Photoshop: Similar raw files compressed as JPEG files are different sizes

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
Hi everybody, I wonder if anybody has encountered this. I have 2 very similar RAW files, one 4320x2880 pixels, the other 4200x2800 pixels. I save both in Photoshop 6 as jpg, ppi is 240, RGB 8-bit, and quality is maximum. Yet the smaller file ends up with 12MB, the larger one with 5.8MB on the hard-drive in Windows.

I wonder what I'm missing in this calculation. 12MB makes sense (4200x2800=11.76MB + some overhead probably). Does Photoshop compress even when maximum quality is requested? And why only 1 image? Any feedback appreciated!

thanks, Matt
Photo of Matt F.

Matt F.

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 4 weeks ago

  • 1
Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

  • 13806 Posts
  • 1622 Reply Likes
It's possible there's a lot of edit metadata in one of the files and not another. Are you saving using Save As or Export > Save for Web? If you export using Save for Web (and whack the metadata in both exported files) are they they same size?
Photo of Matt F.

Matt F.

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
thanks for the quick reply. Yes, when I save for web, they have about the same size. But the metadata is minimal in both
Photo of Richard Kain

Richard Kain

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I wonder whether this is really due to the compression in jpg formats, which occurs regardless of the quality setting. If you have a large area with similar colors in it, this compresses to small file size because the jpeg compression does look for differences from the average within each block being encoded.  Note that the previous comment applies even with highest quality. The difference really depends on what you mean when you say that the files are "similar." In particular, are they pictures of the same thing? If that's the case, my comment is probably not relevant. But if the subject matter is different - big blue sky in only one, for example - my comment does apply.
Photo of Matt F.

Matt F.

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
they have the same subject, I bracketed the shots. The first larger one is slightly darker, the second has a bit more whites in it, but it seems impossible that this could account for a 50% reduction in file size.
Photo of Max Johnson

Max Johnson, Champion

  • 392 Posts
  • 167 Reply Likes
It's possible that the darker image has more graininess or is somehow more uneven to the compression algorithm, causing it to be less efficient at blocking similar colors together at highest quality compress, while smooshing them together at lower quality compression.