Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Knowing more about Image Formats and its uses

The primary issue when dealing with online images is quality versus file size -- a bigger image file size normally produces a good quality image, but it slows download and consequently degrades user feel. From a monetizing sense, slow downloads mean users are more likely to get distracted and quit a Web page prematurely. Less important for smaller-site purposes, although still an issue, is that the bigger the file size the more storage and bandwidth you need.

Have you ever wondered what the differences are among the scores of digital image formats out there? Some of the more common ones we see are GIF and JPEG but what does it all mean, and why are there so many?  Plus, how do you know which one to 
consume for the Web, and how can you take advantage of the different feature sets each one offers?

Select the RAW capture option within your camera or scanner settings. Wherever available choose the "RAW " option when taking photographs with a digital camera because RAW is a virtually lossless, unprocessed capture of information from the camera's sensor. Saving in minimally compressed RAW means that you will always be able to come back to the 
information file and manipulate it however you need. By saving in the commonly seen alternative JPEG camera structure, you are introducing unremovable, hard-baked processing -- like white balance and contrast -- into the image. Think of saving in RAW as a bit like saving a negative. he advantage of RAW is also its disadvantage -- in that you do ought to post-process it with software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom post shot. Another disadvantage is its large file size.

Be aware of the image's ultimate consume. This article is concerned with images for blogs, website shopping carts and so forth.  There are considerations in this medium that are different from those for print.  The more pixels or other information, and the more color in an image, the bigger the file. However, the files size can be reduced through compression. The Web browser on a computer screen lends itself to compression that would be unacceptable in large print like a billboard -- garbage called " artifacts " and other degradation show up. Browsers also have limitations that restrict the types of files they can show, which eliminates most of the 70 or so commonly available file types.

Therefore, once you've captured your RAW image, or acquired through other means other formatted images, like printing industry-standard TIFF from a stock agency, you can concentrate on converting it to the three image file types seen natively in a browser -- that is without plugins like Flash. The native image file types are JPG, GIF and PNG.

Click on the " File " in the Menu Bar of your image software and so " Save As. " Choose the JPG or JPEG option if the image is a photograph. Here's why. JPEG compression is " lossy, " which means the compression algorithm dumps file information that's not necessary for a computer screen browser. Thus, getting rid of redundancy, JPEG brings for small file sizes. However, JPEG allows for 8 bits per color -- which is good.  Drawbacks are few. The principal one is that you can't keep editing and saving JPEGs because quality degrades.

Choose GIF for Graphics.Again, this structure brings a size-beneficial " lossy " compression, but with less color support.

GIF is restricted to 256 colors. GIF works well when significant parts of the image have one color. GIF is poor at handling details.

Choose PNG for Screen Shots. PNG is the open source successor to Compuserve's GIF, but unlike GIF, it supports 16-million colors, called " True Color. ". Like GIF, it's good for expansive areas of the same color. It's commonly used for screen shots when displaying them within a browser environment.

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