Common image file formats

Internet > Practical
2016-08-08 07:51:32
Compare the features of the most common image formats

( Comparison illustration: )
DescriptionBMP File Format as been widely used on Windows platform. Although it supports data compression and alpha channels, these features were not widely used as it was not supported by all image editors.GIF is a bitmap image format that allows a lossless compression by reducing the image to 256 distinct colors. It has been replaced by PNG after fear over patent issues. It is still widely used for animation as it's the only format that supports animation and that is widely supported by browsers.JPEG is the most common image format used by digital cameras, it is the most common format for storing and transmitting photographic images on the World Wide Web.PNG was created to improve GIF image-file format. Removing patent license issues at that time; and removing 256 colors limitation.RAW relates to several image file formats since each camera manufacturer has one or several formats (depending on equipments). These files contains the data acquired by sensors almost unprocessed.TIFF is a file format for storing images losslessly. It is widely supported by image-manipulation applications, by scanning, faxing, word processing, optical character recognition and other applications.JPEG 2000 is an enhancement of the JPEG standard. It supports transparency, is able to store lossless data. It is also having a better compression level. As it is unsupported by several browsers, it has not been widely used on the Internet.WebP is an image file format developed by Google, and supposed to be a new open standard for lossily compressed true color graphics. It's a direct competitor to JPEG.SVG is an XML based file format. It allows to create vector graphics with animation and interaction support. It can be edited with any text editor.EPS is a file extension for a graphics file format used in vector-based images in Adobe Illustrator. EPS stands for Encapsulated PostScript. An EPS file can contain text as well as graphics.PCT is a graphics file format introduced on the original Apple Macintosh computer as its standard metafile format. It allows the interchange of graphics (both bitmapped and vector), and some limited text support, between Mac applications, and was the native graphics format of QuickDraw.PCX, standing for PiCture eXchange, was the native file format for PC Paintbrush and became one of the first widely accepted DOS imaging standards, although it has since been succeeded by more sophisticated image formats.PDF is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.PSD is the default image file format used by Adobe Photoshop. It supports layers and transparency.TGA format is used widely in paint, graphics, and imaging applications that require the storage of image data containing up to 32 bits per pixel. TGA has also become popular in the world of still-video editing.WMF is an image file format intended to be portable between applications and may contain both vector graphics and bitmap components. It acts in a similar manner to SVG files.
ProsUncompressed for perfect images
Near universal compatibility
Efficient compression (ZIP, etc.)
Simple animations/short video clips
Widely supported format
Transparency support
Lossless compression
Smaller file sizes
Small file size
Widely supported format
Good color range
Widely accepted format
Transparency support
High-quality images
Compatible with both PCs and Macs
Multiple images and multiple pages can be saved in one file
Small file sizeSmall file size (Smaller than JPEG with comparable image quality)Can be expanded infinitely without quality loss
Can be edited with a text editor
Scalable to any size
Compatibility for vector graphics
Ideal for printing/output
Best file format for on-screen display on the Macintosh
Best printing format from the Macintosh to a non-PostScript printer
Image information retained
Good quality image
Protects intellectual property
Maintains printed format
Layers support
Transparency support
Well-defined, well-documented format in wide use, which is quick and easy to read and decompressLossless
ConsLarge file sizeLimited to 256 colors
Web colors only
No transparency
Lossy compression
Not great for text, simple graphics, or illustrations
More complex and larger image files can be large
Only supports web colors (RGB)
Limited compatibility
Large file sizeLarge file size
Not great for web graphics
Minor software compatibility issues
Processor intensiveLossy compressionSupport growing but still limited
Not intended for print
May lose control of advanced vector editing featuresFonts may be represented incorrectly when moved cross-platform
QuickTime must be installed to view some PICT files correctly
Large file format
PC compatible only and older PCX versions only support 256 colours.
Longer browser loading times
Non-editable content
Not great for complex graphics printing
Not really useful as a graphic image
Lacks a superior compression schemeNot good for exporting or pasting bar graphs with fill patterns to PowerPoint
Support is limited
LosslessYesYesNoYesYesYesYes Lossless and lossyNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Animation supportNoYesNoNoNoNoYes ISO/IEC 15444-2NoYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
Transparency supportYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNoYesYesYesNoYesNoYes
LicensedNoNo expiredNo invalidNoYesYesYesYes
Layers supportNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
Developed byMicrosoftCompuServceJoint Photographic Experts GroupW3C (donated by PNG Development Group)Camera manufacturerAdobeJoint Photographic Experts GroupGoogleW3CAdobe SystemsApple ComputerZSoft CorporationAdobe SystemsAdobe SystemsTrueVision, IncMicrosoft
Commonly used forImage editingAnimation
Simple web graphics
Photographic images electronically and on the web
Printing photographs
Simple web graphics like logos
Illustrations, or raster text rendering
HDR photography, ArchivingImages from scanner
HD imaging
Working with photographs without image quality loss
JPEG replacement, HD imagingScalable graphicsSending vector graphics to print
Working with vector/raster graphics across platforms/graphic design programs
Desktop publishing
Imaging applications using QuickDraw calls
with Paintbrush software
Mainly in the MS-DOS world. It is mainly an exchange and storage format
Fixed layout flat documentsImage editingStorage and interchange of deep-pixel images, paint, and image manipulation programs.used in Microsoft Clip Organizer for illustrations
To store line-art, illustrations and content created in drawing or presentation applications.
Browser support (without plugin)
Internet ExplorerNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNoYes IE9NoNoNoYesNoYesYes
Google ChromeNoYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNoNoYesNoYes
File extensions.bmp .dib.gif.jpg .jpeg .jpe .jif .jfif .jfi.png.crw .cr2 .raw .rw2 .nef .nrw .orf ....tiff .tif.jp2 .j2c .j2k .jpx .jpf .j2c .j2k.webp.svg .svgz.eps .epsi .epsf.pct .pict .pic.pcx.pdf.psd .pdd.tga.wmf .emf .wmz .emz
NameWindows BitmapGraphics Interchange FormatJoint Photographic Experts GroupPortable Network GraphicsRAW Image fileTagged Image File FormatJoint Photographic Experts Group 2000WebPScalable Vector GraphicsEncapsulated PostScriptMacintosh PicturePicture Exchange, aka, PC PaintbrushPortable Document Format (PDF)Photoshop DocumentTrueVision TARGAWindows Metafile


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