JS not enabled What exactly is the difference between bitmap and vector files? -
  • What exactly is the difference between bitmap and vector files?
What exactly is the difference between bitmap and vector files?

First of all we start by defining what bitmap files and vector files are:

Bitmap is a type of file that stores digital images in a bit form, meaning that the image contains a number of bits and these bits create a coloured squared that is called a pixel, the higher that number of pixels the higher the quality and size.

Vectors uses mathematical formulas to create geometric shapes rather than using individual blocks. You can zoom in as much as you want and the quality wouldn’t get effected because the computer is constantly doing calculations whereas in bitmap If you zoom in the picture will get blurry because it is made out of pixels. Bitmap’s file size is bigger than vector because it stores the information about colours in every single pixel, the higher the number of pixels the higher the file size and quality is, also the more 24 bit colour the higher quality and size is, but vector’s file size is small because rather than using pixels it uses mathematical calculations, this means that the file size doesn’t change when the image is smaller or bigger.

Bitmap is used to edit photographs because photographs contain small details and wide variety of colours that can’t be displayed using vector files, on the other hand Vector is used for creating logos because logos and small artwork don’t have a lot of details. Photoshop is typically used for bitmaps, usually the files are stored in JPEG,TIF and PNG formats but Illustrator is typically used for vector files, usually the files are stored in AI, EPS  and SVG format.

An advantage of bitmap is that it can be used for photo editing and it can have very detailed colours and shades but it had downsides as well; it loses quality when you zoom in, files are larger than vector files. Vector files also have advantages such as not losing quality when you zoom in no matter the size of the file, vector files generally take less space then bitmaps and the content of the file is very easy to reshape and recolour, however vector images are less detailed and therefore they cannot be used for photographs.