While working with images, there are certain file formats which we use mostly like JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and EPS. Out of them JPEG, PNG, and GIF have become the most commonly used. With so many image file formats available, how do you determine which is right for your requirement? Because each format produces variances in file size, compression, and quality.
Do you know the differences between JPEG, GIF, PNG and other image filetypes? ? If your answer is “no,” then you might be using the wrong image file type. Here are the basics you need to know.
1) JPEG (JPG):
JPEG was a file type developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG). JPEG format supports 24 bits per pixel, 8 each for brightness, blue, and red, making this a “truecolor” format that can display over 16 million colors.
JPG images support 16 million colors and are best suited for photographs, naturalistic artwork and realistic images. JPEG handles only still images
Although JPEG support 16 million colors and it can create very high-quality images, it has some disadvantages. The compression method is usually lossy, meaning that the image you get out of decompression isn't quite identical to what you originally put in and loses clarity and sharpness. Also JPEG does not work well on line drawings, simple cartoons, lettering or simple graphics.
Unfortunately, JPGs don’t support transparency and animation.
JPEG is a most widely used for Web, because it is compressed.
The Graphics Interchange Format (known GIF) is a bitmap image format that was introduced by CompuServe in 1987, who needed a platform for independent image format that was suitable for transfer across slow connections.
It is an 8 bit format which means the maximum number of colours supported by this format is 256 and it force all the colors of an image into a 256-color palette. Less the colors in image mean smaller the file size and GIF reduce the image size. You wouldn’t use it for a photographic image, or a graphic.
GIF is a good choice for logos, line drawings, text other simple images that need to be small. Gif images are great for creating very low resolution files for your website. GIFs are better suited for buttons and banners on websites, since these types of images typically do not require a lot of colors.
Main advantage of GIF is that it can be used for small animations and low-resolution film clips. Unlike JPG files, GIF files support transparent backgrounds. Transparency allows you to place the gif over any color background or even photos, and you won’t see a border or background in the image.
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and it was created as an improved, non-patented replacement for Graphics Interchange Format (GIF), and is the most used lossless image compression format on the Internet. It supports lossless data compression.
PNG supports palette-based images. It supports 8-bit color like GIF, but also supports 24-bit color RGB like JPG does, giving you more color ranges to work with. PNG files are lossless, which means that they do not lose quality during editing.
PNG offers a variety of transparency options. PNG-24 and PNG-32 supports transparency, but it is more advance compared to Gif transparency.
Which one you should use?
PGs, PNGs, and GIFs have benefits and limitations, so use a specific image format according to the situation. Here is a general rule-
- JPG is most commonly used for photographs, naturalistic artwork and realistic images.
- GIF is great, when your requirement is for small image size with limited color. It is useful for clipart and drawings as well as animation.
- PNG are better for capturing lossless images, smaller file size and transparency.