JPEG, pronounced jay-peg, is the acronym which stands for the group that developed the file type, "Joint Photographic Expert Group." JPEG is a compression method which can significantly reduce the file size of photographic and other continuous tone images. An image in JPEG format would have a .jpg extension, eg. filename.jpg.
Digital cameras offer several JPEG compression levels and quality settings. For images with the least compression, the loss of quality is usually not seen by the human eye. Keeping jpeg compression to a minimum is a must if you want to print out quality photos.
Some digital cameras only offer the jpeg file format. Advanced digital and Single Lens reflex cameras often offer the option of shooting in JPEG, TIFF and/or RAW.
JPEG files, unlike TIFF and RAW files, do not take up as much room on a memory card. They are also processed faster by the camera than the other file formats.
JPEGs store important camera settings and scene information known as EXIF data.