I'm currently working with JPEG's, and when I use Lightroom to edit my photos with Exposure, my file size is much smaller than it was when I started. Why is this happening and am I loosing any quality in my image.
The simple answer is yes, you are losing quality, though you may not see it in the beginning. JPEG's are a compressed file type, and whenever you use lossy compression on a file, you are losing information. The best solution for this problem is to use a different format. I recommend TIFF for editing. Once complete, you can render out JPEGs as a final step.
Here you can see an example of JPEG compression.
Uncompressed image Compressed image
Here are a few things to keep in mind about each file type:
- Lossy compression
- Loss of quality
- File size reduced even when using Photoshop
- Thumbnails may not display properly
- No support for layers
- Great for use on the web
- Small file sizes
- Lossless compression
- Image retains all information
- No loss of quality
- Supports Layers
- Ideal for large prints
- Great for active image editing
- Not ideal for web use
- Large file sizes