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Chapter 7. Photos and File Types > Choosing an Image File Type

Choosing an Image File Type

Before you take pictures with a traditional camera, you have to decide what type of film to use. You can choose print or slide film, black-and-white or color, film for bright outdoor use, film for long exposures, and even multipurpose film to cover a wide range of conditions. Once you've put the film in the camera, you're committed, because it's very hard (and in many cases, impossible) to roll exposed film back into its original canister, then roll it forward to the next unexposed area of film. That's why many professional photographers travel with different types of cameras loaded with different types of film.

With digital photography, you don't have to decide what type of film to use. One setting lets you go from the bright outdoors to low indoor light, or anything in between. But you may want (or need) to change the file type, either before you shoot, or before you edit. Like film types, file types are designed to let you do certain things very well—but not all things. A file type that produces wonderfully tiny files might be terrible for high-end printing.


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