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what's the advantage of using TIFF vs. JPeg on C5050?

M . , Mar 16, 2004; 01:14 p.m.

After a while, I decided that RAW in this camera model (Olympus C5050) does not give me much advantage over Jpeg. But is the TIFF a better format to shoot? If yes, can you tell me what these advantages are? I now shoot with Jpeg and, after transfer into my computer, I save the original files (Jpeg without saying) and also "manipulated" files with TIFF.



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Greg Chappell , Mar 16, 2004; 01:26 p.m.

The main advantage to TIFF vs. RAW in ANY camera is you do not need the makers proprietary RAW software to view and adjust the image. The main disadvantage is I would think the files would be huge compared to a RAW file.

Jon Austin , Mar 16, 2004; 01:32 p.m.

JPEG images are a compromise from the outset, since they employ lossy compression to write the original image. In other words, some of the original image detail is irretrievably lost from the outset. That said, (so far) I only shoot JPEGs (my only choices are JPEG or RAW).

TIFFs can be either compressed or uncompressed, but the compression methods used are (usually) lossless. (There's a TIFF format with JPEG compression that is probably lossy.)

The downsides of using TIFFs relate to their much larger file size: fewer images can be shot before a memory card is full, longer file transfer times to -- and greater disc space consumption on -- permanent storage.

I would recommend taking multiple test shots of the same subject/scene, in both JPEG and TIFF mode, and comparing the results: file size, transfer time, image quality, etc. Ultimately, it's a personal decision.

PS: You can safely save a manipulated image file in JPEG format, so long as you plan no further manipulation to that particular image.

Bill Mitchell , Mar 16, 2004; 02:02 p.m.

Is it possible to shoot in JPEG (to save space on the camera memory card), and to save in TIFF in the computer where memory isn't so scarce, and then work on it with no loss?

Beau Hooker , Mar 16, 2004; 02:14 p.m.

If your Oly's RAW converter supports 16-bit files another advantage to shooting RAW is better tonal-gradations in your images due to there being more information stored in them. You can also adjust many aspects of your image files after you have taken the picture using the RAW format, i.e. increase or decrease exposure, color-temperature, saturation, etc. If you shoot using JPEG, you're pretty much stuck with what you've got at the time of exposure. RAW files are very large and can be a pain to deal with, storage-wise. I tend to shoot RAW for "serious" images and jpeg when I'm just fooling around. Incidentally, I do not own and have never seen Oly's RAW converter, so it's possible I'm wrong about its feature-set. What I said I believe holds true for Canon. Best wishes . . .

M . , Mar 16, 2004; 02:27 p.m.

Bill: Yes, I can shoot JPEG and then save as TIFF in the computer.

Thanks everyone. Now let me pick further: my camera has the option of uncompressed JPEG. Is that true uncompressed?

Edward Ingold , Mar 16, 2004; 04:46 p.m.

This topic has been thoroughly discussed on Photo.Net. Perhaps a little summary is in order.

RAW images are as close to a negative that you will get with a digital camera. No corrections of any sort are applied to the RAW image, including white balance or sharpening.

JPEG images employ a lossy compression - image data is thrown away to save space. Any statement that JPEG images are as good or better than RAW files simply means you aren't looking close enough.

If you have a camera that outputs RAW files, software to convert those files usually comes with the camera. That fact that it is proprietary is moot.

TIF files, compressed or full, contain more data than JPEG files, but less than RAW files. In fact, TIF conversion often throws away extra bits/channel saved by RAW files. Furthermore, the imposition of in-camera corrections, including white balance, limits the ability to make corrections in Photoshop.

There is no advantage to saving TIF files when RAW files are much smaller. Large files take longer to process in the camera, and much more storage room. IMO, it is better to shoot in JPEG mode than TIF mode. You just have to be careful that all the settings are correct.

It is prudent to save JPEG images, downloaded from a chip or camera, as TIF files, simply because you lose more data each time you save a file as a JPEG, but not resaving TIF files.

john adams , Mar 16, 2004; 11:09 p.m.

Shooting in RAW and converting to TIFF is a pain and results in either 18MB or 36MB files (with my camera) depending on if you want to work with 8 or 16 bit images.

I do it when conducting aerial photography or other pretty serious stuff though.

There are so many disadvanatges that I usually regret using RAW.

I hear that the RAW converter engine in Photoshop CS makes things smoother however.

JPEG is pretty good but you have to watch for compression every time an image is saved. I save important images as TIFF using LSW(?) compression. Otherwise I can wind up with files in excess of 50 MB which creates a multitude of problems. One is that my printer won't deal with files that large.....a big problem.

In a nutshell....I would recommend shooting in JPEG unless the shots have enhanced and significant value as something larger than a 12 x16.

Sometimes I take over 1500 shots a week and prefer not to spend my life dealing with RAW. I honestly can not see significant difference as an 8x10 and I question those who claim to do so since my vision is 20/13.

Just my opinion and experience though.

If you want the finest detail in each shot.....use a 5x7 camera or something like that. OK.....I am tired.

M . , Mar 17, 2004; 01:27 p.m.

Thank you, Edward and John.

Edward: I see what you said but I tend to agree with John. I don't see any significant difference, if any. And working with RAW files from this camera and PS7 (I haven't got in CS yet) is a real pain. I have to spend a lot of time just to convert files before I can see the images on screen. And I have to convert each of them and save as TIFF before I can have any use of them. Hardly I ever change WB or anything after the shot was taken. And Olympus RAW does not allow you to change the exposure after the shot is taken so all the advantages from a typical RAW file are diminished.

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts. I think I will stick with JPEG when I use this camera.

Tom Campbell (GA) , Apr 01, 2004; 04:49 p.m.

Wentong Lin said, "Olympus RAW does not allow you to change the exposure after the shot is taken so all the advantages from a typical RAW file are diminished." Is this accurate? This is the first time I've heard this, so I just want to be sure. I'm considering buying a C-5050.

Thanks, Tom

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