Once you decide to digitise the mountain of photos gathering dust in your garage or cupboards, you’ll need to choose which file format to save them in. Each file format has pros and cons, so read on below for tips to help you choose the format that best suits your needs.

Digitised scanned photos have become an increasingly popular choice for people who are trying to save their precious memories. The digitisation process is not just limited to pictures but can also be used for preserving other media formats, such as video recordings and audio, which may otherwise degrade over time. This process involves scanning the surface of a photo or other media into a digital archive, where it is then saved in the form of files that are compatible with modern devices.

Family Picture PNG Format

.PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is great for images that contain a high level of detail. The PNG format was designed for sharing images on the internet without losing data since it uses a “lossless” compression method.

Due to this, the files won’t suffer from quality degradation every time they’re encoded or decoded. PNG files, however, aren’t well suited for professional-quality photo printing so you’ll have to convert the file in order to print it. Because of this, photos scanned as PNG files end up as large files, so that’s something to consider if storage is a concern.


Family Picture TIFF format

Tagged Image File Format (.TIF or TIFF), is popular among graphic artists, publishing, and professional photographers. Tagged Image File Format, also known as TIFF, is a bitmap image format often used for the transmission of images. TIFFs are widely supported by graphics programs and are an open standard. The TIFF format was created in 1983 by Aldus Corporation for use on UNIX machines.

The format is used for applications such as desktop publishing, image manipulation, and optical character recognition. Like PNG, TIF files use a lossless compression method, but they have the added advantage of allowing multiple pages in one file. This also means the files can be large.


Family Picture JPG formatThe .JPEG/JPG (Joint Photography Experts Group) format is an ideal choice for photos that you eventually want to print. JPG uses a “lossy” compression method so the resulting files are significantly smaller than PNG versions.

The Joint Photography Experts Group (JPEG) is a group of camera retailers, manufacturers, software developers, and other professionals who are dedicated to improving the photography experience for consumers. The organization was founded in 1990 by Bill Gates through his company Microsoft. JPEG defines its mission as “to promote the creation and distribution of images at their highest quality level”. They advocate for photographers to use the best quality images by publishing detailed guidelines on how to judge image or video quality.

This is great for sharing files on social media or email. High-quality JPG files are also ideal for professional-quality printing since the files contain data that pro-level printers can use to faithfully reproduce the image.

Each of the Digitised Scanned Photos file formats has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s best to think about your photos and how you plan to use them in the future. Photos2Archive has an experienced team that can help you preserve your memories. Contact us to learn more about our services.