All about TIF files

The file format TIFF or TIF is a file exchange format used in both print and digital cameras. TIF is the abbreviation of Tagged Image File and is written as a shorter variant of the Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), but there are no substantive differences. The TIF format can also support the cyan, magenta and yellow color grades and thus provides color-accurate reproduction in print. In addition, a TIF file can contain up to 32-bit color depth per channel. This makes the TIF files quite large in handling, but is ideal for efficient encoding of raw files. Therefore, many digital cameras offer storage of RAW images in TIF format. Additional variants such as the GeoTIFF also allow an attached GeoTag for location-based image information. Since a TIF allows lossless storage of an image, it is particularly useful for post-processing with professional software. Additional features of the TIF such as the storage of a picture pyramid allow the simultaneous storage of a lossless digital negative while a low-resolution preview is available for a quick file overview. While TIF images are usually quite large, they are still limited in their file size to a maximum of 4 gigabytes. This may only play a minor role in photography with modern DSLRs, but in scientific applications (for example in astronomy), the TIF comes up against its performance limit here.

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