"Best" images in jpeg, tif, raw?
As posted in another thread here, I purchased a D100 yesterday. I added a 512 meg card and am now trying to figure out which format to save images in. I currently have it in Tif, which allows me 29 images before running out of space. I am not concerned about space as much as about quality of the files. Maximum resolution, sharpness, and color would be preferred over having smaller files. I'd like to avoid noise and other issues as best I can. Suggestions as to which format?
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#1. "RE: "Best" images in jpeg, tif, raw?" | In response to Reply # 0vfnewman Basic MemberSun 14-Sep-03 01:14 PM
If you're really serious about best quality at the expense of file size and workflow effort, try shooting raw. You really should get a license for Nikon Capture to make the best advantage of the raw format.
You are advised not to use compressed raw, however, which is what the camera will default to. The file write times are VERY long.
#2. "RE:" | In response to Reply # 0darrellyoung Registered since 21st Apr 2006Sun 14-Sep-03 03:09 PM
TIFF is an excellent format, since it us usable over and over without losing any extra quality. It does take up a LOT of space. The reason is, as I understand it, this:
The D100 camera's Sony CCD captures a 12-bit per pixel (4096 colors per pixel) signal. it is in the pure RAW (.NEF) format at first. When you convert the image from RAW to a TIFF it takes the 4096 color pixel gamut, and compresses it into an 8-bit data space that only contains 256 colors per pixel. Then it is written as a TIFF. But, the TIFF format can be used by much higher color resolution devices than our current digital cameras, so it has storage space for for 24-bits per channel. (RGB = Red, Green, Blue channels) But those extra bits of storage take up a lot of space, even though they are not fully being used.
So, the solution is to shoot only RAW. This is only a 9.5 megabyte file, instead of 17.5 megs. When you want a new print, you twiddle the file to your liking, then save it as a TIFF or JPEG. The RAW file is your negative.
#3. "RE:" | In response to Reply # 2AlanC Basic MemberSun 14-Sep-03 05:16 PM
The D100 writes 8 bit TIFFs: 3008x2000 pixels with 8 bits for each of the red, green and blue channels gives you 3008 * 2000 * 3 = 18048000 bytes or about 17.5Mb plus the file header information.
NEFs are the raw data from the CCD: 3034x2024 pixels with 12 bits for each pixel, and each pixel is a single colour i.e. either red, green or blue, so you have 3034 * 2024 * 1.5 = 9211224 bytes or about 9Mb, plus the file header information and a JPEG format preview image (which causes the minor size variation you see in NEFs) taking you up to 9.5Mb.
To my mind there's virtually no point in shooting TIFFs: the camera comes with the Nikon View NEF plug-in for Photoshop which will translate your images using the settings in effect when you took the shot; more versatile converters such as Capture give you the ability to modify a lot of the parameters retrospectively. NEFs are smaller, write quicker and give you access to the full 12-bit range of the data: the only downside is having to convert them.
#4. "RE: "Best" images in jpeg, tif, raw?" | In response to Reply # 0
When shooting sports, I use the JPG Fine. For any other work, such as stock, studio, portraits, or fun, I use the RAW mode. As others have stated, TIFF is near pointless if you shoot NEF, and utilize the Nikon Capture software.
Allan, A Comox Valley Nikonian