Can you imagine the world without images? The world without photos? It’s like a world without stories, a world without memories. The images are meant to tell stories, a reason to remember the past. They are proof of the beautiful moments you have spent.
This article is devoted to shedding light on the different image file formats used over the years.
Let’s start with the JPEG file format.
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and was developed in 1986. It is actually based on the name of a compression algorithm created by the independent JPEG group. JPEG uses bitmap information that is stored in pixel files. 24 bits of memory are dedicated to each pixel.
When and where to use JPEG?
The JPEG file format is used in cases where the reduction of the file size is a priority compared to the quality of the image. The format is used for still images, for shading (bright and dark), for real-world images, etc. It is compatible on most platforms, including Mac OS systems. It is also compatible with most web browsers and image editors.
Points to remember about JPEG:
The compression algorithm is used to reduce the file size. 60% to 75% compression is good for websites.
The term « lossy » is used to represent JPEG because they retain all the color information but compress the file size. Compression consists of choosing the data to keep while eliminating the rest. As a result, the quality of the image is compromised.
Apparently, this is the standard file format used by most digital cameras.
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- Best choice for smaller files. As a result, the storage space required will be less and the download will also take less time.
- They are the best choice for brightly colored images.
- The JPEG mini compression tool can compress images up to 5 times without losing quality.
- The factor « loss ».
- The JPEG file format is not suitable for sharp-edged images.
- JPEG is not the best choice for images containing any type of text.
- Mozilla created the mozjpeg format in March 2014.
- It is advantageous for web pages such as Facebook to allow pages to load faster.
- The abbreviation is pronounced as « jay-peg ».
- The human eye is not able to see or notice the color details as closely as it can notice the shades of black and white or dark and light. As a result, some color details are sacrificed and the quality of the image is reduced.
Switch to GIF file format …
GIF was created in 1987 by CompuServe. It means » Graphics Interchange Format » and the file extension is .GIF. This is not only the oldest Web graphics file format, but also the most widely used.
Where and when to use GIF?
The GIF file format is used for illustrations, cliparts, and icons. mainly places where the color block is used. GIFs support animation and are used for simple line drawings or monochrome borders.
Points to remember:
- The main goal of GIF development was to quickly transfer images over slow Internet connections.
- They use 256 indexed colors and are used to display indexed color images and graphics in HTML documents. Therefore, a GIF displays a maximum of 256 colors.
- The GIF format allows and preserves the transparency of a bit. This means that certain sections or colors of GIF can be made transparent. However, the side effect of this feature is; the selected color made transparent will appear transparent to all places where it is present in the image.
- Can be interlaced, that is, the GIF format provides an interleave option that displays an approximate primary version of the image before the final image is transmitted. This is basically the ‘progressive loading’, showing the poor quality version first, then with the details.
- GIFs are the best choice for cliparts and icons.
- They are also a good option for text messages.
- Lossless compression.
- Can not display the image in its color range.
- This is not the best choice for photographs.
- It only supports 256 colors in the palette.
- The file size may be relatively large compared to its equivalents.
- The correct pronunciation of GIF is ‘jif’ as stated by the creator Steve Wilhite.
- GIFs can be animated.
- Any GIF color can be transparent.
- GIFs use the dithering process, which consists of combining the colors of two pixels to create one to reduce the number of colors required.
Last but not least, PNG ….
The PNG file format arrived in the mid-1990s. The PNG format is » Portable Network Graphics « .
Now, PNG covers some of the good points of both; GIF and JPEG file formats. The file extension for PNG is .PNG.
There are two types of PNG formats, PNG-8 and PNG-24. The PNG-8 format is similar to the GIF format, while the PNG-24 format is similar to the JPEG format. Like GIFs, the PNG-8 format can support a maximum of 256 colors. The PNG-24 format can display approximately 16 million colors. You have to choose according to the requirement.
Where and when to use PNG?
The photographs can be in PNG format if the size of the file does not pose a problem. They can be used as web images and as logos. They are also used in places requiring transparency and discoloration. PNGs are used in line drawing locations.
Points to remember:
- The PNG file size is larger than JPEG due to « lossless compression ».
- PNG images can generate images with uneven edges.
- They can maintain the original appearance of all background colors.
- Lossless compression.
- This is the best option for images containing text.
- The file size is comparatively smaller.
- Suitable for logo designs
- Does not support animation like GIF.
- Not suitable for large images
- All web browsers, especially old ones, do not support PNG files.
- Pronounced as ‘Ping’! J
- For PNG files, the transparency can be adjusted between opaque and completely transparent. It is possible to obtain a faded or translucent appearance.
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