Digital Image FILE types and what they mean

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We all use different types of image files when working. All our knowledge about image files is by when we need that certain form, the reasoning of which we are mostly unaware of. This article talks about the types of digital image file types and why they are used when they are used.

Raw Image Files

Raw images are the data from digital cameras, mostly. As the name suggests, the raw image file is unedited and untreated, and it can be treated or edited as per liking and then used. Under the umbrella of raw formats, there are many other forms that are usually defined by the camera manufacturers. Resulting in every manufacturer having their own format. Because of the fact that these images are raw they have a huge amount of data which can be altered when they undergo digital processing. Raw files are mostly converted to TIFF format before they are edited and/or color corrected.

PNG Files

Portable Networks Graphics or commonly known as PNG is a digital image file type was created as an open format to take the place of GIF because of the gigantic licensing fees. The PNG files are however better than the GIF files as it allows for a wide color range and compression options. The format, however is only used for online purposes, never for print. PNG does not come at par with JPEG surely, but it is still a great digital file format. When you take screenshots of your laptops, the file format saved is a PNG, because the picture contains a mix of texts and image.

GIF

GIF stands for Graphic interchange Format. The format compresses the images, but the details of the image are not lost. GIF don’t have a very wide color range, but they can be used for online purposes, never for print. Because it does not many color variations, GIFs are not used in photographs as they are not capable of showing a diverse band of colors. As animations require lesser size to load, GIFs make great animations.

JPEG

The JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, who created this digital image file format. JPEG images are compressed to hold a lot of information in their small size. Digital cameras, and DSLRs store photos in the JPEG format as it supports a large color band. JPEGs are great for web work as they contain lots of information which can be uploaded quickly and gives a very clear image. JPEGs are bad for graphics and illustrations as the compression makes them look a little empty.

TIFF

TIFF file format creates very large sized files. Due to this fact they support a wide range of color varieties and can be used for both print and online mediums. Most of graphic designers use the TIFF format but its downside is that its heavy and take a lot of time to export and/or load. The TIFF image comprises of a lot of layers and there are details hidden in every layer.

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