There are many different file formats that we can use at the moment. Some of them have even been with us for decades, while others come over time. For example, at the moment some related to multimedia environments are appearing, such as AVIF, a format that we are going to talk about.
Surely many of you know more than enough the image format called JPEG . This is one of the best known and used image formats for years. For those of you who don’t know, JPEG was born more than twenty years ago. It is precisely for all this reason that it is a format for photos that we all know and use practically every day. However, despite its popularity, there are many companies or developers who seek to improve the global format and opt for other more current options.
With all this, what is intended, at least in the image sector in our equipment, is to reduce its but with the least possible loss of quality. So what is intended is to achieve a file format widely used as well as useful.
What is the AVIF file format
Well, in this case we are going to focus on another file format that is gradually becoming part of our teams. Specifically, we refer to the AVIF file format that we will talk about in these same lines. To give you an idea, AVIF is the acronym for AV1 Image File Format. We are therefore referring to a relatively new image format that has largely been developed for the Internet. In this way, what is tried is to lighten the images, but with less loss of quality.
Also keep in mind that this is a free-to-use format created by the Alliance for Open Media, also known as AOMedia . Here we refer to an organization made up of a multitude of current technology firms. So we can find companies that are part of it such as Google, Vimeo, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, etc. We will also tell you that in the same way that happens with the WebP format, AVIF is a type of file that is based on a video codec.
Advantages of AVIF over Webp
In this way, as you can imagine, AVIF is created from the combination of ISO HEIF or High Efficiency Image File Format, and the AV1 video codec . Hence, all this is open source and also free of copyright. Therefore it could be said that at the moment an image saved as AVIF is a video frame in an image container. In this way we have the possibility of adding metadata and other common elements in digital photos.
At this point we will tell you that the main difference between the two image formats mentioned is that WebP uses the VP8 codec . On the other hand, the files in AVIF format use the AV1 codec, as we mentioned before. Therefore, the advantage of this is that it is much more modern and powerful, so that better results are obtained in terms of image quality. To all this we have to add the fact that it is free to use and open source. We also tell you that as with WebP, AVIF supports images with transparencies and animations.
Therefore, at this time we can already find applications and platforms that, for example, convert photos from JPEG to AVIF .
Moreover, when using AVIF, this codec that we are commenting on, offers several advantages compared to Webp’s VP8. For example, it is worth mentioning that all of this achieves a smaller size in the resulting files, with the same image quality. In addition, AVIF has support for high dynamic range images, also known as HDR. Actually, what this allows is that we obtain images with a greater range, more brightness and color depth .
What we gain by using images in AVIF format
How could it be otherwise, one of the main advantages that we are going to obtain when using and working with images in AVIF format is a reduction in the weight of the files. Thus we will have to deal with images that are lighter than the other photo formats. In fact, this is something that is even achieved against WebP, one of the most recent and efficient of the moment.
In short, what we achieve with the use of photographs in AVIF is to obtain the same image quality as with other formats, but with weight reductions »of up to 50%. This is something that for example we achieve if we compare this most current format with the mythical JPG that we have been using for so many years. Of course, while comparing it with JPG it gains up to half the disk space, saying that the difference compared to WebP is not so much. According to experts, without appreciable loss of image quality, AVIF reduces its weight by around 20% compared to Webp. Considering that this is also a relatively new format, the gain is important.
This is something that becomes especially obvious and important when dealing with large amounts of files. And it is that when we talk about the advantages of the different file formats, what is really important here is the relationship between the size and the quality achieved. Therefore with the new one what we achieve is a quality with hardly any loss of definition, with a much lower weight than its competitors. Of course, some quality loses compared to the original image, that is almost inevitable, but of course the reduction in size is important, a reduction of up to 90% can be achieved.
Disadvantages of the AVIF image format
Of course, so far this is a file format that is in full growth, so its use is not yet too common. It is true that its future is quite promising, but at the moment not all the programs that many of us have on our PC, support it. Therefore, sometimes we can find that we try to open a file that has been created or converted to this new format, and it cannot open it.
That is something that with the passage of time it is to be assumed that it will be corrected. All this as developers update their software solutions and integrate this compatibility.