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NEWS: HD Photo to become JPEG XR

 
 
John Navas
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      11-26-2007
<http://www.news.com/8301-13580_3-9810024-39.html>

A new attempt to provide a higher-end sequel to the ubiquitous JPEG
image standard is officially under way.

The multiple countries participating in the Joint Photographic
Experts Group, which created the JPEG standard, have approved an
effort to make Microsoft's HD Photo format a standard called JPEG XR,
said Bill Crow, who has led Microsoft's HD Photo effort and who just
took over the company's Microsoft Live Labs Seadragon imaging
project. XR stands for "extended range," a reference to the format's
ability to show a wider and finer range of tonal gradations and a
richer color palette.

"The country vote is done, and it passed," Crow said. "That means the
International JPEG committee has decided to go ahead and create the
standard. Now it's just a process of doing that work," a process that
will begin later this month in a meeting in Kobe, Japan.

The move is an important step in the transformation of the photo
format from an in-house technology called Windows Media Photo to a
neutral format more likely to be palatable to companies that don't
want to be beholden to Microsoft.

However, the move also means that Microsoft will have to be more
patient with its hopes to get HD Photo to catch on more broadly.
Standardization "typically takes around a year," Crow said.

...

In Microsoft's view, HD Photo also offers better compression and
support for in-camera image processing. It's built into Windows
Vista, but Microsoft offers the software development kit to implement
the technology free and with no royalty constraints. Image-editing
powerhouse Adobe Systems has voiced support for the format.

[MORE]


MY TAKE: JPEG 2000 hasn't exactly taken the market by storm, and a new
more capable format is badly needed, so let's hope JPEG XR takes off!

--
Best regards,
John Navas
Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
 
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John Navas
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      11-26-2007
Why JPEG XR is badly needed:

The problem is 8-bit (per channel) JPEG. Although non-linearity gives it
roughly 11 stop dynamic range, 8-bit luminosity resolution is more
limited than many camera sensors (often 10-12 bits). While 8-bit JPEG is
fine for scenes with lower luminosity range, more bits are needed for
best results with higher luminosity range. This is a major, if not the
major, reason to shoot RAW.

* An alternative would be 12-bit JPEG, but there's too little support
for that to be practical.

* Another alternative is JPEG 2000, which also has a useful lossless
mode, but it's still not widely supported, has EXIF issues, has
potential patent issues, and puts a higher computational burden on the
camera processor than JPEG.

* Yet another alternative would be Adobe DNG as an alternative to
proprietary camera RAW, but major camera manufacturers seem resultant to
adopt it.

* Lastly there's Microsoft's JPEG XR (HD Photo), which is more like JPEG
than JPEG 2000 in terms of computational burden with compression
efficiency comparable to JPEG 2000, but is not yet standardized.

Until this is sorted out, RAW remains an important tool for scenes with
higher luminosity range, despite its drawbacks. I personally don't use
RAW often, but I do sometimes use it.

--
Best regards,
John Navas
Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
 
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FYI2
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      11-26-2007


Editors, Viewers, Browsers, and Applications that are already, or will soon be,
HD PHoto and/or JPEG XR compatible:


>>>Editors:


PhotoLine http://www.pl32.com - complete 32-bit editor
(HD Photo format implemented for many months now)





>>>Viewers:







>>>Browsers








>>>Misc. Applications:






(feel free to add yours as you find them)

 
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Dave Martindale
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      11-26-2007
John Navas <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>MY TAKE: JPEG 2000 hasn't exactly taken the market by storm, and a new
>more capable format is badly needed, so let's hope JPEG XR takes off!


One of the things that made the original JPEG format supported by just
about every imaging program under the sun was the availability of the
royalty-free JPEG library produced by the Independent JPEG Group
(basically Tom Lane). Every basement application author could just get
the code and drop it into their application and start supporting JPEG.
I don't think there were any licencing documents and certainly no
payment involved.

Can Microsoft bring itself to release something similarly unencumbered
if it's based on their own code? Or will it take someone like Tom to
produce an independent implementation before the format becomes widely
adopted?

Dave
 
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Douglas
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      11-27-2007

"Dave Martindale" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:fifbek$k4m$(E-Mail Removed)...
> John Navas <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
>>MY TAKE: JPEG 2000 hasn't exactly taken the market by storm, and a new
>>more capable format is badly needed, so let's hope JPEG XR takes off!

>
> One of the things that made the original JPEG format supported by just
> about every imaging program under the sun was the availability of the
> royalty-free JPEG library produced by the Independent JPEG Group
> (basically Tom Lane). Every basement application author could just get
> the code and drop it into their application and start supporting JPEG.
> I don't think there were any licencing documents and certainly no
> payment involved.
>
> Can Microsoft bring itself to release something similarly unencumbered
> if it's based on their own code? Or will it take someone like Tom to
> produce an independent implementation before the format becomes widely
> adopted?
>
> Dave


They (Microsoft) already have given the code out freely.


 
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Thomas Richter
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      11-27-2007
John Navas schrieb:

For first, this news is old news. It dates back to the JPEG meeting in Lausanne this
summer.

> Why JPEG XR is badly needed:
>
> The problem is 8-bit (per channel) JPEG. Although non-linearity gives it
> roughly 11 stop dynamic range, 8-bit luminosity resolution is more
> limited than many camera sensors (often 10-12 bits). While 8-bit JPEG is
> fine for scenes with lower luminosity range, more bits are needed for
> best results with higher luminosity range. This is a major, if not the
> major, reason to shoot RAW.


Probably, probably not. Another issue is - at least in my understanding - that
photographers feel that they "loose" possibilities by lossy compression, i.e.
image content is gone forever. I wouldn't say "badly" either. There are lots
of proper alternatives that just wait to be used, you mentioned them.

> * An alternative would be 12-bit JPEG, but there's too little support
> for that to be practical.


That goes, however, for all alternatives as well. Actually, the IJG seems
to support 12bit by now.

> * Another alternative is JPEG 2000, which also has a useful lossless
> mode, but it's still not widely supported, has EXIF issues, has
> potential patent issues, and puts a higher computational burden on the
> camera processor than JPEG.


The EXIF issues are currently addressed. Actually, the issue can be solved
rather easily as JPEG2000 has more than enough room to include meta-data.
You are correct when saying that it has complexity issues, though. The
second major error made during its standardization.

> * Yet another alternative would be Adobe DNG as an alternative to
> proprietary camera RAW, but major camera manufacturers seem resultant to
> adopt it.


That's not too unlikely to happen with any new format. Actually, Japanese
camera vendors don't seem - in my reception - feel too hot about JPEG-XR
either.

> * Lastly there's Microsoft's JPEG XR (HD Photo), which is more like JPEG
> than JPEG 2000 in terms of computational burden with compression
> efficiency comparable to JPEG 2000, but is not yet standardized.


It's currently undergoing standardization, however, saying that it can compete with
JPEG2000 in terms of compression performance is IMHO highly overstating its powers. In
fact, from the tests performed, I somewhere sort it near or sometimes even below
baseline JPEG, depending on image content. Note that JPEG-XR is not yet final,
so things will hopefully change to the better, and that for proper tests, one
also has to check with HDR images from the market JPEG-XR actually targets at,
so beware - this is just the status quo. On the other hand, being more critical to
MS press releases won't hurt, either. The best you can do is test yourself.

> Until this is sorted out, RAW remains an important tool for scenes with
> higher luminosity range, despite its drawbacks. I personally don't use
> RAW often, but I do sometimes use it.


The major drawback is its lack of standardization. The problem seems that camera
vendors prefer to bind their customers instead of making images interchangeable.
I don't see why JPEG-XR would change their position, but that's all my guesswork.
Otherwise, it would have been easy just to approach the JPEG to standardize *some*
type of raw format - it is IMHO just not desirable for the vendors.

So long,
Thomas



 
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John Navas
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      11-27-2007
On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 12:51:09 +0100, Thomas Richter
<(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de> wrote in
<fih0em$999$(E-Mail Removed)-stuttgart.de>:

>John Navas schrieb:
>
>For first, this news is old news. It dates back to the JPEG meeting in Lausanne this
>summer.


Not that it matters, but the latest developments are much more recent
than that -- the article I posted was published early this month.

>> Why JPEG XR is badly needed:
>>
>> The problem is 8-bit (per channel) JPEG. Although non-linearity gives it
>> roughly 11 stop dynamic range, 8-bit luminosity resolution is more
>> limited than many camera sensors (often 10-12 bits). While 8-bit JPEG is
>> fine for scenes with lower luminosity range, more bits are needed for
>> best results with higher luminosity range. This is a major, if not the
>> major, reason to shoot RAW.

>
>Probably, probably not. Another issue is - at least in my understanding - that
>photographers feel that they "loose" possibilities by lossy compression, i.e.
>image content is gone forever. I wouldn't say "badly" either. There are lots
>of proper alternatives that just wait to be used, you mentioned them.


It all depends. JPEG compression is indeed poor in some cameras with
RAW and you're apparently expected to shoot RAW, but is quite good in
other cameras.

>> * Another alternative is JPEG 2000, which also has a useful lossless
>> mode, but it's still not widely supported, has EXIF issues, has
>> potential patent issues, and puts a higher computational burden on the
>> camera processor than JPEG.

>
>The EXIF issues are currently addressed. Actually, the issue can be solved
>rather easily as JPEG2000 has more than enough room to include meta-data.


The problem is that there are competing solutions, rather than a single
standard.

>You are correct when saying that it has complexity issues, though. The
>second major error made during its standardization.


I think it was probably a fatal flaw.

>> * Yet another alternative would be Adobe DNG as an alternative to
>> proprietary camera RAW, but major camera manufacturers seem resultant to
>> adopt it.

>
>That's not too unlikely to happen with any new format. Actually, Japanese
>camera vendors don't seem - in my reception - feel too hot about JPEG-XR
>either.


Microsoft and HP have considerable market clout, Adobe has voiced
support, and inclusion in Vista is a big deal. Samsung is a serious up
and comer, and appears to be interested. Likewise Panasonic. Don't
know about Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Olympus.

>It's currently undergoing standardization, however, saying that it can compete with
>JPEG2000 in terms of compression performance is IMHO highly overstating its powers. In
>fact, from the tests performed, I somewhere sort it near or sometimes even below
>baseline JPEG, depending on image content. Note that JPEG-XR is not yet final,
>so things will hopefully change to the better, and that for proper tests, one
>also has to check with HDR images from the market JPEG-XR actually targets at,
>so beware - this is just the status quo. On the other hand, being more critical to
>MS press releases won't hurt, either. The best you can do is test yourself.


I have, and I've been impressed.

--
Best regards,
John Navas
Panasonic DMC-FZ8 (and several others)
 
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Thomas Richter
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      11-28-2007
John Navas schrieb:

>> For first, this news is old news. It dates back to the JPEG meeting in Lausanne this
>> summer.

>
> Not that it matters, but the latest developments are much more recent
> than that -- the article I posted was published early this month.


Believe me, I'm sitting at the source. This goes back to last summer,
really.

>> The EXIF issues are currently addressed. Actually, the issue can be solved
>> rather easily as JPEG2000 has more than enough room to include meta-data.

>
> The problem is that there are competing solutions, rather than a single
> standard.


Ehem. I am talking about a standardized solution, really. (-:

>> You are correct when saying that it has complexity issues, though. The
>> second major error made during its standardization.

>
> I think it was probably a fatal flaw.


Probably, yes.

>>> * Yet another alternative would be Adobe DNG as an alternative to
>>> proprietary camera RAW, but major camera manufacturers seem resultant to
>>> adopt it.

>> That's not too unlikely to happen with any new format. Actually, Japanese
>> camera vendors don't seem - in my reception - feel too hot about JPEG-XR
>> either.

>
> Microsoft and HP have considerable market clout, Adobe has voiced
> support, and inclusion in Vista is a big deal. Samsung is a serious up
> and comer, and appears to be interested. Likewise Panasonic. Don't
> know about Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Olympus.


All I know is the voting of the Japanese, Singapure and Korean
delegation on this...

>> It's currently undergoing standardization, however, saying that it can compete with
>> JPEG2000 in terms of compression performance is IMHO highly overstating its powers. In
>> fact, from the tests performed, I somewhere sort it near or sometimes even below
>> baseline JPEG, depending on image content. Note that JPEG-XR is not yet final,
>> so things will hopefully change to the better, and that for proper tests, one
>> also has to check with HDR images from the market JPEG-XR actually targets at,
>> so beware - this is just the status quo. On the other hand, being more critical to
>> MS press releases won't hurt, either. The best you can do is test yourself.

>
> I have, and I've been impressed.


I have, and I've been disappointed - how did you do your comparisons if
I may ask?
Actually, we made objective and subjective tests (i.e. tested with
various mathematical image quality metrics, and also tested with test
observers), and the results were pretty much comparable, and - as I said
- disappointing. It *did* often preform better than JPEG, but that's not
too hard in first place. Comparing with an arithmetic coding enabled
JPEG (which is just another option nobody uses in traditional JPEG)
showed again different results.
The results so far fit to my own visual impression: HDPhoto seems to
introduce both blocking and blurring artefacts I don't want to see. When
making comparisons, you should make sure you really compress to the same
target file size, otherwise you're running into an apples-vs-oranges
problem. The "quality" scale of HDPhoto is different from the JPEG one.
When really placing images compressed with HDPhoto and JPEG side by
side, it really depends on the image content and on personal taste which
one is better, or which one is worse. Things change noticably when
comparing with more advanced codecs.

Anyhow, as I already said earlier, HDPhoto has hopefully enough
potential to improve its performance, and we haven't really measured
anything beyond 8bpp either, so all of that needs to be considered. All
I doing is presenting the current state of affairs, and the state of
affairs is complicated, unfortunately.

So long,
Thomas
 
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Barry Pearson
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      11-29-2007
On Nov 27, 11:51 am, Thomas Richter <(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de> wrote:
> John Navas schrieb:

[snip]
> > * Lastly there's Microsoft's JPEG XR (HD Photo), which is more like JPEG
> > than JPEG 2000 in terms of computational burden with compression
> > efficiency comparable to JPEG 2000, but is not yet standardized.

>
> It's currently undergoing standardization, however, saying that it can compete with
> JPEG2000 in terms of compression performance is IMHO highly overstating its powers. In
> fact, from the tests performed, I somewhere sort it near or sometimes even below
> baseline JPEG, depending on image content. Note that JPEG-XR is not yet final,
> so things will hopefully change to the better, and that for proper tests, one
> also has to check with HDR images from the market JPEG-XR actually targets at,
> so beware - this is just the status quo. On the other hand, being more critical to
> MS press releases won't hurt, either. The best you can do is test yourself.


I have published my own tests at the page below. My conclusion from
these (admittedly limited) tests was:

"For any given set of quality values, the HD Photo and JPEG 2000 files
were about the same size, and significantly smaller than the JPEG
file". ("Half the size" would be a fair generalisation, and at that
level probably fewer nasty artefacts). The basis for these conclusions
is at the following page - I won't repeat them here:
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articl...ysis_lossy.htm

> > Until this is sorted out, RAW remains an important tool for scenes with
> > higher luminosity range, despite its drawbacks. I personally don't use
> > RAW often, but I do sometimes use it.

>
> The major drawback is its lack of standardization. The problem seems that camera
> vendors prefer to bind their customers instead of making images interchangeable.
> I don't see why JPEG-XR would change their position, but that's all my guesswork.
> Otherwise, it would have been easy just to approach the JPEG to standardize *some*
> type of raw format - it is IMHO just not desirable for the vendors.


There IS an ISO standard raw file format. ISO 12234-2 (TIFF/EP). (It
became an ISO standard in 2001, and some manufacturers such as Canon
and Nikon based their own raw file formats on it). The problem is that
it was never really fit for the purpose of standardised interchange,
and it has become out-of-date. (In effect, DNG, also based on that
standard, is ISO 12234-2 brought up-to-date and made fit for purpose).

ISO are revising ISO 12234-2, and Adobe have given them permission to
use the features of DNG in the revision. (Just as they gave ISO
permission to use TIFF in the original version of ISO 12234-2).

Given that ISO's TC42 WG18 has responsibility for TIFF/EP, it would be
diversionary for another working group to "compete" to standardise a
raw file format. Far better, surely, for all standards bodies and
working groups to concentrate on one standard, especially if it can
based on a format (DNG) that is supported in some way by nearly 200
products of various kinds. (I would like to see the revised ISO
12234-2 either BE DNG, or be compatible with DNG sufficiently for
products to work with a common subset).
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/dng/products.htm

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/photography/
 
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Barry Pearson
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      11-29-2007
On Nov 28, 9:44 am, Thomas Richter <(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de> wrote:
> John Navas schrieb:
>
> >> For first, this news is old news. It dates back to the JPEG meeting in Lausanne this
> >> summer.

>
> > Not that it matters, but the latest developments are much more recent
> > than that -- the article I posted was published early this month.

>
> Believe me, I'm sitting at the source. This goes back to last summer,
> really.

[snip]

Here is some history:
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/articles/hdp/history.htm

The work item to standardise it dated to July, subject first to a
ballot. (This was the result of an introduction of HD Photo to the
group last April).

The more recent news (November) is that the ballot decided to go ahead
with the standardisation.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.barrypearson.co.uk/photography/
 
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