Updated March 4, 2023
Difference between SVG and Canvas
SVG is abbreviated as Scalable Vector Graphics. It is a vector-based graphics and used the XML based format for graphics providing the support for interaction. SVG images are way better than bitmap images. In SVG images, the vector image is composed of a fixed set of shapes, and while scaling these images, it preserves the shape of the image. Canvas is an HTML element, which is used to draw graphics on the web page. It is referred to as a bitmap with an immediate mode graphics application programming interface for drawing on it. The element canvas is used as a container for graphics. In Canvas, we need the script to draw the graphics.
Let us study much more about the SVG vs Canvas in detail:
- W3C developed SVG. It was initially released in the year 2001. The file extensions are .svg and .svgz. Its internet media type is image/svg+xml and uniform type identifier is public.svg-image. The bitmap image is composed of a fixed set of pixels, and while scaling the bitmap, it will show us the pixel of the image. SVG images can be generated with the help of vector graphics editor like Inkscape, adobe illustrator, adobe flash, etc.
- The SVG usage on the web was limited because of the lack of support for the vector images in browsers like Internet Explorer. Konqueror was the first browser to support SVG images in the year 2004. After that, slowly, Google announced its support to vector images on the web content. SVG has support now for the native browser, plugin, and mobile browsers as well.
- Canvas is very interactive, and it responds to user interaction with any touch events, keywords, and mouse. Canvas allows the option of saving images .png or .jpeg. Canvas is very efficient in dealing with multiple elements at a time, and the object the draw on the canvas can be animated.
- Canvas is mainly dependent on resolutions, and it has complex visualizations because it can sometimes be slow for drawing large areas. There are several strategies available to draw different shapes like paths, boxes, circles, text and adding images.
Head To Head Comparison Between SVG and Canvas (Infographics)
Below is the top 6 difference between SVG vs Canvas:
Key Differences between SVG and Canvas
Both are popular choices in the market; let us discuss some of the major difference:
- SVG does not depend on the resolution, which means it is resolution-independent. If we enlarge the image, it will not lose its shape. Canvas is resolution-dependent. If the image is enlarged, it will start reflecting the pixels of the image.
- SVG refers to shape-based, whereas Canvas refers to pixel-based.
- SVG is best suited for applications with large rendering areas like google maps. Canvas has poor text rendering capabilities.
- SVG becomes slow rendering if it is complex because anything that uses the Document object model (DOM) at great extent will become slow. Canvas provides the high-performance element best suited for rendering faster graphics like image editing, an application that requires pixel manipulation.
- SVG refers to as powerful in a browser as it is vector-based and provides a high-quality experience. It can be paired with multimedia, audio, and videos. Canvas is mainly powered in drawing shapes, graphs and complex photo compositions.
- SVG can be modified through script and CSS. Canvas can be modified through script only.
- SVG images cannot be saved in other formats. In Canvas, you can save the resulting images in .png and .jpg format.
- SVG is mainly recommended for use in full-screen user interfaces. Canvas is not being recommended for large screens.
- The Size of a file for SVG can grow faster if the object has a large number of small elements. For canvas images, the size of the file not increased much.
- SVG is manly better for an application which is having fewer elements or items. Canvas is mainly better for thousands of objects and careful manipulation.
- SVG graphics are mainly developed using mathematical functions and formulas that requires fewer data to be stored in the source file. In Canvas, to draw the graphics, there are many strategies to develop.
- In SVG, the event model or user interaction is abstracted. For Canvas, the event model or user interaction is granular.
- SVG provides better scalability as it can be printed with high quality at any resolution. Canvas provides poor scalability as it is not suitable for printing higher resolution.
- SVG provides better performance with a larger surface or a smaller number of objects. Canvas provides better performance with a smaller surface or a large number of objects.
- The SVG syntax is easy to understand, but it is impossible to read the graphics object. Canvas syntax is very simple and easy to read.
SVG vs Canvas Comparison Table
Below is the topmost comparison between SVG vs Canvas.
|The basis of comparison||
|Definition||It is an XML based vector image format for interactivity.||It is an element in HTML to draw graphics on web pages.|
|Format||It uses a vector image format.||It uses the bitmap image format.|
|Flexible||SVGs are more flexible as we can expand the size beyond their natural||Canvas images are not that flexible.|
|Event Handlers||It provides any support for event handlers.||It does not provide support for event handlers.|
|Gaming||It does not suit for any gaming application.||These are well suited for gaming applications|
|Program||SVG refers to draw the program.||Canvas refers to paint the program.|
SVG vs Canvas both are used for creating or developing images and shapes. The developers are using both SVG vs Canvas to solve their purpose according to the requirements like SVG is not used for creating dynamic applications like gaming, and canvas is not used for its poor rendering of text and lack of animation. Both SVG vs Canvas are used for creating rich graphics on the web, but they are fundamentally different.
This has been a guide to the top difference between SVG vs Canvas. Here we also discuss key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more.