Compressing images isn’t only beneficial for webmasters who upload images to their website regularly but also for other users who needs, for instance, to send photos online to family and friends. As for the tool I use, I’m used to use PhotoFiltre to compress JPEG images for this blog. It doesn’t have side-by-side preview feature but it can load multiple images into one window and it supports saving in Progressive mode–which yields smaller size than the Standard mode. If you want a JPEG compressor with side-by-side preview, one of the free tools that you can try is VJC.
In terms of size output, the result of VJC’s compression is basically as good as that of the Standard mode of PhotoFiltre. However, you might be able to achieve smaller size when using VJC because its side-by-side preview window makes you able to find out how much different the result is compared to the original one.
Another advantage of using VJC, aside from it is being very lightweight, is that it supports auto preview, meaning that you can view the result in real-time as you change the quality level. Moreover, it processes image immediately once it is loaded according to the preconfigured settings, and it seems that VJC processes images slightly faster than PhotoFiltre.
In terms of features, the current release of VJC provides a very limited set of features. Beside the auto preview and side-by-side preview, you can only load one image at a time and set the quality level either by specifying a value or a max size or by moving the slider. No progressive mode, no batch process, no resize tool. Not even zooming capability.
All in all, despite of its limited features, VJC is a nice application to be kept in your arsenal of image processing tools. It becomes my first choice whenever I need to compress a single image quickly without resizing. Portable, quick, and good compression without losing much quality.
Reviewed version: VJC 1.0, tested on Windows 7. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Windows 8. Visit the software page or Softpedia to download it (221KB)–the installer is also available if you prefer it.