jpg

RAW vs JPEG: Explaining the Difference with a Box of Cereal

In running my photography channel, I get a lot of questions about RAW files vs. JPEG, and some people not fully grasping exactly what RAW files really are. So, I figured a box of cereal may simplify things. Read on.

DRM Could Be Added to the JPEG Image Format

Heads up: digital rights management (DRM) could be coming to the JPEG image format. That's right... the same kind of controversial technology that's currently being used to protect movie, music, and book copyrights could one day be used to restrict the usage of images, and that proposal has people up in arms.

BPG is a New Image Format That Wants to Replace the JPEG with Equal Quality at Half the Size

JPEG is a remarkably resilient file format. Despite having many upstart formats attempt to dethrone it over the years -- including JPEG 2000 and Google's WebP -- the JPEG is still used by nearly 70% of websites and is holding strong in popularity.

Now there's a new competitor in the ring. It's called BPG (Better Portable Graphics), and it's a format designed and advocated by notable French programmer Fabrice Bellard (creator of FFmpeg and QEMU).

JPEG Standard Gets a Boost, Supports 12-Bit Color Depth and Lossless Compression

The JPEG standard made its debut in 1991 (publicly in 1992), and since then it's become the most widely used lossy compression format for digital images. Now, The Independent JPEG Group at the Leipzig Institute for Applied Informatics -- the folks responsible for defining the standard -- has released an all new version 9.1 of the software library that comes with some powerful new abilities.

Google+ Unveils Improved RAW-to-JPEG Conversion, Supports Over 70 Cameras

It's hardly news that Google+ is doing its damnedest to secure itself as the social network of choice for the photographic community. And the network's ability to handle full-size RAW uploads, in addition to the easy-to-manage system and powerful new in-browser editing tools, in many ways already makes it a shoo-in for that title.

But get ready, because Google isn't done yet. Another update has been pushed Google+'s way, and this time it concerns your RAW photos. Or, more specifically, how good they look when they're automatically converted to JPEGs for viewing.

Drag-and-Drop Web App Lets You Mess With Glitching Your JPGs

For some reason, corrupting photos has become something of a thing recently. From the Gliché App for iPhone we shared a few months ago to Doctor Popular's glitched ethereal double exposures, people are trying more and more to turn digital corruption into art.

Well, if you're curious and want to give it a shot yourself, developer Georg Fischer has a quick and easy solution for you.

Going From Exclusively Shooting RAW to Adding JPEGs to the Mix

I have been shooting photographs regularly for over 7 years now. I spent the first year shooting with a 2-megapixel phone camera. Since then, however, I’ve almost always had RAW capable cameras and shot RAW compulsively. And why not? I get 16x or 64x more colour depth than JPEGs. I don’t have to bother about setting the right white balance, contrast or sharpness. I don’t have to choose between monochrome and colour at the time of shooting. I can figure all of that out on the computer during RAW conversion and even try out different settings for the same picture at my leisure. Why would I give up all this and shoot JPEG?

Facebook Tries Out Google’s WebP Image Format, Upsets Users in the Process

In an attempt to speed up its sizable network and lower costs, Facebook recently decided to begin using Google's WebP image format. The format was designed by Google as a space-saving alternative for PNGs and JPEGs. WebP provides lossless and lossy compression, support for an alpha channel, support for animation and more -- all at much smaller sizes and almost identical image quality.

But all of these advantages come at a price, support for the WebP image format outside of your browser is far from universal. Google set it up as a Web format that, for now, is not supported by any of the major operating systems natively. And so, after the switch, when Facebook users tried to download a funny photo or the vacation pics their friends decided to share through Facebook, they wound up with un-viewable WebP files.

JPEGmini Now Available for Mac: Put Your iPhoto Library on a Diet

Back in August we featured a service called JPEGmini, which gives anybody the ability to shrink their photos up to 5-times in size without any visible quality difference -- a substantial claim, but one that the service seemed to live up to quite well (we use it regularly).

A Higher Quality Setting in Photoshop Sometimes Reduces JPEG Quality

While looking into the new compression service JPEGmini yesterday, the following statement caught my eye in an interview they did with Megapixel:

[...] sometimes you increase the quality setting in Photoshop and the actual quality of the image is reduced...

I had never heard of that before, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

JPEGmini Magically Makes Your JPEGs Up to 5x Smaller

JPEGmini is a new image compression service that can magically reduce the file size of your JPEG photos by up to 5 times without any visible loss in quality. ICVT, the Israeli company behind the service, explains how the technology works in an interview with Megapixel:

Our technology analyzes each specific photo, and determines the maximum amount of compression that can be applied to the photo without creating any visual artifacts. In this way, the system compresses each photo to the maximum extent possible without hurting the perceived quality of the photo.

You can test out the technology on your own photos through the service's website.

Example Showing the Benefit of RAW’s Higher Dynamic Range

One of huge benefits of shooting in RAW is that RAW files usually have considerably more dynamic range than a JPG. This means that details in the shadows and highlights of an image that would otherwise be lost if shooting JPG are stored in the RAW file, and able to be recovered if needed during post-processing.