File Format Guide for Your Digital Photos

Part of the Digital Photography For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you take and store a digital image, you need to choose a file type, or format. Here are the popular choices when you choose a format for your digital photo:

Format Description
Camera Raw A format offered by some digital cameras. Stores raw, “uncooked” data from the image sensor, without applying normal adjustments to sharpness, color, and exposure. Gives photographers ultimate control over images and editing flexibility, but files must be converted to a standard format before sharing online, printing, or viewing in most photo programs.
JPEG The most popular digital photography image format. JPEG compresses images to make files significantly smaller, but too much compression reduces image quality. Used for print, the web, and e-mail.
TIFF The leading format for files that will be used in print publications, such as newsletters and magazines. Preserves all image data but usually results in larger file sizes than JPEG and can’t be displayed by web browsers and e-mail programs. The best format for storing converted RAW files and for edited JPEG files.
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Digital Photography For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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