watermarkspro Logo

Types of photos: raster and vector.

There are two main types of photos: raster and vector.


  • Raster images are made up of a grid of pixels, each of which has a specific color and position. This means that raster images can be easily compressed, but they also lose some quality when they are resized. Raster images are the most common type of image, and they are used for most photos and graphics. Some common raster image formats include JPEG, PNG, and GIF.
  • Vector images are made up of mathematical formulas that define the shape and color of the image. This means that vector images can be scaled to any size without losing quality. Vector images are often used for logos, illustrations, and other graphics that need to be scalable. Some common vector image formats include SVG, EPS, and AI.

Photos can be categorized based on their usage or characteristics. Here are some common types of photos and their formats:

  1. JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group):
    • Format: .jpg, .jpeg
    • Description: JPEG is the most widely used format for photographs due to its high compression capability while maintaining reasonable image quality. It is suitable for general purposes, such as sharing on social media, websites, and printing.
  2. PNG (Portable Network Graphics):
    • Format: .png
    • Description: PNG is a lossless format, meaning it retains higher image quality than JPEG but comes with a larger file size. It supports transparency, making it ideal for images with transparent backgrounds, logos, and graphics.
  3. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format):
    • Format: .gif
    • Description: GIF is a format that supports animation and is often used for short, looping clips or simple animations. It uses lossless compression, but due to its limited color palette, it may not be suitable for complex images or photos.
  4. TIFF (Tagged Image File Format):
    • Format: .tiff, .tif
    • Description: TIFF is a lossless format commonly used in professional photography and publishing. It preserves high-quality images and is suitable for tasks like printing, archiving, and graphic design.
  5. RAW:
    • Format: Varies by camera manufacturer (.nef for Nikon, .cr2 for Canon, .arw for Sony, etc.)
    • Description: RAW is the untouched, unprocessed data captured directly from the camera’s sensor. It provides the highest quality and flexibility for post-processing but requires specialized software to edit and convert into more common formats like JPEG or TIFF.
  6. BMP (Bitmap):
    • Format: .bmp
    • Description: BMP is a simple raster image format used for storing graphics and is compatible with various operating systems and software. However, it tends to have larger file sizes compared to compressed formats like JPEG.
  7. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics):
    • Format: .svg
    • Description: SVG is a vector-based format used for graphics, logos, and illustrations. It scales without loss of quality, making it ideal for web design and scalable assets.
  8. HDR (High Dynamic Range):
    • Format: Varies (often .hdr or .exr)
    • Description: HDR images capture a wider range of light and color information, creating stunning visual effects. They are used in photography and 3D rendering for realistic lighting and rendering effects.

These are some of the common photo types and their formats. Each format serves specific purposes, and the choice of format depends on factors like intended use, image quality, and compatibility with the target platform.