File Formats

Something that has been bothering me for a while is the number of different file formats that are available for photos. I never know which one is best for what type of photo or if they are even different at all.

According to Aziz .png is awful


In our projects thus far, I have JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, PSD, PDF, MP4, MPEG, MP3. So I decided to look up what all the differences are.

Lets start with PNG. PNG is the default file extension for screenshots, which I take a lot of. It stands for Portable Network Graphics. PNG was developed to improve on GIFS actually. PNGs allow control for many transparency options. However, PNGs are not supported by older browsers. The most important thing about PNG though is that the format has lossless compression, so images do not lose clarity when compressed.

JPEG or JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group format. The format type can be made smaller than PNGs and were made specifically for photographs. When compressed( especially things with graphics) JPEGS will lose some of its clarity and sharpness in areas with high contrast. However, JPEG is pretty much the standard.


GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format is also a lossless compression format. But only supports a number of colors (256) which is why the coloring on them looks funny sometimes.GIFs are best used for simple animations and logos, things with not many colors.  Using an animation editor GIF images can be made into animations.


And there you go, the difference between GIFS, PNG, and JPG

With help from: Wikipedia, Webopedia