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Glossary keyword - JPEG


JPEG is a file format for computer graphics and images that was developed in 1992. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. It was devised by researchers at ISO to add pictures to computers that only processed text. It functions by compressing image size, altering the quality in turn. These are adjustments to achieve a perfect balance between size and quality according to the user’s requirements. Thanks to JPEG format, graphics made way to the digital world and the internet. Over the world, JPEG is a standard format for image compression. It has become a universal standard for image formats – in digital cameras and the web. The file extensions are - JPG, JPEG, JFIF, JPX,  and JP2.

JPEG – How it Works

On the internet, a small-sized image is made visible to the target audience with a slow internet connection. “Lossy compression” is the process that takes place under the JPEG standard. The pixels invisible to the human eye are discarded and slight color variations are introduced.

In digital cameras, images are stored as JPEG files. More pictures fit in the graphics card because of the efficient use of storage. JPEG images also carry EXIF information. This information has the picture location, shutter speed, exposure, ISO number, flash on/off. This metadata is stamped on the images. The format also enables the use of over 16 lakh colors.

Some Disadvantages

Even though JPEG is a famous standard, it has a few drawbacks. This file format doesn’t allow transparency in images. It is unsuitable for non-rectangular images. If images are to on web pages with different background colors, formats like PNG are more suitable. Its because PNG allows transparency in pixels. The GIF format is more apt for small images.

Moreover, in some cases, JPEG format may lead to quality loss. It usually happens when an image goes through extreme compression.


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