somewhere showing how to do it.

    To get better picture quality, u can try to set to JPEG with low compression, the file size will be bigger, but still a lot smaller than TIFF files.
    Last edited by AJ23; 30th June 2003 at 12:17 AM.

  4. #4

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    TSC, I think you may have misunderstood what you read. JPEG files will not deterioriate UNLESS you keep editting and saving them over and over again. Each time you save at a compression level, some data is lost due to the compression.

    There is really no point converting all your JPEGs to TIFF, cos you can't create details out of nothing. Just make sure you keep a master copy of the JPEGs you have currently. If you need to edit them, save the output as a separate file, do not overwrite the original. This way, your original JPEGs will not deterioriate.

    If you're really paranoid about quality and details, you'll have to shoot TIFF or RAW from now on. For me, I'm still shooting JPEG with lowest compression.

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    Try Irfanview at www.irfanview.com

    It's a freeware viewer that has batch conversion capabilities with a lot of options. It can handle your thousands of JPEGs.

    Jpegs do not 'eventually degrade', like vegetables. However, they DO degrade every time you save a picture as a jpeg - even if you did not make any changes to the picture. The jpeg compression algorithm itself is 'lossy' meaning that data is lost every time the algo is applied.

    If you never touch-up your pictures, then leave your poor jpegs alone. i assure you they will not rot and stink. You will also save a lot of harddisk space - almost 10 times.

    If you need to work on your image, then load the jpeg, do your touch-up, and save as tiff. BE CAREFUL not to overwrite your original jpeg - if you save a jpeg, it WILL degrade. Though maybe not noticeably, depending on your settings.

  6. #6
    TSC
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    Thanks guys for the reply. The reason why I was worried is because I have a lot of pics which I keep for my work. I expect them to last me a long time - mebbe 20-30 year. When I went for the Olympus course, the instructor said that it is best to save all my files in TIFF cos with JPEG, everytime I make a save of it, I lose some data. So I presume, if I were to move all these files from one HDD to another, there will be a loss of quality. And I do not want it to happen.

    As I said, I also tried to take my shots in TIFF on the 5050, but damn, it takes so long to write the pic. Also, the number of shots I can take on a 256 CF drops dramatically. And also, when I view the TIFF pic on my com after transferring it, it looks like some small picture. I think I do not have a TIFF viewer or wat, or izzit because my 5050 does not do some conversion for me.

    Anyway, I think what I will do is to shoot in JPEGs, transfer in JPEGs and then batch convert them once they are on the HDD. I have Photoshop and hence I think I will try to figure out a way to do the batch conversion.

    Thanks again, guys.

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    Originally posted by TSC


    The reason why I was worried is because I have a lot of pics which I keep for my work. I expect them to last me a long time - mebbe 20-30 year.

    20-30 years? That's a long time. You harddisk most likely will crash way before that. Better look into backup systems and be careful. i have a few backups on CDRom that deteriorated and couldn't be read just after a measly 3 years.

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    Originally posted by TSC
    Thanks guys for the reply. The reason why I was worried is because I have a lot of pics which I keep for my work. I expect them to last me a long time - mebbe 20-30 year. When I went for the Olympus course, the instructor said that it is best to save all my files in TIFF cos with JPEG, everytime I make a save of it, I lose some data. So I presume, if I were to move all these files from one HDD to another, there will be a loss of quality. And I do not want it to happen.

    As I said, I also tried to take my shots in TIFF on the 5050, but damn, it takes so long to write the pic. Also, the number of shots I can take on a 256 CF drops dramatically. And also, when I view the TIFF pic on my com after transferring it, it looks like some small picture. I think I do not have a TIFF viewer or wat, or izzit because my 5050 does not do some conversion for me.

    Anyway, I think what I will do is to shoot in JPEGs, transfer in JPEGs and then batch convert them once they are on the HDD. I have Photoshop and hence I think I will try to figure out a way to do the batch conversion.

    Thanks again, guys.

    yeah that is true, your jpg will lost some bit and byte evertime you save over it.

  9. #9

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    TIFF is a lossless format, JPEG is a lossy format.

    This means that when you save information in TIFF format, NONE of the data is lost, whereas if you save images in JPEG format, some of the information is lost.

    No offence, but it makes NO SENSE to convert a JPEG file to a TIFF file, because whatever information was lost in the original JPEG file will not magically become available in the TIFF file.

    Better to save the original JPEG as it came straight out of the camera as a "digital negative" and always use this original for any editing purposes in future, saving a new copy of the edited file. That way you do not suffer repeated degradation of the image data.

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    TSC, one small suggestion, store your images in the original or edited form (in JPEG or TIFF) on CDR, it's a safer backup compared to HDD IMO.

    Use better quality CD media, and store in a dry box. Once a while take out and read the contents to make sure that the media does not "die" off. If kiasu a bit, make 2 copies, that will ensure that the contents will be there in event 1 of the CDR got corroded/degraded/degenerated.

    also, if u already shoot your pics in JPEG, leave it as it is, no point converting to TIFF. To get better image quality, use SHQ under the JPEG setting of 5050, that should give u the best quality JPEG if u dun want to save in RAW or TIFF.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by AJ23


    Use better quality CD media, and store in a dry box.

    Use an acid-free marker to write on the CD, also marketed as 'CD-safe' markers.

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by TSC
    So I presume, if I were to move all these files from one HDD to another, there will be a loss of quality.
    No no no...that won't happen. The loss in quality will only occur if you save OVER the original file. Copy the same file from one location to another will not result in any loss of data!

    So yeah, like what most people suggested, just shoot in JPEG, highest quality preferably, and leave them untouched. If you need to edit, save the output as another file. You should be more concerned about the durability of the memory media rather than the file itself. So make copies of your pictures into CDRs, and make copies of those copies if the pictures are really very very impt.

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