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M&M Guy

basket with 16 million colors The images to the left show color reduction. The first image is with a full 16 million colors.
basket with 256 colors In the center, the same image is reduced to 256 colors, with not a lot of difference in quality.
basket with 8 colors At 16 colors, (bottom image), the difference becomes more apparent with the colors lacking vibrancy.

The buttons below were altered to decrease file size. The top two are the largest file sizes, at 1286 bytes each. Decreasing to 16 colors renders the image at 494 bytes, (bottom left), and finally at two colors, the image is 464 bytes.

The following is an image which was made transparent.

moosehead at full color The image to the left shows a jpg file at a whopping 76kb which was saved without compression. reduction.
moosehead at a compression of 10 Here, the same image with a compression of 10. Still a very acceptable image and the file size has been reduced to 27kbs!
moosehead at 40 compression At a compression of 40, the file size is further reduced to 13kbs. It is still an acceptable photograph.
moosehead at 60 compression The file size is further reduced to 10kbs with a compression of 60. On this particular photo, I'm quite surprised that it is still holding up.
moosehead at 80 compression At a compression of 80, the file size becomes 7kbs. Though the image is still not bad, it is showing a reduction in quality.
moosehead at 99 compression At a compression of 99, the image is distorted and not at all usable, the file size here is only 3kbs.
Though I am surprised that the quality doesn't suffer as much as I thought it would, I think that I would opt for the picture at a 40% compression if I were adding this picture to my pages. The file size is okay at 13kbs, and the image quality is still remarkably good.

The images below demonstrate that not although jpgs are the best way to display photos on web sites, gifs are better for certain types of images and graphics. On the top is the jpg file at a compression of 40, and the bottom image shows a gif file with 256 colors.The edges are much sharper and more clearly defined, on the gif file.