Subject: Re: Camera Raw support for Nikon D200?
what's the difference between a jpeg and tiff?
A short answer ... :-)
A JPEG ("Joint Photographic/Photography Experts Group" format uses a mathematical method of 'describing' certain colours, shapes and tones of an image and simplifying (generalizing/compressing) them to create a smaller (much smaller) file size that most casual viewers will accept as being the same as the original, but it's not. A lot of subtle information is discarded and this becomes a problem when/if you try and change the image's colour or contrast later on. It's a bit like having a very high quality digital audio recording and transferring it to cassette tape. Sounds great in the car, but don't try and re-record it on CD and expect to get the same quality as the original CD. For this reason the JPEG (or JPG) format is described as being "LOSSY".
A TIFF ("Tagged Image Format File") is an image format that cuts no corners and records all the original information for every image pixel. There's no difference (with proper settings) between TIFF, PSD (Photoshop), PNG, GIF, BMP, RAW, and many other formats that offer a means of saving image data in a 'lossless' fashion. That's why these are referred to as being "LOSSLESS" formats. In other words, there's no difference whether you save as a TIFF or a PSD as far as the quality of the image is concerned. Some formats (such as PSD [Photoshop format]) allow you to save a lot more than just the image (layers, adjustment layers, channels, paths, text layers, effects, etc..) so it's preferred for 'work in progress'.
Since the Tiff format is considered 'open source - ie: free for all to use' - it's a format that most image editing programs will allow you to save your image in and then you can open it in whatever editing program you prefer. Most image editing applications will universally open TIFFs, whereas to open PSDs they'd probably have to pay Adobe for the privilege since it's an Adobe owned lossless' image format.
One last note: "TIFF was developed by Aldus and Microsoft Corp, and the specification was owned by Aldus, which in turn merged with Adobe Systems, Incorporated. Consequently, Adobe Systems now holds the Copyright for the TIFF specification. TIFF is a trademark, formerly registered to Aldus, and which is now claimed (though not yet registered) by Adobe Systems, Inc."
This last part is from:
Therefore it would seem that TIFF is not truly as 'open source' as many folks believe.
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