Use Non-Proprietary File Formats
SUMMARY: Use TIFF, BMP, JPG, or other industry-standard filetypes to store your pictures.
When storing your digital photos on backup media, make sure not to use proprietary file formats such as an image editor's default format. It is best to use industry standard formats to help ensure the image will be viewable by computers 10, 20, or 30 years down the road.
TIFF and BMP are good uncompressed formats that should stay around for a while (do NOT use 8-bit BMP as this is not a true-color format!) Archiving JPG files is ok only if the original photo came as a JPG. Do not convert non-JPG photos to JPG files and archive them that way. Although you will save space and be able to store many more photos per medium, the conversion to JPG will cause a loss of quality in your backup photos.
Return to the Digital Photo Archive - Backup page.
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