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Difference Between Bitmap and Jpeg

image_format_bookBitmap vs Jpeg

In the world of imaging, there are a lot of standards that can be used in storing and working with the images. Bitmap is the oldest of these standards and has been in almost all of the operating systems while Jpeg is a standard that was developed much later by the Joint Photographic Experts Group to handle photos and other realistic images. Bitmaps are very simple in storing images and did not even have compression capabilities at first unlike Jpeg which uses complex algorithms to optimize the quality of the image while keeping the file size low.

To reduce the size of an image, Jpeg uses a lossy compression algorithm that removes portions of data from the image. Bitmap does not offer lossy compression and images in bitmaps often tend to be quite large. To reduce the size of a bitmap image, you would need to use a compression algorithm like that of zip or use an indexed palette. An indexed palette allows you to reduce the number of defined colors to those that are used in your image. As an example, if you have a file that needs the colors in a 32 bit palette but does not use all colors can define an indexed palette that doesn’t have the unused colors. If the resulting palette fits into 24 bits, the file size is reduced dramatically without affecting the quality of the image.

The age and widespread use of bitmaps means that it has been accepted as a standard that is patent free and users do not have to worry about getting sued. Jpeg had quite a tumultuous past when it comes to patents. Some companies have claimed that they have patent rights over Jpeg or the general use of Jpegs in public web sites. A lot of companies have been sued and hundreds of millions of dollars have changed hands due to Jpeg. Although most of the patents are already expired or revoked by courts or the patent office, there is always the possibility that some legal issues may arise involving Jpegs.

Summary:
1. Jpeg images utilize a lossy compression algorithm while bitmaps use a lossless compression algorithms.
2. Jpegs are quite complex while bitmaps are very simplistic.
3. Bitmaps can lower their file size even further by using an indexed palette where only the colors that are used in the image is defined in the palette.
4. Bitmap is patent free while Jpeg had a few patent debacles in the past.


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