Wayne Fulton has some excellent advice and covers this topic well.
Aside from that always set your camera to the best quality jpeg setting. Converting to lossless formats does not lose jpeg artifacts if the image was low quality jpeg to begin with.
Thank you for your informative article....The thing I guess I did not see was if I move a jpeg file from one folder to an other does that create problems as well. In other words downloading from camera to pc..once it in the pc and transfer it to folder for processing is there any loss there. I believe you are right about taking taking a low quality shot ( a 1megapixle output and trying make a 14 megapixle on the pc. You can see the artifacts real quick. So answer me with this one question is there loss transfering a jpeg file from one folder to an other
No,the loss comes in reediting and resaving the jpeg,not transferring it.
One last thing, Resolution and jpeg quality are two different settings in your camera.
640 x 480 pixel settings would be low resolution,while 3000 x 2000 (6MP) would be max resolution in some cameras. Pick the highest setting. Better to reduce than enlarge. Overhead is good.
Jpeg quality would be something like lowest to highest jpeg compression setting,but it's usually described as Normal,Fine,and Superfine. Take "Superfine". Most storage cards have much more capacity today and it isn't as costly.
You have been most helpful....what I think you are saying is....on my camera which is a canon sx30is is 14 megapixles/with fine setting, is to set the camera to max with a fine setting download to pc, reduce the the size, edit the image as needed once or twice, set the storage file to max quality and store it for future use. Is this what you saying? Good then you have reduced my work load!!
A touch of realism from me. If you are going to make enlargments less then 11x17 a person would have a hard time telling the difference between Normal and Superfine jpeg settings. Same with saving jpeg with 9 vs 12 quality settings. But there is a significant difference in file size between 9 and 12. So the expected end use, and how much hard drive space you want to devote is the real driver.
If you were a perfectionist you would burn the original to several disks and archive in different places (and resave evey few years to minimize degredation). Then with the copy you can save smaller flies knowing if you have a need you have the original at HQ saved.