So today we are talking about basic digital photography and in particular we are going to go over files and file formats. The digital files will be saved onto media cards. Making sure you have enough digital memory is very important to take all the pictures you need. I suggest making sure you have enough memory for about 90 images on each memory card and always have your usual card and a back-up card just in case. What usually happens is that you wait to download your pictures to your computer until your memory card is full and when that happens, you end up stuck, not being able to take anymore pictures. Also something I don’t recommend, is deleting any images from your camera. You should always download all of your images to your computer than format the card right after. The reason I don’t suggest deleting pictures from your camera is because when you delete them you’re getting back a little more space but it makes the space fragmented on the card. Fragments of space are just little sections of space so when you take pictures it tries to fill in those little sections causing card corruption. When you’re using your camera you should just keep shooting. Create lots of image files and don’t erase any of them than download them to your computer and format your card afterward. This method may even save some pictures that you might have liked.
When downloading your files, I recommend getting a card reader rather than hooking up your camera to your computer. This is a much simpler method and it allows you to still have your camera in action. So you can just leave your card reader hooked up to your computer and plug your memory card into the reader to retrieve your files that way. Often, hooking the camera up to the computer invokes all kinds of processes it wants to run automatically that you may not want it to do. So let’s talk about file formats. Cameras record in multiple formats, commonly .jpegs with various sizes. It’s best to do the highest level .jpeg possible for the most clarity in your pictures which is usually called superfine. Why throw away extra information your camera could take? You might want to make a larger print of that spectacular photo after all. A .jpeg file is a compressed file; what happens is that it’s a “lossy” compressed file so it throws away some information it deems unnecessary by compressing it. With today’s digital media being so cheap we want to save all the information we can, there is no need to compress it down. The other thing with a .jpeg file is that when you open it, then save it again, it recompresses, and whenever you do that it loses quality which will degrade the file.
If you’re looking to move up to the next level in photography, getting a camera that can record a RAW file format is the way to go. The RAW file is everything that the sensor sees saved onto the card. That way you have all of that information that has not been compressed at all. The RAW file is designed to be a digital negative which means any time you want to do something to the photo, you take that RAW file and make another file from it. This would be called a derivative file. Just to go over that process, you would take a RAW file and using a RAW file processor, you would make a. jpeg or a .tiff file. Some cameras can record a .tiff file which I do not recommend setting your camera to record. They are big and slow in that aspect but on your computer it can be a nice way to store a file without losing any information from it. Once you’ve opened your .jpeg and made some changes such as color correction or sharpening it is ok to save it as a .tiff to avoid recompression. The.jpeg file format is for delivery of a final file and for recording in the camera. Apply these tips to your photography and see the difference it all makes.