The TikZ & PGF manual says that ‘LaTeX’s
\includegraphics is designed better than pgf’s image mechanism’ and that ‘LaTeX users are encouraged to use
\includegraphics to include images.’ But is there any advantage of using
\includegraphics instead of
\pgfimage when not using any of the features exclusive to
\includegraphics (such as clipping)?
The only differences I’ve found is that
latexmk automatically recognises modified images when
\includegraphics is used, but not when
\pgfimage is used. On the other hand,
\pgfimage supports the
interpolate option, which is nice (though not widely supported in PDF readers).
\pgfimage also supports masking, which
\includegraphics does not. One last difference I’ve found is that
\pgfimage only issues a warning, not an error, when a referenced image is not found. This may of course be both positive and negative; personally, I like it.
Are there any other important differences and advantages of using