What's a JPG?

JPG, also called JPEG, is the most popular digital format for photographic image files. JPEG is an acronym for the Joint Photographic Experts Group who first developed this standard in 1992. The digital file extension *.jpeg and *.jpg are interchangeable. Most people pronounce the file as a "Jay-Peg" image.



The JPG is a great format for digital photography because of it's compression. This can be as much as 10 to 1, and results in a much smaller file size than other digital image standards. Because of this portability, the JPG image has proliferated dramatically since the early 2000s. Globally, there are well over a billion JPG images captured every day.



There are other formats for digital image files, namely the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and the TIFF (Tagged Image File Format). Each file format has costs and benefits. JPG is a "lossy" form of compression, and loses some quality each time the file is recompressed. However, JPG image quality is not effected by opening and closing the file repeatedly.



JPG is the perfect image format for sharing your favorite photos with family and friends. You can choose a variety of JPG image resolutions, with higher resolutions resulting in larger files. The 300 dpi (dots per inch) standard is a perfectly acceptable resolution for viewing files on most digital screens, but 600 dpi quality is better on larger displays.



The JPG digital image file is extremely resilient as it moves across the world at the speed of light. As digital data, it can be copied and stored in multiple locations, further increasing it's life expectancy to what one might consider indelible. Thanks to the JPG, there's now a worldwide digitizing boom and race to scan and forever save old printed photographs, negatives, and slides.


Heirloom scans photos to JPG for only $0.25 each.


Written by Geoff Weber

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