My digital camera will take pictures in either TIFF or RAW and I find my pictures taken with TIFF quite satisfactory. Why is the TIFF file so much larger than RAW? Is the file information better for one or the other? In Elements 6, why would one choose saving the RAW file to TIFF versus Adobe's DNG? Shutterbug Forums are very useful, many thanks, Don
The TIFF (Tagged Information File Format) is no license, free format designed to be flexible and comprehensive and in basic format uncompressed. It supports all bitmap image modes RGB and CMYK as well as all bit-depths from 8 to 48, as well as layers and other add-ons. It is an industry standard format used worldwide for at least 25-30 years. Raw is a proprietary format exclusive to the camera company that employs it and also uses a proprietary file compression scheme, so to put it into software a license (fee or agreement contract) is required. A Raw format may only be supported as long as the company that owns it is in business and provides software with the conversion engine included. Like Minolta, which having been purchased is supported for the time being by Sony, the company that acquired Minolta.
Adobe DNG is a universal format designed originally to replace Raw with one single format. None of the major camera companies support DNG, and from my perspective it is not being developed any further. How long Adobe will continue to support DNG then remains a question considering it isn't making Adobe any money.
Converting from Raw to TIFF at full bit-depth is the safest way to archive digital camera files in a format that preserves a 100% of the information captured by the camera with assurance access to the image file information will always be available because TIFF is and international standard and the most widely used image file format in the world.
Thank you David for the excellent information. One more question please. Aside from the fact that the TIFF file is much larger, is the quality of the camera file information the same for TIFF and RAW. Don
I will have to assume the concern you express is about photographic image
Thanks for giving me a smile and a laugh. I love your line, box and shrink-wrapped. I'm all set now and very good. Don
Personally, I would not shoot the TIFF format unless you had a specific reason for shooting this format. Most shoot either RAW or JPEG. A couple of disadvantages to shooting TIFF [more so than RAW] is the amount of space it takes and the time it takes to write the image to the memory card. Personally, I shoot in RAW and convert that image to TIFF in post-processing if I am going to use layers. You can also convert RAW to DNG if you desire. The adavantage to using the RAW format is that nothing is discarded as is the case with JPEG images. This format is fine as long as you do not mind post-processing because it does require opening it and making adjustments. The disadvantages are: it requires more space than JPEGs and it fills the camera buffer much faster than shooting JPEGs. This is a problem with people taking a lot of shots in quick succession. JPEGs are generally what most people shoot as this format does the sharpening, color saturation, exposure adjustments, et cetera requiring little if any post-processing. For those shooting JPEGs though, I recommend shooting at the highest JPEG setting in most cases. The JPEG format discards what it does not use unlike RAW formats. If shooting at a lower setting, the information discarded is lost - forever.
As far as I understand,a JPEG file is lossy-lossy meaning everytime you view or move it you loose resolution. Can you convert a JPEG directly to Tiff to preserve it when you first download it from your camera card? How would the file size compare to converting a Raw file? This whole file format thing is extremely confusing!!
I know Canon's don't let you shoot to Tiff format, which really gouges me by the way, do Nikon DSLRs use Tiff? I am pondering buying a new (first) DSLR and may have to switch brands, thank god for lens adapters.