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Common JPEG Myths and Facts

You all are familiar with JPEG, a popular digital image file format used in digital cameras, DSLRs, smartphones, etc.  But do you know there are several misconceptions that surround this highly popular image format? Like some believe JPEG is the proper word. But in actual it is an acronym for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the organization that created the image format.

Likewise, here we have articulated some common myths and fact about JPEG images that would help you to use the JPEG files more wisely.

Myth 1 – Opening and saving JPEG files degrade its quality.

Fact The truth is that opening, saving, and closing JPEG images even multiple times does not lead to any loss of compression. Even if you repeatedly save the JPEG photo during the same editing session, it will not cause loss in quality. Also copying or moving JPEG files to another location does not degrade the picture quality.

Myth 2 – A ‘single’ ‘Save As’ action on JPEG file after editing can lead to quality loss.

Fact ‘Save As’ action does lead to some loss of compression as you over-write the original. But it is also true that compression loss after ‘one’ ‘Save As’ is too less to be detectable by human eye. Your JPEG is still fit for printing after a ‘Save As’. Thus opening, editing, and then saving it as another file after one editing session does not discernibly impact your JPEG photo quality.

But when a JPEG image is opened, edited, and saved as new multiple times, it causes additional compression loss finally affecting the image quality noticeably. Thus, minimize the number of editing sessions to reduce quality loss.

However, any quality loss during editing, copying or file transfer can be tackled through Stellar Phoenix JPEG Repair. The advanced algorithm of the software fixes grainy, pixelated or blurry images, without hampering the details of JPEG photo.

Myth 3 – Shooting in RAW is ‘always’ better than JPEG

Fact – Photographers are often told to shoot in RAW and not in JPEG. But the fact is although RAW images are of high quality, the decision to shoot in RAW or JPEG depends upon the purpose and kind of photography you want to do.

RAW format gives you liberty to edit and produce high quality images compared to JPEG. Having said that, JPEG images being smaller in size are easy to maintain, record faster, and take less space in storage media. Thus, JPEG format is considered especially when you have to shoot several pictures in a day.

So it the decision to shoot in RAW or JPEG is purely a matter of need of the photographer, which obviously varies with each case.

Myth 4 – JPEG photos lose quality every time they are used in a page layout program

Fact – Page layout programs like QuarkXpress, Pagemaker, etc., do not change or edit the source JPEG files.  Thus, there is no loss of picture quality when you use them in a page layout. Since, every page layout program uses different compression technique due to which sometimes your JPEG images may differ in size on the page.

Myth 5 – The similar quality setting of JPEG in one program will give same results in another program.

Fact The quality settings and their results vary in different graphic software programs such as GIMP, Photos Pos Pro, Adobe Photoshop Express etc.  Each have their own set of ratings for different quality parameters such as brightness, contrast, sharpening, or hue. Thus, a quality setting that works in one program would not give same desired result in another program. For example, some programs may have a rating of 100 as the highest quality while others may base the setting of 100 as the lowest quality with highest compression.

Myth 6 – Progressive JPEGS download faster than ordinary JPEG

Fact – On the contrary, progressive JPEG files take longer to download. They are high quality large sized JPEG images that require more processing power to download and display.

Myth 7 – All JPEG images are fit to print.

Fact – The fact is that JPEG images are not always fit for printing. This is because a good print quality needs a certain pixel size of JPEG file for a particular print size.

If a photo required for publishing or in large poster print format ensure that it is shot in the highest resolution and quality because enlarging a low resolution JPEG image will make it pixelated. For example, to print a 4 by 6 inch medium quality photo, the JPEG photo should have 960 x 1440 pixels or more.

Conclusion

So all those of you who are apprehensive in using JPEG photos, dispose of these common JPEG myths and enjoy the capabilities of the image file format.

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