Saving files as JPEGS means you will lose 50% of color and detail because......?

Is it true that saving files as JPEGS means you will lose 50% of color and detail because JPEGS are only 24 bit color and not 49 bit color like


  • Sorry - I hit the wrong key.   ....not 49 bit color like TIFFS. 
  • JPEG is what is known as a “lossy” format. Which means Information is lost. I don’t know the percentages. 
  • Oh, interesting.  Thank you @Boudicca
  • SummerSummer -
    edited October 2018
    Coincidentally, I just uploaded a TIFF file last night to a website for printing of a photo that I will be painting from for my next painting.  Their limit is 1G.  No loss of color in doing so. 
  • You can alter the amount of compression with JPEGs, so the more compression you select the smaller the file size, but the more information is lost.

    However, JPEGs also compress the colour space so some colour information will always be lost:

    Chroma subsampling was developed in the 1950s by Alda Bedford for the development of color television by RCA, which developed into the NTSC standard; luma-chroma separation was developed earlier, in 1938 by Georges Valensi.

    Through studies, he showed that the human eye has high resolution only for black and white, somewhat less for "mid-range" colors like yellows and greens, and much less for colors on the end of the spectrum, reds and blues. Using this knowledge allowed RCA to develop a system in which they discarded most of the blue signal after it comes from the camera, keeping most of the green and only some of the red; this is chroma subsampling in the YIQ color space, and is roughly analogous to 4:2:1 subsampling, in that it has decreasing resolution for luma, yellow/green, and red/blue.

  • I simply can't help myself.  I just have to laugh out-loud!  Bob73!  Really?  But you read my mind!!!!  I could never get away with it, people would just think I was rude.  Anyway, that is interesting @Richard_P but I'm going to have to go back and read through it all again. Same with @Dencal re color swatches.   I'm not sure, but I think the end result of all that you said is that the human eye can't pick up the difference anyway so it's not a problem. 
  • If you have the space available on your memory card and your hard drive, I would highly recommend saving your photos in RAW format, be they photos of your artwork or source images. More than one "so so" looking photo of mine, when first viewed as a camera generated JPG, was turned into something quite good with basic development of the RAW. I am not talking about the trend to over cook an image that is pretty popular right now. When I develop / process a RAW file, my goal is to try to achieve what the original scene was like. That is almost impossible with plain JPG files for me. Saving as a JPG alone means you have irreversibly lost too much image data for my comfort. My philosophy is that if it is worth shooting, it is worth shooting it as a RAW file. I set my cameras to save as RAW and JPG so I have an instant JPG if needed. I usually delete the JPG files once I have imported the images into Lightroom. 
  • I think if you saw high qual jpeg files and raw files side by side you wouldn't be able to tell a difference without zooming in. Raw files are mostly just good to have because you can adjust colour and exposure and everything more on them and can zoom in more and see more detail. Other reasons too but pretty much all images you see online are jpeg or some other lossy format

    Shooting in raw and then having both the raw file and a jpeg of it is a good option. Depends what you're doing though. For photographing your art keep a perfectly shot raw file
  • @CJD  @skutumpah @Richard_P

    So fascinating and so technical  :#   I'm studing for a couple of hours every day online with to increase my Photoshop skills. Only this morning I was reading about the reasons for shooting in RAW.  Evidently the main reason is that every speck of light that hits the sensor is caputured - whereas Jpeg can only contain a limited range of tones (because of compression I suppose) -  Quite aggressive adjustments can then be made to a raw file with no loss of quality.  Damien prefers Adobe Camera Raw.

    He also believes that a high quality Jpeg is just beautiful despite the compression issue.

    I agree that having a raw file of your artwork is very important and I hope that in a few months' time I will know how to adjust the images in ACR and then in Photoshop to my heart's content.  I have a huge amount of photo restoration to do. I must have made some progress since my initial post about Jpegs in October last year. :)

  • Incidentally, you can't shoot in Raw with a compact camera - you need a DSLR camera.
  • Certain camera phones shoot RAW on certain settings. I have a Galaxy J3, shoots RAW only on the "pro" setting.
  • @Forgiveness Oh, that's interesting - but I don't like the quality of the pictures from my phone so rarely use it - but you might have a better phone.
  • edited March 2019
    I only have 5-7 pixels camera phone capability, the higher the better. Photo editing does the rest. A dslr is certainly better or an iPhone.
  • Forgiveness

    5.7 megapixels. You can’t do much with 5 to 7 pixels.

  • Forgiveness

    The 2016 J3 has 8mp rear and 5mp front camera.


  • Yes, same with 2018 version, I stand corrected. This is good for very basic phone camera, if it's all I have.
  • An older thread, but I wanted to share that some newer phones with better cameras in them allow you to save your images as RAW format as well. Many a photo that I have taken that was not properly exposed was saved because I had the RAW file to process. 
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