Image File Formats And Storage Computer Science Essay

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Being able to know which image to use with your photographs can help you to get the most out of your photos. Certain image types work better than others as you want to get a decent balance between the quality of the image, and the file size so that you get the best of both worlds.

Tiff files.

Tiff stands for tagged image file format. Tiff file is simply a short form of tagged image. These TIFF files do not contain text or vector data even though these files could handle that type of data. TIFF files are one of the most popular file formats today, and they are also one of the first. One of the reasons for this is due to that the files work on many platforms and nearly all software on the market. TIFF files are quite large compared to other files such as JPEG; however they can be adjusted by compressing and uncompressing the file which can be very useful. TIFF does have an advantage over JPEG files can have a 16bit or 8bit per channel which can have an advantage when editing or post-processing the photos that you take. You can also save multiple layered images in one TIFF file which cannot be done in JPEG. Another advantage of TIFF files is that because they are so widely used, most digital cameras have the option of creating images as TIFF files. However by saving files in this way you can use more storage space than simply saving in a JPEG, but there are less advantages with JPEG when it comes to editing and compressing.

JPEG.

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JPEG files are very useful on digital camera memory cards because they only use very little space. JPEG stand for “Joint photographic Expert Groupâ€Â and it was designed to store photos and take up as little space as possible. These files can be cut down to just 10% of the size of the original file so much more data can be stored. However the downfall is that too compress these files to this small size a lot of the image quality is also lost which happens when the image is saved or compressed, and this quality can never be returned to the image so it is not good for editing, so the original data cannot be returned once compressed. This is the downfall of this file type, as other file types can recover the image after it has been changed. Files that can do this are PNG, TIF, GIF, and BMP which is why so many people use these other files when they are considering using the photos for something important. To make files so small JPEG changes the images pixel data to suit the method of compression that it uses. However the little details do not compress well and are simply not compressed, all this allows huge file size reductions but we cannot retrieve the original data. This makes JPEG different from other file types and it is not often used unless you really need to. However the small files have many advantages such as when we send images through email then the file has to be very small. They are also used on WebPages because it is less strain on connections and modems so they would load faster. When these files are made small, they do not have fewer pixels, it is just the number of bytes that is reduced. The type of image also makes a difference to how well it compresses. The more detail that is included in the image then the harder it is to compress and it will lose more quality. However if the image is simple with less detail then it will not have much quality to lose and will compress easily.

Raw Image.

Raw image format has several advantages on other file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. Raw files include “rawâ€Â pixel information which is taken straight from the sensor of the camera and then it holds the image in a file for you to edit outside the camera. The advantage of RAW image is that no image data is lost; the image is just a group of pixels from the time of the cameras exposure. To compare this file format to JPEG, when you take a photo using JPEG format, then the camera increases the saturation and contrast of the image. It also adds some sharpening and compresses the image to fit the image file. All this happens before the file is saved at all. So the camera does all this work before anything is saved to the cameras memory. Raw image format could be described as a more traditional method as it sends you the exact data which is gathered by the sensor, when using a JPEG file then the image is compressed and processed before you can get any access to the image. So it is not exactly the original data. The Raw format captures the raw data straight from the sensor so you have to do the work, but this can be advantage because you can decide what to do to the image. Also when you are processing this image, if you have a underexposed photo, you can increase to exposure by bumping up the slider to improve certain details that may have been lost due to shadows. SO this is another advantage, it is much easier to fix an exposure problem with raw rather than jpeg. However, with this file format you have to process and edit the photos before they can even be used. These aw files are also much larger than jpeg files, and another downfall is that you cannot use raw format with all the files settings such as a cameras creative mode. Once you have processed a raw image, you can then convert it to a jpeg file so you get the best of both worlds.

Data storage formats.

Secure digital card.

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A secure digital card is simply a memory card which is used to make storage portable between different devices such as mobile phones, satellite navigation, cameras, IPods and many others. These cards have a high data transfer rate and a low battery consumption which is very useful when it comes to small portable devices. It does this by using flash memory which can compress files to a very small size and a power source is not need to store data. This type of storage is called non-volatile storage. These cards are very small which allows them to fit into small portable devices so they are no larger that a postage stamp. These memory cards have a maximum of 2GB which can be a bit of a disadvantage but for their size they are very effective. They are a similar size to multimedia cards, but are much smaller than older memory cards like smart media card. Another advantage of these cards is that they have a high operating shock rate. Basically this is how tough the card is, how high it could be dropped from and still work after hitting the floor.

Compact flash.

Compact flash is a mass storage device format that is used in electronic devices. This device uses flash memory to store data on a very physically small card. Compact flash cards also make it easy to add to a huge variety of devices, which includes digital cameras and music players. Compact flash are about the size of a matchbox which is a bit larger than a secure digital card but only has the capacity of 1GB. Flash is also non-volatile memory so the stored data is kept safe even when the power source is lost or turned of. Compact flash is very popular with photographers as there are versions that are suitable for high demanding photography such as high resolution images. Ultra compact flash has a very fast transfer rate so that data can be quickly saved to the cameras storage space and another photo can be taken quickly. Compact flash can support 3.3V and 5V And can also switch between to the two in comparison with small form factor memory cards that can only operate at just 1V.

Memory stick.

Memory sticks are very useful devices that are very popular and are used to copy and store data from hard drives. They can operate with music, video and picture files as well as normal files. Basically it is a removable flash memory card format, which is a huge help in swapping files from computer to computer or simply storing files on them. For example a pupil can do work on a home computer, save it to the memory stick and then put the work on a school computer very easily. The latest versions of memory sticks have a huge storage capacity of many multiple gigabytes. A memory stick works like a portable hard disk and uses flash memory as a method of storing the data. A memory stick is a rugged plastic case so it is very tough unlike memory cards so the stored data will be much safer. In this plastic case is a integrated circuit which where the data is stored.

Multimedia card.

A multimedia card is simply a tiny memory card which also sues flash memory to store the files and data. It allows people to swap files around from portable several devices such as ipods, digital cameras and mobile phones. For example a user could take some photos on a digital camera and then the files could be sorted on the MMC, and then a user could copy the photos taken on the digital camera and then put them on to the computer and edit or print them etc. These cards go up to 32GB which is quite a lot of memory. These cards are very convenient because they are as small as a postage stamp. They have quite quick transfer rate from 4 to 8 bit at a time and are popular because they can be used in any device which supports SD cards.

Smartmedia.

Smart media is a flash memory card that uses flash memory to store data and to make it portable among several devices such as phones and digital cameras. They are only the size of a matchbox and is very similar to a compact flash drive. A smart media card is basically a flash memory chip which is connected to a electrode by wires which are secured to the resin casing. The difference between this and compact flash, is that smart media does not have a onboard controller. The main advantage that smart media has over the rest of the cards is that write, read and delete memory in small blocks of data at about 256 or 512 bytes at a time. This way you can precisely select the data that you want to keep. There is a disadvantage and that is that these cards are delicate so they have to be handled carefully.

xD-Picture Card (xD)

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A xD card is a flash memory card format, used mainly in digital cameras. They are a ultra compact data storage piece of equipment which makes them very useful with transferring filers from one computer to the other. You simply have to put the card into the pc card slot adapter. These cards also have a very high transfer speed so once it enters a device; it is quick to show the data.

Mini SD card.

A mini SD card is a very small form factor portable memory device which is widely used in computers, music players, phones, digital cameras and other devices. It is sued to save and store data and can also be sued to transfer files. This form of card is not as popular as some of the others.

Micro SD card.

Micro SD card is another variation of removable flash memory cards. These cards are mostly used in mobile phones but have more recently being used in many other devices. This card is the smallest memory card available and is just the size of a finger nail. These are the most popular cards that are used and they can go up to 4GB of storage capacity.

USB flash drive.

A flash drive is similar to a memory stick and is simply a small storage device which is used to switch files between computers. They are so popular almost every student in high schools across the country own one. Pupils can work at home and easily transfer there files to computers in school. They are also useful for backing up files in case a computer crashed and lost the files that were saved. It is also useful for doing work somewhere else, and printing it out elsewhere.