JPEG and PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, RAW Formats Explained

JPEG and PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, RAW Formats Explained
Photo Editing

7 minutes of reading

Apr 30, 2019

Different Formats of Photos and Images


JPEG or Joint Photographic Experts Group is a file format for a digital image and is perhaps the most common format used for adjusting the image quality and file size. Using a JPEG format you can actually control the compression of the file. The more compressed the image is, the lower quality image and lower file size are, and vice versa. This format is often used in photos like painting and realistic images that have a variety of tone and color. It is the format used by the majority of digital cameras.

This format works by removing tiny details and things that the human eye cannot see. This is known as “lossy” compression. JPEG has some different types like Progressive JPEG which is a type that shows a low quality image and improves it over a short amount of time. This is commonly used for the internet to help the users that have a slow connection.


PNG or Portable Network Graphics file is a type of format used for photos and pictures that need a transparent background or animations. The transparent part does not need to be the background because you can make transparent almost everywhere in the picture.

Using this format can be useful especially when creating logos, Designing a website or even creating other images. Like GIF and TIFF, PNG is a raster format, so it represents an image as a two-dimensional array of colored dots (pixels).

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GIF or Graphics Interchange Format is a digital file format developed in 1987 by CompuServe. GIF works by reducing the size of the images and some short animations. And because no data and information is lost, this format became popular.

As the time this file format was created, it supports 256 colors and during this time, it was considered by many as a breakthrough. The method used to keep file at a minimum size is a compression algorithm commonly used or referred to as LZW name after the inventors who made GIF, Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv of Israel and Terry Welch of the United States.

GIF was so popular back then but now it is used repeatedly over the internet to post videos and memes on websites such as Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest and others.


BMP also known as bitmap image file and Device Independent Bitmap or simply Bitmap, is raster image format used to keep digital images. And the BMP file format is able to store two dimensional digital images, both monochrome and colored.

Since BMP format can support a wide range of colors and tones, it is used at photographs for shaded drawings and other detailed images. Detailed images usually are large but can be compressed so that the images can be detailed but not that hungry on storage. But if you want an image that is detailed, compression would be an option.


TIFF or Tagged Image File Format is a computer file format that is a common format for exchanging raster graphic images between Programs. This format is mainly used by photographers and graphics artists because TIFF is supported by faxing, scanning and word processing.

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An industry committee chaired by the Aldus developed the Tiff Format in 1986, which now is a part of the adobe software. Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard contributed to the making of this file format. TIFF is used mainly Desktop Publishing and 3-D apps and medical imaging applications.

Raw Format

So the term Raw is unprocessed, right? Well this type of Format is just as it said as “unprocessed”. Nothing but the picture that was taken and stored – meaning no data was lost or gained because what you took or shoot in the camera was the RAW format. Nothing was eventually compressed or stretched, nothing is modified.

The Raw Format remains at it is uncompressed and contains almost all the information from the CCD or CMOS, Then it can be adjusted and edited to be converted into either TIFF or JPEG and other file formats.

The Raw format is mainly considered as a single image file format AKA .raw. In addition, there are types of raw files that depend on the device that the picture was taken from like Adobe (.DNG), Canon (.CRW, .CR2), Casio (.RAW), Fuji (.RAF), Hasselblad (.3FR) etc.


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