TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a universal image format that is compatible with most image editing and viewing programs. It can be compressed in a lossless way, internally with LZW or Zip compression, or externally with programs like WinZip. While JPEG only supports 8 bits/channel single layer RGB images, TIFF also supports 16 bits/channel multi-layer CMYK images in PC and Macintosh format. TIFF is therefore widely used as a final format in the printing and publishing industry.
Many digital cameras offer TIFF output as an uncompressed alternative to compressed JPEG. Due to space and processing constraints only the 8 bits/channel version is used in digital cameras. Higher-end scanners offer a 16 bits/channel TIFF option. If available, RAW is a much better alternative for digital cameras than TIFF.
This article is written by Vincent Bockaert,
author of The 123 of digital imaging Interactive Learning Suite
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