formats that are suited for the kind of image you are saving. It should be kept in mind though that when you are to choose the format for your image, you need to take into consideration both the images quality and file size.
Photographic images can be saved in different file formats. Of course the obvious choice answers questions about compatibility. The format of choice is one that does not lose color quality, contrast or file size. TIF or EPS files are examples of lossless file formats. They are designed to print clear and crisp at a resolution of 300dpi at their final size in the layout. JPEG/JPG or GIF files are examples of lossy file formats. They were originally designed for easy file transmission and internet use, not for printing. When a lossy file format is saved over and over again, the jagged edges are exaggerated. The process creates extra pixel garbage that you do not want printed. Therefore, if you start with a JPEG file that then needs edits, save it as an EPS or TIF file. This way, additional information will not get lost and the quality of the original JPEG image will be maintained.
Each file format is designed for a specific purpose. It must be understood where they are used best for you to make full use of their individual potentials.
For images intended for print the fundamental requirement is good color support. It is by providing this that the TIFF format, with its support for RGB, Lab and especially CMYK color models, established itself. However, theres much more to successful print than just storing pixel values. In particular its important to recognize that photographic images are unlikely to be printed directly from their originating bitmap editor, but instead must fit into a wider print-oriented workflow. This immediately requires additional functionality such as DTP-based color management and compositing capabilities.
The PSD format can support all the advanced features such as duotones, clipping paths and channels but it also offers one feature that no other file format does. While every other format must be flattened on export, PSD is the only format that supports layers. Any program that supports PSDs directly can then leverage this layer information as Adobe ImageReady and Deneba Canvas show.
PNG is a format that can efficiently and losslessly handle images ranging from bi-level line-art through to state-of-the-art 48-bit photographic images. The format doesnt just support a transparent key color as GIF does but also, through its alpha mask, offers true variable transparency. Likewise the format doesnt just support color profiling but also enables gamma information to be embedded so that colors can be kept consistent across different platforms such as the Mac and PC. The format is also easily extensible as Macromedia has (rather confusingly) shown by making PNG the native format for its largely vector-based Fireworks program.