Compress Image Files
Image files are normally space-consuming large files that are difficult to store or transfer. One method to overcome this problem is to compress them into smaller files.
Image files may be compressed in two ways: lossy compression and lossless compression. Both formats have their own advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for various purposes.
Lossy compression, as the name implies, loses some details during compression. This makes the image less sharper with smoother color distribution. This makes it ideal for color photography.
While doing lossy compression, you can choose the file size to which you want the image file to be shrunk and the quality of the image you need after compression. JPEG format is an example for lossy compression. Compressed JPEG images and photos are ideal to upload as email attachments and in web pages. Images in JPEG format takes less time to download from web pages. For these purposes, compromising on the quality of the image is not a big problem.
Lossless compression is done without compromising on the quality of the image shrunk. None of the details of the image is lost while compressing. The biggest advantage of this type of compression is that the image can be restored to its original size without losing its clarity or sharpness.
BMP, PNG and GIF are all lossless formats for compression. Among these GIF is the least preferred as it can handle only 256 colors, hence not perfect for storing photos. Lossless compression is used for archiving important images which may require restoration to its original size at a later date.
The disadvantage of lossless compression is that you cannot choose the file size to which image has to be compressed. Beyond a certain limit, the image cannot be compressed, which may still be too big to your liking. This may cause difficulty in storing and uploading the compressed image.
In spite of the constraints, compressing image files are very much useful and necessary while storing and transferring them. Without compression, most of the image files are useless for processing.