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Image File Formats


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With JPG you will generally lose quality due to the "lossy" compression used.


GIF's generally only have a small colour palette, normally 256.


BMP, also now known as RAW on cameras, no loss and virtually no compression if at all!


PNG's, good all round format, full colour availability and good lossless compression.

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TIFF (.tif) tends to be related to 'scanned images' or 'scanned documents' to save on space. .jpg and .jpeg are pretty common but there was some advice a few years ago that people should use .png as there was a potential copyright issue over saving images as .jpegs.

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Is TIFF still being used?


Broadcast TV graphics and stills use uncompressed TIFF because it supports transparency for automatic compositing. We don't care about space, we have plenty of it - 100MB for a single image is not uncommon.

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.TGA can also do uncompressed 4 channels including Alpha. Imagine the main reason they use those kind of formats (along with .TIFF) in video processing, is because reading and writing massive image files, is a LOT quicker that the time it takes to compress to .PNG, even though a .PNG file size may be like 1% or less, of the uncompressed equivalent image.


We tend to use .PNG and .JPG most in game development.


They all have different properties and uses though, totally depends on what your application is PrimalJay?

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