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Author Topic: TIFF or JPeg for storage  (Read 5983 times)

JR

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 09:04:40 AM »
I'm not a fan of TIFF, and share your hope that something better than TIFF will become, at least for the purposes we're talking about, an industry standard. DNG seems to do a good job, and is half way there, so why not?

I personally only store my files in DNG as I use Lightroom.  The exception to this are the PSD file that I create when retouching with PS, and the occasional TIFF file when I use other thrid party software like Image Portraiture.

- always make and keep a copy of the original CR2 file in a seperate hard disk
- My main library uses DNG file and I also keep a seperate copy of my DNG file on a seperate hard disk
- finally I copy all my DNG, PSD or TIFF from my Lightroom catalogue into Blur Ray disks

I only use JPEG when I need to send picture by emails...

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2012, 09:04:40 AM »

bycostello

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2012, 10:11:52 AM »
all depends what you want the images for... personal use i'd say jpeg...  pro use i'd keep the raw file..

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2012, 10:13:18 AM »
After years of searching for the right workflow for me, here's what I've been doing for a long time:

1) Shoot everything in RAW (with a rare exception of shooting in JPG in some cases)
2) Import to Aperture
3) Back up memory card(s) to external hard drive
4) Set aside memory card(s) and don't use until project is complete
5) Editing passes (each step usually done separately):
    a) 1 star for images that I want to save (then I delete non-starred images from the Aperture project)
    b) 2 stars for images that are probably keepers
    c) 3 stars for the best images
    d) I flag all images that I want to send to Photoshop to edit (usually not many)
6) I export all flagged images as PS files, edit in PS and import back into Aperture
7) Once project is finalized, I export all images to full-size JPGs for long-term storage on two separate external hard drives and clean out the Aperture project.

After several months, I delete the memory card backups, leaving me with only a double set of backed-up JPGs. I do NOT save RAW, PSD or TIFF files for the long term. I use WHCC for prints, and they print from JPGs. I couldn't be happier with the print quality.

For me, the benefit of RAW is to allow greater flexibility in post-processing. Once my post-processing is done, I don't want the burden of storing that much data. Not only does it cost substantially more, but it takes more time to transfer the files. And it means more drives to manage. And for what? The obscure chance that a client will have me change an image from a completed project in a way that requires the extra latitude that a RAW image would provide? In my case, that just doesn't make much sense.

That said, I do, on occasion, save an image in RAW if it's truly exceptional.

awinphoto

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2012, 10:16:38 AM »
Remember, as jpegs, even saved with a compression setting of 10 (little compression), it is what it is, compressed.  You may be losing some, albeit, minimal information and also jpegs also flatten, so if you use photoshop or lightroom or such and make a lot of layers, jpegs will flatten it all.  You will be able to save more jpegs than you will tiff, but that is the tradeoff... Tiff, unlike what others have said, is not an obsolete file type, however, it isn't as well packaged as lets say a psd or dng.  The problems with psd or dng, unless you have a program that can read it, you may not be able to show it or work with it on another computer.  That isn't as vital as it was in the past, but if you have clients with older windows machines and you have psd files and hope to show them your images, they may not be able to open them.  Tiffs are not compressed, can be opened on windows and macs, even without photoshop or another image editing program installed on it, especially on older systems.  When I shoot for clients, unless i know they have photoshop, I only give them Tiff's and Jpegs of my files when I'm done with them.  Tiff for the full sized and a smaller jpeg so they can throw it on the web, proof, or do whatever with.  If money and space isn't an issue, save in tiff or psd (if it's only for you), or if space is an issue, save in the highest jpg possible and save up for a new bigger HD. 
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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2012, 10:54:51 AM »
I don't own a mass of storage cards - enough for a god days shooting (about 1500 images if needed).

All images imported to LR where they are converted to DNG.
At the same time, a copy of all original RAW files are saved to EHD which is backed up to a second EHD via Chronosync.
The DNG files sit on the main computer and are rated and deleted if not considered worth processing. These are backed up to the EHD used for Time Machine back ups.
Processed images are then saved to another EHD which is also backed up. They are backed up as TIFF, HR Jpeg and LR Jpeg. But rest assured - less than 1 in 10 makes it to that stage.

Files get re-assessed after a month and may get deleted as well.

Maybe i'm over cautious, but following a drive failure i lost half a years work, and i've had more than 1 drive in the last 15 years, but now i'm happier with my back up strategy. More work for me, but at least i have LR to help me find those images...

motorhead

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 11:14:24 AM »
I am a serious Belt AND Braces type. I save all my CR2 RAW's as shot, then once those that I deem to be worthy of post processing have been attended to, these get saved seperately in TIFF format.

Everything is then saved twice on a dual disc external harddrive.

AJ

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 11:43:21 AM »
Printing from a jpeg (level 11 or 12) works great if the jpeg is your final product and you're not making any more changes.  You won't be able to see any difference on a print between it and a tiff file.

If you do need to make adjustments, however, you'll get degradation and you should go back to the raw file and start again.  With a tiff you have more wiggle room to make adjustments.

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 11:43:21 AM »

Crapking

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 01:15:53 PM »
I started using PS just a little while ago and it sounds like I am doing something wrong.  My 'new' workflow is to use the Adobe Bridge import of the CR2 files (AFTER a separate back up to a HDD), rate the 'keepers' and trash the junk. The keepers get a touch up in Camera Raw first, and a "save as" JPEG to a new project folder for future uploading to my Phanfare website for group viewing.  My question is, when I "done" the original CR2 files, I now have the separate JPEG folder (which has a different filename now) and the 'edited' CR2 files in 2 different places. I used to use Aperture, but now with PS, I am not. Should I revert back to importing into Aperture first (or invest in LR), and then export to PS to edit and then re-import the edits?  That sounds like extra steps....
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Orangutan

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 01:41:16 PM »
I started using PS just a little while ago and it sounds like I am doing something wrong.  My 'new' workflow is to use the Adobe Bridge import of the CR2 files (AFTER a separate back up to a HDD), rate the 'keepers' and trash the junk. The keepers get a touch up in Camera Raw first, and a "save as" JPEG to a new project folder for future uploading to my Phanfare website for group viewing.  My question is, when I "done" the original CR2 files, I now have the separate JPEG folder (which has a different filename now) and the 'edited' CR2 files in 2 different places. I used to use Aperture, but now with PS, I am not. Should I revert back to importing into Aperture first (or invest in LR), and then export to PS to edit and then re-import the edits?  That sounds like extra steps....

Nothing wrong with that workflow, if it works for you.  I might mass-rename all your CR2's first so they match the eventual JPEG names.

Grigbar

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2012, 06:52:26 PM »
After years of searching for the right workflow for me, here's what I've been doing for a long time:

1) Shoot everything in RAW (with a rare exception of shooting in JPG in some cases)
2) Import to Aperture
3) Back up memory card(s) to external hard drive
4) Set aside memory card(s) and don't use until project is complete
5) Editing passes (each step usually done separately):
    a) 1 star for images that I want to save (then I delete non-starred images from the Aperture project)
    b) 2 stars for images that are probably keepers
    c) 3 stars for the best images
    d) I flag all images that I want to send to Photoshop to edit (usually not many)
6) I export all flagged images as PS files, edit in PS and import back into Aperture
7) Once project is finalized, I export all images to full-size JPGs for long-term storage on two separate external hard drives and clean out the Aperture project.

After several months, I delete the memory card backups, leaving me with only a double set of backed-up JPGs. I do NOT save RAW, PSD or TIFF files for the long term. I use WHCC for prints, and they print from JPGs. I couldn't be happier with the print quality.

For me, the benefit of RAW is to allow greater flexibility in post-processing. Once my post-processing is done, I don't want the burden of storing that much data. Not only does it cost substantially more, but it takes more time to transfer the files. And it means more drives to manage. And for what? The obscure chance that a client will have me change an image from a completed project in a way that requires the extra latitude that a RAW image would provide? In my case, that just doesn't make much sense.

That said, I do, on occasion, save an image in RAW if it's truly exceptional.

There is no advantage to saving anything as a JPEG and it is not a legitimate way to archive RAW files. You talk about this burden of storing your raw files as if they are a heavy weight you carry on your back everywhere you go. But at the same time you do a double back up AND you leave it on your memory card for a few months ata time???? It doesnt make any since. In 5 years i will be able to buy an external hard drive thats larger than all of the hard drives i have now put together. And i dont really care about cost. If im going to buy a DSLR and concern my self with IQ then i can foot the small sum of cash for a hard drive with several TB of storage and it will hold A LOT of 20MB files. More than likely i wont be shooting RAWs that are much over 20MB in size by that time either as it looks like the MP race has taken a divergent path product development. If i ever decide to buy a Hasselblad, i think ill be ok buying my share of 5TB hard drives to go with it, no?

The argument about file transfer time is equally redundant. I will save a lot more time by not having to convert everything to JPEG then resort it. Its not like it takes minutes off my life when my computer is xfering files to my hard drive either and its not like a USB3.0 HDD is exactly slow.

It would be like if you had a RED, edited your movie then saved it as low resolution WMV. I mean hell, while your at it why dont you just convert everything to B&W to get rid of color data and junk the metadata right off the bat to? Why stop at JPEG compression? Lower the resolution as well? That will save you tones of space and time.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 07:09:36 PM by Grigbar »

Edwin Herdman

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2012, 07:40:27 PM »
I agree with Grigbar.  The only time I would even consider saving to another format for storage is if support for a specific type of RAW file was broken in a new version, or if Canon was dropping support for it altogether.

The general trend is the reverse of this - old RAW files are having a better time now, with newer RAW converters than existed years ago (cf. Michael Reichmann).

te4o

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2012, 08:40:58 PM »
While I agree with all comments and thank you we are missing my initial point at the opening, it's my fault because of the title of the thread:
I keep the RAWs as you all do BUT the PPed files are TIF or PNG or DNG and they are huge (DNG less but it's new).
So, you end up with a 20 MB Raw PLUS a 100 MB Tif or similar.
What do you do with this one? At present I keep both of course. But if I keep all layers which I dont then this goes into 3-400mB - ridiculous isn't it? Now imagine a 30ish MP camera...
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daveheinzel

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2012, 09:06:40 PM »
There is no advantage to saving anything as a JPEG and it is not a legitimate way to archive RAW files.

There is an advantage, and it's file space. It's your call if this is an advantage to you, but it's very easy to quantify the advantage in megabytes. And no, JPGs are not a way to archive RAW files. They are a way to save images. You missed the point.

You talk about this burden of storing your raw files as if they are a heavy weight you carry on your back everywhere you go. But at the same time you do a double back up AND you leave it on your memory card for a few months ata time???? It doesnt make any since.

A bit dramatic perhaps. I do a *single* backup and then leave the memory cards intact until the project is done (usually in a week). The memory card backup (which is on a hard drive) is what I keep for months. And it's "sense."

In 5 years i will be able to buy an external hard drive thats larger than all of the hard drives i have now put together. And i dont really care about cost. If im going to buy a DSLR and concern my self with IQ then i can foot the small sum of cash for a hard drive with several TB of storage and it will hold A LOT of 20MB files.

That's great. Your unlimited cash-flow lends itself well to long-term RAW file storage. My workflow works for my situation, and I wanted to share it to give the perspective of why someone might not care about storing RAW files indefinitely.

I mean hell, while your at it why dont you just convert everything to B&W to get rid of color data and junk the metadata right off the bat to? Why stop at JPEG compression? Lower the resolution as well?

You have to agree that a processed RAW file is very comparable to a good JPG of the same resolution. I would be surprised if you could tell the difference, even at 100% on screen. I don't carelessly trash my images for the sake of file space. I spend a lot of time and effort making them as good as possible. But at some point, everyone needs to make a decision about what to do with a project once it's done. I'm really curious to hear about what other people do.

To the original topic... when I am done post-processing images in Photoshop, I re-import into Aperture as PSD and save these images long-term as JPGs only. So I don't personally use TIFFs (but I used to for years). If a photo did require several layers in Photoshop, I usually backup the layered PSD file for the long-term. I'm sure 40 years from now it won't open. But hopefully it will in 2.

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2012, 09:06:40 PM »

Grigbar

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2012, 01:15:12 AM »
There is no advantage to saving anything as a JPEG and it is not a legitimate way to archive RAW files.

There is an advantage, and it's file space. It's your call if this is an advantage to you, but it's very easy to quantify the advantage in megabytes. And no, JPGs are not a way to archive RAW files. They are a way to save images. You missed the point.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822165286

First of all, im 99.999% sure that you dont even have close to 4TB of raw photos laying around. And that external enclosure can read and right files faster than your computer can likely even transfer them to it. So no, i dont understand what your saying. This is 2012, 90% of the people who post here could back up their entire digital catalog to that external enclosure. In fact, i bet i could send my entire RAW folder from last year to those hard drives faster than your computer could convert all of your photos from last year to JPEG.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136839

In the mean time i use that hard drive, it was 80$ when i got it on Amazon. Hard drive prices have gone up since then because of the floods where there made. Hard drive prices are supposed to go back down in a year. In a year, that hard drive might be half full or more.

That's great. Your unlimited cash-flow lends itself well to long-term RAW file storage. My workflow works for my situation, and I wanted to share it to give the perspective of why someone might not care about storing RAW files indefinitely.

80$. Take it or leave it no one said this job was cheap and no is going to argue that 80$ for a TB is expensive either. I remember when 80$ bought you a 60GB hard drive, it wasnt that long ago. Now i can buy 1,000GB with it. Its literally more space than most consumers could ever fill.

You have to agree that a processed RAW file is very comparable to a good JPG of the same resolution. I would be surprised if you could tell the difference, even at 100% on screen.

Thats really not the point at all.

Again, recording studios could save a lot of space by deleting or throwing away their original master tapes after the CD is burned. An artist can throw away all of their early sketches of a project if they want to but they often save them. I could go on an on. All of my RAWs fit in an area the size of a McDonald's hamburger patty, so whats the big deal? I want to always be able to go back and look at my original versions of photos that may be in a photo book next year. I want to know what it looked like in the first place. In 3 years when new thing are introduced into Lightroom i want the ability to throw my old raws in it and see how the come out again. If you dont want to be able to do that, i think you must lack some kind of artistic connection to your photos. And maybe your not an artist, thats fine but for me i just cant imagine it.

Its your artists privilege to decide if you save the raws or not, but not saving them is always the wrong answer.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 01:36:34 AM by Grigbar »

Rav

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2012, 02:31:24 AM »
[workflow]
My workflow is very nearly the same, except I do archive the keeper RAWs + PSDs on a NAS + backup.

One of the promises made with RAW was that with the improvement of converters over time, in the future you'd be able to get better results from the same RAW file. And my experience tells this is indeed true. Occasionally I go over my pictures from ~2006, when I started shooting RAW, and the improvements in quality and control options compared to back then are quite evident in the results.
This benefit might be irrelevant in many professional photography situations (who wants to wait until the vintage is right?), however I like the idea of RAW improving over time as opposed to negatives, which deteriorate.

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Re: TIFF or JPeg for storage
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2012, 02:31:24 AM »