Should You Convert Lossy Images into Lossless Format?

Most of you'd know the basic differences between JPEG and GIF files. Especially, if you are a photographer, it is a must to understand the difference between lossless and lossy image formats. Using a different type of image compression from these may damage your file’s quality in a miserable way. And, we’ll also tell you whether it’s a good option to convert from a lossy image type into a lossless one.

What are Lossless Formats?

If an image file type preserves all of the file’s original data, it’s a lossless format. RAW image types are typical examples of it. If you save an image in RAW format, it’ll keep all the optical data along with meta information in that image, resulting in a large image file.

Apart from RAW files, there are several image types in lossless formats including PNG, BMP, etc.

Lossy Formats Explained

Lossy image formats remove some of the image data from the file producing a much smaller file. JPEG is a popular example. Even on JPEG, there is variable quality setting that controls its lossy levels. So, you can have a much smaller JPEG file compromising much of its quality.

TIFF, GIF, are some of the famous lossy image formats other than JPEG.

Now comes the real question: Is It Good to Convert from Lossy to Lossless?

Technically, a lossless algorithm looks for recurring patterns in files to compress, and replace each occurrence with a short abbreviation. As a result, file sizes will get reduced.

Conversely, lossy algorithms store color coded information in a lower resolution as compared to original image so as to result in substantial size reduction of files.

You know that you’ll remove some part of the image when you convert a lossless format to a lossy one. But, if you go on converting a lossy format to a lossless one, you won’t get any of the lost data back. Say, for example, you’re converting a JPEG file to a PNG file. You may get a larger PNG file after conversion. But the quality of the file won’t be different from that of the JPEG file.  That’s why you should not convert lossy images into lossless types.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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