• United States
10 Feb 07
Oh, lord. It all depends on what I need it for. I loathe .bmps. File size-wise, they're large and cumbersome and seriously impractical. .JPGs are very good for a basic format, but too many people don't know how to optimize properly, resulting in either a file nearly as big as a .bmp, or an extremely fuzzy picture. A good alternative to .JPGs I like to use is .PNG, although I've noticed that if I try to optimize it too much, it can suffer the same problem with color gradients as .gifs do. But otherwise, .PNGs hold the same range of true color retention while allowing an option of transparency for the file that you can't get with a .jpg. .GIFs do a nice job at retaining sharp lines, but they're limited in the amount of color information they can hold. THey're necessary for animated pictures, but if there's a gradient or a lot of subtle color variations, the .gif format is a bad choice unless you _want_ to turn it into an animation, and are willing to take a hit in the color quality department. They're good for very basic colors, and for making transparent images. I prefer saving files I'm working on as .PSPs or .PSDs -- I can't stand Adobe Photoshop, truth be told. I'm a longtime lover of JASC Paint Shop Pro, and it can handle more various file formats than what the version of Photoshop I had ever could. I have a lot of clipart disks and handle a lot of different file types for images, so I needed that accessibility. File types like .psp or .psd retain layer information, but it comes with a price -- huge file sizes. There's other image file types, like .tiff, .wmf, .img, and so on, but they're more specialized and really, the only three file types that anyone who wants to share images over the internet should concern themselves with are GIFs, JPGs, and PNGs. Again, I say, BMPs are obsolete and impractical and extremely inefficient as far as file types go.
• United States
10 Feb 07
If it's like a photograph or a picture that I want to share with my friends online JPG is the obvious choice. It has the best compression and makes it easy to transport online. BMP are good if you're messing around in Paint, but they are often over a megabyte each (making them not very net accessible). GIFs are good if you want an animated button or something on your site. Their small file size and animation capabilities make them ideal for some things on web sites.