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Chapter 15. JPEG Format > JPEG Compression

15.2. JPEG Compression

JPEG uses what is known as a "lossy" compression scheme, meaning that some color information is actually thrown out in the compression process. Fortunately, for photographic images at most compression levels, this loss is not discernible to the human eye, particularly when the image is being displayed on a monitor at screen resolution (and even less so for images saved at print resolutions).

Using "lossy" compression algorithms, JPEG is able to achieve 10:1 to 20:1 data-compression ratios without visible loss in quality. Of course, the savings in file size at any given compression is dependent on the content of the specific image and results will vary. If maintaining high image quality is not a priority, these ratios can go even higher.


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