JPEG vs TIFF when editing in Lightroom


I'm currently working with JPEG's, and when I use Lightroom to edit my photos with Exposure, my file size is much smaller than it was when I started. Why is this happening and am I loosing any quality in my image.


The simple answer is yes, you are losing quality, though you may not see it in the beginning. JPEG's are a compressed file type, and whenever you use lossy compression on a file, you are losing information. The best solution for this problem is to use a different format. I recommend TIFF for editing. Once complete, you can render out JPEGs as a final step.

Here you can see an example of JPEG compression.

Uncompressed image                                           Compressed image


Here are a few things to keep in mind about each file type:


  1. Lossy compression
    • Loss of quality
    • File size reduced even when using Photoshop
  2. Thumbnails may not display properly
  3. No support for layers
  4. Great for use on the web
  5. Small file sizes


  1. Lossless compression
    • Image retains all information
    • No loss of quality
  2. Supports Layers
  3. Ideal for large prints
  4. Great for active image editing
  5. Not ideal for web use
  6. Large file sizes


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