What are the Different Types of Image Formats?

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You may wonder looking at different formats like JPG, PNG, BMP, or gaff for the same image and ask questions to yourself what are the purposes, why these are necessary when to use what format. Today we are going to answer all these questions that can arise around image formats topic. The in-depth analysis will help you to understand a bit better all the images that you see in our technology-based world.

Before jumping onto the main types of image formats we need to classify themes by a broader category so that we can learn the functionality of each image format in a clearer way. This is where raster image and vector image types come into the scene.


Raster vs. Vector Image

Raster images are made up of pixels which are the smallest unit used to express the resolution of the image just like the resolution of your TV or monitor. When you modify the image that means you are actually stressing the pixels to fill in the gaps; hence you find a blurred image as pixels need to be at the static position if you want the resolution to be original. So, it is a matter of fact that editing of raster image types is not a good idea when the resolution is the no.1 priority. Examples: jpg, jpeg, png, BMP, etc.

On the other hand, vector images depend heavily on the calculation of the computer to produce the image. They have nothing to do with pixels; as result vector images do not lose resolution at all even if they are stressed to whatever size. But there is a big lagging of vector-type images; the file size is much bigger and thus its use in the web world is minimal as speed is the need of the hour here. Examples: EPS, PDF, AI, etc. Though you can convert the image file to PDF and vice versa.

Different Types of Image Formats

You see a lot of image formats while working on your desktop or laptop with Adobe Photoshop or some other image editing software, or an online video editor like flexclip, and you are confused about what option to choose while saving a file; well, the choice is fully dependent on the purpose of the use of that particular image. Let’s look at some of the common image formats and their pros and cons so that your job as a web designer or as an image editor or simply as a general user becomes easier.


The full form of JPEG is Joint Photographic Experts Group which is the name of the organization that invented the format. JPEG and JPG are basically the same thing; the former one was modified to JPG to facilitate smaller character usage. JPEG is a raster image type that loses some of the information when it is compressed. It is used for e-mail and amateur printing activities.


BMP or Bitmap is a lossless image format that produces excellent image quality even with modification. Hence it is best used with professional printing where resolution needs to be good.


Tagged Image File Format or TIFF is more like the BMP which also does not need compression and thus can remain in its original form. The main con of TIFF is the heavy size that it carries which makes TIFF inappropriate for use on the webpage.


Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is another lossless raster image format. PNG is useful in a website environment because of its editing ability and small file size.


GIFF=Graphics Interchange File Format. You must have found GIFF images on the Facebook comment section; it is particularly useful for creating animation-type images.


Raw is the original image format that is widely used on digital cameras for shooting purposes. The original raw form can be converted to other formats later for editing and transformation. Raw formats can be further classified as .cr2, .nef, .crw, .dng etc.


Portable Document Format is very popular in the field of documentation and printing. It is a vector image type and is not particularly useful for editing operations. The pdf file size can easily be reduced and can be split too. The PDF file can easily be posted on Facebook too.


EPS=Encapsulated PostScript. EPS can be categorized both as raster and vector format. It is widely used in producing good-quality logotypes of images.


AI image format is used for Adobe Illustrator and is portable in its use. AI produces good resolution while making a logo or an icon file.


The full form is Scalable Vector Graphics. The rare vector format is ideal for web work.


PSD is the image format that is used to save the document in Photoshop software as you can see from the figure here.


Hopefully, the article is useful in understanding a little more about the different image formats that exist in our digital technological life. The choice of a particular format for a particular task can make a huge difference in producing the best quality image as we know it now.

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