How many crayons make a good picture

Once in a while we get questions from our users asking “which image format will ensure the maximum image resolution, and accordingly, the maximum image quality”. Answering the question, we need to explain that the image format and the image resolution are very different things. An image format would be similar to choosing oil color, water color, or pastel, before you start painting. Resolution would be the number of colors you choose to work with. It’s similar to a box of crayons, when you can paint something using a box of 6 crayons, or have 26 of those instead. You can still paint the picture, but you have much more options when using more crayons.

When you press the shutter release you capture an image on the camera sensor. This image is already saved in a specific image format and can then be resaved in a number of other image formats and transferred to some type of media card. To ensure the best image quality we need to know which image format and image resolution are the most appropriate. The advanced digital cameras offer three image formats to capture images in: JPEG, RAW, and TIFF. JPEG is a good tradeoff between the image size and the image quality. It is preferred over other image formats when one cares about the RAM, and when photos are not intended for professional purposes. RAW needs post-processing: when the image is captured, it’s not a ready-to-deal with image – there need to be lots of work done on the computer to process the “raw data” that captured the tiniest image detail. TIFF applies all the settings of the camera and has no image quality loss, but the files turn to be really large.

Example of images shot with a 5-Mega pixel** Camera:
If saved in TIFF format: TIFF = 14.5 MB per image
If saved in JPEG format JPEG = 1.5 MB per image
If saved in RAW format RAW = 7.5 MB per image

Obviously, the higher the Mega Pixels a camera has, the bigger the image you can print and the more options you have. ImageConverter Plus can easily convert your images to different image formats and can also help you adjust the image dpi for print. You can process single images as well as large image folders at once.