Which is Better: JPEG or HEIF? Understand the Differences.

which is better jpeg or heif

When it comes to image formats, choosing between JPEG and HEIF can be a challenging decision. While JPEG is the tried and tested format, HEIF offers advanced features and superior compression. Understanding the pros and cons of each format can help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between JPEG and HEIF, so you can choose the right format for your images.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing between JPEG and HEIF can be challenging.
  • Understanding the pros and cons of each format is essential.
  • Both formats have their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Compatibility and compression are significant factors to consider.
  • Future-proofing should also be taken into account when selecting an image format.

What is JPEG?

JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a widely used image format that employs lossy compression to reduce image file sizes. This format is known for its compatibility and widespread support across various devices and software. The compression process of JPEG enables images to be easily shared and transferred over different platforms.

However, one downside of JPEG is that the compression process can result in a decrease in image quality, depending on the level of compression applied. The more an image is compressed, the greater the loss of quality. In addition, repeatedly editing and saving a JPEG file can further worsen the image quality.

In terms of image size, JPEG files can be compressed to a relatively small size, making them ideal for web images and email attachments. This is great for saving storage space and reducing upload/download times. Compatibility is another strong advantage of JPEG as it can be viewed on most devices and software.

What is HEIF?

High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF) is a new type of image format that offers superior compression compared to traditional JPEG images. HEIF uses the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression algorithm, which reduces file size while maintaining image quality at higher levels than JPEG. HEIF also supports various advanced features such as multiple images, animations, and depth maps that make it a versatile format.

HEIF offers many advantages over JPEG, including smaller file sizes, better image quality, and more features. However, compatibility can be an issue, particularly on older devices that may not support the format. Some software may also not fully support HEIF, making it difficult to edit and manipulate images.

Despite these limitations, HEIF is becoming increasingly popular, particularly for professional photography and videography. The format allows for better color accuracy and depth of field, making it a great option for images that require high-level detail. HEIF is also an excellent choice for video files, as it can store multiple frames in a single file, reducing file sizes and improving playback performance.

Comparing JPEG and HEIF

When it comes to comparing JPEG and HEIF, there are several factors to consider.

Image Quality

While both formats offer good image quality, the compression used in JPEG can lead to some loss of quality, especially after multiple edits and saves. On the other hand, HEIF’s use of HEVC compression allows for higher image quality at smaller file sizes, making it an attractive option for photographers and graphic designers.

File Size

One of the main advantages of HEIF over JPEG is its superior compression, resulting in significantly smaller file sizes. This can be especially beneficial when dealing with large numbers of images or when storage space is a concern.


JPEG is a widely accepted standard for web images and is supported on almost all devices and software. HEIF, being a relatively new image format, may not be fully compatible with older devices or software. However, it is becoming increasingly popular and is supported on most newer devices and software.

Pros and Cons

Format Pros Cons
JPEG Widely supported, suitable for most scenarios, good image quality Limited compression, potential loss of image quality over time
HEIF Superior compression, advanced features, high-quality images at smaller file sizes May not be fully compatible with older devices or software

Overall, both JPEG and HEIF have their strengths and weaknesses. Which one you choose will depend on your priorities and specific needs. If you need compatibility and widespread support, JPEG is a safe choice. However, if you value superior compression and advanced features, HEIF is worth considering.


When it comes to choosing between JPEG and HEIF image formats, it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If compatibility and widespread support are top priorities, then JPEG is the way to go. It is widely accepted as a standard for web images and is compatible with most devices and software. However, keep in mind that the compression process may result in some loss of image quality over time.

On the other hand, if you value superior compression and advanced features like multiple images, animations, and depth maps, HEIF can be a great option. It offers higher quality images at smaller file sizes, making it ideal for storage and sharing. However, HEIF support may be limited on certain devices and software.

Ultimately, consider your specific needs, device compatibility, and future-proofing when making a decision between these image formats. Both JPEG and HEIF have their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to you to choose which one is best for you.

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