In our latest Raw Tuesday post on using the raw format, we’ve told what you need to know before shooting raw files, explained what a raw file actually does for your images, how to convert raw files and what edits to make (and when) in Adobe Camera Raw. It’s a pretty exhaustive list, but we’re not done! This week we tackle the subject of how to save a raw file.
We’ve taken some of the most common questions on saving raw files, such as what are the best file formats and what is non-destructive editing, and provided answers to them all in this latest installment of Raw Tuesday.
When I come to save my converted raw images, my photo-editing software offers lots of file formats, such as JPEG or TIFF, along with 8-bit or 16-bit. Which is the best format for saving raw files?
The best format for saving your converted raw files depends on what you want to do with the images.
TIFF files can be saved over and over again without any loss in quality, whereas each time you re-save a JPEG image some file information will be lost, degrading the quality.
This is fine if you are doing all of your adjustments in raw, and just need a file to view, print or send.
However, if you want to make further adjustments in the main Photoshop interface, and want the best quality possible, TIFF is best.
When saving a TIFF file you have the option of 8- or 16-bit, and there is much more tonal information in a 16-bit file.
But this isn’t compatible with all of the adjustments and features in many types of software.
You can make use of this extra information if you are using Photoshop CS5, but if you are using Photoshop Elements to edit your images, 8-bit TIFF is the better option, because this application doesn’t have many editing options for 16-bit files.
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