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Welcome to the world of OpenCV. Actually, the problem that you describe has nothing to do with the compression format of your images. The speed of the face tracking depends on the size of your input images, you will have to find a compromise between image size (speed) and face detection accuracy (as the smaller the image, the more difficult for the face detector to reliably detect a face)

Also, if you are interested in detecting only one face on the image, limiting the face detector to detect only the biggest face on the image might improve your frame rate.

I hope this helps you.