Most of us use the JPEG file compression format whether we know it or not. Most digital cameras save files in JPEG. Most web graphics are JPEG files. Why? JPEG is a popular and commonly used lossy compression technology. Compress a JPEG photo and it gets smaller in file size, but not in relation to the image quality. JPEG compression can also be adjusted so you can select the tradeoff between file size and image quality.
One of the more popular JPEG compression tools on the Mac App Store is JPEGmini, which makes it drop dead easy to reduce photo file size while retaining the same (or similar) visual quality.
As an example, a digital photo at full resolution and quality could easily weight 5 megabytes or more. JPEG compression can easily reduce that file size to less than 1/10th that, below 400 kilobytes, with little noticeable difference in quality.
That compression makes it easier to send files, and saving thousands of photos won’t take up as much storage. How? Just drag and drop a photo of files or photos and JPEGmini does the rest with simple controls and minimal options.
Here’s a photo that was eight megabytes and reduced by almost 7 times.
Your mileage may vary, of course, but you get the idea. JPEGmini reduces file size while retaining image quality (which is variable).
I’m an old Adobe user with plenty of years in Photoshop and Fireworks, and their implementation of JPEG compression is about as good as it gets. While I cannot see that JPEGmini is better, and quite often similar quality photos can be saved with a smaller file size in Fireworks or Photoshop, the cost is substantially different. Adobe products cost far more and the visual differences in saved JPEG images are difficult to see.
Can you use JPEGmini to squeeze down the file size of a photo and keep the same quality and resolution? Yes. And no. As the file size drops, something in the photo or image has to give. Since you can control the quality level, apps such as JPEGmini help reduce file size and keep visual quality at an acceptable level.