JPG, PNG, or TIFF? Scanned photos image format.

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Member for

13 years 7 months

Posts: 722

JPG is NOT a good photo archive format. It is "lossy", that is image data (image detail/resolution) is discarded to make smaller file size. For archival (and similar categories where detail is paramount) this is an unacceptable format.

TIFF is usually the standard for scanning photos, as it is "Loss-less" and can be opened by most platforms, however:
1. image file is HUGE
2. there are a few "Flavors" of format, which can cause problem opening it up with different software.
To its benefit it is a well established format and an LZW compression (same as GIF) is available that makes this usable.

PNG is a Lossless format that is smaller and universal. File size is manageable, the only downside is it was designed for computer created images, not scanned images.
The issue is the "color scheme" (RGB or CNY) is not the same, so it is possible a print of a scan may not have the same colors.
If working with "Greyscale" (B&W, which is not really B-or-W, or Sepia images), monotone / monochrome images, I do not think is an issue, but not 100% sure.

My question is what do you prefer, why, experience, etc.

On a side,
GIF or PNG-8 format may be an excellent alternative for monochrome images!
It offers 256 shades, which is just enough to preserve detail but have incredibly small file size.
But I would suggest only for posting only, not storage.

On a side, started a topic on naming scheme for files (I prefer a few descriptive elements with an ID number)

Original post

Member for

7 years 4 months

Posts: 216

TIFF for scanned images, edit and then export as a JPG/JPEG to maintain a smaller image.

Member for

20 years 5 months

Posts: 1,713

Same for me, scan as TIFF and then export as JPG when I want to use them anywhere. Both PNG and GIF use a limited colour palette and as you mentioned, are ideally suited to digital drawings. For archiving purposes I would not use these formats, just TIFF.

Member for

13 years 7 months

Posts: 722

Add this info-graphic. Brief, but gets main points.

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