Convert JPEGS to Lossless for Editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by KettyKrueger, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

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    #1
    Hi All

    Is this a good idea? I'm wanting to do some basic editing on my photos but don't want to keep degrading the image by editing. So would converting the photo first to a lossless format, do my editing, then convert to JEPG be a sensible idea, or would it be a waste of time, am I missing something.

    I hate the idea of my photos degrading over time due to edits.

    Thanks.
     
  2. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Can't you just convert it to PNG, edit as much as you want, and keep it like that?
     
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #3
    PNG or TIFF would probably be your best choices if you're working with something other than a lossless (or uncompressed) raw file created by your camera. If you are capturing jpegs from your camera and are concerned about subsequent image degradation due to lossy file formats, then you really ought to select another file type at the point of capture.
     
  4. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Yes. Save your JPEGs as TIFF or PSD, edit, and then export to JPEG for final output. Each JPEG save will degrade the image, as you say. If you do many edits and save often, you'll notice.
     
  5. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

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    #5
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    My camera (Fuji F31) only shoots in JPEG as far as I know. Although I care about quality, a lot, I'm not really prepared to splash out on a fancy DSLR as I'm not really clued up on cameras and shooting techniques, etc. I just want to keep my photos as close to the original files as possible. To be honest, the JPEGs looks great to my eyes.

    So, any particular program I should use to batch convert to PNG? Will this allow to to edit all I want without quality loss?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    Actually you do this when you use Photoshop and save as a PSD. PSD is lossless. Once you make the edits just keep the edited version as a PSD file and all further work is losses

    There are also non-destructive editors. Aperture (and others) can do that and there are techniques that you can use in Photoshop to preserve an untouched base layer.

    You don't need to do that. Keep the original .jpg file that the camera made in a safe place. Then when you want to make an edit open it in Photoshop but don't "save" it. Do a "Save As..." and save it in Photoshop's native PSD format. Make all future edits to the PSD file. You can put the PSD file into iPhoto if you like
     
  8. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #8
    Does iPhoto do this too? I know that iPhoto will keep a copy of the original and then create a new file with the resulting edits, but do subsequent edits also get applied to the original, rather than the edited file?

    If the OP's edits are pretty simple, and iPhoto works like this, then that might be the way to go.
     
  9. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

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    #9
    I think iPhoto would save the edited file but with quality loss...I think!!

    Could I use GIMP instead of PS? PS is expensive and a bit overkill for my needs.

    As a side note, can you buy any point and shoot cameras that shoot in RAW? Or would I have to go down the DSLR route?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #10
    You can revert back to the original image in iPhoto, so the original has to be kept intact. Looking at the library, it looks like two folder structures are created, one named originals and the other called modified. As soon as a photo is edited, then a copy of the original is put in the modified folder and edits are made to that copy. The modified copies appear to be kept in the same format as the original image. If protecting an image from degradation caused by multiple edits over time to a lossy source format is required, then it would probably be desirable to import the jpegs from the camera, do an immediate export to PNG files, then bring these images back into iPhoto in a separate album intended to support edits.

    The OP indicated in an earlier thread that they're reluctant to adopt 3rd party solutions, so if iPhoto can provide the answer, then it's probably a winner for him. I am guessing photo volumes are pretty low.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #11
    If you use apps like Aperture or Lightroom, you don't need to convert anything. They'll save you a lot of work.
     
  12. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

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    #12
    iPhoto 7 (08 and later) is nondestructive

    And here's our answer.

    As people usually note, iPhoto does create a duplicate file (a jpg by default) that includes all your changes, but that jpg is generated by a list of changes which are applied to the original. Further modification adds changes to the list, and then that list is used to generate a new updated jpg from the original file.

    So iPhoto is the answer.
     
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #13
    Picasa is also non-destructive, as well as Fireworks. I think most serious image processing apps now probably are moving in this direction, keeping the master file intact, even if only through the "revert to original" command.

    If you're just editing your original jpeg from the camera in a non-destructive app, like iPhoto or Picasa, etc. you don't even have to 'save' it, as it creates an edited copy. When you export, going to TIFF, then back to jpeg won't be any better than just exporting directly from your edit as jpeg (keep the highest quality setting unless you need some seriously small filesize.)


    Of course, you could always just back up all your originals to a external hard drive to archive them before doing any serious editing...
     
  14. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

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    #14
    Thanks again for all the replies.

    If I'm interpreting this document correctly, iPhoto will not apply edit after edit, thus causing degradation. It will instead, keep 1 edited copy in the 'modified' folder and 'take note' of any other changes??

    I guess if I'm only make 1 or 2 edits, the degradation is not going to be huge and I've always got my originals to fall back on.

    In future, I may get a camera that supports RAW and keep all my pictures lossless, but as I'm only a guy after some pictures of his kids, I can't really justify the expense :(
     
  15. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #15
    No, it's saying that it keeps track of the edits within the application. If a new edit is performed, then it refreshes the image from the original, applies all prior edits, then presents the image to the user for further editing.
     
  16. KettyKrueger thread starter macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

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    #16
    Gotcha, thanks.
     

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