Are you Progressive? Understanding JPG format options

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How Well Do You Understand JPEG Formats?

You've probably been saving your photos as  JPG for years, and never gave it a second thought. Most of us simply bypass the jpg format option screen by accepting whatever the default values are and go about our day. Let's face it JPG format options isn't exactly a sexy topic. But we really should understand our options exactly what they do.

JPEG  Format Options

When you save your JPEG file in Photoshop, a dialog box will pop up before saving with the available formatting options.

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Adobe defines “JPG Format” as how the file is displayed online.

  • Baseline (Standard): Displays the image when it has fully downloaded. This JPEG format is recognizable to most web browsers.
  • Baseline (Optimized): Optimizes color quality of the image and produces smaller file sizes (2 to 8%) but is not supported by all web browsers.
  • Progressive (3 scans-5 scans): Downloads the image first as a low-resolution image, with incremental quality improvements as downloading continues.

Which Option to Use?

 “Baseline Optimized” might slightly reduce the file size so uploads are slightly faster. The only negative is that it isn’t compatible with viewers using old technology, Using “Optimized” will also likely produce better colors but it isn’t necessarily that noticeable to the human eye.

“Progressive” downloads the image first as a low-resolution image, with incremental quality improvements as downloading continues. I choose to avoid this option.

So what is my recommendation? I recommend both Standard and Optimized as fine options, it might just be a matter of choice, when in doubt. Baseline (Optimized) wins my vote. It optimizes the color quality of the image.  Obviously color quality is important to a photographer.

What do you think? What format do you save your JPG's in? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Shooting!