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raster and vector based image files

Raster image formats

JPEG/JFIF (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

nearly any camera can save a JPEG image. it also supports 8-bit grayscale images (grayscale kinda like a old timey movie) and 24-bit color images. it also applies a lossy compression to images (which can result in large loss of file size) certain applications can control the amount of compression to apply. more compression affects the quality of the image.

JPEG 2000 (Joint Photographic Experts Group but 2000 makes it sound cooler)

is a compression storage standard allowing both lossless and lossy storage. the compression methods used are different from JPEG/JFIF the JPEG 2000 improves quality and compression ratios and is also used in professional movie editing but in the end is not as common as JPEG and takes more  computer power to process

Exif (Exchangeable image file format)

Exif format is a file similar to JFIF format but with TIFF extensions. it’s incorporated in the JPEG-writing software used in most cameras. it’s designed to is to record and standardize the exchange of images with metadata(data about data O_o) between digital cameras and editing and viewing software. the metadata that can be included with a image are camera settings, time and date, shutter speed, exposure, image size, compression, name of camera, color information.you can see the meta dating using image editing or viewing software

TIFF (Tagged image file format)

TIFF normally saves 8 or 16 bit per color for 24 and 48 bit totals. TIFF was designed to be easily extendable. TIFFS can be lossy and lossless. TIFF is widley supported by most web browsers. TIFF is widely used as the photograph file standard in the printing business.

RIF (raw image formats)

RIF is available on some digital cameras, these formats usually use a lossless or nearly lossless compression and produce file sizes smaller then TIFF formats. Although there is a standard raw image format  the raw formats used by most cameras  are not standardized or documented, and differ among camera manufacturers.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)

GIF limited to a 8 bit palette, or 256 colors. The GIF format supports animation and is widely used to provide image animation effects.

BMP (Windows Bitmap)

BMP handles Graphic files with Windows OS, BMP are uncompressed and which makes them lossless, there advantage is their simple structure.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNG format supports 8 bit paletted images and 24 bit true color (16 MILLION COLORS!!) or 48 bit true color without alpha channel. PNG provides a patent free replacement for GIF (although GIF is now patent free) PNG is well suited for storing images during editing because of it’s lossless compression. PNG works well with online viewing applications like web browsers.

PPM (portable pixmap), PGM (portable graymap), PBM(portable bitmap), and PNM (portable any map)

PPM, PGN, PBM, and PNM these provide a very basic functionality and serve as a lowest common denominator for converting pixmap, graymap, or bitmap files between different platforms. and are collectively refer  to as PNM sometimes.


WEBP is a new open image format that uses both lossly and lossless. Google designed WEBP to image file size to load faster. its purpose is to take JPEG’s place on the internet.

HDR raster formats

typical raster formats can not use HDR data (32 bit floating point values per pixel component) old or complex formats are still used more often.

Vector image formats

CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile)

CGM is a file format for 2D Vector and Raster Graphics. CGM provides. CGM provides a means of data interchange for computer representation of 2D Graphical information. but now is being used less due to SVG taking over.

Gerber format (RS-274X)

Gerber format was made by Gerber Systems Corp, now Ucamco. Gerber format is a 2D bi-level image description format and is widely used in industries requiring high-precision 2D bi-level images.

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

SVG format does not have a compression scheme of it’s own, but due to the textual nature of XML, an SVG Graphic can be compressed by a program such as gzip. SVG is a important part of web applications.


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