What are the downsides of AVIF?

AVIF (AV1 Image File Format) is a modern image codec that has gained widespread adoption due to its high compression rate and support from a wide range of applications. However, there are also some downsides to using AVIF that should be considered when deciding whether it is the right choice for a specific use case.

One of the main downsides of AVIF is that encoding and creating AVIF images takes longer compared to other image formats. This can cause problems for sites that generate images dynamically, as the longer encoding time can result in delays. The AVIF team is working to improve the speed of encoding, but it is currently an issue to consider.

Another potential downside of AVIF is that it is not optimized as a single image format, as opposed to JPEG XL. Since AVIF is derived from the AV1 video codec, some critics argue that it is not optimized specifically for still images. This can result in less efficient encoding and potentially lower image quality compared to formats that are designed specifically for still images.

Additionally, images encoded with AVIF may draw more CPU power to display compared to images encoded with other codecs. This can impact the performance of applications that display large numbers of AVIF images, particularly on devices with limited processing power. However, the impact of this may be compensated by the size of the image, with smaller images having a lesser impact on performance.

Finally, it's worth noting that support for AVIF is not universal. While 70% of current browsers can view AVIF images, not all programs currently support it, including Adobe Photoshop. This can limit the use of AVIF in certain situations where compatibility with specific software is required.

Overall, while AVIF has many benefits, it is important to carefully consider these downsides when deciding whether it is the right choice for a specific use case.

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