HEIF (High Efficiency Image File Format) is the lossy image and animation format defined by MPEG-H Part 12 (ISO/IEC 23008-12). It is based on ISO-BMFF, and supports arbitrary colorspaces, codecs, and compositing of images, with HEVC, AVC, and JPEG being defined in the initial spec.
The standard defines:
- A still image ("image collection") container format, with brand
- An animated image ("image sequence") container format, with brand
- An image compression scheme, with brand
heic, based on HEVC.
- Various other compression schemes, including AVC and JPEG.
- Compositing and layering of multiple images, including transparency.
The file extension .heic typically denotes single still images using HEVC in 8- or 10-bit. .heif may include any of the wider features.
The "HEIC" variation is used by some versions of Apple's iOS, when "High Efficiency" is selected as the storage option. (The alternative, "Most Compatible", uses JPEG.)
Based on source code and sample files, it usually uses the brands
heic. Some files may use other brands, such as
- Some of the links in this forum post might still work
- iPhone XR sample images
- Wikipedia: High Efficiency Image File Format
- HEIF information from the MPEG website
- What is the HEIF (or HEIC) Image Format?
- HEIF information from Nokia Technologies
- ISO/IEC 23008-12 (not free to download)
- How Apple is squeezing more photos into your iPhone
- Apple HEIC vs. students
See also MPEG-H#Links.