Is JPEG or HEIC Better? Comparing Image Formats Explained

is jpeg or heic better

When it comes to saving and sharing high-quality images, the choice of the right image format is crucial. JPEG and HEIC are two of the most common formats used today, but which is better? This article will explore the features and benefits of each format, making it easier for you to decide the best fit for your needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right image format can significantly impact image quality, file size, and compatibility.
  • JPEG and HEIC are two popular image formats with specific features and benefits.
  • Understanding the differences between JPEG and HEIC can help you decide which format is better for your needs.

Understanding JPEG

When it comes to image formats, JPEG is one of the most popular choices. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and was created in 1992 for photographic images. JPEG files are compressed to reduce their size, making them easy to store and share online.

One of the reasons for the popularity of JPEG is its compatibility, as it can be viewed on almost any device or software. The compression used in JPEG also ensures that images load quickly, which is especially important for websites with a lot of images.

JPEG uses lossy compression, which means that some data is lost during the process. This can result in a loss of image quality, particularly if the compression is set too high. It is important to find a balance between file size and image quality when using JPEG.

When it comes to file size, JPEG files can range from a few kilobytes to several megabytes, depending on the quality of the image and the level of compression used.

Overall, JPEG is a reliable and widely used image format, known for its compatibility and compression capabilities. However, it is important to be mindful of the potential loss of image quality when using JPEG, especially if compression is set too high.

Exploring HEIC

HEIC, also known as High Efficiency Image Format, is a relatively new image format designed to provide superior compression compared to JPEG. Developed by the MPEG group, HEIC uses advanced compression algorithms to achieve up to 50% smaller file sizes than the JPEG format.

One of the key benefits of HEIC is its ability to pack multiple images into a single file, allowing for better organization and storage of large image collections. Additionally, HEIC supports advanced image features such as transparency, depth maps, and 16-bit color depth, making it a great choice for professional photographers and designers.

However, compatibility with HEIC is still limited compared to JPEG. Currently, HEIC is only fully supported on Apple devices running iOS 11 or later and Macs running macOS High Sierra or later. Windows 10 also has limited support for HEIC, while Android and other platforms require third-party software to view or edit HEIC images.

Overall, HEIC offers superior compression and advanced image features, but may not be the best choice for users who require maximum compatibility across different devices and software. It is important to consider your specific needs and workflow when deciding whether HEIC is the right image format for you.

Quality Comparison: JPEG vs. HEIC

When it comes to image quality, the debate between JPEG and HEIC is a complicated one. Both formats have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the better format ultimately depends on your specific needs.

Regarding image quality, JPEG is known for producing high-quality images with good color accuracy and detail. However, its lossy compression technique can lead to compression artifacts, such as blockiness or blurring, particularly when the compression level is high.

On the other hand, HEIC’s compression technique allows for higher compression without significant image degradation. This results in smaller file sizes while preserving image quality, making it ideal for storing and sharing large image collections.

Despite its benefits, HEIC is not without its downsides. One of the main issues with HEIC is its compatibility on non-Apple devices and software. Some devices may not support HEIC natively, requiring users to convert the format before sharing or viewing images.

In summary, when it comes to image quality, JPEG may be the better option for those who prioritize visual fidelity over file size. However, if file size is a concern, or if you need to store and share large image collections, HEIC may be the better option due to its higher compression rate and smaller file size.

Compatibility and Usability Considerations

When choosing between JPEG and HEIC, compatibility and usability are important factors to consider. Both formats have their advantages and disadvantages depending on your unique needs.

Compatibility: JPEG has been around for over two decades and is widely supported by software and devices across various platforms. On the other hand, HEIC is a relatively new format and is only compatible with Apple devices that run iOS 11 or later. While some third-party software supports HEIC, it is still not universally recognized.

Usability: When it comes to usability, JPEG is often preferred due to its widespread support. It can be easily shared, edited, and stored without any compatibility issues. In contrast, HEIC may require conversion to JPEG or another compatible format before sharing or editing on non-Apple devices.

Overall, your choice between JPEG and HEIC will depend on your specific needs and usage. If you primarily use Apple devices and prioritize high-quality images with smaller file sizes, HEIC may be a good fit. For broader compatibility and ease of use, however, JPEG is the more established and reliable option.


After analyzing the features, advantages, and disadvantages of both JPEG and HEIC image formats, the decision ultimately depends on your specific image needs.

If you prioritize image quality and do not mind larger file sizes, JPEG may be the better option for you. It is widely compatible across various devices and software, making it a reliable format for sharing and storage.

On the other hand, if you prioritize smaller file sizes and compatibility with Apple devices, HEIC may be the better option. While it may not be as widely supported as JPEG, its ability to achieve high compression rates without sacrificing image quality makes it a compelling choice for many users.

Ultimately, your image format decision should consider a variety of factors, including image quality, file size, compatibility, and usability. By carefully evaluating these factors and considering your specific needs, you can make an informed decision between JPEG and HEIC for your image needs.

Scroll to Top