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What's the best format for sending pictures by email?

by sams2004 / August 4, 2005 11:24 PM PDT

I am using Outlook Express 2003 and I often wonder what is the best type of picture configuration to use when sending an email to a friend or colleague.. Is it jpeg,BMP,gif or what? I know that jpeg is a compressed picture that I am told is "lossy" and I can see that bmp is humungous as far as size but better in resolution.I also see gif used in webpages but is it applicable to sending pictures in email?
When I want to send a picture to someone using Hotmail I usually run up against their restriction of capacity.(this used to be 2meg)so pictures soon become an impossibility.
Any thoughts anyone?

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One thought. . .
by Coryphaeus / August 5, 2005 7:18 AM PDT

The smaller the better. .jpg can be very acceptable, It's what most people use.

Told it is "lossy"? By whom?

If the picture conveys the message, done. You've already found out that size matters. Why crowd the issue. Sent a picture that is acceptable and will travel the net.


Larger pictures, bit wise, are good for printing, enlarging, and such. But sending to friends is not good. I'll tell you this. If someone sent me a 2 or 3 Meg photo I'd be pissed.

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best way to send pictures via email
by billjoy2007 / February 23, 2007 9:58 PM PST
In reply to: One thought. . .

The best way to send email pictures is using .JPG extension. Jpg has compression and the files are very small when sending.
If you use the .jpg format you will never have email sending problems

This is the solution to email problems. Too large file sizes can cause your system to freeze.


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e-mail pic's ....
by tony12345 / August 11, 2005 5:46 PM PDT

If you want to piss people off send them as bmp .... because they'll take too long to download
Send .jpg ........... no matter what anyone says, the quality is OK and they'll be quicker to send and recieve ..........

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Best format for sending pictures by email
by mooseantlers / August 11, 2005 10:25 PM PDT

Would have to agree that jpeg is probably the most popular format.
The file size is one consideration. Although changes have been made, some ISP's limit file sizes [attachments] to 1mb or less.
GIF only supports 256 colors. UGH!
The actual 'size' of the picture matters too! It's pretty annoying when someone sends a photo that may be jpeg, but they don't consider that the picture [in pixels] is larger than what you [or your recipient] has their screen set to. When you have to scroll around just to see the rest of the picture, it isn't much fun & you quickly loose interest.
Guess i'm old school, but I resize pics for e-mail to either 640x480 or 800x600 [or close enough to it] so that the whole pic will fit on-screen. Then you can compress the photo for faster sending/downloading. Remember, not everyone has broadband! Yeah, too much compression makes the pic look like garbage, so play around with what looks good to you. Your recipient will get a good [enough] copy. If they love the pic so much, you can always post a 'full-sized' copy on a web-site [personal web space is usually offered by most ISP's].

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by rickster49 / August 11, 2005 11:13 PM PDT

Jpeg is the most popular way of sending photos via e-mail, and I agree that the size of the photo makes a big difference.
Set your camera to take the photo at 640 x 280 then, consider using WinZip to compress them further prior to attaching them to your e-mail,
WinZip is a file compression program freely available from CNET, and possibly the easiest to use.

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WinZip? What century do you live in?
by ChazzMatt / August 14, 2005 11:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Jpeg

Forget WinZip.

Windows XP comees with zip/unzip built in -- as does Mac OSX and Linux.

With XP, right click on the file, "send to" zipped folder.

WinZip is obsolete.

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by auggief / August 29, 2005 6:15 PM PDT

There are times when I download something and WinZip comes up to extract the file.

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Answer about winzip.
by Kees Bakker / February 23, 2007 11:02 PM PST
In reply to: Question


If you installed winzip, it will popup on opening a zip-file. Yes. But you don't need it. Windows XP will handle it perfectly without Winzip or any special utility. Both for putting files into this 'compressed folder' and for moving files out of them again.

In addition to what XP offers, I've installed the free version of Powerdesk 6; that's an Explorer-like program that also handles zip-files, but already did so in Windows 98. I use it for other features then this zip-file handling.

And I installed free Tugzip, but not for it zip-file handling, but because it also handles rar-files, which some students sometimes send to me.

So I have rather an overkill of zip-programs. At my work, I only have XP for zip-files and none of this other programs, and I don't feel I miss anything. No need for freeware, and certainly no need for paid shareware for this.

Hope this helps.


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Size of pic
by harley-d / August 11, 2005 11:07 PM PDT

I also have to agree that jpeg would be the way to go. Download PICSIZER (free app) and reduce your picture to 640x480in a snap, then send it.
Hope this helps

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Emailing PIctures
by baddog6915 / August 12, 2005 1:33 AM PDT

I would recommend using JPEG and keeping the shot to 640 x 800 or use some photo management site like Kodak.

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jpg - 'lossy'
by johnnyrich2002 / August 12, 2005 10:37 PM PDT

As I understand it (may be wrong - please someone correct me if I am), every time that a .jpg is saved a further degree of compression is performed, even if you haven't changed/edited the image. Therefore if you were to open and then save an image many times it would gradually deteriorate in quality. It might still be acceptable for display on a monitor but that might also depend on the chosen viewing size.

hope this helps

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photo format
by beyondallken / August 13, 2005 8:22 AM PDT
In reply to: jpg - 'lossy'

For email, no doubt at all - jpeg is the way to go.
If you have XP then have a look for ''Power Toys for Windows XP''. (Google will find it for you)
In that set is a wonderful little tool (Photo Toys) which is quickly and easily installed.
When you right click on a photo, the usual window opens, but it now includes the option to Resize.
Choices are 640x480, 800x600 - usually my choice, plus 1024x768, and 240x300.
Clicking one of those reduces the file size, and puts the alternative alongside your original so you still have your large version.
It is free software, and although no longer supported, is from Microsoft.
I know there are other ways to do the same job, but I have yet to find anything which works so quicky and easily.
One minor warning - when you click on your choice of reduction, the new size photo is added to the album which contains the original, but initially you have to go to the bottom to see the last entry. Once you have clicked on it, or refresh the screen in any way, it moves alongside the original, with just 'small', 'medium' etc, added to the title.
Hope this helps.

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Photo Format for sending files
by taboma. / August 13, 2005 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: photo format

Jpeg is the way to go for sending files over the internet. How large or small files depends on your ISP. Right now , I have AOL and if attaching a photo file to text and sending out to someone, AOL will adjust the image to fit their system prefs automatically, no matter what size the original file is. Too large a file with AOL? You may have a system freeze and have to re-boot. AOL is really lousy!

For quick viewing, I send out a jpeg file as low res about 255K (low res), attached to text. Easy to view and easy for the viewer to quickly see the file. If anyone wants a larger file, I send it as a download up to 2 megs.
I send out a lot of images per day of my flowers to our friends and everyone can view the images quickly.

If you are using Outlook Express, make sure to send out the file as UU. (Universal.) Otherwise, ?LOOKOUT? will send it out as as a MIME or MIM file. No one will be able to read it without special software. (TNEF1.0b2CARB) Look for it with Google, and download it. Another comes from Microsoft, I think?(winzip81)
Check these out. Cannot go wrong to have these for Mac or PC.

Hope this info helps and happy downloading.


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by taboma. / August 13, 2005 2:47 PM PDT
In reply to: jpg - 'lossy'

You are right-on!

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jpeg gets my vote as well
by ackmondual / August 17, 2005 3:13 AM PDT

BMP too large (usually x10 the size of jpeg), but is loseless - HUGE difference between 80MB of pictures and only 8MB

GIF is compressed, but is limited to 8 bit color (256 colors) which is too little for today's color rich photographs

TIFF is another alternative that doesn't have the cons of the 2 above, but not every1 may be able to read TIFF images.

There's some "lossy" in JPG, but i would deem the space saved MUCH MORE worth it. Unless you're a image professional or professional photographer, others who view photos casually will find the possible lower quality/degredation acceptable. I'd bet that most ppl probably wouldn't be able to tell the diff betw JPG and the original even if there were such diff.

Ditto with music. Majority would rather have a music file at 3MB in MP3 format rather than 50MB in WAV even tho the former is lossy in quality.

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2 Megabyte Pictures??????????
by nycboy0156 / August 17, 2005 9:24 PM PDT

I don't know why in the world you would want to send anyone pictures that are 2MB or higher, unless you're really looking to make lots of internet enemies.
My sister once sent me a 1MB picture, back when I had dial up, and it took me over 5 minutes to download the darn thing. You need to get a grip and send pictures in jpeg format, unless your a portrait photographer who is sending clients their portraits so that they can inspect every pore on their nose. Resize your pics to a more reasonable size, 640X480. And duck for a while becuase they must be hurling curses at you from a far and you want to make sure they don't hit you in the head.

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2 Meg Pictures Sent Out
by taboma. / August 29, 2005 1:44 PM PDT

Sorry to post late.
I send all photo files as low res in-around 200-350K attached to text. The files send and receive fast. If someone wants a hi-res image I can download the file for them later as a download.
Send your friends a CD. Send your enemies an 500 Meg file.


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