Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between GIF and JPG

jpeg_gifGIF and JPG are two of the most common image formats around on the Internet. GIF is a format that is best used to store custom graphics that only have a few colors due to its limited color palette. JPG, on the other hand, is optimized to deal with photos since it has a tremendous palette of colors to choose from and can therefore replicate an image with greater accuracy.

JPG is an abbreviated form of JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) in order to fit with the 8.3 filename format of the FAT file system. It has a color palette of 16.7 million colors. This means that a single image that is saved with JPG can have that many individual colors on it. This makes JPG an excellent format for photos since it can easily store the various shades that make up a single photo. The huge palette of colors does make JPG photos huge in some cases; that is why most JPG photos are compressed with lossy algorithms to reduce its size at the cost of quality. The loss of quality is usually not apparent when the image is reduced to 90% of its original size.

GIF or the Graphics Interchange Format has been in use for a very long time due to widespread support and some unique features that make it very desirable for use in internet web pages. The color palette of GIF can only hold up to 256 colors and it tries to emulate the colors that it does not have by dithering or alternating two close colors in order to trick the eye. The effect that dithering has can easily be seen by zooming in on the picture.

GIF uses a lossless compression method that removes unused colors from its palette. This method works very well with images that only have a few colors and it can reduce the size of that image without any degradation in quality. Another neat feature of GIF is its ability to store animations which is a series of images that when showed in succession could look like a mini video clip. GIF also supports transparencies, a feature that allows the color of the background to pass through in certain areas of the image.

Summary:
1. JPG is better for storing photos and other realistic images like paintings
2. GIF is better for images that only have a few colors like cartoons or logos
3. JPG uses a lossy compression method while GIF uses a lossless compression method
4. GIF supports animations and transparencies which JPG does not.


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