Google Photos vs JPEGmini

JPEG Compression Test: Google Photos vs JPEGmini

In this article I will take a look at Google Photos’ new photo compression performance. I’ve been using a program called JPEGmini for a couple of years to compress my JPEG images. Its compression of JPEGs are lossy, but it claims to do so leaving the perceptual image quality virtually unchanged. As far as I can tell, its claims are pretty accurate, and it has literally helped me cut the size of some of my picture folders in half.

As I’m sure most of you are aware, Google just unveiled Google Photos, and with it announced unlimited storage space for photos and videos. The unlimited part comes with a caveat: Google will apply lossy compression to your files.

Like JPEGmini, Google claims to be able to apply lossy compression to images without changing the perceptual quality of the image. If you analyze the uncompressed and compressed images with a computer, you can see differences — but by eye, they look identical.

So I did a little test with a bright image to compare JPEGmini’s compression with Google’s compression. Take a look at this image:

This shows a comparison between the uncompressed image, Google’s compression, JPEGmini’s compression, and finally JPEGmini applied to an already Google-compressed image.

You can decide for yourself if there is any loss in visual acuity between the original, the Google-compressed, the JPEGmini-compressed, and the double-compressed image. To make it easier to view the images side-by-side, here’s an Imgur album with each individual frame, which you can load it separate browser tabs and click back and forth.

Below, I’ve produced a table showing the different compression ratios.