JPEG digital camera file format

Thumbnail of JPEG file

JPEG, pronounced jay-peg, is an acronym that stands for the group that developed the file type, the Joint Photographic Expert Group. JPEG is a method of compression that significantly reduces the file size of photographic and other continuous tone images.

Assuring high quality JPEG images

Digital cameras offer several JPEG compression levels and quality settings. For images with the least compression, the loss of quality is usually not seen by the human eye. Keeping jpeg compression to a minimum is a must if you want to retain image detail and print quality photos.

Many compact digital cameras only offer the JPEG file format. Some advanced compacts and digital Single Lens reflex cameras offer the option of shooting more than one file format: RAW or both TIFF and RAW.

JPEG files, unlike TIFF and RAW files, do not take up as much room on a memory card. They are also processed faster by the camera than the other file formats.

Benefits of shooting JPEG

While some photographers prefer to shoot RAW, many use JPEG only. The quality of JPEGs is very good when shot at it’s highest resolution and lowest compression settings.

JPEG files require less time to edit that RAW files and can be opened in all photo editing and viewing programs. RAW files require an additional program to open and edit the files.

JPEGs store important camera settings and scene information known as EXIF data. Many photo programs allow you to read the stored data, which can be useful as a learning tool.

An image in JPEG format has a .jpg extension: filename.jpg.

Related reading: JPEGmini

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