Retain or lose the data

There exist two main types of image compression: lossy and lossless. Depending on the image format, one of them, or a combination of both can be applied. The most vivid examples of the lossless compression algorithms are TIFF, GIF, and PNG image formats. Lossless compression of these image formats means that the file size will be quite large, but the image quality will be preserved to the maximum level. The TIFF file can fully specify the content of an original bitmapped image. ZIP, LZW and CCITT are the names of a few compression algorithms that can be applied to shrink TIFF images and still allow them to be fully reconstituted. PNG compression results in smaller file size than the one of the TIFF files. PNG compression preserves its transparency. The GIF file format uses a relatively basic form of file compression (LZW) that squeezes out inefficiencies in the data storage without losing data or distorting the image. GIF is best at compressing areas of the same color, which can hardly be applied on photographs. Lossy compression is achieved by means of reducing the amount of data stored within the image file. The most vivid example of the lossy compression method is JPEG which is widely used for photographs and is very efficient for the Internet. With lossy compression, you can’t get the original file back after it has been compressed. For this reason, you can’t use this sort of compression for anything that needs to be reproduced exactly, including software applications, or databases.