Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

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Scottelly
Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,623
Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?
1

If you have no idea what a FITS file is, and you'd like to know, here is a link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FITS

Here is a link to information about an application for working with FITS files:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FITS_Liberator

I'm wondering if FITS could be the TIFF or DNG of the future (like twenty years from now, since it can handle such a great color depth and file sizes up to 500 million pixels or more, as well as files that are more than 2D).

I know this might not be the right forum for this question, but this forum is what I am used to (and where I'm comfortable), and I know some of you are scientists, who might have some experience with FITS files.

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Scott Barton Kennelly
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joe173 Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?
1

That file format would not be appropriate for digital cameras, too many data fields that would never be used. It is for equipment that has not the engineering constraints (space, array size, etc) that small cameras have. In ten years, JPG will still be the dominant file format because it is backward compatible with most software programs and because it is "good enough" for most people and anybody can read those files. Change would require all of that old software to be updated. All web hosting companies, all graphics software companies, all camera processing companies would have to redesign their software for a new format not to mention hardware, chips, etc. As data size creeps up, file compression is more necessary. Google's JPEG Guetzli encoder is an example.  The future is in better file compression using the existing format containers.

Now for new technologies which may or may not take over, light field cameras are one such item, there would need a new file standard.

Scottelly
OP Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,623
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

joe173 wrote:

That file format would not be appropriate for digital cameras, too many data fields that would never be used. It is for equipment that has not the engineering constraints (space, array size, etc) that small cameras have. In ten years, JPG will still be the dominant file format because it is backward compatible with most software programs and because it is "good enough" for most people and anybody can read those files. Change would require all of that old software to be updated. All web hosting companies, all graphics software companies, all camera processing companies would have to redesign their software for a new format not to mention hardware, chips, etc. As data size creeps up, file compression is more necessary. Google's JPEG Guetzli encoder is an example. The future is in better file compression using the existing format containers.

Now for new technologies which may or may not take over, light field cameras are one such item, there would need a new file standard.

Thanks for the reply Joe. I had never heard of Google's JPEG Guetzli encoder. There are so many of those jpeg encoders out there these days. Maybe Google's version will eventually work better than others, like libjpeg-turbo, mozJPEG and WebP. By now I would guess that compressor should be pretty well worked up to a good version. I wonder how much better it is at making good quality, large jpegs, that are compressed to a size under 1 MB, when compared to something like Preview, RAWtherapee, Aperture, Lightroom, Photoshop, or GIMP. I also wonder how compatible the jpegs really are with older software, like my version of Firefox. (I can't install newer versions, because my OS is too old to run them now.)

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joe173 Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

Apple and Google have tried to push new file formats, but even with their dominance, have not succeeded. JPEG is here to stay, for better or worse. Google's compression uses a different means to judge quality, but it is time consuming. It does provide the best quality for a given size but at a cost of great cpu time.

Flif, Webp, and others have better compression yet will not be adopted. There's too much invested in JPEG for any major changes.

Anyway, with the mostly unprocessed raw data stream, that gives you the option to use any file format container. JPEG for most people's panel displays is good enough.

Scottelly
OP Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,623
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

joe173 wrote:

Apple and Google have tried to push new file formats, but even with their dominance, have not succeeded. JPEG is here to stay, for better or worse. Google's compression uses a different means to judge quality, but it is time consuming. It does provide the best quality for a given size but at a cost of great cpu time.

Flif, Webp, and others have better compression yet will not be adopted. There's too much invested in JPEG for any major changes.

Anyway, with the mostly unprocessed raw data stream, that gives you the option to use any file format container. JPEG for most people's panel displays is good enough.

Yeah, that and the established base of billions of jpeg images on the Web will keep jpeg as the primary image format in the World for many years to come . . . but I wasn't talking about a JPEG replacement. I was talking about a possible replacement for DNG and TIFF, which may be too limited for future raw imaging. I know . . . you already told me what you think about that.

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joe173 Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

Scottelly wrote:

joe173 wrote:

Apple and Google have tried to push new file formats, but even with their dominance, have not succeeded. JPEG is here to stay, for better or worse. Google's compression uses a different means to judge quality, but it is time consuming. It does provide the best quality for a given size but at a cost of great cpu time.

Flif, Webp, and others have better compression yet will not be adopted. There's too much invested in JPEG for any major changes.

Anyway, with the mostly unprocessed raw data stream, that gives you the option to use any file format container. JPEG for most people's panel displays is good enough.

Yeah, that and the established base of billions of jpeg images on the Web will keep jpeg as the primary image format in the World for many years to come . . . but I wasn't talking about a JPEG replacement. I was talking about a possible replacement for DNG and TIFF, which may be too limited for future raw imaging. I know . . . you already told me what you think about that.

TIFF is just a container for data with fields. It can handle up to 4GB of compressed data. It's probably due for another revision someday. It is flexible enough to incorporate anything needed. But that is enough space for any digital camera for years if not decades to come. I don't see how creating a whole new incompatible format would benefit anyone. What this is, is a solution searching for a problem. These obscure file formats for scientific purposes aren't meant for consumer computers. None of the workstations would even have memory to do anything with those files. You have an array of 50,000 sensors and need to store the data, that's what they are for.

Scottelly
OP Scottelly Forum Pro • Posts: 13,623
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?

joe173 wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

joe173 wrote:

Apple and Google have tried to push new file formats, but even with their dominance, have not succeeded. JPEG is here to stay, for better or worse. Google's compression uses a different means to judge quality, but it is time consuming. It does provide the best quality for a given size but at a cost of great cpu time.

Flif, Webp, and others have better compression yet will not be adopted. There's too much invested in JPEG for any major changes.

Anyway, with the mostly unprocessed raw data stream, that gives you the option to use any file format container. JPEG for most people's panel displays is good enough.

Yeah, that and the established base of billions of jpeg images on the Web will keep jpeg as the primary image format in the World for many years to come . . . but I wasn't talking about a JPEG replacement. I was talking about a possible replacement for DNG and TIFF, which may be too limited for future raw imaging. I know . . . you already told me what you think about that.

TIFF is just a container for data with fields. It can handle up to 4GB of compressed data. It's probably due for another revision someday. It is flexible enough to incorporate anything needed. But that is enough space for any digital camera for years if not decades to come. I don't see how creating a whole new incompatible format would benefit anyone. What this is, is a solution searching for a problem. These obscure file formats for scientific purposes aren't meant for consumer computers. None of the workstations would even have memory to do anything with those files. You have an array of 50,000 sensors and need to store the data, that's what they are for.

Interesting. Thanks Joe. This gives me some things to think about for scanning large format film, and for making panoramas with multiple high-res photos in the future.

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joe173 Regular Member • Posts: 412
Re: Does anyone here have experience using FITS files?
1

Scottelly wrote:

joe173 wrote:

Scottelly wrote:

joe173 wrote:

Apple and Google have tried to push new file formats, but even with their dominance, have not succeeded. JPEG is here to stay, for better or worse. Google's compression uses a different means to judge quality, but it is time consuming. It does provide the best quality for a given size but at a cost of great cpu time.

Flif, Webp, and others have better compression yet will not be adopted. There's too much invested in JPEG for any major changes.

Anyway, with the mostly unprocessed raw data stream, that gives you the option to use any file format container. JPEG for most people's panel displays is good enough.

Yeah, that and the established base of billions of jpeg images on the Web will keep jpeg as the primary image format in the World for many years to come . . . but I wasn't talking about a JPEG replacement. I was talking about a possible replacement for DNG and TIFF, which may be too limited for future raw imaging. I know . . . you already told me what you think about that.

TIFF is just a container for data with fields. It can handle up to 4GB of compressed data. It's probably due for another revision someday. It is flexible enough to incorporate anything needed. But that is enough space for any digital camera for years if not decades to come. I don't see how creating a whole new incompatible format would benefit anyone. What this is, is a solution searching for a problem. These obscure file formats for scientific purposes aren't meant for consumer computers. None of the workstations would even have memory to do anything with those files. You have an array of 50,000 sensors and need to store the data, that's what they are for.

Interesting. Thanks Joe. This gives me some things to think about for scanning large format film, and for making panoramas with multiple high-res photos in the future.

You are going to use TIFF to scan film, and, as I said before, those drum machines will be used items from 20 years ago, when scanning software was 32-bit, and data links were fast SCSI, or Ultra SCSI hooked up to an old Mac. A more practical solution, you can start with a decent flatbed (Epson 850). Buying an old drum machine is not recommended unless you can get it serviced in your area. They are big and heavy and the service technicians have to travel to you--like tuning or fixing a big piece of medical equipment, nobody ships them back to the manufacturer. We had one in the graphics lab I worked in college.

Most of these big scanners don't have 64-bit software and are limited to a certain file size. Hasselblad was discontinued for that reason.

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/297786-hasselblad-imacon-flextight-scanners-discontinued/

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