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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Which is better JPG or PNG ?...My cameras save images as JPG's (if I don't use RAW) but I have always saved my photos as PNG ...
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:44   #1 (permalink)
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Question Which is better JPG or PNG ?

My cameras save images as JPG's (if I don't use RAW) but I have always saved my photos as PNG as I understand JPG is a compressed file but PNG is lossless so I thought it would be better.

Am I right ?

Or should I just leave them as JPG straight from the camera. I noticed when I used Lightroom recently it would see the JPG's but not the PNG files, so was it trying to tell me somthing ?
 
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Old 08-03-2010, 13:08   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Which is better JPG or PNG ?

Both PNG and JPEG compress the data, but PNG is essentially lossless compression and JPEG is usually lossy - although there are lossless JPEGs. If your camera saves as JPEG, there is nothing to be gained by converting them to another format unless you want to edit them - the loss has already happened in the camera! The format generally used for editing is TIFF which is lossless and (usually) uncompressed.

Perhaps a better solution would be to set the camera to save as RAW, which is lossless and allows more scope for tonal and other adjustments. Once you've finished editing, you can then save (Export) in whatever format you want.
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Old 08-03-2010, 13:12   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Which is better JPG or PNG ?

PNG files will be a bit large for photographs. Not in the league of BMP but not far off it.

The main benefit for PNG is the alpha transparency. This is useful for web & DTP types for building sites/content with overlaying graphics.

Generally they are used for relatively small (dimensions) graphics files - just like the pixalo logo.


You're right in thinking jpg - lightroom - jpg - lightroom - jpg etc etc is a bad bad idea. As you know, jpg is a lossy format so if you open it, make a change then save it you've lost info. When you repeat this process it gets worse and worse. Probably take a while to be noticeable but why take the chance.

If you must shoot jpg then always "SAVE AS" so you're creating a new JPG file and your original is untouched.
It's probably also a bad move to save your jpg with your pp incomplete and come back to finish it off later.

It's the open / save / open / save loop that does the damage.


Really, unless you've got major space issues, why not open your jpg and save as a psd (not sure what LR saves as it's own format but PSD is photoplops) then from that point on work on the psd and only save jpgs exported from the psd.
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Old 08-03-2010, 17:27   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Which is better JPG or PNG ?

OK thanks a lot for that
 
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