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Comparing PNGs and JPEGs


When it comes to digital image formats, the two most common file types are PNGs and JPEGs. Both of these file types have been instrumental in shaping the digital landscape, but they each serve different purposes. In this post, we’ll be comparing PNGs and JPEGs are, why they were created, how they work, and what makes them different. We will also assess in terms of deep learning and what makes either suitable for application modelling.

What Are PNGs And JPEGs?

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) are both digital image file formats. They are used to store, share, and display images on computers and other digital devices. Both formats use compression to reduce the size of the files, making them easier to store and share.

When Were PNGs And JPEGs Created, And Why?

The PNG format was created in 1995 as an alternative to the GIF format, which was becoming increasingly popular at the time. One of the main advantages of PNGs over GIFs was that PNGs could support more colors and didn’t require a patent license. Additionally, PNGs supported transparency, making them ideal for use in web design and graphic design.

JPEGs were first introduced in the early 1990s and quickly became the standard for storing and sharing photographic images on the internet. JPEGs use lossy compression, which means that some image data is discarded during compression. This results in smaller file sizes but can also result in a loss of quality.

How Do PNGs And JPEGs Work?

PNGs and JPEGs both use compression to reduce the file size. However, the compression methods they use are different. PNGs use lossless compression, which means that all of the image data is preserved during compression. This results in larger file sizes but no loss of quality. JPEGs use lossy compression, which means that some image data is discarded during compression. This results in smaller file sizes but a loss of quality.

JPEG Compression Visual Example by Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0

What Makes PNGs And JPEGs Different?

The biggest difference between PNGs and JPEGs is the type of compression they use. PNGs use lossless compression, while JPEGs use lossy compression. This means that PNGs retain all of the original image data, resulting in larger file sizes. JPEGs, on the other hand, discard some of the image data during compression, resulting in smaller file sizes but a loss of quality.

Another difference between the two formats is that PNGs support transparency, while JPEGs do not. This makes PNGs the preferred format for use in web design and graphic design, where transparency is often required.

Is One Better Than The Other For Deep Learning?

In the field of deep learning, image processing is a vital component. Images are used for tasks like object detection, facial recognition, and image segmentation. However, before images can be used for these tasks, they must first be processed and formatted appropriately. Two common image formats used in deep learning are PNG and JPEG. In this blog post, we’ll compare PNG vs JPEG for deep learning and analyze which format is better suited for certain tasks.

For deep learning tasks, PNG is generally the better choice for images that require precise detail and sharp edges, such as medical images or text recognition. Since PNG is a lossless format, it preserves all the original details in the image, making it the preferred choice for these types of applications.

On the other hand, JPEG is more suitable for deep learning tasks that involve large datasets or require quick processing. For instance, JPEG is commonly used for object detection and facial recognition, where image quality is not the primary concern, but processing speed is.

It’s important to note that image format is just one factor that can impact the performance of deep learning models. Other factors include image resolution, color depth, and image augmentation techniques. Therefore, it’s essential to choose the appropriate image format based on the specific task and dataset requirements.


In conclusion, PNGs and JPEGs are two of the most common digital image file formats. They were created to make it easier to store and share digital images, and each has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Understanding the differences between these two formats can help you choose the right format for your needs and ensure that your images are displayed and shared optimally.

For More Information:

  1. “PNG vs JPEG – What’s the Difference?” by Brendan Nystedt, published on Lifewire: https://www.lifewire.com/png-vs-jpeg-whats-the-difference-2377481
  2. “A Guide to Understanding Image Formats for Machine Learning” by Chengwei Zhang, published on Towards Data Science: https://towardsdatascience.com/a-guide-to-understanding-image-formats-for-machine-learning-d68b22441ea7
  3. “Understanding Image Formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and RAW” by Adrian Try, published on Envato Tuts+: https://photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials/understanding-image-formats-jpeg-png-gif-tiff-bmp-and-raw–cms-22359
  4. NN Labs: www.nnlabs.org – Stay updated with the latest advancements in AI and deep learning research.


  1. “Portable Network Graphics (PNG) Specification (Second Edition)” by W3C: https://www.w3.org/TR/PNG/
  2. “JPEG Standard” by ITU-T: https://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-T.81-199202-I
  3. “ImageNet: A Large-Scale Hierarchical Image Database” by Jia Deng, et al., published on IEEE: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5206848