JPEG, GIF, and PNG image formats are similar in the way they are used for the web. JPEG compresses the image using the lossy compression algorithm, though the quality loss is not so obvious to an average user. PNG compresses the image, but without any loss of quality. GIF is similar to JPEG in the way of delivering the image with the minimal file size. JPEG is the preferred format for photographs, but is not so good for images containing text. GIF is better for computer generated images. It also excels at saving images that have relatively few colors with no gradations. Choosing between JPEG and PNG, JPEG will be more economical, because the loss of the image quality will be barely visible, while the size of the image will be significantly smaller. JPEG can be grayscale and true color. It stores full color information with 24 bits/pixel (16 million colors) and also offers a special grayscale mode using 8 bits/pixel (256 levels of grayscale). GIF can only store 8 bits/pixel (256 or fewer colors). PNG-24 and PNG-8 support 24-bit and 8-bit colors respectively. In terms of color detail, PNG-8 can only hold maximum 256 colors while the other can support 24-bit color or approximately 16 million colors. With this, PNG-8 is best used for small graphics that require less detail and color detail like simple graphic images and computer icons. The use of PNG-24 is, therefore, best for more detailed images and web photos.
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