Different Image File Types

There are a lot of image formats in the digital world. Now, these formats don’t always have the same file size. Many a time, an image file type would be significantly big in size compared to the other ones. For instance, a raw image file type is titled DNG and holds much greater space than any other file type. Then again, there are some benefits along with it. Such as, acquiring up more space, offers for non-destructive image editing. No wonder, most photographers shoot raw since they don’t want their editing skills to be hindered by just more space. Now with that being established, we will discuss the most widely known and popular types that cease to exist in the modern digital world. In our article, we would elaborate on the different image file types and afterward give you a brief overview of each one.


Firstly, we discuss the most widely known image file format, JPEG. It stands for Joint Photographic Expert Group. Now, being ideal for web usage and whilst making slides, one shall not forego the fact that JPEG is a lossy format. Yes! The size is very small compared to many other file types but being low in size, means a loss in data. However, this may not be noticeable when viewing the image from a photo viewer. Nonetheless, while one is post-processing the jpeg photo, one can realize the disadvantages of this file type. An advantage for it that we would like to put forth would be, that it offers one to choose between various sizes. This is ideal for those who have to regularly send photos in emails.

GIF - Different Image File Types

Photo print of one of Different Image File Types

Photo edited in Lightroom.

Then, in our list, comes to gif or Graphics Interchange Format. GIF is widely used for sharing graphics online. Subsequently, limited to 256 colors, they do offer transparency and along with it, comes the option to animate them. Ever seen a moving image online or perhaps an animated mini video on a loop that your friend just sent you? Yes! That is a GIF. Another attribute of GIF, we would like to put forth for you, is that GIF files are very smaller in size and rather portable than others.


Thirdly, on our list comes PNG or Portable Network Graphics. This offers lossless image quality and an improvement over the previously known GIF file type. This, rather different image file type is favored when editing in Photoshop. The reason for that, since it offers a transparent background which is useful when editing or tweaking with vectors, it is preferred by graphic designers. Furthermore, many Instagram photographers prefer this image file type for upload. Because it offers a much sharper image than any other file type on Instagram.

TIFF - Different Image File Types

At third, we would like to mention TIFF or .tif file types. Standing for, Tagged Image File Format, tiff offers for a complete and total non-destructive image file. No information or data is lost, unlike other file types that we have mentioned. TIFF is relatively higher in size and much more high quality. Another point to be noted here is that TIFF is an ideal image file type for big paper prints, high-quality publications, or billboard ads.
Photo editing with different image file types


Now, comes Bitmap or .bmp file type. It came into being thanks to Microsoft which found the gap for a non-compression high-quality type. BMP file types are much larger and also completely lossless. No information or data is harmed in this image file type. But, being higher in quality, BMP files are proprietary format and many people would rather recommend tiff file type over it.


At last, comes the widely popular known image file type, which revolves around photographers the most. The reason? It offers non-destructive editing and as mentioned before the highest quality available in a DSLR. You go outside and shoot Mother Nature in 4k and the menu of different image file types choose RAW. The result you will get will be much higher quality than some ordinary JPEG file type. However, RAW or .DNG if you may, does not offer a lesser space. That is to say, it takes a lot of space and it is recommended that you pump your DSLR’s memory through external storage.

Conclusion - Different Image File Types

To simply conclude it up, these were all the different file types you can opt for. Also, we have elaborated each and every file type as much as we could and offered an ideal usage for it too. May you be either a graphic designer, professional photo editor, or magazine print shop employee, our article has briefed about all image file types for the profession. So, it is up to the readers which type they decide upon based on their usage.

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Have a nice photoshoot!

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