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Image Format Breakdown
Bmp vs Jpg vs gif vs png comparison
By Red Squirrel


Compression
The images used in this test are not optimized in any way other then using the 0-12 compression scale in Photoshop where 0 is high compression and 12 is none. We'll look at JPG compression specifically. JPG has lossy compression, which means once it is compressed you can't get the disregarded data back. Let's compare images to decide what is the best JPG compression to use for various situations.

In this table, 12 photos which are compressed from 12(best quality) to quality 0(lowest quality) are displayed. These were saved with Photoshop. As the quality decreases, you can see that it gets more blocky.

JPG Compression
Image 4X Zoom

Quality 12/12 | Size: 85.7KB
4X zoom

Quality 11/12 | Size: 63.3KB
4X zoom

Quality 10/12 | Size: 48.1KB
4X zoom

Quality 9/12 | Size: 38.7KB
4X zoom

Quality 8/12 | Size: 32.4KB
4X zoom

Quality 7/12 | Size: 26.3KB
4X zoom

Quality 6/12 | Size: 26.7KB
4X zoom

Quality 5/12 | Size: 22.9KB
4X zoom

Quality 4/12 | Size: 20.4KB
4X zoom

Quality 3/12 | Size: 18.5KB
4X zoom

Quality 2/12 | Size: 14.7KB
4X zoom

Quality 1/12 | Size: 12.9KB
4X zoom

Quality 0/12 | Size: 12.3KB
4X zoom


Here's the best and worse quality beside each other, to show the difference. You'll notice how the roof of the pentagon looks a little beat up in the second image. But then again, that one is nearly 60KB smaller!

 


JPG compression makes straight lines look awful, but for complex images, it does not really start showing until you get to like 6 or so. Though if it was a simple image it would start showing at like 10. So that's why it's best to use PNG or GIF for simple images. You'll also notice that JPG compression tends to cancel out certain colors. Usually what will happen is that some colors will darken.

So in conclusion, JPG seems to win the race when it comes to photos, while PNG wins for quality, GIF wins for simple images and BMP, well to not leave it out, it's part of windows and needed in some applications. And it's fun to edit them in hex editors, but other then that BMP should never be used on the web because of it's lack of optimization/compression. While our stats show PNG being slightly bigger the GIF, remember that it was not optimized, and there are ways to optimize them, so that it is smaller. What makes PNG stand out is the fact that unlike GIF, it's not limited to 256 colors, and it's file size, unlike BMP does not depend on only the physical size, but also on the complexity. Both GIF and PNG support transparency, but PNG's transparency is much better, as it supports alpha transparency (pixels can be semi-transparent).

Well this concludes this article and I hope the information and statistics proved useful to you.

Red Squirrel
Site Owner





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25732 Hits Pages: [1] [2] [3] 10 Comments
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Latest comments (newest first)
Posted by Red Squirrel on December 12nd 2005 (16:28)
Seems to work at my end. (typical tech support line)
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Posted by glennsharrock on December 12nd 2005 (06:28)
the image of the Squirrel seems to be missing (I would very much like to see the image in which the results were made)
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Posted by rovingcowboy on November 11th 2004 (15:50)
are you tired of me coming to this site red? you seem to not like it that i use I.E.
most the time.

blink.gif

even though everything you say don't work in ie seems to work in my copy of it? cool.gif

i have not tryed transperent png's yet but everything else works.?

when it has not crashed that is em320.gif

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Posted by Red Squirrel on November 11th 2004 (16:33)
JPEG 2000? Never heard of those. I can maybe do some research. Are they even supported by most browsers? It would definatly be nice to see IE support those but meanwhile... just screw IE. laugh.gif
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Posted by Red Squirrel on November 11th 2004 (16:41)
LOL I'll have to check if they have volume discounts. laugh.gif
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