When dealing with digital files and creating the same, it’s important to know which format is best for the particular type of while. Since we can’t talk about all file formats and compare them all at once, in this post, we focus on image file formats.
There are also many image file formats you can choose from, including TIGG, JPEG (JPG), PNG, Bitmap, RAW image files, and EPS. Each of them is best for a specific use of the image. For instance, TIFF is best for printing since it doesn’t need to be compressed. Similarly, JPG and PNG are best for web graphics.
But, which one is better?
This is a difficult question to answer because it all depends on what you intend to do with the image (share, compress, print) and the type of image (vector image, web graphics, etc.). And, since it’s very hard to tell “This is the best format!”, we’ve decided to give you an overview of only 3 of them: JPG, PNG, and PDF.
Yes! Although not one of the classic image file formats, PDF is commonly used for sharing, printing, and downloading high-quality images.
So, let’s check them out!
Before jumping right to comparing these three formats, let’s look at each of them separately. This will give you more details into what each file is and what it’s best used for.
This format was created by the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), from which it takes the name. It’s mostly used for compressing images, so that they have a smaller size, thus being easier for sharing and using them in web design.
However, it’s a lossy format, which means that the image saved as a .jpg or .jpeg will be compressed or some file information will be lost. Also, there is a loss in quality, but it’s usually not noticeable.
Best used for:
Smaller file size – Images saved in this format are smaller in size, which makes them perfect for saving space on your device, sharing them via email, chat, or any other platform, and using them as web graphics. The compression ratio of this format is around 10:1, which means if your image is 15MB, after saving it as a .jpg or .jpeg, it will be 1.5MB in size. Convenient, right?
Quality loss after compression – While being compressed has some benefits, it also has some disadvantages such as quality loss. This is because the algorithm used to compress the images finds the pixels with the same/similar colors or value and puts them together in tiles, which leads to image data loss. Also, after saving your image in this format, you will lose that data forever without a chance to ever be restored to the original quality.
You can choose the amount of compression of the image when using image-editing programs like Photoshop and GIMP.
When to use JPG?
Tip: If you need to share a JPEG image with important information that you want to protect, try our JPG to PDF converter. It easily turns images into PDF file format. Then just encrypt the PDF with the password protect tool.
When not to use JPG?
PNG, an acronym for Portable Network Graphics, is a lossless raster image format that was created to replace the GIF. It contains a bitmap image that is compressed without losing any data. And, since it doesn’t reduce the image size, it keeps more image data and details than JPG, which results in higher quality images. That makes this format optimized for web graphics like logos and graphs.
In addition, PNG has inbuilt transparency and can display higher color depths. This results in millions of colors.
Best used for:
What makes PNGs one of the favored image formats is that they have built-in transparency which allows you to “remove” the image background by making it transparent.
When to use PNG?
Tip: You can always convert PNG to PDF if you feel more convenient with the free PNG to PDF converter.
When not to use PNG?
Although not a classic image format, the Portable Document Format (PDF) becomes more and more used nowadays due to its impressive characteristics, such as easy sharing, lossless compression, protection, annotation, and comments. Plus, it’s the industry standard for document sharing because it creates exactly the same copy of any file you want to create a copy of, including images.
Best used for:
PDFs are known as the most secure file format because some tools associated with the format allow you to protect your files from unauthorized access, editing, and copying. You can do that by simply adding a password to the PDF or a watermark. Also, you can restrict access to specific groups of users.
When to use PDF?
When not to use PDF?
For editing images – Although PDFs are perfect for storing all sorts of images, they aren’t suitable for editing them. Instead, you should use other apps, such as Photoshop, for that.
Now that we’ve looked at each file format separately, it’s time to compare them. To provide you with a clear idea of the features they share and differ in, we’ve created a table containing the formats on one hand and the features on the other. So, let’s check it out!
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Ok, so we’ve looked at each image file format and compared them in the table above. Now, you know which format is best used for what kind of image and in which scenario. While this can serve you as a guide, it’s still up to you to make the final decision.
So, which image format is the right one?
Here are tips on how to choose the right image format!
Choosing the right format is important for a successful job. It plays a great role in managing and storing images. In order to make sure you choose the most suitable image file format for your images, take a good look at each of these three formats, their features, uses, and compare them. Then, ask yourself the questions proposed in the section above and choose the format that ticks most boxes for the type of image, its features, and your needs.