Monday, January 29, 2007
The Power Of JPEG
Capture outstanding photos from JPEG-saved images by following these shooting guidelines
Labels: Learning Center
As a compression format, JPEG takes a file and reduces its saved size by removing redundant data. It then rebuilds that file to its original size when opened in the computer. JPEG has a number of important advantages to the photographer that are well worth considering:
Quality. Images photographed with JPEG settings take advantage of in-camera processing. On most digital cameras, this processing is quite remarkable, and will give you a file that's like a processed RAW file without any extra work. This processing takes the 12-bit sensor data (used by RAW, too) and smartly converts it to the 8-bit JPEG file with some remarkable algorithms. You get none of that with RAW.
Size. This is the obvious benefit; generally, you'll get two to three times the number of images on a memory card by shooting high-quality JPEG compared to RAW.
Camera Speed. These smaller file sizes display faster on camera and computer, boost the number of shots that can be taken consecutively, and often increase the shooting speed of a camera.
Workflow Speed. JPEG files transfer faster from memory card to computer, to start. Then when you work on them, you go directly to the image-processing program without having to use an intermediary converter (whether that's the manufacturer's, an independent brand or Adobe's converter in Photoshop). One qualification: Once you open a photo file in the computer, never resave it as a JPEG file. That will lead to lower quality. Save it as a TIFF or use the native file format of your image-processing software.
I firmly believe that you get the best photos by paying attention to detail as you shoot and not by hoping to fix it in the computer later, as some photographers advocate. JPEG doesn't have the "fudge factor" of RAW. While you can "fix" a lot in the computer, extreme adjustments don't sit well with JPEG.
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