What is an HEIC File? Everything You Need to Know

by | Jul 12, 2022 | PetaPixel

Cross-posted from petapixel.com [by Alan Truly]

An HEIC is a type of image file that contains compressed data, along with metadata such as the location a photograph was taken, the date it was created, and more. While it does reduce picture information, it typically results in a better representation of the original source than an image saved in JPEG format.

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What Does HEIC Stand For?

HEIC stands for High-Efficiency Image Coding and it holds images stored using a variant of HEIF, High-Efficiency Image Format. The efficiency of an image format references how much space is required to store a file with high quality and visual accuracy. Every HEIC file is an HEIF image, however, not every HEIF is an HEIC. Both offer much greater fidelity at the same file size as image formats, such as the older JPEG compression type that was critical for the early internet.

In many cases, HEIF is used as a replacement for JPEG images. Most notably, all new Apple products can open, edit, and save images compressed in HEIF as HEIC files. The iPhone saves photos as HEIC by default, however, there is an option to use JPEG. Many major digital imaging companies support HEIF and HEIC, including Canon, Sony, Qualcomm, and Samsung.

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