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Author Topic: Zipping RAW/Tiff files  (Read 5970 times)
SueB
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« on: October 14, 2006, 03:06:23 AM »
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Hi,

I'm not quite sure where to post this question, or even if it is applicable here, but I rescpect the information posted on this website very highly and so would like to ask a couple of questions here in the forum.

1.  I shoot in RAW and then convert to Tiff files, then a small thumbnail jpg.  This takes up huge amounts of space on my hard drives, I'm fast running out of space.  I'd like some methods of storing these big files, apart from CD/DVD.  I'm not sure on the longevity of  CD or DVDs and was thinking of perhaps storing a copy of these files online.  The company I was looking at guarantees 100% that the files are safe and will never be lost.  Is this a viable form of storage??

2.  Secondly, can you zip RAW and Tiff files without any loss of quality of the original file?

3.  If anyone has any great ideas for storage of these big files I'd be most interested to hear.

Thanks

Sue
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2006, 04:46:15 AM »
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Hi,

I'm not quite sure where to post this question, or even if it is applicable here, but I rescpect the information posted on this website very highly and so would like to ask a couple of questions here in the forum.

1. I shoot in RAW and then convert to Tiff files, then a small thumbnail jpg. This takes up huge amounts of space on my hard drives, I'm fast running out of space. I'd like some methods of storing these big files, apart from CD/DVD. I'm not sure on the longevity of CD or DVDs and was thinking of perhaps storing a copy of these files online. The company I was looking at guarantees 100% that the files are safe and will never be lost. Is this a viable form of storage??

2. Secondly, can you zip RAW and Tiff files without any loss of quality of the original file?

3. If anyone has any great ideas for storage of these big files I'd be most interested to hear.

Thanks

Sue
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Short answers...

1. I would not trust any company... What happens to your files if they go out of business?

2. Yes, zip is a non destructive way to compress files. But JPEG and some RAW files are already compressed so you won't gain much in zipping those files. TIFF files can be zipped with much larger gains provided they are not "compressed TIFF" files.

3. I use a combo of hard drives and DVDs to store my images. I use both on-site and off-site storage to add another layer of security. I also check periodically my files and redo the backups stored on DVD. DVDs go into a safe at my bank. I wouln't rely on a CD/DVD only solution!!!.

The issue of long-term storage has been raised many times on this forum but as far as I know there's no perfect way to accomplish this. Redunduncy is key, at least for me!

Hope this helps and do not hesitate if you need more info
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 04:48:06 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
61Dynamic
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2006, 01:19:19 PM »
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1. Another issue is bandwidth. Most sites limit your bandwidth or charge based off it and transferring raw files would consume that quickly. Not to mention the enormous amount of time it would take to transfer. (unless you live in japan or have a fiber connection in which case it would transfer in minutes rather than hours--or days)

Most web hosts have redundancy of some sort but it's not a 100% guarantee.

3. Hard drives. They're inexpensive these days and getting cheaper. Buy an external RAID storage unit and use single external drives for backups. You can use DVDs as an off-site backup but I would not rely on them as your only backup.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 01:20:09 PM by 61Dynamic » Logged
SueB
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 06:23:50 AM »
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Thank you both for your replies.  It seems I need to look into getting some more external hard drives or the external RAID system.  My husband most definitely is not into me putting the files onto CD/DVD as he considers it cost prohibitive for me to be changing them every couple of years.  So, hard drives seems to be the long term cost-effective way to store my files.  I'll also be able to zip my tif files as I always save them in the lossless tif format.
One other question ....... if I save my master files in PSD format (those special files, that have had extensive layer work etc), can I zip them also??

Thanks

Sue
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2006, 11:51:35 AM »
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I wouldn't recommend zipping all those files. If you have a significant enough number of files you are considering buying additional drives to store them, then you will find yourself spending quite a bit of time zipping them. Then there's the hassle factor. Each time you want to access a file you'll have to un-zip, delete the zipped version and then re-zip once you're done. You won't be able to see a preview of the file until it's un-zipped either and the contents of a zip file is unsearchable.

Zip archives are handy at reducing space when space is at a premium or primarily these days, when transporting things around. Considering the cost and size of HDDs these days the savings you may get zipping your photos may not be significant enough to justify the time and hassle required to do it.

Test it out on a shoot or to to see how much space you'll save on average and how much time it'll take for this project. Then you'll have a better idea if this will be a worthwhile effort.

PSD files can be zipped too. Any kind of file or folder can be.
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2006, 05:34:25 AM »
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I wouldn't recommend zipping all those files. If you have a significant enough number of files you are considering buying additional drives to store them, then you will find yourself spending quite a bit of time zipping them. Then there's the hassle factor. Each time you want to access a file you'll have to un-zip, delete the zipped version and then re-zip once you're done. You won't be able to see a preview of the file until it's un-zipped either and the contents of a zip file is unsearchable.

Zip archives are handy at reducing space when space is at a premium or primarily these days, when transporting things around. Considering the cost and size of HDDs these days the savings you may get zipping your photos may not be significant enough to justify the time and hassle required to do it.

Test it out on a shoot or to to see how much space you'll save on average and how much time it'll take for this project. Then you'll have a better idea if this will be a worthwhile effort.

PSD files can be zipped too. Any kind of file or folder can be.
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I fully second 61Dynamic post. Zipping can lead to disaster if some tiny part of a file is corrupted (un-compressing will simply be impossible). I've come across this issue with a couple of customers, so it's real.
PS: yes , PSD files can be compressed.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2006, 05:37:16 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
shed
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 05:10:26 PM »
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I fully second 61Dynamic post. Zipping can lead to disaster if some tiny part of a file is corrupted (un-compressing will simply be impossible). I've come across this issue with a couple of customers, so it's real.
PS: yes , PSD files can be compressed.
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Hi this is an interesting point, as untill I have the money to buy more hard drives and implement the multiple hard drive Aperture Vault storage option I have been storing my files on DVD/CD as well as 1 hard drive. The DVD/CD is a extra backup as the hard drive is what I use more often.

Anyway, I was getting bored manually backing up the files, so by using the Automator program on Mac OSX I set up an action to automatically back up my files. This 'archives' the files by zipping them, and I had wondered if this was a good idea.

Should I try and back them up differently?
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Regards,

Andrew
francois
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2006, 07:59:06 AM »
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Hi this is an interesting point, as untill I have the money to buy more hard drives and implement the multiple hard drive Aperture Vault storage option I have been storing my files on DVD/CD as well as 1 hard drive. The DVD/CD is a extra backup as the hard drive is what I use more often.

Anyway, I was getting bored manually backing up the files, so by using the Automator program on Mac OSX I set up an action to automatically back up my files. This 'archives' the files by zipping them, and I had wondered if this was a good idea.

Should I try and back them up differently?
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Andrew,
If you shoot Canon RAW, there's not much to gain by zipping your RAW files as they are already compressed. You may want to try to see if the compressed size is really that much smaller than non-zipped files. I just tried with 1D2/5D RAW files and zip compression gives me about 3% saving!

If you still want to zip your files then do it one by one (individually) and not a bunch of files zipped into an archive. The reasoning is that files, if compressed won't be de-zippable if some corruption affects the zip archive. If you put many files into a zip archive and just a tiny bit becomes corrupted, then your whole archive will be corrupted.

Let me know if you need more help
« Last Edit: November 11, 2006, 08:00:00 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2006, 11:56:53 AM »
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Andrew,
If you shoot Canon RAW, there's not much to gain by zipping your RAW files as they are already compressed. You may want to try to see if the compressed size is really that much smaller than non-zipped files. I just tried with 1D2/5D RAW files and zip compression gives me about 3% saving!

If you still want to zip your files then do it one by one (individually) and not a bunch of files zipped into an archive. The reasoning is that files, if compressed won't be de-zippable if some corruption affects the zip archive. If you put many files into a zip archive and just a tiny bit becomes corrupted, then your whole archive will be corrupted.

Let me know if you need more help
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Hi Francois

I have since changed the way that the automator action works, I decided that I didn't want to risk having the images get corrupted. It now simply coppies them onto the CD/DVD without zipping.

Thanks for the help.
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Regards,

Andrew
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2006, 07:17:10 PM »
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and the contents of a zip file is unsearchable

This may be irrelevant, but it depends on what you mean by the above.  Since one zip 'file' can contain more than one compressed file (ie you can add any number of files into one 'file.zip'), you can see what's in the zip file in terms of the names of the files it contains but you can't open or interact with those files without unzipping them.

That's probably clear as mud, but anyway...

Mike.
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