File Formats for Digital Cameras

Digital photography uses three basic file formats.
* JPEG – JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Export Group. It is the most common format used in digital cameras. This is a compressed file allowing more storage than other formats.  JPEG changes an image into a thumbnail that is available immediately for viewing.  This format is recognized universally by all software programs and the majority of digital cameras.
* RAW – The RAW format is unprocessed data. This format is not recognized by all types of cameras or software like JPEG is. Using specific software, the data can be retrieved and developed.  Only data that will be processed later using software can be stored in a RAW format.
* TIFF – Short for Tagged Image File Format, these files take up more space because they are not compressed. Thumbnails can also be created for viewing on your camera. Better pictures are one of the advantages of the TIFF format, but there will be less storage. A 1.9 JPEG formatting camera can provide the same quality as the TIFF format.
Storage can be provided by media cards, which are miniature computer chips that store data until it can be processed into a photograph. Your digital camera’s memory is the media card, which comes in different sizes to fit a wide range of cameras. The larger the card, the less it costs to store each print, and you can save more photos on a larger card. Organizing your prints is easily done on the smaller cards.
Media card formats change constantly and continue to evolve to fit smaller cameras. Most digital cameras come with a standard card that can be exchanged for a larger one or a different brand.  In some instances the camera has an input for a media card, but do not come with one. You will be limited to the number of photos you can store if you store them only on the camera.
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