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What is an Image File?

The Basics: 

An Image File is the type of file your photograph is saved as. All digital cameras record images as JPEG files, which are compressed to save space, but still retain good quality. DSLRs and high performance compact cameras can also save images in a proprietary format known as RAW. Unlike JPEG images, RAW files need to be developed before you can share them.
See JPEG and RAW for more information.