Lossless vs. lossy

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Robert Peirce, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.

    BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.

    --
    Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    [Mac]
    [Office]
    Robert Peirce, Oct 11, 2003
    #1
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  2. Robert Peirce

    Rafe B. Guest

    On Sat, 11 Oct 2003 12:29:20 GMT, Robert Peirce
    <> wrote:

    >I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    >to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    >compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    >BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    >machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    >computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.



    PNG is losselss, and you can have (lossless) compression
    with TIFF files also.

    But lossless compression in image files isn't too dramatic
    unless your images are out of focus and have lots of blue
    sky or featureless areas in them. Lots of sharpness &
    detail means poor compression. No way around it.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
    Rafe B., Oct 11, 2003
    #2
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  3. Robert Peirce

    Gav Guest

    MIM is extention for MIME (Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions). If he
    wants to open them tell him to use Winzip.

    Gav

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    > BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    > machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    > computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.
    >
    > --
    > Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    > [Mac]
    > [Office]
    >
    Gav, Oct 11, 2003
    #3
  4. Robert Peirce

    Trev Guest

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert

    everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide

    lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >

    Lossless JPEG even, but if its lossless its not going to be as small
    because nothing has been thrown away as in a compressed jpeg. In witch
    you can decide how much is discarded/compressed
    Trev, Oct 11, 2003
    #4
  5. Robert Peirce

    jriegle Guest

    I'm a Windows user and I use TIFF for saving work I don't want to loose any
    quality from. Yes they are very large. Photographic images will not compress
    very much in the non loss schemes because of the constant variation from
    pixel to pixel thanks to subject matter or noise. There is no/little
    patterns to use to compress on, so the TIFF files remain large.

    You can set the JPEG compression lower to minimize the loss, but still keep
    the file size reasonable.

    The user getting the MIME file has nothing to do with Windows. More likely
    it is his company's mail server or ISP can't properly read your MIME
    encoding. Encoding is used because email protocols were not designed to
    handle binary data. Someone got the idea to create a program to convert a
    binary file to all ASCII characters so it could be sent through the
    electronic mail system. The user on the other end had to decode it with a
    decoding program to turn it back into a binary file. Now days all of this
    goes on "behind the scenes" so to speak. Many moons ago we had a Lotus Notes
    server for electronic messaging. We would get unconverted files every now
    and then.

    There are many free programs to convert these files back to binary. As
    someone else said Winzip will work.
    John

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    > BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    > machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    > computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.
    >
    > --
    > Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    > [Mac]
    > [Office]
    >
    jriegle, Oct 11, 2003
    #5
  6. Robert Peirce

    Boris Harss Guest

    Hi, Robert!

    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge!


    Hmmm, maybe, this is a process issue. Once the file is a JPEG, you do
    not improve the quality by saving it as a TIFF (or anything else), the
    data is already lost. The process camera/computer/file-for-use should be:

    * Use RAW or a loss-less format on your memory cards
    * Use a loss-less format for your pics on the PC until you are done
    working on them (adjusting them with Photoshop, ...)
    * Store/archieve them this way, if you can afford to do so,
    otherwise
    * store/archieve them using moderate compression JPEG
    * If you want to use them on the net (e-mail/www),
    - reduce their resolution according to the need
    - re-sharpen them moderately
    - save them with compression as needed
    (less is more, but quite some is ok ;-)) )

    AVOID doing this: Save a pic as JPEG, open it later and work on the
    file, save it again as a JPEG, .... : Every time you save, you loose
    quality.

    Greetings,
    B.
    Boris Harss, Oct 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Robert Peirce

    Terry Guest

    Why save them as TIF unless you are going to manipulate them later? Do you
    plan to crop, correct color, or alter them some other way? If not your
    jpegs are fine. Saving to TIF will just prevent further deterioration if
    you do modify the files with a photoeditor like Photoshop.
    I save photos I may work on later as TIFs and just burn them to a CD saving
    space on my hard drive. Boris is right. If you plan to work on the photo
    later shoot it originally as RAW, but you better have a lot of memory cards
    if you do.
    Terry, Malvern, PA
    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    > BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    > machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    > computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.
    >
    > --
    > Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    > [Mac]
    > [Office]
    >
    Terry, Oct 11, 2003
    #7
  8. Robert Peirce

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Robert Peirce wrote:

    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    > BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    > machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    > computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.
    >

    You Windows user doesn't have his broswer set up correctly.
    Ron Hunter, Oct 11, 2003
    #8
  9. In article <bm91tu$m0q$>,
    Boris Harss <> wrote:

    > Hi, Robert!
    >
    > > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > > to TIFF, but these files are huge!

    >
    > Hmmm, maybe, this is a process issue. Once the file is a JPEG, you do
    > not improve the quality by saving it as a TIFF (or anything else), the
    > data is already lost. The process camera/computer/file-for-use should be:


    Let me elaborate. I have a Nikon 4300. I can shoot in TIFF or various
    levels of JPEG. Shooting in TIFF greatly limits what I can get on a
    card, so I shoot in the highest level JPEG the camera supports -- FINE
    2272x1704. This already does 4:1 compression so there is already some
    loss. However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just
    10.

    When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    larger than the JPEG file.

    Assuming I will continue to shoot in JPEG, which is a compromise but
    seems to be likely, what I want to know is whether there is a commonly
    used file type that will preserve the information I haven't already lost
    but in a space closer to JPEG than to TIFF.

    BTW, I am aware that shooting in TIFF (or RAW, as it is sometimes
    called) will preserve the most information. I just don't want to pay
    the cost for a typical snapshot, but I do want to be able to manipulate
    the shot later without even more loss.

    --
    Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    [Mac]
    [Office]
    Robert Peirce, Oct 11, 2003
    #9
  10. Robert Peirce

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Robert Peirce wrote:

    > In article <bm91tu$m0q$>,
    > Boris Harss <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Hi, Robert!
    >>
    >>
    >>>I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    >>>to TIFF, but these files are huge!

    >>
    >>Hmmm, maybe, this is a process issue. Once the file is a JPEG, you do
    >>not improve the quality by saving it as a TIFF (or anything else), the
    >>data is already lost. The process camera/computer/file-for-use should be:

    >
    >
    > Let me elaborate. I have a Nikon 4300. I can shoot in TIFF or various
    > levels of JPEG. Shooting in TIFF greatly limits what I can get on a
    > card, so I shoot in the highest level JPEG the camera supports -- FINE
    > 2272x1704. This already does 4:1 compression so there is already some
    > loss. However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just
    > 10.
    >
    > When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    > furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    > However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    > larger than the JPEG file.
    >
    > Assuming I will continue to shoot in JPEG, which is a compromise but
    > seems to be likely, what I want to know is whether there is a commonly
    > used file type that will preserve the information I haven't already lost
    > but in a space closer to JPEG than to TIFF.
    >
    > BTW, I am aware that shooting in TIFF (or RAW, as it is sometimes
    > called) will preserve the most information. I just don't want to pay
    > the cost for a typical snapshot, but I do want to be able to manipulate
    > the shot later without even more loss.
    >

    TIFF is NOT RAW, and RAW is NOT TIFF. RAW formats vary from camera to
    camera and maker to maker. TIFF is a standard for graphic data storage.
    Ron Hunter, Oct 11, 2003
    #10
  11. Robert Peirce

    Boris Harss Guest

    Hi, Robert!

    > Let me elaborate. I have a Nikon 4300. I can shoot in TIFF or various
    > levels of JPEG. Shooting in TIFF greatly limits what I can get on a
    > card, so I shoot in the highest level JPEG the camera supports -- FINE
    > 2272x1704.


    OK, so we have 3x2272x1.7k = arround 10 megs for 8bit/channel or 12 megs
    case a few more bits/channel, if I take your 12.8 megs/frame. This is
    zero copression (beat up Nikon for this.. Loss-less compression gives
    you a factor of approximately two), a compression of a factor six

    > However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just 10.


    (as I take from this) in JPEG is not that bad, evenso you do loose some
    fine detail and might have some artefacts, e.g. at high contrast lines.

    > When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    > furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    > However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    > larger than the JPEG file.


    Sure, but that makes sense! After all, a 120GB Hard Disk cost today
    below $200, that is 10.000 images of this size! I am not sure how that
    looks in the mac-environement, but in the worst case, you'll need a SCSI
    disk, which a little bit more.

    > Assuming I will continue to shoot in JPEG, which is a compromise but
    > seems to be likely


    Sure, for mostz purposes, that will do.

    > what I want to know is whether there is a commonly
    > used file type that will preserve the information I haven't already lost
    > but in a space closer to JPEG than to TIFF.


    TIFF with compression (e.g. LWZ) should reduce your images by a factor
    of roughly two. If you want to go much higher, you'll have to change
    format and lose information. No matter which format (TIFF, PSD, ...),
    mathmatics puts some strict limits on what you can do without loosing data.

    > BTW, I am aware that shooting in TIFF (or

    RAW*,
    > as it is sometimes
    > called) will preserve the most information. I just don't want to pay
    > the cost for a typical snapshot, but I do want to be able to manipulate
    > the shot later without even more loss.


    That makes sense, only I don't think you'll get much better than
    compressed TIFF. Just make sure, the respective option is set when you
    save, so that you do not use UNcompressed TIFF.

    * (TIFF is not RAW so, RAW, funnily enough, is better compressed
    loss-less that you can do later, since it compresses the data before the
    differnt colors of the sensor pixels are interpolated for a full color
    picture. Unfortunately, I do not know any tool that goes back there and
    true "RAW" is camera maker speciffic).

    Greetings,
    B.
    Boris Harss, Oct 11, 2003
    #11
  12. Robert Peirce

    Ron Andrews Guest

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.
    >
    > BTW, when I sent a JPG file to a Windows user it showed up on his
    > machine as a MIM, whatever that is. I sent the same files to my office
    > computer and tghey came through as JPG. I don't know why.
    >
    > --
    > Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    > [Mac]
    > [Office]
    >

    IMHO, there is entirely too much attention paid to the evils of lossy
    compression. If you stick with the higher end of the quality scale, jpeg
    compression does a great job. I save in TIFF format if I plan to make more
    edits, but I've edited and saved jpeg files two or three times without
    changes that I can see. If you study the image pixel by pixel you can detect
    some changes, but when I look at the whole image, I can't see the
    difference. This is just like the debate between MP3 and CD files.
    Technically there are many differences, but If you can't hear the
    difference, it doesn't matter.
    Ron Andrews, Oct 11, 2003
    #12
  13. Robert Peirce

    Eigenvector Guest

    "Robert Peirce" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <bm91tu$m0q$>,
    > Boris Harss <> wrote:
    >
    > > Hi, Robert!
    > >
    > > > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert

    everythihng
    > > > to TIFF, but these files are huge!

    > >
    > > Hmmm, maybe, this is a process issue. Once the file is a JPEG, you do
    > > not improve the quality by saving it as a TIFF (or anything else), the
    > > data is already lost. The process camera/computer/file-for-use should

    be:
    >
    > Let me elaborate. I have a Nikon 4300. I can shoot in TIFF or various
    > levels of JPEG. Shooting in TIFF greatly limits what I can get on a
    > card, so I shoot in the highest level JPEG the camera supports -- FINE
    > 2272x1704. This already does 4:1 compression so there is already some
    > loss. However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just
    > 10.
    >
    > When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    > furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    > However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    > larger than the JPEG file.
    >
    > Assuming I will continue to shoot in JPEG, which is a compromise but
    > seems to be likely, what I want to know is whether there is a commonly
    > used file type that will preserve the information I haven't already lost
    > but in a space closer to JPEG than to TIFF.
    >
    > BTW, I am aware that shooting in TIFF (or RAW, as it is sometimes
    > called) will preserve the most information. I just don't want to pay
    > the cost for a typical snapshot, but I do want to be able to manipulate
    > the shot later without even more loss.
    >
    > --

    Maybe .png format. Not sure if your Mac will support that, but it seems to
    be a tighter format than TIFF and it also benefits from the fact that it is
    a raytraced image, rather than a bitmap image (not sure if I got the
    raytrace part right, think of a png as a Postscript file).
    Eigenvector, Oct 11, 2003
    #13
  14. Robert Peirce

    matthews Guest

    Robert Peirce wrote:
    > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    > to TIFF, but these files are huge! What file types can provide lossless
    > compression, AND are something that a Windows user could open.


    PNG is the best choice for this purpose It is supported
    by just about all current browsers (though IE support is
    imperfect), and it provides about as much lossless compression
    as you can get.

    It is an open standard, and is well documented.

    --
    Rick Matthews
    Department of Physics http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews
    Wake Forest University 336-758-5340 (Voice)
    Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507 336-758-6142 (FAX)
    USA
    matthews, Oct 12, 2003
    #14
  15. Robert Peirce

    MikeWhy Guest

    "Boris Harss" <> wrote in message
    news:bm9on1$e0l$...
    > > However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just 10.

    >
    > > When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    > > furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    > > However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    > > larger than the JPEG file.

    >
    > Sure, but that makes sense! After all, a 120GB Hard Disk cost today
    > below $200, that is 10.000 images of this size! I am not sure how that


    I just dump them to a CD-R; $.20 and 10 minutes of background processing
    time. A day of casual shooting fits easily on a single disk. Access speed on
    a 48X drive isn't too awful, once you get the right disk loaded. The
    remaining problem is keeping track of a library that is horribly fragmented
    and mostly offline.
    MikeWhy, Oct 12, 2003
    #15
  16. Robert Peirce

    Steve B Guest

    I tend to agree, jpg compression at the high quality end of the scale can be
    resaved a few times with no problems. There's a good jpg quality viewer in
    Paint Shop Pro 7/8 to help make your mind up.

    I CAN hear the difference in quality with every MP3 file I've heard compared
    with uncompressed though, they usually sound pretty dull (a simplified
    version of the real thing) on my stereo system, which is old and good but
    not that expensive. All the finer detail is gone. I hope we never have
    music only available for (compressed) download, it will be the end of hi-fi.
    It seems to work for digital photos though, luckily.

    > IMHO, there is entirely too much attention paid to the evils of lossy
    > compression. If you stick with the higher end of the quality scale, jpeg
    > compression does a great job. I save in TIFF format if I plan to make more
    > edits, but I've edited and saved jpeg files two or three times without
    > changes that I can see. If you study the image pixel by pixel you can

    detect
    > some changes, but when I look at the whole image, I can't see the
    > difference. This is just like the debate between MP3 and CD files.
    > Technically there are many differences, but If you can't hear the
    > difference, it doesn't matter.
    >
    >
    Steve B, Oct 12, 2003
    #16
  17. Robert Peirce

    Martin Brown Guest

    In message <>,
    Robert Peirce <> writes
    >In article <bm91tu$m0q$>,
    > Boris Harss <> wrote:
    >
    >> Hi, Robert!
    >>
    >> > I know JPG is a lossy compression form so I tend to convert everythihng
    >> > to TIFF, but these files are huge!

    >>
    >> Hmmm, maybe, this is a process issue. Once the file is a JPEG, you do
    >> not improve the quality by saving it as a TIFF (or anything else), the
    >> data is already lost. The process camera/computer/file-for-use should be:

    >
    >Let me elaborate. I have a Nikon 4300. I can shoot in TIFF or various
    >levels of JPEG. Shooting in TIFF greatly limits what I can get on a
    >card, so I shoot in the highest level JPEG the camera supports -- FINE
    >2272x1704. This already does 4:1 compression so there is already some
    >loss. However I can get over 66 images on a 128Mb card instead of just
    >10.
    >
    >When I transfer them to my Mac, I convert them to TIFF so that any
    >furthr manipulation will not cause loss beyond what I already have.
    >However, this produces an 11Mb file, which is more than five times
    >larger than the JPEG file.


    You only need to convert them to TIFF after you have made some changes.
    Treat original JPEGs like film negatives readonly. Never save back as
    JPEG onto the original and you are safe. And even then in most image
    applications you would be better off using their (proprietary) native
    lossless format for work in progress so that you can save layers and
    other processing details.

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained by converting JPEG files into
    TIFF just for the sake of it. Except to drive up disk manufacturers'
    share price.
    >
    >Assuming I will continue to shoot in JPEG, which is a compromise but
    >seems to be likely, what I want to know is whether there is a commonly
    >used file type that will preserve the information I haven't already lost
    >but in a space closer to JPEG than to TIFF.


    JPEG is about as good as it gets for lossy compression. J2000 might be
    slightly better sometimes but codecs for it are still thin on the
    ground.

    Of the available lossless image formats PNG is about as good as any for
    optimum compression (but it is very slow for maximum compression).

    Regards,
    --
    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Oct 13, 2003
    #17
  18. In article <hMBa+0CQAsi$>,
    Martin Brown <> wrote:

    > You only need to convert them to TIFF after you have made some changes.
    > Treat original JPEGs like film negatives readonly. Never save back as
    > JPEG onto the original and you are safe. And even then in most image
    > applications you would be better off using their (proprietary) native
    > lossless format for work in progress so that you can save layers and
    > other processing details.
    >
    > There is absolutely nothing to be gained by converting JPEG files into
    > TIFF just for the sake of it. Except to drive up disk manufacturers'
    > share price.


    This is useful advice. Right now I download JPEG, convert it to TIFF,
    possibly remove some red eye where required and write to a CD or DVD.
    It would be much more efficient to download and save as JPEG and do the
    manipulation when I am ready to print. Putting it on CD/DVD makes it
    read only. I could improve my storage by a factor of five or more.

    --
    Robert B. Peirce, Venetia, PA 724-941-6883
    [Mac]
    [Office]
    Robert Peirce, Oct 14, 2003
    #18
  19. Robert Peirce <> wrote in
    news::

    > BTW, I am aware that shooting in TIFF (or RAW, as it is sometimes
    > called) will preserve the most information. I just don't want to pay
    > the cost for a typical snapshot, but I do want to be able to
    > manipulate the shot later without even more loss.


    FWIW, TIFF and RAW are two different things. TIFF is a standard file
    format; RAW is the term used for the unprocessed data from the camera's
    imager.

    RAW is almost always considerably smaller than TIFF, since very few imagers
    generate 24 bits of information at each pixel.

    As Martin suggested, unless the work is supercritical, shoot JPEGs. (I
    shoot JPEG Fine on my Sony 707.) Treat these JPEGs as negatives, and never
    save over 'em. If you're working in an image editor, use its format for
    saves (I use Photoshop .PSD) and use whatever format is appropriate for the
    final output of your work... for me, typically JPEG. Don't try to re-edit
    that output JPEG; go back to the intermediate .PSD file so you won't suffer
    any loss do to recompression.

    --
    Albert Nurick www.TheDeliciousLife.com
    A guide to the good life
    www.nurick.com in Houston, Texas
    Albert Nurick, Oct 22, 2003
    #19
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