Determining your entire Totally different Picture File Codecs


A Put up By: Kav Dadfar

image file formats photography

Should to procure {a photograph}, the digital digicam is taking footage recordsdata, which creates a digital characterize. However there are lots of numerous types of characterize file codecs which will perchance moreover be retrieved and edited the utilization of put up-processing intention.

Primarily probably the most unceasingly-out of date codecs are:

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Consultants Team of workers)
  • TIFF (Tagged Picture File Format)
  • RAW
  • DNG (Digital Unfavorable Format)
  • PNG (Transportable Group Graphics)
  • GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
  • BMP (Bitmap Picture File)
  • PSD (Photoshop File)

Choosing the lawful file format is extreme and likewise will likely be extreme, relying on the extent of efficient – and the extent of put up-processing – that you simply require.

Now, to attend you higher notice the totally different file codecs, and to ensure that that you simply keep the lawful format in your wants, we’ve set up collectively this whole data. It covers the execs and cons of the utilization of each characterize file format – in order that, by the point you’re accomplished, you’ll be ready to make a need the proper format with ease!


JPEG might perchance nicely perchance be the proper acknowledged of all characterize file codecs, and it’s what many cameras make the most of because the default output.

The issue it’s prime to keep up in ideas is that JPEG recordsdata are compressed in-digital digicam, and thus stop in a lack of element and efficient. They’re really area as much as retailer as many images on the memory card as doable.

Some cameras can keep methods for numerous JPEG efficient ranges (e.g., low, medium, and excessive). The simpler the photograph efficient, the a lot much less compression the digital digicam will fabricate on the customary photograph.

Assuredly talking, JPEGs should be outdated:

  • When the photographs are for personal make the most of, for social media, albums, and exiguous prints, and are not supposed for gigantic prints
  • Should you don’t intend to strengthen or edit the photographs fundamental in put up-production
  • For sharing images by intention of e-mail

JPEG benefits

  • The exiguous file dimension method additional images might perchance moreover be saved on a single memory card
  • Sooner file switch conditions, because of this of the smaller file dimension

JPEG negatives

  • Lack of efficient because of this of characterize compression
  • A lot much less alternative for characterize manipulation in photo-editing intention


TIFF is frequently outdated within the pictures commerce; it’s normally requested by publishers. Although the halt file format can be a JPEG, the preliminary file is frequently a TIFF.

TIFF recordsdata tend to be uncompressed, in order that they supply the possibility for broad put up-processing. And on legend of TIFFs are uncompressed, they’re fundamental greater recordsdata, and should soak up a type of bid – each to your memory card and to your computer.

Some cameras supply TIFF as their absolute top-effective characterize format.

TIFF benefits

  • Ability to control pictures extensively in enhancing intention
  • Chance to print on the absolute prime efficient and at fundamental higher sizes

TIFF negatives

  • Grand greater file sizes (so additional storage is wished)
  • Longer switch and loading conditions because of this of file dimension


RAW files are normally readily available on developed compact cameras, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras.

Merely set up, RAW is the correct option should you rob to keep up to bag absolutely the top-effective recordsdata out of your digital digicam, and it’s the choice most permitted by skilled photographers. Should you don’t make the most of RAW recordsdata, then your digital digicam will influence modifications mechanically to your images, and these can be utterly embedded into your pictures.

RAW recordsdata are created the utilization of a route of that retains the whole perception initially captured. Which means modifications much like white balance, exposure, distinction, saturation, and sharpness can all be altered in characterize-editing intention after the photograph has been taken.

Photographing in RAW format requires lots of memory playing cards, not to grunt really broad put up-processing time. It additionally requires some conventional recordsdata of characterize-editing intention much like Adobe Lightroom, on legend of recordsdata should be edited and transformed out of the RAW format prior to they might perchance moreover be outdated (i.e., prior to they might perchance moreover be shared on-line, printed, despatched to firm, and many others.).

RAW benefits

  • Absolutely the top-effective characterize is captured
  • Intensive methods in put up-processing

RAW negatives

  • Elementary time is wished to transform and edit pictures (you should edit RAW recordsdata)
  • Better file sizes require additional storage and longer put up-processing conditions

DNG (Digital Unfavorable)

Sincere about each digital digicam in the meanwhile makes use of a distinct proprietary format to boost RAW recordsdata. Even cameras from the similar producer will normally make the most of totally different codecs, which method characterize enhancing intention keep in order to be taught recordsdata from all of those totally different cameras.

In consequence, enhancing intention suppliers face a self-discipline: tips on easy methods to protect a watch on and constantly present updates for his or her program so it will be taught all these totally different file codecs.

Enter the DNG.

This file format, created by Adobe, is an try to supply a primitive RAW file for all producers and cameras.

The DNG is equipped as a essential RAW file format, or as a exchange to the producer’s native RAW format. Really applicable a few of the considerations with sustaining images within the customary RAW format is that, fairly a great deal of years from now, you may likely be unable to entry these recordsdata, on legend of they’re bid to cameras and producers.

Nonetheless the utilization of an Adobe DNG Converter method it’s likely you may perchance retailer your RAW recordsdata as DNGs for many future-proofing.

This does add one different step to the put up-processing workflow, which takes earlier irregular time. Nonetheless, enhancing intention much like Lightroom can convert gigantic batches of files to DNGs in order that it doesn’t keep to be accomplished manually.

DNG benefits

  • Ability to make make the most of of characterize-processing intention much like Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Presumably the safer possibility lengthy-term, on legend of it guards in opposition to the shortage to open or entry recordsdata within the prolonged urge

DNG negatives

  • Further time wished to transform digital digicam RAW recordsdata to DNGs (in case your digital digicam does not keep the formulation to type recordsdata on this format)


Designed within the ’90s as an enchancment on the GIF file format, PNG recordsdata are most interesting for use on the on-line.

PNGs are compressed in a lossless format, and subsequently assist all element. However in inequity to different file codecs, PNG efficient doesn’t counsel sizable file sizes – and this is essential on the on-line, on legend of you will have pages to load mercurial.

The alternative trustworthy correct factor about PNG recordsdata is that they allow for partial and whole transparency, which is most interesting for overlays and symbols.

PNG benefits

  • Lossless compression makes for trustworthy correct characterize efficient, which isn’t compromised when enhancing
  • The power to withhold transparency, which is extreme for graphics much like overlays and symbols

PNG negatives

  • High quality is not trustworthy correct enough for printing at any dimension


Love PNGs, GIFs are most interesting for use on the on-line. Lossless compression method characterize efficient is not sacrificed, and delight in PNGs, GIFs supply the flexibility to withhold transparency (though they don’t strengthen partial transparency). GIFs additionally allow for animation.

Nonetheless, the limitation of GIF recordsdata is that they will solely keep a most of 256 colors. Attributable to this actuality, GIFs are not your most interesting possibility for pictures, however reasonably for images with a exiguous colour palette.

GIF benefits

  • The exiguous file dimension makes GIF recordsdata most interesting for use on the on-line
  • Information can keep animation

GIF negatives

  • The exiguous colors influence GIFs a uncomfortable need for pictures
  • GIFs don’t strengthen partial transparency delight in fall shadows


One different lossless file format, the BMP modified into invented by Microsoft, first and primary connect for use on the Home windows platform. Nonetheless, BMPs are in precise truth acknowledged by packages on Macs, furthermore.

BMPs are gigantic recordsdata, as colour recordsdata is saved in each specific individual pixel with none compression. In consequence, BMPs present a excessive efficient digital file, which is sizable for use in print however not most interesting for the on-line.

BMP benefits

  • Would possibly perchance perchance perchance be outdated for printing, because the images are excessive efficient

BMP negatives

  • The large file dimension method a type of storage is required


This file type is what Adobe Photoshop makes use of as a default to position recordsdata. The sizable relieve of the PSD is that it permits for manipulation on bid particular person layers, in need to on the essential characterize itself.

This makes PSDs absolutely most essential for any type of intensive manipulation of the customary photograph, much like retouching. PSDs give far higher flexibility and the flexibility to dazzling-tune an characterize, on legend of layers might perchance moreover be added, eradicated, or edited at any time with out affecting the customary photograph.

However keep in ideas:

As soon as a layered PSD file is flattened (this really merges the whole layers), it will’t be undone. So just remember to place your file as a PSD prior to flattening if there’s of venture you may should flip into a number of of the layers shortly.

PSD benefits

  • Ability to control the picture extensively on separate layers
  • As soon as the picture is prepared, it will additionally moreover be re-saved as another file format

PSD negatives

  • Layered recordsdata might perchance moreover be extremely gigantic in dimension because of this of the whole extra recordsdata they retailer

Picture file codecs: Conclusion

Now that you simply’ve accomplished this text, you realize all the overall characterize file types.

Legit photographers normally elevate in RAW format (though the ultimate file wished is a JPEG), convert these recordsdata to DNGs, then edit in intention much like Photoshop or Lightroom.

However as it’s likely you may perchance nicely additionally search, selecting the lawful file format when taking footage the customary photograph – then selecting the lawful file format when saving the photograph later – is absolutely most essential.

What’s your well-liked characterize file format? Attain you make the most of any codecs not talked about listed right here? Portion your ideas within the suggestions beneath!

Understanding all the Different Image File Formats

Be taught additional from our Put up Production class

Kav Dadfar

Kav Dadfar

is knowledgeable plod photographer, author and photograph tour chief primarily primarily based absolutely within the UK. His images are represented by inventory companies much like 4Corners Photographs and Robert Harding World Imagery they usually’ve been outdated by purchasers much like Condé Nast, Nationwide Geographic, Lonely Planet, and much of others. Kav can be the co-founding father of That Wild Thought, a agency specializing in pictures workshops and excursions each within the UK and everywhere in the realm. Uncover additional at That Wild Thought.

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