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I'm working with a new DSLR camera for a Computer Vision application and I noticed most of them default to saving in the lossy JPEG format. Initially, this caused some problems in my application and I started working with the RAW format, and saved them as png. I wondered what was the reason behind defaulting to JPEG as the compression encoding. Wouldn't it be better to support png as a default format due to its lossless quality and compression factors? (I assume DSLR users like to have quality and compression both). I'm curious as to whether this has a scientific reason I have not thought of.

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  • $\begingroup$ This question was already answered at Photography SE in this topic. $\endgroup$ – jojek May 12 '15 at 20:21
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe then the question suggestions should say that this was asked in another SE. I asked this because I googled and didn't find an answer. $\endgroup$ – dev_nut May 12 '15 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is already answered on the photoography stackexchange, and isn't directly related to DSP anyway $\endgroup$ – JRE May 13 '15 at 9:32
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Its force of habit and good enough. People were using JPEG's in their digital cameras before, so they stuck with it, and its plenty fine for viewing (and it produces pretty small file sizes as well). You're free to turn to some other compression method your camera supports.

Note that the RAW files often contain a lot more information than what a PNG would have anyway (like a bunch of stuff about the sensor), which can be exploited in programs like photoshop for editing, so from that perspective, you may as well have the RAW rather than the PNG (especially since the RAW is rather space efficient to begin with). You can also put in things specific to your camera there if you want.

Note that many cameras have the option to shoot RAW+JPEG so you simultaneously get both, which is good for viewing (use the JPEG) and editing (use the RAW).

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  • $\begingroup$ Expanding upon RAW I learnt that RAW formats are proprietary. So, it has the ability to have more information regarding the specific camera's sensor data, and would most often require a specific plugin to process it in a image editing program. $\endgroup$ – dev_nut May 12 '15 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they are. Most of them will work out of the box with Photoshop/Lightroom's Camera Raw plugin though. $\endgroup$ – Batman May 12 '15 at 19:14

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