Whether you’re a photographer, a digital media professional, or even just someone who wants to save and share photographs on their devices, knowing the difference between different image formats is always going to be a big help. If you’re unfamiliar, it can be confusing to distinguish between the three. This simple guide will break the basics down for you.
When it comes to JPG vs JPEG vs PNG, what is the difference, and is one better than the other? Read on to find out everything you need to know about a sample of common image format now.
What Is an Image File Format?
While JPG, JPEG, and PNG are the most common file formats for images to be saved in, there are actually hundreds of different image file types. Don’t let this overwhelm you, however.
An image file format merely refers to the means by which digital images are stored and organized. Images can be stored in one of three ways: an uncompressed format, a compressed format, or a vector format. The format you choose to store your photo in can be determined by many factors, including the size of the image and how much quality you want to maintain.
JPG vs JPEG
Two of the most popular image formats you’ll see are JGP and JPEG. You’ll notice that these two formats have similar names, and are sometimes used interchangeably. So, what is the difference between the two?
In fact, JPG and JPEG are actually different ways of referring to the same image format. Confusing, right? It all comes down to a space issue.
The format stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and was initially released in the early 90s. At that time, Windows PC would only spell out file formats in three characters. Because of this, JPEG was shortened to JPG to make it compatible with Windows.
JPEG (or JPG) is the most popular image format in the world. It uses a compression technique that can compress your files to a 10:1 ratio. Because of this, it’s able to maintain good image quality.
What Is a PNG Image Format?
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics, and this time it actually is a different image format than JPG. It’s often used for editing images, whereas JPG is more so used for sharing and storing images.
One of the biggest differences in characteristics between the two formats is that PNG files support transparency. This means that you can have a transparent background around an irregular-shaped object and avoid a white box outlining your image.
For this reason, when you’re compiling multiple different images together, this is the best format to use. It also offers higher image quality than JPG.
If you’ve got a JPG image, but you want to be able to maintain transparency, it is possible to convert it. Using certain programs, JPG to PNG image conversion can be a simple process.
JPG vs JPEG vs PNG
While the concept of image file extensions would take a lot longer to get into than the length of this article, hopefully, it shed some like for you about the nature of image file types and the difference between JPG vs JPEG vs PNG. If you’re looking for more tech tips, check out the rest of our content now.