When to use : JPEG, PNG, GIF

They say “A picture is worth thousand words”. Yes in this digital age, images fill up our cellphone gallery, mailboxes, take up computer memory space and revolve around us everyday, be it web, mobile messengers , magazines or newspapers. When working with digital image files there are certain file types to be used for each circumstance.

PNG, JPG, GIFJPG or JPEG(Joint Photographic Experts Group), pronounced as jay-peg has a 16-bit data format and can display millions of colours.

  • It uses a very complex compression algorithm to reduce file size. Called as Lossy compression for the lost data.
  • Used when a small file size is more important than maximum quality
  • Standard file format of most digital cameras
  • Compatible across multiple platforms and other programs(web browsers and image editors)
  • Best Uses: Still images only, real-world images like photos, complex colouring, shading of light and dark

GIF(Graphics Interchange Format), was created by CompuServe to transfer images across slow connections.

  • Uses 256 indexed colours. Also, uses dithering, a process where two pixel colours combine to make one to reduce the number of colours needed
  • Allows for single-bit transparency, one colour can be chosen to be transparent.
  • Can be animated, uses lossless compression – no data loss
  • Best Uses: Web graphics with fewer colours, small icons, animations, simple images

PNG(Portable Network Graphics), pronounced as ping or P-N-G. Lossless compression, so no data loss. There are two types in PNG, i.e. PNG-8 and PNG-24

  • PNG-8 uses 256 colours and 1-bit transparency, is very similar to GIF but file size is smaller than GIF files
  • PNG-24 uses 24-bit colours similar to JPEG, can include over 16 million colours, lossless compression means larger files than JPEG
  • PNG files allow transparency to be on a scale between opaque and completely transparent. These images can be put on any colour background and maintain original appearance.
  • Best Uses: Web images such as logos, which involves transparency and fading

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