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The Settings I Use When Saving An Image as JPEG

Here’s a question I get asked a lot, and it’s an easy one to answer because I’ve been using the same settings for saving my JPEGs out of Lightroom for around 14-years now. What I look for is a decent amount of reduction in the file size but without a visible loss of quality.

I’ve found that my sweet spot is a Quality setting of 80 (as seen above) out of 100. That gives me a small file size but still, the quality of the final image looks great, and you don’t see any signs of compression at that high a setting. The size of the JPEG files saved at 100 is more than double what they are at 80. Take a look:

ABOVE: For the image shown at the top of this post, saving at a quality setting of 80 creates a file with a size of 414 KB (less than 1/2 a Mb).

Above: For the same image, saved at 100 quality, it’s 1Mb, more than double the file size.

But Drive Space is So Cheap Now!

Well, yes it is still fairly cheap (but not nearly as cheap as it was a year or so ago). So yes it is, but this isn’t just about drive space — this is also about load speeds on the Internet, and smaller files load quicker, so that’s the 2nd consideration.

Anyway, those are the settings I’ve been using for years now, and I’m happy with the results. Hope you found that helpful. Have a great Monday, everybody! 🙂

-Scott

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7 comments

  1. five nights at freddy's 30 May, 2022 at 20:36 Reply

    I don’t save jpegs; instead, I export them for distribution purposes.
    They are erased once they have been delivered. One of the many benefits of working with RAW images in Lightroom.
    Jpeg small gets another vote.

  2. Al 25 May, 2022 at 01:56 Reply

    I tried Jpeg Mini -> big staircases in the skies -> trashed it
    In LR I have HEIC and RAW, some TIFF, I use Jpeg for sharing or web publication only.

  3. Simon Grosset 24 May, 2022 at 02:47 Reply

    I don’t save jpegs, I just export them for use in delivery.
    Once delivered, they’re deleted. One of the huge advantages of using Lightroom and a RAW workflow.
    And another vote for jpeg mini.

  4. Cliff Baughen 24 May, 2022 at 02:38 Reply

    If your original files were in JPEG would you still save them 80%? Not only is disk space realatively cheaper over time but communication speeds (including the Internet) are improving as the years go on.
    PS You may consider that you are progressing in years but I doubt that you can remember when a 10Mb (yes Megabyte) Hard Drive cost over 900UKP (about 1500 US$), was your main storage and took forever to backup.

  5. Grba 23 May, 2022 at 03:51 Reply

    You may want to check on JPEG Mini (or JPEG Mini Pro). Excellent algorithm with strong compression up to the point of possible. Even large prints are hard to recognize if compressed with it. It’s even possible to use it as a Ligtroom plugin. So my flow is to export JPEG in 100% and put it thru JPEG Mini. Gain is *at least* 50%. Silly as it seams, my stats show that gain in HDD space on my enormous JPEG library overcame price of that space multiple times.

    You’ll find it online easily.

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