Choosing the best way to compress jpeg photo files

By: Pamela Freedman

What is photo compression and why do you really need it? The easiest way to explain this is when you compress photo size it takes much less space on your computer. This means that you could store as many as 6 compressed photos in the space it would take before to store 1 uncompressed photo! That is a substantial savings of space for anyone. Add to that that picture compression software is designed to compress photos without losing photo quality and you have a great way to organize and store your photos.

There are several styles of digital photo formats; these include Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG for short, JPEG2000 and even Tagged Image File Format or TIFF for short. A good piece of photo compression software will handle any format your pictures are in, reducing the need to have multiple programs to handle the same task. Most compressed photos are saved as a JPEG, since this is the format that uses the smallest amount of space typically.

The advantages of JPEG are that the format is universally used. Everyone has a program that will allow them to open a JPEG file. It is also wonderful because it takes a lot less space on your hard drive than most other photo formats. There are some disadvantages to using JPEG however, one of which is that photo quality can easily be lost if the photo is compressed too much. Many professionals will use an alternative file type so that the photo quality is maintained.

Alternative Formats For JPEG

There are several formats of digital photographs. Some digital photo formats compress easier than others, but if you are looking at a high quality picture with minimal quality loss you should explore a format other than JPEG. The first format is TIFF, and it is one of the largest formats available.

If you remember previously you learned that TIFF is short for Tagged Image File Format, from that name it is quite easy to see where the name TIFF came from. TIFF files have exceptional picture quality, and are very large. A file that is saved as a TIFF has no information about the picture such as color information, or even data discarded. This is why this format takes quite so much space. Nevertheless, the picture quality is well worth it in some circumstances.

The next highly popular format is RAW. This is a format that many high quality digital cameras will shoot in, which creates a very large file size as well. The photos are not compressed in any way with RAW and are the exact image captured from your camera’s image sensor. The RAW file could be compared to a negative from a 35mm film camera. You can do a great amount of manipulation with a RAW file and have great results.

Another alternative is JPEG2000, this format is similar to JPEG, but it does not have many of its lacks. End picture quality is much better with equal file sizes. Also with this format, you can store photos without any quality loses, similar to the TIFF format. However, initial JPEG2000 format is weakly supported by image viewers/coders so you will probably will not be able to open it on your PC.

So what is the best way to compress photo?

The most effective solution is to use JPEG2000 compression method but wrap it with some popular format for example PDF. PDF can be viewed on practically any machine with Adobe or Foxit Reader programs installed. In addition, this format gives ability to store multiple photos allowing to build powerful picture sets. You can save images in this manner with software called Love2Photo. You can read more about this software by visiting it’s site: http://www.compressphoto.com.

Proper Places to Store Compressed Digital Photos

You have several options when it comes to storing your newly compressed digital files. The first option is to burn the files to a disc such as a CD or DVD. Other options include the use of a flash drive which are very small and can be easily taken anywhere without any problems. Additionally you could put your photographs onto a zip disc or even on a floppy disc if your computer has a floppy drive. Your storage options are greatly varied and allow you to find the perfect solution for you and your needs.

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