New BPG image format looks to beat out JPEG with same quality at half the size

by Gannon Burgett

posted Monday, December 15, 2014 at 6:16 PM EDT


Since its inception in 1992, the JPEG file format has been the go-to means for sharing photographs. While many have tried to replace it, its compression capabilities and ubiquitous support has greatly accounted for its success.

Now, there’s a new image format looking to take over. It’s called Better Portable Graphics (BPG) and its strength lies in its ability to produce JPEG quality images at roughly half the size.

Created by noted French programmer Fabrice Bellard, the technology behind this new format is based on the same HEVC codec used in x265/H.265 video. This allows the BPG file format to handle 14 bits per color channel, lossless compression and even alpha support – something JPEG doesn’t offer.

You can see the difference for yourself in the comparison images below:

As with any new file format, the problem is ensuring it catches on with developers, programmers, camera companies and more. As of now, developers can utilize a dedicated javascript code to show the images, but it’s far from intuitive and by no means an integrated solution.

BPG may never be more than another attempt to rid the world of JPEGs, but it’s a step in the right direction. After all, the JPEG file format is roughly 22 years old, making it all but ancient in the digital world.

Then again, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. To take a closer look at the compression capabilities, you can check out a number of comparison images with this comparison tool.

(via Digital Trends)