What is the difference between JPG and PNG image formats?

PNG files lose no data, but they can take a lot of space if they contain complex images. A JPG file loses varying amounts of data since it compresses complex images, but what you are left with is a file that saves more space in your device’s memory.

PNG uses lossless compression, which indicates that it doesn’t alter the quality of the image in any way. JPG uses lossy compression that is usually more effective in keeping the file size lower for the file, but it smudges some of the pixels to make it happen. With a reasonable level of compression, JPG does not significantly differ from PNG in most cases, especially if the image that is going to be converted to JPG or PNG already has slightly lower quality, but if the image is downloaded and converted several times as JPG, it will eventually receive high compression levels, making a drastic drop in quality.

Generally, PNG is favored by many because the size of a file is usually not a problem these days. Images with sharper edges should be preferably be saved or downloaded as a PNG file since the compression involves in converting it to JPG pixelates the sharp edges first, and the signs of compression are highly visible. PNG also supports transparency, which means that curved and rounded images will remain in the same shape after downloading. Unfortunately, JPG doesn’t feature transparency, as it would download the image with a white square background underneath it. If you need the image without the annoying white background, then downloading it as a PNG file is your only real option.

For large and complex images that have an enormous file size, JPG has the edge over PNG. The JPG conversion is designed for compressing photographs taken by high-end cameras, which usually have a lot of detail and erratic gradients. If you wanted an image with a large file size to fit into a small-capacity flash drive, then you can convert it to JPG, and the computer will automatically compress the image. The level of compression in JPG is about 10%, and this level allows you to convert a 30MB image into a 3MB file. Despite the high levels of compression, the normal human eye won’t even see the difference between the before and after shots.

There is another image file that you should know about, and this file is called GIF. A GIF file is considered as an archaic halfway point between the two. The file supports transparency, but only in a binary pattern, as each pixel can either be transparent or not. It also has a brutal compression algorithm, but it doesn’t affect the quality of the image is reduced to 256 colors or less. However, the main point of turning images into GIF is that it supports animation since it can turn multiple photos into one moving image. Most GIFs have almost the size as JPG, and they are rarely as big as PNG since they are heavily compressed.

Who Do Some People Prefer JPG?

Although many would argue that PNG is the best image file, some would say that JPG is better even though it compresses photos. The most effective use of the JPG file, according to fans, is that it allows a website to load much faster since the JPG images placed on a web page can appear quicker on the browser. You will be surprised to find out that the majority of websites found on the internet uses JPG for their logos and images rather than PNG, and it is mainly due to the fact that JPG can contribute for better user experience because the website will load faster and the switch from one web page to another will appear seamless. Another advantage of the JPG over the PNG is that it is more shareable due to having a smaller file size, which enables users to attach multiple images to emails or messages without exceeded file capacity.

However, a few people have also said that JPG images should always come from PNG or other image files, as converting a JPG image into another JPG file can compress the photo even further and lose its quality over time.