Can you see a difference?

I read a post a while back that noted that the reason why jpgs look so different (read: flat and odd colors) on Facebook from the jpg on our computers has to do with the compressing FB does to the photos. Many of us have also noticed the same phenomenon on WordPress.  This article suggested saving images as PNG instead. So here is my experiment.

The photos were all resized to 1800×1200.  The png images are larger in mb size of the jpg (3.34mb vs 1.34mb-color photos, 1.64mb vs 1.13mb-BW photos), so it seems to me a bit more data is being kept. But really, I don’t see a difference in the shots when I open them in separate tabs, or here on the web page. Do you?  I see a bit more definition in the black and white, and a bit more brightness in the color, I think. Or that could just be my eyes playing tricks on me.

I suppose I’ll have to try it on Facebook, though I usually publish photos to FB directly from SmugMug rather than upload directly to FB.

JPG

2013_06_12_003

PNG

2013_06_12_003png

JPG

2013_06_14_029sm

PNG

2013_06_14_029png-sm


14 comments

  1. Good experiment, but I don’t see any difference. Although I have to say that it seems the Word Perfect photos seem to have improved a bit.

    Or it could be how I generate them (size them to the maximum so they are neither enlarged or reduced, and give them an extra amount of sharpening). Of course, it’s more work at my end, but judging by your examples it’s work I may not have to do.

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    • Yeah, I’m really not seeing that much difference. I remember many months ago I showed the difference between uploading to WordPress and using my SmugMug link instead, and there was a noticeable difference then. Maybe I should try that comparison again to see if WordPress has improved their imaging.

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  2. Fantastic experiment! PNG seems lighter to me. I have noted that, as far as websites are concerned, PNG seems to work better for sizing; my business website just went through an overhaul and the photos were changed to PNG to keep the sizes the same and loading times reduced.

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    • In this case, I’m only worried about how they look on the web. When I print, I print from my TIFFs.

      A friend of mine on FB noted this: We always use PNGs at work for two main reasons. (1) PNGs can store an alpha channel and (2) PNGs use lossless compression. With JPGs you can adjust the compression so it’s size vs quality, but it is always lossy. If you tried converting from a BMP to JPG back and forth several times, there will be image degradation. PNGs will never degrade. The reason why you don’t see a difference is because you probably used a high quality JPG compression directly from the original image.

      What he said about the high quality JPG compression from the original image is exactly what I do.

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