HEIC vs JPG: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

A whopping 1,43 trillion photos were taken using mobile devices in 2020. High-resolution phones and high-quality digital cameras have people taking and storing tons of images. With so much content available, it’s essential to stand out.

Using a photo-editing app can give your images the edge they need. However, not everyone is familiar with all the different editing file types. If you’re unsure of the difference between HEIC and JPG, you’re in the right place.

Check out this guide to learn all about HEIC vs JPG.

Operating Systems Supporting HEIC and JPG

With iOS 11, Apple made HEIC the new default photo format for iPhone users. HEIC, or High-Efficiency Image Format, is a unique file format that improves the JPG standard. 

But in some instances, we have to convert these into jpg files. There are ways to change heic to jpg on specific operating systems like Mac.

It would be best to use tools to preserve your images’ quality after converting them. JPG is a popular imaging format that most platforms and operating systems support, making it compatible with many devices.

HEIC vs JPG: The Differences

When choosing between HEIC and JPG, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

File Size and Compatibility

The file size difference is due to the way each format compresses images. HEIC uses a more sophisticated compression method that is more efficient than the standard JPEG compression.

A typical HEIC file is about half the size of a JPEG file of the same image quality. It means you can store twice as many HEIC files on your device or reduce the amount of storage space used by half. This can be advantageous if you’re working with limited storage space or bandwidth.

However, JPG files are also more widely compatible with different devices and software than HEIC files, so you’re more likely to be able to open and view them without any issues. Or you can convert HEIC to JPG to fix the incompatibility issue.

Image Compression

JPEG is a lossy format that is compressed by discarding some image data. It can result in visible artifacts, especially at high compression ratios. HEIC is a lossless format, meaning it doesn’t lose any image data when compressed – resulting in better image quality, but the files are more extensive.

HEIC files offer better image compression than JPG files, so if image quality is your top priority, HEIC is the better option. Another key difference is that HEIC files can contain multiple images in a single file, known as HEIC sequences. The image type is ideal for burst photos or Live Photo sequences.

Color Differences and Quality

One advantage of HEIC is that it supports 16-bit color, while JPEG only supports 8-bit color. It means HEIC can represent a broader range of colors than JPEG and produce more accurate colors.

HEIC uses a more advanced color management system that produces more accurate and vibrant colors. JPG uses a more simplistic color management system that can often result in muted or less realistic colors.

Finally, HEIC files support transparency, whereas JPEGs do not. You can create images with transparent backgrounds, which can be helpful for logos and other design elements.

HEIC vs JPG for Photography and Editing 

Since HEIC is a newer format, you can not easily edit the images on several devices. You need to look for an operating system where it is compatible, or you need to convert it to JPG. But editing HEIC images can ensure that their quality will not change or deteriorate.

There are a lot of JPG image editing tools that you can use. You can also convert it to HEIC if you need to have this kind of format in your images. Make sure to look for editing tools and retouching services that can maintain its image quality, especially if it is something you need for professional use.

The Drawbacks and Benefits

Not all devices and software can open HEIC files, so you may need to convert them to JPG before sharing them. Additionally, HEIC files are not as widely accepted as JPG files, so you may have difficulty finding someone who can open them.

Devices that are also using old operating systems can’t access HEIC files. It is something that you should consider before deciding on what kind of format to use.

But on a good note, HEIC files have much better compression technology in their images. You will not need to sacrifice the quality of your photos in using this kind of format, even if the file size is much smaller.

Its 16-bit color depth is also much preferred by professional photographers as they can access a much more comprehensive range of colors. You will be able to get more realistic photos using this kind of format.

When Should I Use HEIC vs JPG Files?

If you have an Apple device, you will be using HEIC as it is compatible with its operating system. You should also use the format if you are trying to save memory space or if the amount you have is limited. Suppose you are using your photos for professional purposes. In that case, HEIC is also more recommended to preserve the high quality of your images.

JPG files are much more accessible no matter what kind of device or operating system you use because of their compatibility. If you use several devices, you will not have problems using JPG format as you do not need to convert them every time you transfer your files.

Choosing The Best Format For Your Captured Moments

If you’re wondering whether to use HEIC or JPG format for your photos, here’s a quick rundown of the differences between the two. HEIC is a newer format with better compression than JPG, making it a good choice for saving storage space. JPG is a more widely compatible format, so it’s a better choice for sharing photos.

Ultimately, in choosing HEIC vs JPG, the best format depends on your needs.

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HEIC vs JPG: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better? was last updated November 23rd, 2022 by Edward Brown