Lately, I have found myself being way too lazy. I hate to admit it but I am. I have been shooting almost everything as JPGs. Normally this is okay. For my family photos, or quick snaps, I find it works just fine. But when I spend a great deal of time composing an image and working to get the exposure just right- the perfect combination of aperture and shutter speed. The depth-of-field is perfect even and I then release the shutter. Later, I go back and realize, it is a JPG! Not RAW, not TIFF but JPG.
The differences here are not as dramatic because I cannot post a TIFF or RAW file. The best I can do is post a PNG which is a lossless file type. The JPG file type is a lossy file type because it is compressed. Much like a trash compactor compressed trash into a smaller space, a JPG algorithm compacts the file into a smaller space on your storage card, hard drive or other memory device. What is lost is color richness, sharpness and definition of details- especially over time. Opening and saving the file over and over again more and more information is lost as the algorithm runs again and again.