I recently bought PSE 2018 and someone told me that when I edited my pictures I should save them in jpeg. I have now been told that jpeg isn't the best format to save pictures in and that jpeg may no longer be available in the future. I shoot my pictures in RAW. What is the best format to save my edited pictures? Should I go back to my previously edited pictures and resave them in another format?
A little learning is a dangerous thing. [Alexander Pope] 😉
The real question you should be asking is what are you going to be doing with the saved photos. Printing them, posting on social media, viewing on your computer, e-mailing them to a friend? Saving as jpg is fine for all of these activities, and in some cases is necessary for others to view.
You should always keep your raw photos. Any raw image editing that takes place in Elements is non-destructive. The edits are saved in a "side-car" file and the original photo as shot will always be available to edit over and over again. However, raw formats change all the time and who knows whether future software will be able to open and edit your raw files?
Changes take place gradually, and the future demise of jpegs has been exagerated in my opinion.
And make sure not to delete those sidecar files.
"I have now been told that jpeg isn't the best format to save pictures in and that jpeg may no longer be available in the future."
To keep it short,
- if a single format has a chance to be available in fifty years, it's jpeg.
- jpeg is adequate for practically all purposes except for storing images which may need further editing.
- Even if you need to re-edit jpegs, there will be a theoretical loss due to the compression algorithm, loss which will be visible if you resave and reedit a number of times. With today's megapixels images, that becomes rare.
- keeping the raws (and xmp sidecar files) is just like keeping the negatives for silver photography. The same reasons to keep the negatives are true for keeping raw files as well as output jpegs. I have thousands of negatives from 1958 and from my father. Where will they be in 50 years?
Remember the jpeg2000 story?
Excellent technical solution by that time, but could not last long. Even support in Elements disappeared, requiring using external tools or older versions to convert to current formats like jpeg, tiff, psd, png.
Nobody knows which has the better chance in the future, for instance there is a big risk of disputes about patents.
My choice is to keep my originals, whether raw or jpeg if I think they are worth being kept in my library. I keep psds for edited output files if they may need to be re-edited, or at least low compression non resampled jpegs.
And you know what?
I also have photo books printed which have a better chance of being still available in 50 years!
pardon a thread bump that is 5 months late (later?) but I came in looking for some deeets and just noticed this thread, and wanted to support what Greag and Micahel shared on top of a few other details.
Certinaly, you should shoot in raw and edit in raw. What you do after will depend on your goal. Are you going to print? Going to digital? Since digital is what brought me out here, I'll share from that angle.
JPEG, WEBP, HEIC, AVIF
Lets' talk about the four above since they're in line w/ today's convo, esp in 2020.
Greg mentioned the idea that the JPEG's demise was overblown. It's been in the sights of many for some time. It's almost 30 years old, and as a trusted workhorse, it's due for for an update. In fact, work was underway with this format called pik but that was merged into a diff project (more on that later). But general web purposes, the JPEG has done well. But it is showing length in it's tooth. Driven in part my screen fidelities on mobile phones, and the updated codecs by many of the ones listed above.
I actually came here looking to see what Adobe was doing finally, in how they would address the WebP. 2 days ago, the last of the major borwser hold outs announced their support. Apple will now support webp, joining FireFox, Edge and Chrome. W/o getting into the depth of the entrails, the video born format webp is made for the web, and all it's limitations (need for big compresison and small files). 4:2:0 subsampling (which might not sit very well with photographers), an alpha channel and as I said, heavy compression, lossy AND lossless. But as of 2020, even the webp - not well know as it is - is a 10 year old format.
HEIC, also born of video, supported only by some Apple hardware and s/w, never really took off. Again, superior compression to the JPEG and better stats all around, but with the key hurdle - and moving fwd w/ anything web related: patents. Companies have slowly but surely moved as far away (when possible) from having to deal w/ royalties. This is in part why I think Apple saw little obejction to adding WebP support to Safari.
AVIF, the one that is in a more distant future, also a format born of video (av1) will also supply some supeiror quality with great depth, compression and other bits that the JPEG is currently lacking, but av1 is still in trace amount as a video format, and AVIF is @ best experiremental with Chrome and FF playing w/ the support (since they are both ardent supporters of the av1 format). But I would not bet on this for the immediate future.
I would certainly expect some additional movement on the WebP now that support has been unified. To add to the jambalaya, there's the emergence of a one size fits all format called the JPG-XL. Lots of explain here, so I would quicker visit the link. But this is a merger of two efforts: the pik format I mentioned, earlier and an experimental format FUIF.
Sorry about length, I was typing away as I casually had breakfast. Happy to answer any q?s here or on twitter .