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PNG vs JPG – Which is Better? Where and When to Use?

In the world of digital imaging there are various formats to save an image. But the most frequently used formats are either JPEG or PNG. Have a doubt? Which one is better – PNG vs JPG. Before selecting the image format there are certain things we need to know about it and act according to our requirements. This article will help you to better understand the differences between JPEG and PNG format.

JPEG/JPG

The abbreviation for JPEG is Joint Photographic Experts Group, the team which build the image format. JPEG is leading the digital photography and online image sharing world today.

The exact ratio differs depending on the program and image but typically JPG image has a 10:1 ratio which means if you start a image at 50 MB and export it as a JPEG, you will end up getting the image at 5 MB approximately. And the best part is you should have almost zero perceptible difference in quality, again it depends on the content of the image.

JPEG relies on the algorithm called discrete cosine transform(DCT) which takes entire look at the image. Determines the exact pixels in the image similar to each other around it and merges them together. This method is extremely efficient but comes with throwing out the information you cant retrieve. So each time you open and save a JPEG it will become worse than before. This JPEG format should be avoided for the images having sharp lines which will tend to get blurred and texts. Over the years many variations came on JPEG formats like JPG-LS and JPG2000. Designed to reduce the loss while compression but never gained a foothold and fell to the wayside.

Pros

  • Widely supported
  • File size is low

  • Efficiency is high compared to other image formats

Cons

  • Lossy compression

  • Unable to retrieve lost data

PNG

The abbreviation for PNG is Portable Network Graphics, PNG is a lossless file format designed to retain the information of an image after the edits. PNG relies on LZW compression technique – the same as used in GIF and TIFF formats.

The PNG’s two stage LZW compression technique takes strings of bits contained in the image data. Matches the longer sequences to accompanying short codes in the code book that is stored within the image file. Finally outputs the short codes in a smaller file. The best part is the compression is lossless in PNG format as compared to the JPEG format. Though PNG format reduces the file size but still the compression rate is below the JPEG format. 

There is no loss in quality each time you open and save again. PNG format best suites for the logos and images having the text. Though PNG is used in web, still it has less counts as compared to the JPEG format. After all these obstacles on the way many believe, PNG has occupied a standard which JPEG cant reach.

PNG files are capable of reproducing the transparency of any image. The image losses its transparent background when opened and saved in JPG.

png jpg

Pros

  • Lossless compression
  • Great for texts and logos

Cons

  • Larger file size compared to JPEG

Finally it is upto you whether to go with PNG or JPEG format depending upon the requirements. Ultimately neither of the  image format is better then the other.The only thing is user should decide which format suites their needs.

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