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JPEG is one of the most extensively used image formats. Understanding the inherent characteristics of JPEG may play a useful role in digital image forensics. In this paper, we introduce JPEG error analysis to the study of image forensics. The main errors of JPEG include quantization, rounding, and truncation errors. Through theoretically analyzing the effects of these errors on single and double JPEG compression, we have developed three novel schemes for image forensics including identifying whether a bitmap image has previously been JPEG compressed, estimating the quantization steps of a JPEG image, and detecting the quantization table of a JPEG image. Extensive experimental results show that our new methods significantly outperform existing techniques especially for the images of small sizes. We also show that the new method can reliably detect JPEG image blocks which are as small as 8 × 8 pixels and compressed with quality factors as high as 98. This performance is important for analyzing and locating small tampered regions within a composite image.