Which file type is recommended for archiving images?

Posted on 2005-04-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03

I would like to know which file type I've to use for the following image types :

- Black and white (ex. : word documents or hand written documents)
- gray scale (ex. : pictures)
- color (ex. : color pictures)

For black and white I think tiff can be a good, lossless solution... but for the others I don't really know. (maybe jpeg 2000, but I'm not sure it's a good idea because I need to archive those files and I'm not sure that over 10 years Jpeg2000 will still exit)

I need the best ratio between quality and size.

Question by:davyberroho

Expert Comment

ID: 13811244
For black and white, tiff is fine, but I would use GIF, since there are only two colors
for gray scale, you can also use tiff
but for color, use JPG or PNG
they have the best ratio

Accepted Solution

al-hasan earned 150 total points
ID: 13814597
davyberroho: what are you going to do with these picture files later? Are they to be used for additional working on them in the future (then I would store them in TIFF format) or do you want to show them on presentations etc. (then I would use a format like JPG - with losses - or PNG - lossless, but much larger)? likeachild gave you already good advice, in my view, but another question is how many such files do you have. A PNG file is easily 10 times the size of a comparable JPG, and a TIFF again is at least 2 or 3 times the size of a PNG. These values can change, of course, they are my own experience. And I do quite a bit of slide scanning, working on the pictures and storing them. So far I did only a few thousand slides, and so I can afford to store both TIFF and JPG (for fast access with a picture browser) on the media.

In my view, if you can tolerate some loss, the best ratio between quality and size you have with JPG/GIF. And if you really need all the quality, PNG I do recommend. JPEG2000 somehow does not get a start, many programs still cannot read it. But in 10 years - it could be the standard, or it could be obsolete.


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