File Types


Many of us will sound files GIF, PSD, PNG, TIFF, DNG, RAW and JPEG, the latter the most widespread and used from the internet to spread. And others as something less than HD Photo, DjVu and OpenDocument.Todos they belong to digital images with different characteristics between them. We will describe:


It is a format designed by Compu Serve and stands for Graphic Interchange Format English (Graphic Interchange Format), you can store up to 256 colors, so it belongs to simple images such as drawings, stripes, woven and weight is minimal. It is cross platform and is commonly used in Internet logos (supports animation), but due to its simplicity, is less frequent every day.


Portable Network Graphics in a graphical format based on a lossless compression algorithm was developed to address the shortcomings of the GIF and allows greater depth of contrast. It is a format with no loss of quality with excellent compression, ideal for images formed by large areas of flat color or with little variation in color (and support transparency). Its features make it ideal for use on the Internet, but has not had the expected expansion (some browsers do not display correctly).


It is a file created by the famous and extended editing software and photo editor Adobe Photoshop. Is your native file and therefore its use is limited to this program (although others may also open).


Tagged Image File Format (its extension is TIF) is a format for high-resolution image based on tags. It is used for the universal interchange of digital images and is widely used, and can be monochrome, grayscale or color of 8 and 24 bits. It can be compressed (though not recommended) and is ideal for digital photography, but increasingly it is used less in the photographic process. Until recently some models of cameras (especially SLRs) worked with this format, but has been losing ground to the JPEG. Disadvantages: bulky and do not allow change settings such as white balance or exposure. In contrast advantage is that it is widely accepted editing programs, its use is widespread and provides no losses each time you save time and again.


Joint Photographic Experts Group identifies files that contain images and is best used for storing, displaying and sharing photos. It was designed to compress images with 24 bits or grayscale. It is a standard for online image management and therefore, its use has expanded, along with the rise of digital photography. Is the file type that produce almost all of the cameras and uses the initials JPG extension.

When the camera takes an image in JPEG format applied when processing certain parameters such as sharpening, noise reduction, contrast, saturation, etc.. As each camera will do differently. Currently the enormous resolution of almost obliged to use machines because they generate huge files with JPEG compression have (with loss).

Its main advantages are: no need for further processing, occupy less space, are compatible with all programs and displayed on different platforms, shooting in JPEG is faster and allows the camera to faster processing and are therefore ideal for fire in bursts, with the least compression provides high quality (if you have taken the image with exposure settings and white balance appropriate) without retouching. As main disadvantage is the fact that its compression is lossy, which is growing as we keep on the same file, plus it allows little flexibility.


It is a raw image format used by digital cameras and contains all the original information captured by the camera (usually no compression, although some manufacturers incorporate it). Designed more as a concept, Caada manufacturer uses its own raw file (there is no dominant standard and there are nearly a hundred, varying even within the same manufacturer in different models) that can be distinguished by their extensions: RAF (Fuji), CRW ( Canon), NEF (Nikon), ORF (Olympus), PTX (Pentax), RAW (Panasonic), ARW (Sony), … Needs to be processed (disclosed) by software that supports it and is often called the Digital Negative (by analogy with traditional photography).

The current trend of digital photography is aimed at extending the use of RAW files because they allow greater control by the user, as it contains raw data from the camera sensor. Technically there are still image files, since they must be processed by a program that interprets the data. By the way, each software does so in a different way, so results may vary when opened with Adobe Camera Raw Apple Aperture (to name a few) or the program that each manufacturer provides us with the camera.

Its main advantages are the flexibility to adjust the white balance and exposure, lighting, etc.. As mentioned disadvantage is the lack of standardization, that require processing by a program compatible and requires converting to another format for sharing over the Internet, by its enormous weight.


Emerged in 2005 as an attempt to standardize RAW, being open, free and non-proprietary. In the photographic format war is postulated to be the most rational, since each manufacturer’s RAW files are closed.


Digital Negative is a file type created by Adobe (using the limited expansion of OpenRAW) and need to generate a standard RAW photo files and preserve such records for the future, if a manufacturer ceases to provide service to its format. Allows great flexibility to work on any system images and uses lossless compression.

As mentioned, the roads is taking digital photography will discard some for other formats, for greater flexibility, standardization and ease of use. It is possible that within a few years get a universal format for which OpenRAW or DNG (RAW or other generic display) is the ideal, but it is an endeavor complicated by the different interests of different manufacturers. Today, JPG and RAW files are the most widespread and there is no one better than another, as some are better suited to the needs of those users, but recognize that it is advisable to use raw files, although requiring to have some knowledge processing and management requires more time.


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