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The Digital Shoebox: How to Organize, Find, and Share Your Photos by Sarah Bay Williams

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Appendix B. File Formats

Are you curious to know more about those little three-letter extensions after your photo filenames, like the “.jpg” in IMG_0432.jpg? Do you want to know more about what in the world lossy and lossless mean? Well, read on—here’s some information on file formats for you.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)

Typically, your everyday point-and-shoot digital camera will shoot in the JPEG file format, which is what the .jpg file extension represents.

JPEGs are always compressed in a lossy way that literally, but intelligently, removes information from the data of the file to reduce the file size. (I’ve always wondered if lossy was a word before digital cameras, and I just found out that it was. It’s a word from the late ...

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