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Author Topic: What good is shooting HEIF format?  (Read 549 times)

nemophoto

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What good is shooting HEIF format?
« on: June 14, 2024, 12:14:21 pm »

For a number of years, I've seen HEIF being promoted as a superior file format to JPEGs. A few different times I've shot it to play with the images (never on a job). The problem I see is, you can't actually use the files natively and only a handful of programs can either view them or work with them. Additionally, you really need to convert them to JPEGs (or TIFFs) in order for them to be used in any worthwhile way. I shoot primarily RAW (for myself) or RAW+JPEG on jobs so clients can edit quickly through the JPEGs. (Most are too lazy to use RAW if I'm not doing the conversions for them.)

So, again, what good is the format? Will it be another dead format not far down the road? Does anyone use these files on a regular basis, and if so, how?
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digitaldog

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Re: What good is shooting HEIF format?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2024, 01:18:04 pm »

https://cloudinary.com/guides/image-formats/heif-format-meet-the-the-next-evolution-of-jpeg

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The adoption of HEIF started to pick up steam when Apple announced its support for the format in 2017. With the release of iOS 11, HEIF became the default image format for iPhones and iPads, replacing the JPEG format that had been in use for decades. This decision by Apple brought HEIF into the mainstream, and its popularity has only grown since then.
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Chris Kern

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Re: What good is shooting HEIF format?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2024, 05:46:37 pm »

The problem I see is, you can't actually use the files natively and only a handful of programs can either view them or work with them.

I don't understand what you mean by this.  Most image viewers and post-processing programs I've tried have no difficulty ingesting, displaying, or modifying HEIC image (HEIF) files.

In addition to the link Andrew provided, Adobe offers a useful comparison of benefits and drawbacks of the two formats.

Of course, both HEIC and JPEG files are rendered file formats.  There are limits to how much you can manipulate those files in post.  That's why you—and I presume most of us posting here—configure our cameras to save raw sensor data.

Quote
So, again, what good is the format? Will it be another dead format not far down the road?

The main attraction of the format seems to be better compression: specifically, smaller file size and fewer compression artifacts.  I rather doubt HEIC will become "another dead format" because Apple's commitment to it no doubt ensures its survival—at least, absent a change of Apple's occasionally fickle corporate mind.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2024, 08:45:51 am by Chris Kern »
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nemophoto

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Re: What good is shooting HEIF format?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2024, 12:53:16 pm »

I don't understand what you mean by this.  Most image viewers and post-processing programs I've tried have no difficulty ingesting, displaying, or modifying HEIC image (HEIF) files.

The issue here is simple. You cannot use the images natively in any layout program nor if you want, web design. Displaying an image to view or ingest is very different from "using" an image for layout purposes, even mock-ups. So, an art director can't use these files in a mock-up of an ad, or catalog, or poster. Granted, you can print the HEIF from Photoshop or the like. I see no real reason to use HEIF if you are already shooting RAW, which is superior to HEIF anyway. If all you want to do with HEIF is view it on your monitor, and your browser allows that, that's fine. Until HEIF can be used natively in programs like InDesign or Dreamweaver, HEIF is only an intermediary file format, not a final like a JPEG or TIFF. The advantage of RAW+JPEG is you instantly have a rendered file that can be used. (I have plenty of lazy clients who would rather use out-of-the-camera JPEGs than do the additional work with RAW.) The following programs cannot use nor render HEIF: Windows File Explorer, FastStone Viewer, In Design, Affinity Photo, Capture One, and more. In fact, the only program to properly render/view HEIF files without me trying to download any additional files is Photo Mechanic. I have the Canon HEVC codecs for the R5 and R6m2 already installed. All that aside, again, if HEIC is an intermediary file format like RAW, I see no reason to use it other than if you have a paltry amount of space on your drives.

In addition to the link Andrew provided, Adobe offers a useful comparison of benefits and drawbacks of the two formats.

Of course, both HEIC and JPEG files are rendered file formats.  There are limits to how much you can manipulate those files in post.  That's why you—and I presume most of us posting here—configure our cameras to save raw sensor data.

The main attraction of the format seems to be better compression: specifically, smaller file size and fewer compression artifacts.  I rather doubt HEIC will become "another dead format" because Apple's commitment to it no doubt ensures its survival—at least, absent a change of Apple's occasionally fickle corporate mind.
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Czornyj

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Re: What good is shooting HEIF format?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2024, 07:06:00 am »

The issue here is simple. You cannot use the images natively in any layout program nor if you want, web design. Displaying an image to view or ingest is very different from "using" an image for layout purposes, even mock-ups. So, an art director can't use these files in a mock-up of an ad, or catalog, or poster. Granted, you can print the HEIF from Photoshop or the like. I see no real reason to use HEIF if you are already shooting RAW, which is superior to HEIF anyway. If all you want to do with HEIF is view it on your monitor, and your browser allows that, that's fine. Until HEIF can be used natively in programs like InDesign or Dreamweaver, HEIF is only an intermediary file format, not a final like a JPEG or TIFF. The advantage of RAW+JPEG is you instantly have a rendered file that can be used. (I have plenty of lazy clients who would rather use out-of-the-camera JPEGs than do the additional work with RAW.) The following programs cannot use nor render HEIF: Windows File Explorer, FastStone Viewer, In Design, Affinity Photo, Capture One, and more. In fact, the only program to properly render/view HEIF files without me trying to download any additional files is Photo Mechanic. I have the Canon HEVC codecs for the R5 and R6m2 already installed. All that aside, again, if HEIC is an intermediary file format like RAW, I see no reason to use it other than if you have a paltry amount of space on your drives.

The main reason to use HEIF is that it supports HDR - so potentially you could publish your HDR content in web galleries etc. Question remains is wether it will become a standard instead of jpeg in future.
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