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Using the TIFF File Format for Your Digital Photos

TIFF, which stands for Tagged Image File Format, is designed for folks who don’t want to lose data, which happens with JPEG compression. Although TIFF files aren’t terribly versatile, you may want to use TIFF format if

  • Your number one concern is optimum picture quality

  • You have no worries about running out of space on your camera memory card

  • You don’t mind the extra step of converting to JPEG for online use

Here are some of the downsides to using the TIFF format:

  • TIFF files are much larger than JPEG files.

  • Web browsers and e-mail programs can’t display TIFF photos.

  • You need to open TIFF pictures in a photo editor and convert them to JPEG before you can share them online.

Whether you notice a significant quality difference between a TIFF image and a lightly compressed JPEG depends on the camera. Test your camera to see whether the formats have a noticeable difference.

This figure shows an uncompressed picture in the TIFF format and a lightly compressed JPEG version.
This figure shows an uncompressed picture in the TIFF format and a lightly compressed JPEG version.
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