Saving JPEG (JPG) Image Files

Most digital cameras save the images you take as JPG (JPEG) files.

JPEG is a file format for saving pictures/images. All photographs taken, as all digital video, must be compressed to be able to fit one, let alone many, images on your storage medium (compact flash, memory stick (SONY), secure data, or other memory storage device).

When you save a JPEG file, one of the tasks you have is to choose the quality of the file that you are saving. Each time you choose to save the jpeg file, you are choosing to lose some of the data from the file.

  • The more you choose to compress a jpg file, the less quality you will have when you open it up.
  • The more you compress the jpeg file, the less the quality of the picture.

Once you have saved the image file in a high compression format, you cannot return its original resolution and higher quality unless you have previously used "save as..." thus preserving the original file as it was before you saved a new file at a higher compression.

3 tasks to do at the time of saving your JPEG image(s).

  1. Choosing where to save the file, i.e. in what folder of your hard drive or other permanent storage device. You will need to eliminate it from the storage device your camera uses or be prepared to keep spending mega-bucks for more of these storage devices..
  2. Naming the file with an understandable name rather than the camera generated number
  3. Choosing the compression level that balances file size and image quality.

How 3 image editing programs give you options:

1. Transfer the Files

naming jpegfilesHere is a listing of the files read directly off a compact flash media memory card. You may physically remove that storage device from your camera and insert it into a "card reader" connected by USB or Serial cable to your computer. Or, you may be able to keep your storage device in the camera, set the camera into a dock (that came with your camera or was optional) and have the docking device set up a connection between your camera and computer.

Either way, your objective is to copy/transfer these files into a folder on your computer's harddrive. Your harddrive will have the capacity to allow edits that the media storage card does not have. The storage device in your digital camera is for storage; it is not meant to be used for editing. Your computer's hard drive is much better for this.

>> Next: Name the File >>

There are two basic types of compression.

Lossy - loses data each time the file is saved; JPG/JPEG uses this type. Each time a JPG file is saved it looses some of its quality.

Lossless - retains data when saved; You can save a PNG or other losslessly compressed format as many times as you want with little if any loss.