What is JPEG?

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JPG or JPEG (JAY-PEG) Is the worlds most popular digital format for photographic image files. The term ‘JPEG’ is an acronym for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which developed the standard in 1992.

The file format has become widely popular for its efficient compression, which allows the file size to remain small and easily sharable. For this reason, JPGs are referred to as “lossy” formats. Typically JPGs are compressed, but the amount of compression be adjusted at the expense of storage size and image quality.

When to use JPG.


JPGs are best used where a small file is necessary. They are generally used for the internet or any case that will require the photo to eventually be downloaded.

When to avoid JPG. 

  • JPG does not support transparency

  • Not ideal for printing

  • Keep in mind that JPG compression can not be restored, so always keep a hold of the original file.



JPG and JPEG are the same file formats. There is no difference between the two, just different names.

What is JPEG 200?


JPEG2000 is an entirely different file format that was developed by the joint photographic experts group 8 years after JPEG. The format allows for one to choose between lossless and lossy compression (even within a single image).

Today, the format is not widely popular among photographers or the internet. JPEG2000 is used across satellites, digital cinema, broadcasting, high-end technical imaging equipment and many uses in the medical field (X-rays, MRI, Ct Scans).

Effects of JPEG compression 


The compression ratio of a JPEG file can be adjusted at the expense of storage size and image quality. Some of the image’s information is lost during JPEG compression to achieve a file size reduction. This means that JPEG compression can greatly reduce the size of a file but it can also compromise the quality of an image depending on the compression ratio.

The compression ratio or amount of JPEG compression is typically measured as a percentage. A JPEG saved at 100% will have almost no loss of quality. 80-90% maintains a high quality image while reducing a significant amount of storage space. A JPEG saved below 30% is typically considered a low quality range.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to JPEG Quality, every image requires its own consideration. The ideal quality setting for any single image depends upon the detail, color, contrast and desired outcome/use of your images. A low quality setting may be acceptable for some photos and not for others.


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Leon Olagh

Leon Olagh is an experienced photo retoucher and editor. He shares insights and expertise in the field of photography through his blog posts. His work reflects a meticulous approach to the art of creating and refining visual content.

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