Silly question: which best ration size/quality for exported photos


Apologies if I post in the wrong place of in case this question was already answered; I’m newbie with PhotoLab and here in the forum as well and am French as a major disadvantage;-) Thx to let me know if I were wrong in any case with this post.

My question is: I own a Canon EOS 5D MKIII and i started processing and exporting my pics since last week.
with full quality I output 29/30Mb photo files, which are convenient in term of rendition and quality, though take a fairly large disk room.
Any recommendations for me to choose when I just want to display my pics on a HD tv, or the I need to get them printed?

Many thanks and regards,

Bienvenue Hervé
Tu me donnes l’occasion d’indiquer le lien français vers mon tuto :smiley:
Il est préférable de créer l’image RVB (JPEG) aux dimensions d’utilisation.

It is better to create the RGB (JPEG) image according to the usage dimensions.


Hello Herve,

You spent a lot of money on your camera and maybe even more money on good lenses - and with all this investment you want to achieve top quality picture files. To ovesimplify - the better the quality nowadays the larger the file. Fortunately disc space is getting cheaper and cheaper so larger files are not really a problem any more compared to a few years ago.

So with all this money spent on getting top quality files, why do you want to downgrade in quality just to get a smaller file size.
I would recommend the following.

  • Shot in raw and save the raw file
  • export in 16bit tiff and save this file as the master file
  • create jpgs - based on the 16bit tiff - for the web, friends, grandma, prints, emails, etc…
  • Delete the jpgs the moment you don’t need it anymore

Pourquoi tu gardes toutes tes images exportées ? Tu peux les reproduire à n’importe quel moment, les utiliser ou les envoyer et, après, les supprimer.

La résolution d’une tv HD est 1280 x 720 et d’une tv “Full HD” est 1920 x 1080 mais j’exporte mais images en jpeg 1536 x 1024 et elles me semblent bonnes pour la télé, pour poster dans les forums, etc.

A good test is set your camera on raw plus jpeg.
And proces the rawfile and export as jpeg. Compare the occjpeg and the developed rawfile’s jpeg.
Don’t go less then the oocjpeg’s mb’s.
For the test don’t crop. Pixels are then cut of so file get smaller.
Just crank up quality until your file is ending up much above ooc jpeg’s mb value. And try the difference of sRGB for your fhd tv and adobeRGB to see it’s mb amount difference for future uhd colorspaces, now all tvdisplays are sRGB so AdobeRGB isn’t much value.

And as Sigi wrote, keep the rawfiles and the dopfiles so you can export any time again.
Tiff’s are very big much bigger then the rawfile’s so export tiff 16bit for archiving is only interesting for those images you really want to safe in it’s developed state in full quality.
(if there is a lot of work spent on it)
When old rawfiles arn’t compatible anymore in the future with new software there are converters build or your old software can run and export a tiff. So the fear of convert all in DNG or TiFF because of archive incompatible with software is a bit not nessacerry.

You can export for HD tv 1:1 but then you need go export all your images again when you carry in that new 4k or 8k uhd tv. :wink:

Have fun!

Binjour Joanna,

Merci pour ta réponse, en plus en français, cela aide :slight_smile:
EN fait, lorsque j’ai fini de revoir mes raw, je n’en garde au pire qu’une dizaine maxi par sortie.Donc ce que tu suggères est de juste de garder le fichier raw et son .dop pour ne les sortir que quand j’en ai besoin.
c’est vrai que c’est une option.
Déjà j’ai ma réponse pour la résolution tv convenable, ainsi une part de celle que je garde sera juste exportée ainsi et je virerai le raw (~35Mo chaque). mon objet est au départ de conserver mes photos en meilleure qualité apte a être imprimée, quitte à la décroitre pour un usage web ou moindre.
Merci en tout cas de tes conseils précieux, très apprécié,
Bonne journée Joanna

Merci Pascal !
Déjà pourtant bienvenue, très appréciée :slight_smile:
mais de plus pour le lien vers tn auto que j’ai parcouru, mais vais appliquer et en tester les résultats tant sur mon mac (MBpro retina 2013) ainsi que sur ma TV, une LH 4K dernière génération. Ainsi j’aurai un bon échantillonnage pour trier, sélectionner et organiser mes répertoires de stockage et bibliothèques d’images.
Enfin, je note bien de créer la sortie en RVB.
J’avoue que je suis très novice avec nombre sujets techniques relatifs aux formats et paramètres nécessaires à l’impression ou ala simple visu sur support (tv/ordi).
Encore, merci pour ta réponse, je ne manquerai pas de te solliciter pour un sujet particulier.

Au plaisir d’échanger,


Hi Peter,

Many thanks for all your advice; you drag a huge number of testing on me: I now have to work and test and compare.

Your trick to produce both JPED+Raw and then compare JPEG produced by export with the native JE_PED misquote a great idea. This is a test I’ll do next.
As well, RGB, sRGB and AdobeRGB are rather mysterious to me; I really need to take time to read and understand their differences . I already observed TIFF are huge volume files, I hardly use them indeed!
So no, I need to get to work et proceed with a testing stage to progress !

Many thanks again, I’ll be happy to exchange views and ask you some advice in some cases.
wish you a great day :slight_smile:
Kind regards,

I would suggest to determine several sizes depending on the uses, and create presets accordingly.
For sharing on tablets/computer screens, I use 2048 long edge setting, JPEG, with medium detail. For more critical evaluation on screen, full resolution, with rather high detail.
For printing on large format printer (by myself), highest quality TIFF.
Not sure what I would do for printing in a lab, or for smaller sizes as I have not done this in a while.

Voici le fichier JPEG (qui est inclus dans le fichier RAW) que j’ai réduit en taille pour poster ici. Je crois qu’il est presque la même que le JPG d’un RAW+JPEG externe

Et, ici le fichier JPEG que j’ai exporté de DxO après traitement.

À mon avis il faut toujours garder les fichiers RAW, juste comme les négatifs argentiques. Oui, on peut les trier pour virer ceux qui ne vaut pas la peine mais - toujours les garder à préférence des JPEG, TIF ou autre format.

Comme j’ai déjà dit, on peut construire un JPEG, TIFF, etc à n’importe quel moment. C’est pas du tout nécessaire de les garder en plus.

Dans ce cas là, tu peux exporter un fichier TIFF lorsque t’as besoin de l’imprimer, l’imprimer puis le virer. Tant que tu ne change pas l’original, ou, au moins, tu crées une copie virtuelle pour experimenter sans touchant l’originale, tu peux ré-exporter un TIFF chaque fois que tu aies besoin. C’est ce que je fais pour mes expos.

i have settled on quality 90%. higher makes the Jpeg far more bigger and not much gain in quality.
My 16mp raw file brings a:

15.83Mp 4592x3448 24bit 5.73Mb oocjpeg.

Just my preset and export with 90%
15.83Mp 4592x3448 24bit 1.82Mp

the 95% is 2.65Mb

this is 100%: 11.1Mb!

a comparison at 100%.

so the oocjpeg vs raw output break evenpoint is around 98% quality for this image.
do you see a difference? between 90 and 98? not likely in your sRGB FHD screen.
(rawfile is 18,6Mb.)

Those are colorspaces, AdobeRGB has a wider Gamut but most screens arn’t support this colorspace so you can get colorshifts when viewing. sRGB is good enough for most people for viewing on screens. When you print on paper on professional printers a wider colorspace can give you richer colors so ProPhoto or AdobeRGB is then a option. (you need a calibrated screen suitable for AdobeRGB to benefit this and color proofing and such is around the corner which i don’t use or even fully understand.) So set SRGB as export unles you want to print a hardcopy in a photoshop.

If you have a lot of local adjustments and clone/repair done very much procestime invested well then a backup in tiff export can be usefull as archieve other wise i do tiff export as a halfbaked master for processing in NIK and i delete those after i am done. (if i need one i re-export again from raw.)

A lot of the discussion here hasn’t been very responsive to your questions but hopefully is otherwise useful to you.

  1. If you want to display your images on an HDTV, you’ll want to use a PhotoLab export set for .jpg with the dimensions set for 1920x1080 (or adjust this if your display device has different dimensions, e.g. 4K). As OXiDant has suggested, 90% quality gives you a nice balance of image size and image quality.
  2. For printing, you’ll usually want to create exports at maximum size. Most labs that do printing take RGB .jpg files, so you can create full size .jpg exports; again, 90% works well. (The algorithm used for JPG compression is designed to make as little visible change in the image as possible. Most people would have a difficult or impossible time seeing the difference between a printed image from a 90% quality JPG and a 100% quality JPG.) There are situations where you would want to print from a full-size TIFF image, but I suspect these situations are limited and it will depend on the printer you use. See OXiDant’s about color spaces for more information about that issue.

Hi Peter,

thanks indeed for your demo, you did convinced me of an easy mean to save space, but as well answered questions I had; sRGB vs AdobeRGB for instance.
As you say, one must have such an equipment, and eagle eye maybe, to catch the difference between 90 and 100%. I’ve realigned my export presets accordingly.
Moreover, I’m far from professionals, and my expectations are just my photo can be best viewed in most cases by family and friends, sometimes by strangers, eg 500px visitors!

It’s a pleasure to learn by reading you all answers to my neophyte question!
Many thanks again, I wish you a blessed day and Sunday ahead :slight_smile:


Hi Jch2103,

Thanks for your time answering my question!
Obviously, I watch much more photos on my 4K tv display than I’ll print; the fact is so little deserve being printed. However, My daughter horsehides and I wanted to offer he a nice horse riding action print, hence this part of my question.
As you and Peter say, a 90% quality will certainly fit all my needs.

Thanks again for your appreciated and useful information back!
Enjoy an nice evening,

Hi Sigi,

Thanks for your point of view which adds a new option to those of our colleagues’

I do only shoot in raw. And as well perform a strict selection to only keep what’s acceptable, generally less than 5% of my day shoots.
You’re right in the sens of my spending a number of bucks in equipment when nowadays hard drives cost decreases regularly (and cloud storage does as well).
However, I’m glad to learn that I could keep 16bit tiff files instead of my raws. I believed post processing softs work with the largest tuning range with raws.
I admit I don’t delete jpegs that easily, rather frequently reviewing sometimes old shots.
I’ll make sure I’ll now only keep jpegs of lost raws (I had some disk corruption some times ago with a number of maters lost).
Thanks for this interesting and alternative option for my file management.

I wish you a nice evening

Merci Joanna, pour ton explication et ta démonstration, en effet, je vais commencer à sauver pas mal de place en ne conservant, généralement, que les raws.
Ton assistance est très appréciable, merci encore,
je te souhaite une bonne soirée,

Thanks Xavier for having taken time to provide me with your way of proceeding.

Your way is what I already used to do with Aperture and which I’ll reproduce with Photolab; this sounds rational and prevent any mistakes.

Enjoy your end of day,

I believe Sigi suggested keeping your raw files. One benefit of this is that software processing keeps improving so even ‘old’ images can be improved if you decide to do so (and raw files give you more options for this than 16 bit TIFFs). The new local processing abilities of PhotoLab is only one example of this.

Regarding lost files, everyone should have a full backup system in place so recovery is possible if disaster strikes. There are many options of how to do this, but at a minimum your system should have a least two copies of your files (not just images, of course).

I don’t agree with you that sRGB is still the best colorspace for watching pictures on digital devices. The newer iOS devices can display the DCI-P3 color space which is close but not identical to AdobeRGB but significantly wider than sRGB. Many modern 4K HDR TVs are capable of displaying a larger color space as well. By exporting in sRGB you won’t see many of the vibrant colours your devices are able to display.

Maybe PL3 should offer a 3rd default color space in addition to sRGB and AdobeRGB for displaying pictures on modern digital devices with wider color gamut than CRT screens from decades ago had when the sRBG color space was defined.

If you export in adobeRGB you need to develop also on a screen and screen driver which can handle AdobeRGB.
Some 4k and some fhd tv which have extra yellow pixel “Sharp quadron” are capable of bigger colorspaces then sRGB. Correct.
If i had a computerscreen adobeRGB capable i would develop in AdobeRGB and use a sRGB for now as web and tv based view.
If space isn’t a isue create two export setup a suffix with “sRGB” and one with “ARGB” so when tv’s are all adobe capable just throw away the srgb one’s :wink:

But sins i don’t have a screen which support AdobeRGB i don’t bother for now. And i keep al important rawfiles and dopfiles. And i export out dxopl the tiff’s in adobergb 16bit. So my workspace is as large as possible, only my jpeg export are in sRGB. :slightly_smiling_face:

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