April 05, 2018

Image File Formats - JPG, GIF, PNG, RAW, TIFF - Explained

Now that clicking photos are not a big deal, and that too when we all have a digital camera within our cell phone. But pictures do have an extension. Just like songs have their mp3, wac, amr, aac, etc. Similarly, pictures captured by different devices have different formats. Here in this article I have tried to explain this as much as possible.

diffrent image file formats

1. TIFF/TIF (Tagged Image File Formats)

Tagged Image File Format, abbreviated TIFF or TIF, is a computer file format for storing raster graphics images, popular among graphic artists, the publishing industry,and photographers. TIFF is widely supported by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition, image manipulation, desktop publishing, and page-layout applications.

Also they are extremely flexible in terms of colour and content. It is commonly seen in Photoshop and other Faxing Softwares cause it covers a very high detail of an image.

2. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

We frequently forward GIF's , be it on social media posts or on instant messaging. But this is better identified as the "short animated" media. Although the image compression does not decay the quality of image, but the file size is still larger compared to JPGs.

It is limited to its short availability of colours and so cannot be used for printing purposes. Also, you will never find your camera captures photos in GIF format... Reason, just the same.

3. JPG/JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

Abbreviation for the infamous Joint Photographic Experts Group, that created this format of imaging. This is the most common image format used by a majority of devices.Because these images are compressed to smaller sizes, they are used in a vast scale.

But at the same time, this compression omits detailing in any particular image. Thus, called a "lossy" method of compression.

Even now, most of the websites happen to accept photos and signatures digitally in .jpg or .jpeg format.

However, this sort of image files generally turns out to be a flop when it comes to designing logos and drawing lines, cause the picture turns out to be a .bmp (bitmappy) image like.

4. PNG (Portable Networks Graphic)

As the heading reads, PNG stands for Portable Networks Graphic. Initially, brought up with the idea of replacing GIF image format, but why replace?

Well, GIF's patent was owned by a single company and very less companies wanted to pay for it. Hence the idea of creating something which will be of open format. Not only that, unlike GIF, it offered for better compression and full range of colours. However, it could not replace JPG owing to its greater sizes. Still, they are a few steps ahead if you compare the "bitmap" nature of the lines or logos in this image format. Even the icons of any apps are available in PNG format.

You'll find out after the screenshot is captured in your mobiles or PCs, that the image is in PNG format, cause most of the screenshots contain both image as well as texts.

5. RAW

They contain data usually form the digital cameras (those which are not attached to your cell phones).

These are of different formats cause each company that manufactures the camera designates its own format. These images are called RAW because they are not ready to be processed or printed.

The file size of an ordinary RAW image is quite huge, and these are normally converted to TIFF before editing and colour correction.

There exists many other formats which are not much widely distributed but are equally fundamental to engineers at a minute level.

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Share your experiences below in the comments box. If you have any questions about these, then write it too!


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