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Image File Formats    
#3 Photo Restoration: Cleaned up, Cropped and Centered.
  • TIF/TIFF (Mac/PC) - "Tag Image (File) Format"
    since all its pixels are accounted for, it is a large file;
    this is why professionals want these files most often;
    preferred format for scanned images, document fax,
    desktop publishing, medical imaging, word process,
    optical character recognition, 3D and other graphics;
    grayscale to RBG color, can combine TIFF & JPEG;
    usually uncompressed, scalable, flexible photo pixel
    for editing, enlarging, imaging changing, printing;

  • JPG (JPEG) - "Joint Photographic Experts Group"
    90% compressed, discards all redundant pixel;
    invented to fool the eye; scaled size are 'muddy'
    no editing, no printing, enlarging blurs all pixels,
    can reduce size, email 72dpi, phone pics 24dpi;
    phone pic 1" shows on web-screens as 1" only;
    A high-res (330-600) JPG is compressed 50%

  • Gif  - "Graphics Interchange File"
    will show pixel loss, rescales on hi-res Website;
    technicians utilize flattened transparent layering,
    for professional advertising graphics, ad display;

  • RAW - At 16 bit it can save drive space but little;
    A 16 bit RAW file has a 50% file compression.
    Software engineers agree RAW is really TIFF;
    RAW is 16 bit . The same file can be TIFF 8 bit.  
    RAW in 16 bit will convert to TIFF in 8 bit to print;
    RAW in 16 bit, is half of TIFF in 8 bit but this prints.  
    TIFF in 8bit takes more space but prints better;
    Printers want 8 bit (uncompressed) print jobs.
    Printers will automatically convert 16 bit to 8 bit;
    Otherwise the printer may refuse an 16 bit print.

  • PNG - Portable Network Graphics (pros use it)
    originally replaced GIF, 90% compressed values;
    retains dimension, scalable, stores layer values
    meant for first run graphic development; will not
    support CMYK, alpha RGB Web color channels

  • BMP - "Bitmap" ("Bitmap Management Protocol")
    original: "device independent bitmap" (DIB) pixels
    stores bitmap digital image for a graphics device;
    two-dimensional imaging, stores alpha channels
    and color profiles in metafile (WMF) specification;
    compresses 99%, saves width, height, resolution
  • PDF (definition) - "Portable Document Format"
    Made for email, media, formated document files;
    not for photo or resume, meant for portable disc;
    compressed 50% omits redundant border pixel,
    photos are less quality than TIFF, more than JPG;

  • PDF-JPG - Saved as 2-parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saved as a JPG.
    This has 75% compression, and cannot be edited.

  • PDF-ZIP - Saved as 2-parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saves as a ZIP.
    This has more than 80% compression for email.  

  • PDF-NONE - Saved in 2 parts, 2 pop-up windows.
    This is saved as a PDF, and then saves as "None"
    It's saved without file compression to be edited later.
    All of these (above) havde an extra windows that will
    open while saving its PDF and that windows asks if
    the file should be saved with compression or  NONE.
    A PDF without compression is like a TIFF. It can edit.

Camera Image Formats:

  • CR2 - Native RAW only in Canon cameras;
    Shoot CR2 (RAW) or shoot low res. in JPG;
    High res CR2 converts to TIFF, PDF, CRW;
    CRW in Photoshop is same as CR2 in Canon;
    CRW is very limited. Utilize images in TIFF only;
    Software engineers in a common blog agree
    that CR2, CRW, RAW are the same as TIFF;  
    RAW in 16 bit saves little space on a drive;
    TIFF in  8 bit is bulky, printers like it more;
    Printers convert 16 bit RAW to 8 bit TIFF;

  • NEF - Native RAW only in Nikon cameras;
    Shoot NEF (RAW) or shoot low res. in JPG;
    Only high-res NEF converts to TIFF, PDF;

  • ARW, SR2, SRF - Native RAW for Sony cameras
  • RAF - Native RAW for only Fujifilm cameras
  • ORF - Native RAW for only Olympus cameras
  • RW2 - Native RAW for only Panasonic cameras
  • DNG - Native RAW for only Pentax cameras
  • DNG - Native RAW for Casio and Adobe




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Authored by MCSE
Microsoft Certified
Systems Engineer
DCF (digital camera format) is supported by ACDSee and XnView, loads digital raw data
LEADTOOLS reads the image file formats
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