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Digital Photo Archive - Backup

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.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.