HEIF – what on earth is that ?

Some of you may have heard that there is a new photo format on the block. There is!

The new format was developed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). The HEIF – Heigh Efficiency Image File. This format has a some advantages over the file format we know and love, JPEG.

HEIF uses a 16-bit deep colour JPEG by contrast uses 8-bit which is smaller by at least two-fold. In theory therefore devices that support the HEIF format can capture more colours provided by the common 10-bit colour output present in cameras. HEIF is a flexible format, a JPEG is a single image, but a HEIF can be a single image or a sequence of images. This makes HEIF perfect, for example, for Apple’s Live Photos.

Apple has subsequently announced that it is adopting the two new standard based formats for storing and processing images and video on their iOS 11 The HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) and HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) respectively.

BUT dont go changing your file format yet!!! A very good review article has been published by Apple Insider demonstrating the ‘lossy’ format.

At the moment the new HEIF format has not been widely adopted but it is a standard and with Apple embracing it there is no doubt it has a future. At this time there seems to be very little adantage in using the new format except as a space saving measure.

Saturn Films will continue to provide uncompressed tif and low compression jpeg images. If the new HEIF format is more widely adopted and looks like becoming the ‘new norm’ then we will review our service.

I would certainly appreciate any comments you may have about this new format.

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