Re: Which image format

Subject: Re: Which image format
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: Chuck Martin <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 15:02:33 -0800 (PST)


There are two formally recognized compression schemes for TIFF files, according to the TIFF Specification version 6 (1992): PackBits or Huffman encoding.

The principal drawback of TIFF is not with the format itself, but *which* tiff format you mean. There are many, and not all are equally well supported by application software. Nearly everything that deals with tiff files, however, will recognize either of the two compression formats.

It isn't necessarily color depth that makes tiff files so large. Here is one reason:

"The richness of the TIFF format solves many problems, but at the same time creates a few all its own. The TIFF file structure is necessarily complex or (a better word) variable. It's more complex, in fact, than many of the proprietary file formats it was designed to replace. The added complexity of the TIFF format requires much more code to manage it than do most other image-file formats. This results in slower execution times reading and writing files and in longer TIFF code development cycles...."

Further, since .BMP files are capable of 24-bit color, I think it may not be accurate to say that TIFF has greater color depth in the usual applications. Outside of the newest color scanners and the like, 24-bit is generally the highest depth we will see in computer screens.


"- TIFF and BMP files are not compressed. TIFF has a greater color depth, thus a larger file size."

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