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 as. Each file format has pros and cons, so read on below for tips to help you choose the format that best suits your needs.

.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.

Tagged Image File Format (.TIF or TIFF), is popular among graphic artists, publishing and professional photographers. 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.

The .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. This is great for sharing the 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 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.