Image file formats are standardized means of organizing and storing digital images. Image files are composed of either pixel or vector (geometric) data that are rasterized to pixels when displayed (with few exceptions) in a vector graphic display. The pixels that constitute an image are ordered as a grid (columns and rows); each pixel consists of numbers representing magnitudes of brightness and color.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a compression method; JPEG-compressed images are usually stored in the JFIF (JPEG File Interchange Format) file format. JPEG compression is (in most cases) lossy compression. The JPEG/JFIF filename extension is JPG or JPEG. Nearly every digital camera can save images in the JPEG/JFIF format, which supports 8 bits per color (red, green, blue) for a 24-bit total, producing relatively small files. When not too great, the compression does not noticeably detract from the image's quality, but JPEG files suffer generational degradation when repeatedly edited and saved. The JPEG/JFIF format also is used as the image compression algorithm in many PDF files.
 JPEG 2000
The TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) format is a flexible format that normally saves 8 bits or 16 bits per color (red, green, blue) for 24-bit and 48-bit totals, respectively, usually using either the TIFF or TIF filename extension. TIFF's flexibility can be both an advantage and disadvantage, since a reader that reads every type of TIFF file does not exist. TIFFs can be lossy and lossless; some offer relatively good lossless compression for bi-level (black&white) images. Some digital cameras can save in TIFF format, using the LZW compression algorithm for lossless storage. TIFF image format is not widely supported by web browsers. TIFF remains widely accepted as a photograph file standard in the printing business. TIFF can handle device-specific color spaces, such as the CMYK defined by a particular set of printing press inks. OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software packages commonly generate some (often monochromatic) form of TIFF image for scanned text pgs.
As far as videocameras are concerned, ARRI's Arriflex D-20 and D-21 cameras provide raw 3K-resolution sensor data with Bayern pattern as still images (one per frame) in a proprietary format (.ari file extension). Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, with its Mysterium sensor family of still and video cameras, uses its proprietary raw format called REDCODE (.R3D extension), which stores still as well as audio+video information in one lossy-compressed file.
PNG provides a patent-free replacement for GIF and can also replace many common uses of TIFF. Indexed-color, grayscale, and truecolor images are supported, plus an optional alpha channel.
PNG is designed to work well in online viewing applications like web browsers so it is fully streamable with a progressive display option. PNG is robust, providing both full file integrity checking and simple detection of common transmission errors. Also, PNG can store gamma and chromaticity data for improved color matching on heterogeneous platforms.
Some programs do not handle PNG gamma correctly, which can cause the images to be saved or displayed darker than they should be.
Animated formats derived from PNG are MNG and APNG. The latter is supported by Mozilla Firefox and Opera and is backwards compatible with PNG.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is limited to an 8-bit palette, or 256 colors. This makes the GIF format suitable for storing graphics with relatively few colors such as simple diagrams, shapes, logos and cartoon style images. The GIF format supports animation and is still widely used to provide image animation effects. It also uses a lossless compression that is more effective when large areas have a single color, and ineffective for detailed images or dithered images.
The BMP file format (Windows bitmap) handles graphics files within the Microsoft Windows OS. Typically, BMP files are uncompressed, hence they are large; the advantage is their simplicity and wide acceptance in Windows programs.