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07-30-2012, 05:59 AM   #1
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Why don't cam makers offer a TIFF setting in place of or in additon to RAW?

Why don't cam makers offer a TIFF setting in place of or in additon to RAW?

Isn't TIFF equivalent more or less to RAW and universal?

I just bot a m43 Oly. LR would not open the RAW. I had to use the OLY software and turn the RAW into TIFF and then I could use LR with the resulting TIFF. So what is the big deal with the OLY RAW if I can't use it unless it is a TIFF or JPEG?

Now, maybe the new LR will run the OLY RAW, but what about the next format RAW and the next one after that? It will be never ending RAW BS that can't be handled very easily unless one keeps upgrading software

07-30-2012, 06:18 AM   #2
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I think dng is an all encompassing format. It has greater meta data capabilities than tiff. Hence why adobe have been pushing it as their standard. Tiff I think is the current iso standard for lossless compression but is a middle ground between jpeg and dng/camera's proprietary format at least from my knowledge.
07-30-2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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I thought it was size. A 14 bit raw file for a k-5 is probably something like 12 megs? While a 16 bit TIFF file would be something like 40 megs?

Guessing here based on my k-x's RAW files and the resultant TIFFs.
07-30-2012, 06:56 AM   #4
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*ist D did offer TIFF and PEF.

07-30-2012, 07:05 AM   #5
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Ah...so RAW is more compact that TIFF?

Yes, TIFF is large as hell when I use it on my scans. Maybe that answers it. RAW =TIFF but is smaller. Then when you get back home and put it on the comupter you can go to TIFF where you have the free space.
07-30-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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TIFF is a pixel-based, ready to display, format while raw (DNG & co) are sensor data that have to be interpreted.

The method of interpretation can be improved (quality or speed) and I've seen cases where one or another of the ufraw proposed algorithms performed better or worst depending the image, so you cannot completely replace RAW with a losseless & high-depth image format.

Yet I'd like sometimes to have that option to keep the pentax color/contrast settings in an image with great color depth...
07-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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Aside from the file size issue, isn't TIFF similar to JPEG, in that the camera settings, such as color balance, saturation, etc., are "cooked into" the file. With RAW files, on the other hand, whether Adobe's DNG or a proprietary format such as Nikon's NEF, very little has been done to the data that comes off the sensor. Camera settings are attached to the file as metadata, but are not part of the image.

I know that some people prefer TIFF to JPEG, in large part because TIFF files are not compressed, but I don't think that they are a substitute for RAW files.
07-30-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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slackercruster,

Have you gone to the Adobe website and downloaded the latest updates for the version of Lightroom you have? Adobe periodically update the raw processor (that is the Develop Module) for new cameras although they tend to freeze the updates for a particular Lightroom version when a major upgrade gets released eg you could expect Lightroom 3 to be updated for cameras released to early 2012, but you will need to make the jump to Lightroom 4 for very new cameras. I am using an up to date LR3.6 and that will process Oly RAW from an E-PL1 I bought on a whim late last year.

Unfortunately, updating software periodically is a fact of life in the digital world unless you want to live in a legacy land of unsupported software - the target is to balance cost versus frequency and necessity (ie move up when you hit a 'need to have' problem, not a 'nice to have' problem, and also try to align yourself with the software manufacturer's product cycle).

More generally, RAW is really a class of file where, as an earlier post indicated, unprocessed (ie raw) sensor data is held pixel by pixel along with all the details of the camera's settings. This is its beauty - if you don't like the white balance for example, just specify another setting in the software application you are using, the sensor data is reinterpreted and there has been no loss of quality along the way. Unfortunately, when it comes to how RAW files are formatted, every manufacturer has gone their own way and used different internal file structures and metadata tags, and then change their own formats over time. Although I think Pentax has dropped its proprietary RAW file format in recent cameras and has gone just to the Adobe DNG format (can someone confirm this??). One small step towards conformity, one huge leap still ahead for the imaging industry. It is all a bit of a mess but at least Lightroom/Photoshop to date retains support for older formats. How we go in the very long term as formats come and do is another question and one that vexes professional archivists. What I have read is that they suggest storing your finalised post processed photos in an as open and popular (read well supported and openly documented) a standard as possible which is probably JPEG or TIFF currently. They seem to give a slightly smaller tick also to Adobe DNG. Should you be interested in very long term retention of your photos that is. Archivists by their nature are thinking decades and even centuries.

At least with digital, all that is ultimately needed is some code to 'replay' the stored image. So as long as the necessary format and coding information is in the public domain, someone can write a program and port it to Windows 2030 or whatever lies ahead. And if it is a popular format, then someone will do it. This is where proprietary RAW formats could hit a snag one day, particularly should a camera manufacturer cease to support its proprietary formats.

Where hardware is needed to replay the stored image, that's another problem. By way of example of the problems that arise as formats change over time, I believe there are only two tape recorders still in existence that can replay the original Watergate tapes. For photos, this translates to the media you store your images on, both from technological and deterioration perspective. When was the last time you saw a floppy disk drive on a new pc? And how long before your DVD burns starts to degrade? Five to seven years is suggested. Long diatribe, but RAW formats is only one of a number of problems confronting long term image retention.

07-30-2012, 08:51 AM   #9
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TIFF files are huge. The larger the file, the longer it will take and it can slow things down. Some cameras still do offer TIFF like high end Nikons. I'll bet you don't get those blazing fast burst speeds shooting TIFF.
07-30-2012, 09:32 AM   #10
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Raw files are luminance only (basically b&w); color is deduced from the bayer pattern on the raw data. TIFFs are RGB, so you might have 36 bits of data (12 per channel * 3 channels) after compression (48 bits before since you would use 16bits/chan tiff) per pixel. RAW will have 12 bits/channel so will be about 1/3 the size.
07-30-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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I actually think the best format for people who don't want use raw is lossless-jpeg. Unfortunately it is not common off of the open-source platforms.
07-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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My old Panasonic FZ5 had a 8-bit TIFF option instead of RAW. I never used it because the TIFF output wasn't any better than the JPEG output. At the time I wasn't into post processing.
07-30-2012, 03:42 PM   #13
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Nope, didn't download. Will look into it. I have LR3. But thanks for the rundown southlander.
07-30-2012, 03:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
Raw files are luminance only (basically b&w); color is deduced from the bayer pattern on the raw data. TIFFs are RGB, so you might have 36 bits of data (12 per channel * 3 channels) after compression (48 bits before since you would use 16bits/chan tiff) per pixel. RAW will have 12 bits/channel so will be about 1/3 the size.

so....which is better RAW or TIFF?
07-30-2012, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #15
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