JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
The type of file format you choose will greatly influence the quality of your final images. In short, it compresses an image, settings such as the colour balance, contrast and sharpening. This leads to some details being lost however these are not noticeable by the human eye.
On many digital cameras you will have an option to fine tune the settings of JPEG files in to ‘Basic, Normal & Fine’ If you are going to printing your image to a large format in post-production then aim for a JPEG Fine setting as this will higher quality images which are less compressed.
By shooting in RAW you capture all the information from received by the camera. Essentially it is the digital equivalent of the film negative. If you take an image in this format you will need access to software which will allow you to edit the image e.g. Photoshop to create your final image.
As RAW files are not compressed by the camera they take up considerably more space on your memory card. It would be highly recommended for you to invest in a fast reading memory card which will allow quick reading times when taking photos.
Most digital cameras now have an option where RAW & JPEG files are taken at the same time. So, if you are looking to share as well as develop you can consider this option, although it will take up even more space!
TIFF (Tag Image File Format)
Generally, TIFF files are the middle ground between JPEG & RAW. TIFF is a standard format used in the printing and publishing industry. Being significantly larger than JPEGs they lose no detail but store less information than the RAW format.
RAW images carry the greatest amount of information that can be manipulated at a later date. Use this format if you are going to be editing with Photoshop etc afterwards.
For general use however, JPEG is a perfectly useful format to use with detail being lost which will not be recognisable by the human eye. If you are wanting to print on a large format then you can always switch up to JPEG Fine mode.