What Is Lossless Image Format?

The term lossless image format refers to file types that maintain the quality of the original photograph when saving. BMP files fall into this category of lossless image data. If images need to be compressed to reduce their overall file size, saving them in a lossless format such as PNG or TIF allows you to retain all file information for perfect copies of breathtaking photographs. This stands in contrast to the lossy compression of JPEG and GIF files, which lose a certain amount of data in transition.
Pros and Cons of Choosing a Lossless Image Format

Is it better to select a lossy JPEG format or lossless PNG image when working with images? That depends on a few factors:
  • Dimensions: If your webpage calls for a normal photograph of 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels or a similar size, most people won’t notice any difference in quality between PNG and JPEG formats. Things are different when it comes to large posters or television advertising, however.
  • File size: Lossless formats, even when compressed, take up more space than JPEG images. When storing hundreds or thousands of photographs, the difference adds up quickly. The same is true if you need to share lots of photos with team members on a project.  
  • Versatility: Maintaining an image in a lossless format allows you to create multiple variations of it without sacrificing any quality. With lossy formats such as JPEG, you are essentially making copies of an inferior copy, which has cumulative effects.
  • Web content: Simply put, it takes longer to load webpages, and longer to download content, that contains lossless file formats such as PNG.
  • Errors: If you save a JPEG with smaller dimensions than the original, the excess image data is permanently deleted. Going from small to large does not work with lossy formats.
Discover the image library at Shutterstock, where you can find high-quality HD photographs worry-free. Even if you accidentally reduce the size of your selected image in JPEG format, re-downloading it in the original size, or selecting larger dimensions, doesn’t cost extra.


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