Bash Redirection Encoding

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http://serverfault.com – I'm trying to use the command base64 somefile.ext to covert files to text. The only problem is that the file size increases by 35%, and that becomes unacceptable for my larger files. I suspect that the files could be encoded in a way that makes their size smaller. Currently the encoding of the outputted file is us-ascii. Is there an encoding that would make for a smaller file size? (HowTos)