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From JPEG to TIFF: Preventing Data Loss in Images

By Elinor Ahlquist Subscribe to RSS | June 7th 2012 | Views:

If you’re using JPEG as the file format for your pictures and scanned images, you’re probably losing data. Every time you convert an image to JPEG, some of the information contained in the image is lost. This is probably the reason why photographers avoid using JPEG, as continuous loading and saving of images in JPEG format causes the image to lose quality.

JPEG files can be compressed to smaller file sizes. While that allows them to save on storage space, file compression algorithm is basically “lossy”, meaning data is discarded once the file is compressed. Typically, you won’t notice the data loss – not until you start editing the file. JPEG has only 16.7 million possible color shades, a sufficient number if you simply intend to view the file, but grossly inadequate if you intend to edit it.

Fortunately, you the loss of information by using tagged image file format or TIFF. Historically, TIFF has been the preferred file format for high resolution images and scanned documents, as TIFF structure can support well-near every conceivable color arrangement and depth. Originally developed by Aldus and Microsoft, TIFFs can attain highly reduced file sizes due to possible compression ratios of as high as 20:1.

Probably the best thing about TIFFs is the user has the greatest degree of flexibility in tagging the file. Essentially, with TIFF, the creator can embed a plethora of information in the actual image itself. The creator can incorporate copyright statements, keywords and phrases, or even a short narrative about the picture in the metadata of a TIFF.

All these advantages make for a strong case to convert to TIFF any JPEG files you have. Once converted, you can edit those images as you please. And you will no longer see the banding of colors that is so typical in JPEG files when they’re being edited.

Additionally, by converting JPEG to TIFF, no image data will be lost. This allows you to make copies of the same file repeatedly without ever losing a single data. Due to TIFF’s capacity for compression, you can save more storage space in your USB or hard drive.

Moreover, you can easily change JPEG files into TIFFs by using a TIFF converter. Converting allows you more flexibility with your images – both for simple viewing and complicated editing. Although at first glance, images may look the same regardless of the format, in the end, it’s not only the visual appearance that matters, but the information contained there as well. Learn more about TIFF on

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