JPG vs JPEG: What’s Better and Recommended

by | Last Updated Feb 3, 2021 | Awareness | 0 comments

The JPG vs JPEG showdown is presented in this article so that you can understand the differences.

Website owners often find themselves dealing with image files. It isn’t required to be an expert at editing images. Still, it would be best if you familiarize yourself with standard file formats such as JPEG. Or is it JPG?

Plus, we can also help with other details that ensure your website’s images are of the highest quality possible. This will provide an ultimate user experience to your website visitors.

Are you ready to get started? Let’s begin!

What Is JPEG?

As a website owner, you’ve probably seen the JPEG format when editing or uploading images.

Did you know that JPEG is referring to three different things?

Well, the answer is yes, and we’re here to explain all of them.

1 – JPEG Lossy Compression

Imagine that you are uploading images to your website. And your pictures are so big that they waste resources and load so slowly on the frontend.

This will negatively affect your site’s speed and performance, so you need to take care of the images.

All website owners should optimize their images to decrease their file size and speed up their loading times. This will help you to have a better user experience.

That’s where JPEG shines.

JPEG is a lossy compression method used to reduce digital images to their smallest possible size. This compression helps the browsers render images more quickly when someone wants to see them.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind about lossy compression.

  • By removing redundant information from the image, the file size is reduced permanently.
  • Image quality sometimes suffers, though it’s so small that the average visitor will not be able to determine.
  • Each pixel is compared to surrounding pixels in a ratio ranging from 2:1 to 100:1 during the compression process. Pixels that are identical to the original are deleted as they are redundant.
  • JPEG lossy compression is generally used for complex still images and photos.
  • When you use lossy compression on images, you decide whether you want to reduce the file size or the image quality. As an example, smaller files result in lower image quality.
  • The more you edit and save an image, the worse its quality becomes.

Suppose you’re familiar with editing photos using lossy compression. In such an instance, you can keep image quality while reducing file size. You can decrease it by working with RAW JPEG images, making edits, and saving the image one time.

If you don’t want to perform lossy compression with JPEG on your site’s images, you could choose lossless compression.

Lossless compression transforms your images into a completely new format, like PNG.

With lossless compression, no information is lost during compression. So lossless compression will never degrade image quality. However, your image’s final file size with lossless compression will always be higher.

2 – JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group

JPEG is the acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. JPEG is one of the subcommittees that is part of the ISO.

The JPEG subcommittee created the JPEG and other still image coding standards.

ISO sets the standards for digital images and other things. These ISO standards ensure the highest quality of products and services for consumers.

3 – JPEG; The File Format

The JPEG extension is used to refer to a file format or store and save digital images. This is probably the way you see JPEG most often.

JPEG is one of the image-saving file formats you can use after editing an image.

Here are a few interesting facts about .jpeg file formats.

  • Digital cameras and other image-capturing devices mostly use JPEG image file format.
  • It supports 16,777,216 colors, which can be reproduced using 8 bits of each color in the RGB model.
  • Its color scheme and contrast resolution are near-perfect because it can display more than 16 million colors at once.
  • JPEG supports up to 65,535 x 65,535 pixels.
  • Saving an image with lossy compression reduces the size of the picture by about 50% – 75%.

Finally, an image with sharp edges isn’t ideal for this type of file format. In JPEGs, they blend more colors than they do in PNGs.

Let’s check out what JPG is, shall we?

What Is JPG?

How is JPG different from JPEG?

The truth is when it comes to .jpg vs .jpeg, there is no significant difference except for the number of characters in the name.

Crazy, huh? Let me explain.

The term JPG dates back to the previous versions of the Windows operating system.

Specifically, the MS-DOS 8.3 and FAT-16 file systems had a maximum three-letter limit when naming files extensions.

Interestingly, the UNIX-like operating systems such as Mac and Linux did not have this limitation.

Therefore, JPEG images saved to Mac or Linux systems use the .jpeg extension. When Windows saved those very same images, the file extension had to be shortened to .jpg.

So it will not exceed the 3-letter limit.

Nowadays, Windows operating systems accept files with 3 or 4 letter file extensions, such as .jpeg and .jpg.

But because so many people have used Windows for so long and are habitual to saving their images as JPGs, they have not stopped.

Adobe Illustrator Save JPEG

To avoid confusion, photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop saves all JPEG images as .jpg files by default on Windows and Macs.

JPG vs JPEG: Looking at Similarities

So, you know that .jpg and .jpeg are the same things.

To make that point clear and help you remember it for the future, we’re going to examine the similarities between JPEG and JPG images.

1 – Both Images Are Raster Based

Computer images can be created in two ways: as raster images or vector images. JPEGs and JPGs are both raster images.

Raster graphics are bitmap images.

Bitmaps are grids of individual pixels combined to form an image.

A raster image is a collection of many tiny squares of colors. These squares are called pixels. Each pixel is coded in a specific hue or shade that creates a whole image.

Here’s more information about raster images so that you can better understand.

  • Great for non-lined images such as photos, scanned artwork, and detailed graphics.
  • Images have complex hue or shade gradations and very soft lines and shapes.
  • Because they are pixel-based, they suffer quality issues when they are enlarged.
  • They are described and displayed at a particular resolution, measured in Dots Per Inch.
  • The higher the DPI of the image, the better it will look.
  • TIFF, JPEG, GIF, and BMP files are all popular raster file formats.
  • Raster images are the Web standard, so most of all pictures on the internet are in this format.

Again, JPEG and JPG images are not vector-based images.

Here is some information about vector images so you understand their differences.

  • Images are based on geometric shapes like polygons, circles, rectangles, and lines defined by mathematical formulas.
  • Perfect for pictures with straight edges like line art.
  • They work well with flat, uniform images since there are no color gradations.
  • Include popular graphic elements such as logos, letterheads, and fonts.
  • Scale up or down with no degradation of the image’s quality because they don’t depend on pixels.

Here is an easy way to know the difference between a raster image and a vector image. I am using Rovity’s logo here.

Rovity Logo Raster and Vector

The first logo is a raster version, and the second one is a vector. You see the edges are blended in the raster image.

And the vector version is crisp and preserves the complete details.

2 – Both Names Are the Same Thing

JPEG is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group. Remember when we discussed it? Well, you guessed right. Both JPEG and JPG are the same ISO subcommittee names.

3 – Both Are Used for the Same Types of Images

As both .jpeg and .jpg files are raster images, they are well-suited to digital photography. When saved as raster JPEG/JPG images, digital photographs have extensive color gradations that look seamless.

If you save your pictures as jpeg or jpg and upload them to your website, your site visitors will always see beautiful photos.

4 – Both Lose Some Quality When They Are Saved

There is no need for comparison because .jpg and .jpeg are the same things. Both use lossy compression to compress images.

It makes sense that the lossy compression used on each file format results in some image quality loss as the image’s file size drops.

This means that no matter what file extension you use, your image’s file size will be smaller than initially.

Therefore, faster loading times will result when the pictures are uploaded to your website and viewed by your site visitors.

Ultimately, JPEGs and JPGs are the same things.

So ask yourself: what is better, JPG or JPEG? You don’t have to think too hard because neither is the answer. They are all the same, and it’s a matter of preference which one you pick.

JPG vs JPEG 2000

You may have come across the term JPEG 2000 while searching for information about JPEGs or JPGs.

I presume you wondered what on earth it was all about. After all, most image editing software does not include this feature.

In 2000, the Joint Photographic Experts Group developed the JPEG 2000 image encoding system. The JPEG 2000 standard was intended to be the next-generation of the JPEG standard.

It was developed to accomplish lossless compression using advanced compression methods. People could optimize their images by saving them as JPEGs without losing image quality.

These are JPEG 2000’s most essential features.

  • Advanced Compression Techniques: Unlike conventional JPEGs, JPEG 2000 supported lossy as well as lossless compression.
  • Progressive Decoding: Site visitors can see lower-quality pictures while the original image is downloading in the background. The quality of the image improves as more data is downloaded.
  • Higher Compression Ratios: JPEG 2000 provides images with 20-200% more compression than JPEG. When compared with a JPEG image of the same size, it maintains the same image quality.

Additional JPEG 2000 features.

  • Transparency in images is preserved.
  • It describes grayscale, bi-level, palette-color, and full-color image data.
  • Metadata includes unlimited amounts of private information or information used for particular purposes.
  • Can handle images larger than 64K by 64K pixels without tilting.
  • Ultra-low latency makes it vital for usages like live TV content.
  • Scalability both in terms of resolution and quality.

Limitations of JPEG 2000

The next best coding standard for digital images is JPEG 2000, which offers plenty of great features.

Though there are reasons, it is not a widely used format in most cases.

  • No universal support for browsers (only works in Safari).
  • Not compatible with JPEG.
  • Encoding JPEG 2000 files is CPU intensive, which strains servers and slows down processes.
  • Many cameras and websites aren’t ready for the format because it isn’t universally used.

Since it has limitations, you will be hard-pressed to save digital images to JPEG 2000. It is arguably better than JPEG. You’ll probably have a bunch of compatibility issues if it’s not universally accepted.

As a website owner, that limit makes your job harder than it has to be.

Common Methods for Converting Image Files to JPG

You can save digital images as .jpg or .jpeg files in several different ways. You can use your image editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Paint to save images in your preferred formats.

If you have a file that you wish to convert to .jpg or .jpeg, you can use online image converting tools such as Convertio.

Convertio Online Image Converting Tool

Just drag and drop or upload your image file. Choose the file type you want to save the image as. Now click the Convert button, and your converted files will be available for download within a few seconds.

Summary

JPG or JPEG is the most common file extension and compression method used to store and save digital images. This is particularly true for owners of websites who desire eye-catching imagery and a memorable user experience.

Luckily for you, regardless of the file type you prefer, you will get the same result. JPG and JPEG are beautiful images that load extremely fast when compressed.

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By Jafar Muhammed

Jafar Muhammed has 10+ years of experience in WordPress, web hosting, domain names, DNS, CDN, server administration, etc. He is an open web advocate. He is the CEO of Rovity, the fastest growing premium shared hosting startup in India.

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