April 02, 2007

JPEG 2000 – Do you use it?

As you may or–as seems overwhelmingly likely–may not know, Photoshop ships with a plug-in for reading and writing JPEG 2000-format files.  Compared with the regular JPEG format (technically known as JFIF), JPEG 2000 offers advantages such as support for higher bit depths, more advanced compression, and a lossless compression option.  Adobe developed the plug-in in anticipation of cameras entering the market with native JPEG 2000 support on board.

The thing is, that hasn’t happened, nor have we seen other widespread adoption of the format in places we know Photoshop is being used.  Therefore with Photoshop CS2 we made the call to stop installing the plug-in by default, but to continue making it available via the product CD.  What’s probably not obvious is that existing features keep consuming resources to maintain & test, even if no features are added to them.  As we plan for the future, we need to retire features that no longer make sense & focus instead on capabilities that matter.

So, do you use JPEG 2000?  If so, please give a shout and let us know how & why you use it.

PS–Note that support for JPEG 2000 as a file format by itself & support for the compression options it offers are two separate things. PDF supports JPEG 2000-compressed images, so we wouldn’t remove that support.  I’m just trying to gauge the value of supporting standalone JPEG 2000 reading and writing.

[Update: We're not planning to change Photoshop's JPEG 2000 support strategy anytime soon. Thanks for all the feedback. We've got what we need, so I'm switching off comments. --J.]

Posted by John Nack at 4:33 PM on April 02, 2007

Comments

  • mike smick — 5:49 PM on April 02, 2007

    I don’t use it because it’s locked up. This format should go down in history as a classic sad case of stalled innovation. It IS a better file format than JPEG, supporting alpha and better compression, higher color depth. My favorite little utility on windows, irfanview prevents creating JPEG2000 files above a certain size, unless you pay for the plugin I guess. Annoying and stupid.
    I suppose in some ways it’s a good thing. It probably helped push along the adoption of PNG files, including pushing web browsers to read it. the PNG philosophy makes it the winner there. PNG isn’t better, the philosophy is.
    Every camera manufacturer out there could be using the JPEG2000 format out there, and we’d all benefit from it. No one would, why? Possibly because of a $10 royalty, but more likely because not everything can read it. they were smart not to use that format because people would complain they can’t open it in their email program.
    The group responsible for locking up this file only to those who pay royalties, made a terrible decision. I would like to smack their face. Where is the file format now? Just think John, you could be asking a different question right now, if they let the format go.
    I propose you guys take the format out completely just to spite them. Spend the left over royalty cash on The CS4 Extended versions ability to open the .blend blender 3D file format. Spend it on innovation that allows the flash player to read the entire SVG spec. Donate it to the PNG guy.

  • Arthur Soares — 6:18 PM on April 02, 2007

    Well
    I really find no use for it.
    I just use .jpg or .psd :)

  • Andrew Smith — 6:50 PM on April 02, 2007

    I haven’t found the JPEG2000 plugin to be installed by default in Photoshop yet, and have had to (a) know of its existence and (b) find an available plugin to install it.
    However, Bridge and InDesign don’t support the format. If they did I would have re-saved the currently .tif format client ‘hero shots’ etc on our central photography server to JPEG2000.
    Also, if MSIE and Firefox supported the format, I would immediately use it in our web sites for the smaller graphics sizes that would in turn increase the download speed of pages.
    I too have wondered why it hadn’t taken off yet. I think the answer is that we at least need to have suite-wide support for designers to be able to realise its benefits …. and their creative output (web sites, flash production etc) can then cause JPEG2000s utilisation to begin from that point onwards.
    Maybe this can be the biggest benefit from the Adobe / Macromedia merger … the ability to implement positive change?

  • Dale Fraser — 7:12 PM on April 02, 2007

    Never used it,
    I have moved to PNG for most things, I would have thought that cameras might support this in the future.

  • BWJones — 7:49 PM on April 02, 2007

    I don’t think so…. I have no need or desire for JPEG2000, especially because it is a host of formats that currently appears to be loosely supported or not at all by a number of different platforms. If I am going to want to be able to access my image data 10, 20, or 50 years from now, it will need to be in a common, open format.
    Besides some of the experimentation I did with JPEG2000 images revealed poor image quality in data with high texture detail. If I want to store data losslessly, I’ll go with tiff. If I want to compress it, regular old JPEG works nicely.

  • Eric — 8:34 PM on April 02, 2007

    Nope, see no reason to store my photos as jpegs of any sort. Being a pro photographer it doesn’t make sense to save serious photos as anything but RAW, TIF or PSD.
    And forget Microsoft’s new “open” format. Nobody really believes them that they’re doing it for the good of photographers, do they?

  • Alex — 8:35 PM on April 02, 2007

    Yes John, I use it frequently, since the Library of Congress uses JPEG 2000, and MrSID for all it’s archive docs and photos and maps. They are the only ones however that use it as far as I have run across.

  • Eric Peacock — 9:13 PM on April 02, 2007

    In summary:
    I wanted to use it.
    But I do not.

  • Jennifer Apple — 9:33 PM on April 02, 2007

    My compressed answer is no.
    [Yes, but is that lossless or lossy? ;-) --J.]

  • Lalo Greiner — 11:24 PM on April 02, 2007

    QUOTE:
    “As we plan for the future, we need to retire features that no longer make sense & focus instead on capabilities that matter.”
    Kill me if you will, but you made me curious: which are the features that, making no sense anymore, need retirement???

  • Chris R. — 12:13 AM on April 03, 2007

    I used to use it … mostly because of it’s better support for alpha transparency.
    But the lack of support and little extra’s it has over PNG makes i recently stopped using it.
    I made a post on it a while ago though, then i was still in love with JPEG2000 … times have changed. http://www.skyrocket.be/2005/12/10/jpeg2000-stock-imagery/

  • Sergejs Bizans — 12:27 AM on April 03, 2007

    Have never used it and I think I will never ever use it in future. Exception was one cd from ad agency in Lithuania – they sent me an image-pack all in jpeg2000 format, but the first thing I did – convert photos and burn them to new CD so I could be sure I will open it on any computer.

  • Alexandre Jenny — 12:38 AM on April 03, 2007

    For our needs ( big pictures with high depth ), we decided to jump over jpeg2000 which still has good compression ratio and the ability to extract a subpart, and use hdphoto directly. The support of hdr format, the ability to extract a subpart / subscale of the picture easily, the support of hdr format is a real bonus over jpeg2000. It’s not more compressed ( a big russian study shows that ), it just supports more depth.

  • Taco van der Werf — 12:51 AM on April 03, 2007

    Yes John, I do use Jpeg2000 regularly. Apart from archiving my Raw/Dng files and my edited 16 bit Tiff files, I also save my flattened 16 bit Tiffs as Jpeg2000 files with a (lossy) 70% compression. With specific settings in the plug-in I can get really small file sizes: a 50 Mb file becomes somewhere between 1 and 4 Mb! My ProPhoto color profile is retained, as are the 16 bit bit level and alpha channels, Exif data, etc.
    Once opened again and compared with the original 16 bit Tiff through a difference layer, only a very(!) small difference is visible. And only if you flattened the result and play with Levels in an extreme setting. Compared next to each other on screen, I am not able to distinguish the Tiff from the Jpeg2000 version.
    The beautiful purpose of this all is that I can have several thousands of files on 1 DVD as a safety backup. This makes a very compact and inexpensive archive I can easily take with me, or store at a friend’s house. Should a hard disk failure of fire distroy my real archive, I still have my work.
    I was glad to find the Mac-Intel version of the plug-in through this blog a few weeks ago and it is so much faster when I use it with PS CS3 on my Mac Pro. Needless to say that I would really regret it if Adobe would retire the plug-in in the future!
    For anyone who would like to try it out for themselves:
    the Mac-Intel and Windows version of the plug-in is available on this link:
    http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/files/JPEG2K.zip
    Here are the settings I use:
    File Size: leave open
    Lossless: deselect
    Fast Mode: select
    Quality: 70
    Include Metadata: select
    Include Color Settings: select
    Include Transparency: deselect
    JP2 Compatible: select
    (Advanced Options:)
    Compliance: General Device
    Wavelet Filter: Float
    Tile Size: 1024×1024
    Jpeg 200 XML: deselect
    XMP: select
    Exif: select
    ICC Profile: select
    Restricted ICC Profile: select
    Order: Growing Thumbnail
    Region of Interest: None
    Enhance: 50%

  • Richard Earney — 2:02 AM on April 03, 2007

    Seemed like a good idea at the time, but another format that has wandered into the siding!

  • labracherie — 4:09 AM on April 03, 2007

    Hello, i’m french so sorry for my poor english. I’m a photographer, so i would like use JPEG 2000 but no camera manufacturer use it !! So it quite difficult to use JPEG 2000. What is the adobe position with the new microsoft format Photo HD which is quite similar to JPEG 2000 but open and free ? i think HD photo will be more successful. Thanks for your blog

  • Jp Cooper — 6:18 AM on April 03, 2007

    John –
    When it first showed up on the scene years ago I made the leap that it was a replacement for/or the predecessor to the JPEG format_
    Unfotunately as with the MP3 audio format consumer product manufacturers and by extension the general public seem to adopt bastard technologies and hold onto them way too long_
    I was looking forward to having something to replace the shortcomings of the JPEG format [which I have never liked from day - one being a print designer] – but aside from consumer products attaching to the JPEG format like leaches – other things like no native web browser support [as I build websites too] – just never gave me a stage in which to take advantage of the JPG2000 format_
    Whereas in contrast – in regards to web browser support – the PNG format has somewhat been taking a similar course – but it’s more due to Microsoft’s lack of getting off their arse and updating their software [it's about time]_ With the release of IE7 – there is now native PNG support and I can finally migrate my projects to PNG as oppsoed to JPG images_
    The little pocket cam I have uses JPG to produce images [I have found a hack to activate a RAW function - but have yet to try it] – so now at this point that is the only reason left why I use JPG files for anything_
    I am sorry to see that JPG2000 never had a fair shake to strech it’s wings – but that is the case when some corporation demand a buck every time someone saves a file_
    Macromedia did the right thing from the start by allowing free use of the SWF format when they implemented Flash technology across the board_ And it had no where to go BUT to explode allover the scene like a really big zit that popped_
    I guess if one were to look at all the technologies out there as split them into licensed/paid and GPL/open source or some such distinction – it wouldn’t be hard to track which technologies will make it and which won’t_
    Ultimately both the JPEG and MP3 formats will be forced to go the way of the dinosaurs as they are and have been becoming dated – unless the “expert groups” that created them get back together and pump new life back into them_ But the momentum is already building for newer stuff to take over and by the time these “groups” get back together and do anything about it – it’ll be too late_
    I think that the JPG2000 format was unfairly passed by – but if at some point someone take the advantages of it and applies them to future technologies and expands upon it then in some way it did it’s job after all_
    I’d say keep it for now [maybe one more revision]

  • Pedro Estarque — 7:11 AM on April 03, 2007

    I think JPEG2000 is like AAC, a little better than MP3 but no worth the trouble. Except AAC has Apple to back it up and JPEG2000 has no one. It’s a shame really, but I think that for JPEG2000 to catch on it should have been backward compatible, which would probably be impossible for an image format targeting small size footprint. It’s a whole lot easier for HTML, for example, you could have both HTML4 and future HTML5 in the same file without adding too much overhead.
    There are millions of people still running Win98 and JPGs are omnipresent. I think JPEG2000 got lost in between JPG and lossless, not that much better than the established and widely compatible JPG and still worst than lossless.
    Still, it would have been nice to shoot in JPG2000 and have a 16 bit file. Of course I could never send that file to anyone, it would be a camera Photoshop thing. And maybe the overlapping compression of such different algorithms ( JPEG2000 and regular JPEG ) could really degrade the image quality.

  • Ted — 8:17 AM on April 03, 2007

    I use its lossless compression for “working” files. That means things like the unedited output of my film scanner, or a cropped and cleaned scan after noise reduction and capture sharpening but before any color or density adjustments. Keeping these files around is often helpful in case I later have second thoughts about some aspect of the final “master” version (which I archive in uncompressed TIFF files).
    I use JPEG 2000 because it’s the only available losslessly-compressed format that can store 48-bit images with alpha channels, metadata, and ICC profiles. PNG comes close, but it can’t store metadata or profiles. I find the RLL compression in PSD files useless, and the LZW compression option for TIFF actually increases the size of 48-bit files. I want the compression because I archive the “working” files to DVD, and the compression does make quite a significant difference with 128-megabyte 4000dpi film scans.
    I can’t say I’m really happy with the Photoshop plug-in, though. It’s excruciatingly slow for both reading and writing. When writing, it makes interminable passes through the file unless the “fast mode” box is ticked. But that box has an annoying tendency to become un-ticked, which means a lengthy wait while it makes those passes through the file the next time I use it. But even before I read this post I suspected that development of this plug-in was not a high priority for Adobe.
    I wish there were a better option for a need that is probably unusual. But there doesn’t seem to be. I read the announcement about Microsoft’s HD Photo with some interest, but I quickly decided that I would not want anything to do with a Microsoft-proprietary format regardless of its advantages (which it doesn’t seem to have).
    So to answer your question, I would indeed miss the JPEG 2000 plug-in if you dropped it. Unless you have something that meets my needs better. I guess I’ll just be sure to keep my copy of the CS2 plug-in in a safe place so I’ll be able to read my archives “working” files.

  • Alex — 8:25 AM on April 03, 2007

    OK, I am going to let out a secret. Since the Library of Congress is using our money(taxpayers) any program they use they have to offer free to the public. MrSID, which is the best actually, and jpeg2000 are offered free through the Library of Congress, plugins- the whole thing. You just have to hunt for them, by using it to view their images. Do I get a cigar? howabout a copy of CS3 extended?

  • Tiago Celestino — 9:07 AM on April 03, 2007

    Eu não utilizo. Acho que não vem muita diferença.

  • keith — 9:24 AM on April 03, 2007

    Think your survey is the biggest event to have happened with this file format.

  • James Darknell — 9:33 AM on April 03, 2007

    I used it when it first came out and was pleased with it, but unfortunately its not supported by any of my other applications (3D special effects) It’s a shame as it would’ve been really nice to use. My files have a tendency to fill up hard drives quick.

  • Dwight Kelly — 9:33 AM on April 03, 2007

    We have developed several programs that read & write JPEG2000 – both standalone and in PDF. We even released a free JPEG2000 Workbench program 4+ years ago so people could experiment with the format. Until IE and Firebox browsers support JPEG2000, it won’t be used widely.

  • Dude-X — 10:11 AM on April 03, 2007

    I’ve always thought that JPEG2000 looked pretty bad for highly compressed files with lots of detail. It’s no loss that not many people and industries have not adopted it.
    I see Microsoft’s HD Photo taking off though, due to Microsofts large install base, and it being unencumbered by royalties.

  • Jerome Dahdah — 1:16 PM on April 03, 2007

    I’ve never used it. It’s an entirely obscure format, I doubt most people have ever even heard of it. I remember having a look at it two or three years ago. The site wanted me to install a browser plugin, and it left the overall impression of a commercial proprietary product on me, like some format that had nothing to do with jpeg and was just called that way for marketing. I don’t remember what site that was, but it left a bad impression on me. Now reading about the royalties I can tell I wasn’t entirely wrong.
    What I would like to see is an entirely open sourced (GPL?) format with all the goodies such as 24bit transparency, embedded paths, SVG interoperability, perhaps even hooks for DOM accessibility, etc, and with better compression rates than PNG. Perhaps a PNG 2.0 or something. That’s quite a wish list but I know Adobe and a few others would have the resources to back this, sort of like Google and IBM support open source software projects.

  • John Eakin — 1:25 PM on April 03, 2007

    I would have liked to used but it never gained enough support. Since I can’t send that format to anyone I won’t miss it when it disappears except in terms of wishful thinking.

  • illovich — 3:16 PM on April 03, 2007

    I’ve looked at using it, but given that other formats seem to have already filled all the needs it was meant to fill (I don’t need lossless JPGs when I have lzw-compressed TIFFs, the savings don’t seem that impressive over TIFF), and that support for JPEG2000 is so spotty, it just never seemed worth going through the pains of transitioning.

  • Frank Spangenberg — 3:36 PM on April 03, 2007

    I wanted to use lossless JPEG because of better compression than TIFF with LZW. But no Adobe CS2 application supports lossless JPEG (JPEG-LS) natively (Photoshop no, Illustrator no, InDesign no, Bridge no, Acrobat 8 no). The HP Photoshop extension doesn’t support color profiles. Many people think that the JPEG export of Photoshop is lossless if “Quality” is set to 12, but is isn’t.
    So I wanted to use JPEG2000. No native support in Photoshop CS2/CS3 Beta, but wait, on one of the CS2 CD’s is a little extension that I have to install manually to have J2k support. Great, but InDesign doesn’t know JPEG2000, lossless gets useless. :-( But wait, Illustrator CS2 and Bridge reads and Acrobat reads/creates JPEG2000, very crazy!? Ok, next try, using lossy JPEG2000 compression in web optimized PDF’s. Works, but at the same or greater file size the quality is worse than with “normal” lossy JPEG… bug or feature?
    Additionally there is no official PDF/X standard allowing JPEG2000 yet, the upcoming PDF/X-4 will support it.
    For web I use lossy JPEG only, but not with Photoshop or ImageReady because the file size is too big, same for GIF and PNG. The Fireworks compression for these file formats is better, better quality and smaller file size!
    The browser support for JPEG2000 is too low, but Adobe has the power and $$$ to change this. ;-)
    To use JPEG2000 all Adobe applications have to support it in reading and writing! And if there is a preview like in the Photoshop extension, please add a check box to enable/disable it, JPEG2000 compression is really slow and for lossless output I don’t need a preview. ;-)
    But why do you ask this question after the launch of CS3 and not before? This would have been a great feature while using PDF/X-4 – a whole JPEG2000 workflow.

  • David Harradine — 5:50 PM on April 03, 2007

    Never touched it, only use jpg’s for the web and heard there were browser compatibility issues, end of story. But that was 2001 come to think of it.
    What can jpg 2000 offer my web graphics that jpeg 1984 (or whatever) can’t? Maybe if you re-named it pro sexy web (.psw) format people would take notice.
    I think most people, certinaly photographers, associate jpg with compromise and if one wants maximum quality from their digital cameras they shoot raw without question.
    It would be a sad day if cameras capture jpeg 2000 natively before they do DNG.

  • Barry Pearson — 1:12 AM on April 04, 2007

    I suspect that the new HD Photo format from Microsoft will take over from where JPEG2000 failed to go.
    My tests suggest that JPEG2000 offers slightly better lossless compression of both 8-bit and 16-bit images than HD Photo. But with Microsoft pushing HD Photo, and talking to companies about using it in-camera, (probably for lossy rather than lossless use), JPEG2000 may get sidelined.
    Both of them face strong competition from other common formats such as JPEG and DNG, and TIFF itself of course. Those 3 formats in the previous sentence are the ones that currently matter to me as an amateur photographer.

  • Rich Gibson — 9:14 AM on April 04, 2007

    I did for awhile because of the lossless compression, but given it simply didn’t gather much adoption in the marketplace (e.g., digital cameras would have been the logical spot), I haven’t in quite some time… Now, I shoot in RAW, convert & store DNGs, and use JPG to upload to the labs (this is where I could still use it… the conversion and upload for the lab who is going to process the image, better format than JPG).
    Alas, the market does NOT always get it right and I think that is what we have here. A superior format that for whatever reason the marketplace has shunned.
    So in summary, if you find yourself ASKING whether or not it should be supported, it is probably time to put the format out of its misery…
    Rich Gibson
    photographer

  • Nigel Moore — 2:30 AM on April 05, 2007

    I tried to use it, but browser support, or rather lack thereof, put me off taking it any further.
    Some of the concerns raised above, regarding quality/compression, might be addressed if Adobe rolled better PNG compression (such as an optimiser like PNGCRUSH) into its export options. It would be great to have that option right in the Save For Web dialogue, for example.
    Oh, and export as ICO format for favicons, that would great to have in the application. Currently I use the Telegraphics plug-in, which does an admirable job.

  • Jerry Brown — 5:40 AM on April 05, 2007

    I use JPEG 2000 to archive 16 bit images with no compression. It is much more stable than archiving TIF files. That the files are smaller represents an additional advantage. I would regret its loss. I don’t read much about archiving graphic files among photographers, but it doesn’t take much shooting with a full frame sensor to make archiving a vital concern.

  • Kendall — 7:08 AM on April 05, 2007

    We use it all the time at Ancestry.com because it is a superior format for storing large images. We serve them up using *gasp* Active X or a Mozilla plug-in we created.
    I wish that IE or Mozilla would build in native browser support for the format.

  • Peter Murray — 5:46 PM on April 05, 2007

    JPEG200 is of growing interest to the cultural heritage archive community as a better alternative to TIFF. It has two compelling features: one for access and one for preservation. First, a JPEG2000 file compressed with resolution as the first order setting allows for dynamic, zoomable displays without the need for derivative images. Second, the descriptive and technical metadata of an image can be bundled inside the JPEG2000 file format as a box, reducing the risk that the metadata would be separated from the image.
    John’s message isn’t about the benefits or drawbacks of JPEG2000, though — it is about whether Adobe should continue to include it in future version of Photoshop. My answer is yes — for all of the benefits of JPEG2000 to our community, we need a robust editor to batch process, view, and tweak JPEG2000 images. I posted a pointer to John’s blog entry on my own blog (available through the URL hyperlinked as my name above) and have one comment there already from someone at Princeton who is using the batch processing of Photoshop to create JPEG2000 images.

  • jayrtfm — 10:52 PM on April 05, 2007

    some videogames and Second Life use it, so there is a niche market for it.

  • Michael Serafino — 8:49 AM on April 09, 2007

    Wide spread adoption of complex open international standards like J2K often takes between 6 and 10 years, right where we’re at with J2K and we see adoption accelerating. Work continues at the U.S. and International ISO JPEG groups to address issues, improve the standard, and drive adoption. Also, growing interest and support for JPEG2000 streaming via JPIP (Part 9 of the standard) is starting to accelerate adoption as well.
    In other markets, such as geospatial, cultural heritage and archival, biometric (fingerprints, facial, iris), and most definitely medical imaging, JPEG2000 has become the standard of choice. In these communities, open standards often mandate or strongly recommend JPEG2000, and adoption is positively affected as a result (e.g. DICOM, NITF, HSPD-12/PIV). And as Adobe highlights support for medical imaging in non-clinical use cases, it is important that Adobe continues support for, minimally, decompression of J2K imagery.
    JPEG2000 is also the stated compression format in the DCI standard for its high quality at higher compression ratios and resolution scalability. Hardware is often used for encoding and playback in this market, but non-linear editing is usually software-based as only a smaller series of frames or subresolution are needed at a given time. Rollout in this community is slow, but will have a significant impact on the need for JPEG2000 support in coming years. This further highlights the importance of continuing support for decompression of JPEG2000 compressed and formatted imagery by Adobe.

  • Neil Fitzgerald — 3:52 AM on April 10, 2007

    I believe the use and importance of JPEG2000 will grow rapidly over the next couple of years, many of the libraries [US & European] involved in mass digitsation projects are looking to this format to fulfil long term preservation and access needs. The British Library / Digital Preservation Coalition will be holding a JPEG2000 conference in London during June, details will be published on the DPC website in due course.

  • Brad Edwards — 11:58 PM on April 10, 2007

    I create downloadable computer games. Getting the download size as small as possible is extremely important and JPEG2000 helps us do this. It would be very sad if Adobe dropped support for JPEG2000.

  • Ronald Murray — 11:52 AM on April 11, 2007

    I use the JPEG 2000 plugin *all* the time – in regular and in batch modes – to determine optimal image encoding settings as well as to explore the quality of the images I am encoding.
    It’s important to realize that Photoshop is one of the primary applications that people use to determine whether they *want* to adopt an image format or not.
    Making the JPEG 2000 plugin hard to get to and use (by not installing it by default, and not explaining clearly how the JPEG 2000 plugin works via a tutorial webpage, etc.) makes it hard for interested people to try it out in their familiar Photoshop environment.
    This circumstance more or less creates, circularly, the “who is adopting this format?” situation you find yourself concerned about.
    IF the plugin were readily available (i.e., installed by default), and IF people were made aware that JPEG offers settings for both lossless and lossy encoding, they would start developing encoding settings for different kinds of digital imaging and reformatting (our term for digitizing slides and negatives) projects.
    Kinds of Investigations – If, for example, you shot digital images at high ISO values and chose to apply noise reduction to the image, you would see how JPEG 2000 file sizes changes reflect how dispensing with noise improves encoding efficiency over the original noisy image.
    Next, if you used the Photoshop Calculation… command to compare (Difference, greyscale, new image) original digital images of all kinds to their lossless and increasingly lossy JPEG 2000 versions, you would see in the Histogram of the Difference image the very small overall differences in pixel brightnesses (1-4 levels) that occur in a very small number of cases. This change in pixel brightness in certain areas of the image is pretty close to the noise levels that naturally occur in digital image capture situations – noise that is regularly filtered out by default in many cameras.
    You can then use the Auto Levels command to stretch the brightness leves in the Difference image and show you where the changes took place.
    * Surprise! When using minimally lossy JPEG 2000 encoding, you are mostly throwing away image noise – and you can see this noise in the Delta image. At this point the noticeable difference in file size between lossless and minimally lossy JPEG 2000 encoding becomes clearer – noise is largely random, and randomness cannot be efficiently encoded.
    You might note especially that the poorer the quality of the original image (focus, noise, movement, too small a lens aperture, etc.) the greater the filesize savings. This makes sense – the less there is in the image, the more efficient the encoding. You do not see this effect in TIFFs, which assign the same amount of landscape to crummy images as to excellent ones.
    If you are a either a professional or a very casual shooter, you would also discover that a minimally lossy JPEG 2000 image is comparable in file size to a lossless TIFF of half its physical dimensions, but holds noticeably more detail (IF you were able to capture this detail in the first place by the judicious use of lens aperture and vibration/motion elimination).
    The minimally lossy JPEG 2000 of the larger area file would also produce a much better result when sharpened for printing, etc.
    –>> Note how using *other* Photoshop features like Calculations… and Auto Levels can help you better understand JPEG 2000 (or other image encoding format) capabilities and tune them for your uses.
    Very little of the above activities take place among Photoshop users at the moment, however, because they have not been placed in the position where (a.) it is relatively easy to begin exploring the format, and (b.) they have a basic understanding of what the format can do for them.
    I would suggest that you first do more to alert people to JPEG 2000’s full range of possibilities, and make it easier to test out the plugin’s (check your bugfix lists!) capabilities.

  • Peter Murray — 7:36 AM on April 16, 2007

    As others have noted, a complex standard like JPEG 2000 takes time to build up adoption and support in the software community. A case in point are two open source projects happening over the next few months via the Google Summer of Code (http://dltj.org/2007/04/j2k-in-gsoc/). One project seeks to add JPEG2000 support to the Firefox browser while another will add JPEG2000 support to the FFmpeg media system.
    Adobe’s Photoshop was an early adopter of the standard — and kudos to you for being there early. It would be a shame for you to give up that ground now…

  • Erich Kesse — 11:46 AM on April 16, 2007

    The University of Florida Digital Collections (http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/) makes increasing use of the JPEG2000 format. We currently use it for presentation of detailed or large images (e.g., zoom to photograph or manuscript detail, maps, newspapers, and herbarium specimens). Wider use is being phased in to meet researcher need for zoom to details of type, printed illustrations, and artifact and specimen details such as carver’s marks and differentiating leaf and flower characteristics.
    The MrSID format – never available in Adobe Photoshop – was not particularly better. SID image artifacts at 1:1, seemingly constant ownership flux, and cost-models for use of the SID format were less favorable than demonstrated in JPEG2000. And, the JPEG2000’s ability to embed metadata and color profiles or to define regions of interest (ROI) surpass capabilities of MrSID.
    JPEG2000 image manipulation, as noted by Ronald Murray, can produce manipulated images comparable or superior to that of a manipulated TIFF. An advantage of manipulations in Adobe Photoshop is it’s retention of manipulation history information.
    Here, JPEG2000 does not yet replace uncompressed TIFF for digital mastering. And, until we’ve resolved methods (policies) for digital archiving of embedded metadata and ROI – a small chore needing only time, its sole use will remain the derivation of Internet zoom-capable images. We acknowledge the risk of patent and royalty claims, particularly against use of the extended JPEG2000 format specification. But, implementation of the baseline JP2 (JPEG2000, part 1) has been granted generally-agreed license and royalty free use.
    We, and our partners in the Caribbean (http://www.dloc.com/English/partners.htm), use the JPEG2000 format, generated either by Adobe Photoshop or ImageMagick – and most frequently, by Photoshop, in batch processing routines. We would like to see Adobe continue to make it available – and, available without having to copy it into the Photoshop-only file format plug-ins folder for more ready use.
    [Thanks for the detailed feedback. I would note that regardless of what Adobe does with JPEG 2000, other developers can create JPEG 2000 reading/writing plug-ins for the app. --J.]

  • Alex — 11:59 AM on April 21, 2007

    I use Jpeg2000. But CS3 with plugin from http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/files/JPEG2K.zip opens jp2-files created with OpenJPEG (open source JPEG2000 codec http://www.openjpeg.org) very poor – pictures are too smooth. XNView and InfranView open those files fine. I’m very disappointed – huge part of my pictures encoded with OpenJPEG :(
    Sorry for my poor english.
    [Your English is just fine. Thanks for the feedback, and sorry to hear that the results aren't to your liking. I'm not sure what to suggest. --J.]

  • Andrew Stesin — 12:01 PM on April 24, 2007

    I discovered JPEG 2000 just today and I’m going to use it as a format for storage of scans from Nikon LS8000ED. A 135 format scan in 48bit TIFF & Adobe RGB 1998 takes 135Mb. Multiply it to 36 and standard DVD will not fit. Now loseless JPF for the very same tiff is about 90 Mb. Now a single film fits a single DVD, that’s Ok! The bad thing is that even Core Duo 2.7GHz CPU seems to be slow with this kind of size in this format (only one kernel is busy, though). Though for long-term storage it’s not critical. Now I’m looking for command-line convertor utility which will do the job for me on the background (2 kernel CPU is cool, 1 kernel will do conversion, other will do something else).
    Also that would be great if my SONY DSC-R1 camera produced 48bit Adobe RGB’98 JPF’s faster than RAW files and CF card will be taking them quicker. But looking at CPU consumption, I doubt this will ever happen in any camera… So just my 2 cents. Thank you for your attentiion.

  • Sachin Garg — 4:13 AM on April 26, 2007

    [Thanks for the detailed feedback. I would note that regardless of what Adobe does with JPEG 2000, other developers can create JPEG 2000 reading/writing plug-ins for the app. --J.]
    I think Jpeg2000 still has many miles to go. If you guys do decide that its not worth the effort to keep maintaining the plugin for Photoshop, then instead of just discontinuing it, it might make sense to opensource the code so that others can start from where you left off.

  • Jukka Rahkonen — 1:58 AM on April 27, 2007

    We have 4 terabytes archived JPEG2000 geospatial images. We are for sure willing to be able to use them in Photoshop even in the future. The Photoshop jpeg2000 support should be improved, not removed. At the moment it is badly outdated.
    The strongest features of jpeg2000 are perhaps not obvious for photographers. Effective lossless compression, fast random access of any location/ /component/resolution of big or huge images, support for multichannel imagery and many other nice features (not to forget JPIP interactive browsing) may have more importance for those playing with medical or geospatial imagery.

  • Michael Stelmach — 12:31 PM on May 22, 2007

    I am had expected JPEG 2000 to have been fully adopted years ago in the mainstream photographic industry. But, in spite of the lack of mainstream use in the photographic community, it is becoming more and more important in the cultural heritage community. There are myriad advantages to JPEG 2000 as an image format for our community – compression being just one of them. Multiple resolution levels simplifies file management, ability to embed complex metadata, color profiles, and ability to define regions of interest, and reasonable error resiliency are just a few of these.
    I would also contend that making JPEG 2000 more, rather than less, accessible to the photographic user will slowly begin to increase usage as they realize the advantages the excellent compression/quality in making lossy (visually lossless) images.
    It would be great to see Adobe Photoshop increase support of JPEG 2000 rather than back away from it.

  • Richard Leis — 9:00 PM on June 06, 2007

    The HiRISE RDR Mars observation products are in the JPEG2000 format (*.JP2 with a detached *.LBL meta data file) and will continue to be archived with the Planetary Data System.
    Photoshop support would be very useful for manual color registration, anaglyph creation, and other tasks. However, the huge file sizes (several hundred megabytes or more for each observation) may be the more difficult issue.

  • Ole Eichhorn — 8:02 PM on July 17, 2007

    I’m CTO of Aperio, the leader in building systems for Digital Pathology. We use JPEG2000 compression extensively because it yields substantially higher quality than JPEG for a given amount of compression.
    We use JPEG2000 in two ways, first, as a compression technology inside TIFF files (the TIFF standard allows arbitrary external compression technologies to be used), and second, as a compression technology using standard JP2 files. We prefer the TIFF file format to JP2 but of course JP2 is more standard so we support that also.
    We’re very interested in seeing Adobe continue and extend its support for JPEG2000; as the market leader what Adobe decides becomes an important data point for everyone else. We’d love to see Adobe support JPEG2000 inside TIFF (it already supports JPEG inside TIFF) and of course continue to support JPEG2000 inside JP2.
    [Thanks for the perspective, Ole. --J.]

  • Ted — 8:37 AM on July 18, 2007

    I noticed that the JPEG2000 plug-in for CS3 is “version 2.0,” as compared with the “version 1.6″ in CS2. I don’t see any difference between them; it’s still quite slow and it still has the very annoying tendency to lose the “fast mode” selection, which means I have to wait for it to make the useless passes through the file (I use only the lossless compression).
    Is there any documentation or other explanation of the differences (or improvements) in the new version?
    [I believe the only change is that the code was updated to run natively on Intel-based Macs (which, like other aspects of that endeavor, was a non-trivial effort). As for speed, I don't know how the Adobe implementation compares to others, but JPEG 2000 is inherently going to be more processor-intensive to handle than the traditional JPEG (JFIF) format. --J.]

  • Conny Andersson — 2:00 PM on July 18, 2007

    I have used JPEG2000 for archiving my slides in digital format. The scanner produces 48-bit images with an alpha IR-channel and I want to preserve this information. By using a 6:1 ratio of compression, the image size gets down to about 15MB each. Comparing a lossless version and a compressed lossy version shows only minor differences, essentially a noise reduction in the darker image areas. This is not a bad thing …
    I also use the format for my work products prior to scaling, sharpening and other post-production.
    My big wish is for JPEG2000 read support in Lightroom. I would also like to see an option to apply ICC-profile conversion in Lightroom. These features are actually keeping me from buying Lightroom.

  • Barry Wheeler — 5:38 AM on July 26, 2007

    I’ll add that the Library of Congress uses JP2 files extensively to serve maps and newspapers through a variety of online applications. Users can scale and navigate through content images. JP2 files serve as the “production master” for the National Endowment for the Humanities / Library of congress sponsored Nation Digital Newspaper Program which is planned to grow to millions of images over the next 20 years! Hence we are very interested in continued Adobe support for the format.
    [Good to know, Barry; thanks. --J.]

  • mathew — 11:38 AM on July 30, 2007

    If Firefox gains JPEG2000 support I’ll start using JPEG2000. (Safari already supports it.)

  • Eppe Tot — 3:20 PM on August 11, 2007

    A while back I choose lossless jpeg 2000 (the extended Photoshop version with exif info and icc profiles included) as my archival format of choice.
    However, I may have discovered a BUG in the plugin, so I don’t trust it anymore. You can read a full report here:
    http://mensenfotograaf.tripod.com/jpeg2000
    I would love to see it fixed (or find out it was a human error on my part and not a bug :)
    Regards,
    Eppe Tot
    [I'll ask our QE folks to check out your report. Thanks for the info. --J.]

  • monia — 10:40 PM on August 19, 2007

    hi, sorry for my english. I am photographer i lost my data before i save, i used JPEG2000 also but not so much data i got. After than i went the HDRC recovery centre they recoverd the whole data which was i want. Actually i forget the path where was i save the data before i remember the path suddenly i format the whole HDD. You need any other details website: http://www.hdrconline.com

  • David Blatner — 10:49 AM on August 30, 2007

    JPEG2000 is one of the best image technologies to come along and Adobe is killing it with one decision: Not to support it in the rest of the Suite (specifically InDesign and Illustrator). Thousands of companies would be standardizing on it instead of JPEG for print production.
    [David, you'll be pleased to know that we're not killing it at all. JPEG 2000 support will remain in Photoshop. Sorry for not having confirmed that earlier. --J.]
    Yes, many people use JPEG with excellent results in print production, and JPEG2000 would make it even better. But Adobe–in my humble opinion–appears to be brain dead about this, providing the catch 22: “Why should we support JPG2000 if no one is using it?” Duh: People will use a better file format if Adobe makes it easy to use it.

  • Armand — 1:26 PM on September 27, 2007

    Sorry I’m late in the discussion (found the link via Google).
    I am a photographer and I am using JPEG2000 regularly – I keep the RAWs and JPEG2000 files. Like others have noted, the ability to retain the level of detail from a 25Mb TIF in a 1Mb JPEG2000 is a great feature in itself.
    I knew about the JPEG2000 plugin, I installed in manually in CS3… the problem is the classic chicken and egg issue: no one is using JPEG2000 because there is no support for it and there is no support for it because no one is using it.
    I was disappointed by Adobe’s decision to drop support for it – it really doesn’t seem wise at all. Fortunately I use ACDSee Pro which has native support for JPEG2000 (but which strips metadata from it).
    Adobe, as a market leader is in the position to push advanced standards – I actually expect them to push them. If Adobe would start to offer their Stock Photos as JPEG2000, others would follow.

  • Richard May — 8:09 PM on November 21, 2007

    I would love to see continued support for the JPEG 2000 format.
    I am a wedding photographer and archive images in JPEG 2000.
    Maybe when compared to regular JPEG its about the same at level 12. But, I can save 16 bit files compressed. That is something I would love to see Lightroom output.

  • Morten Brakestad — 4:28 AM on December 22, 2007

    I would really like continued support for jpeg2000 as it would make for a great archival format. But the very fact that you are considering continued support tells me that using jpeg2000 for archival purposes is probably not wise for the time being. If you commit to the format then I will start using it. It’s a chicken or the egg conundrum really.

  • Noz — 6:09 PM on February 25, 2008

    I agree that Adobe should begin offering stock photos as JPEG2000. In 2003 I did a study which found that JPEG2000, when used correctly for processing DNA microarray images, can provide image quality that is below the noise floor of the images, far better compression ratio than proprietary forms being proposed in academic circles of that era, and much more flexibility as a viewing format. Archives of these array images ordinarily consume many terabytes.
    What’s the point? JPEG2000 is phenomenal in this and many other scientific archival applications that are just starting to make use of it. To cut it’s legs off now would be disappointing.

  • Bruce McCandless II — 3:54 PM on March 06, 2008

    With CS2 I was using JPEG2000 in an effort to standardize on a single, lossless, format for my image archive. Just before Christmas 2007 I upgraded to CS3. When I went looking for the PhotoShop JPEG2000 Plug-in, I found it on the “Content” DVD, but it is bogus. Although titled “JPEG2000.8BI” it is too small (only 22 KB), and when its Properties are examined, it shows “ElectricImage File Format,” ver. 10.0.0.0. Three other Plug-ins (SoftImage, SGIRGB, and IFF Format) have the same problem. Replacement DVD sent out by Customer Service has the same problem.
    [I followed up with Bruce and sent him fresh copies of the plug-ins. If you need them, drop me a note. --J.]

  • Andrey — 4:50 AM on March 26, 2008

    The ability to save LOSLESS from a 55Mb 16bit TIF in a 22Mb JPEG2000 with XMP support is a great feature, whithout any alternative.
    PS
    Could your send me the current version of jpeg2000.8bi for PS CS3?

  • Luke — 11:50 PM on April 17, 2008

    Please support the ability to save LOSSLESS images!! The need for compression without loss of quality is great.
    For example scanning/digitalising film or slide negatives viewable and or printable to 17″ x 14″ or larger sizes.
    Support, development and compatibility for jpeg2000 is still necessary as what other alternatives are there without needing enormous amounts of harddrive space for treasured memories, records or many other purposes in the business or personal spaces.
    Love the developments in photoshop in general with other design apps esp with camera raw abilities in-terms of photography. Thanks

  • James — 2:13 AM on April 26, 2008

    I love JPEG 2000!
    I compress my 100Mb scans down to 10Mb for easier archiving and retrieval. Nothing comes close to Jpeg 2000 for doing this, the compressed image is largely identical to the original.

  • zehawk — 11:58 AM on April 29, 2008

    Perhaps you should give heed to archival requirements too. I’ve been trying to settle on a format to use when archiving my photos. The options: DNG, TIFF/PSD, PNG, WDP/HDP and JPF. My requirements are: 16-bit images, losslessly compressed, embedded ICC profile, preserve ALL metadata, smallest storage size, windows thumbnails, lightroom support.
    DNG is out. I want a cooked file for storage, after its been through PS, and DNG is the input, not the output.
    TIFF, PSD (LZW/ZIP) what ever takes your fancy: A 35 MB uncompressed file = 39 MB LZW = 30 MB ZIP. ZIP size sounds acceptable, but no windows explorer thumbnail, and no known hack to get win XP to show them. Crap. Everybody’s current favorite for archival.
    PNG: Its well known as an archival format. Above file drops to 24 MB. Has a fatal flaw: metadata is not stored. Lightroom does not support. Double Crap. (Thou superpng claims to support metadata.)
    JPF: File size dropped to 18 MB. Woohoo! No support from lightroom. No windows explorer thumbnail, and no known hack to get win XP to show them. The PS plugin sucks big time… its ridiculously slow. Triple crap.
    WDP/HDP: The new kid on the block. File size dropped to 19 MB. No support from lightroom. No windows explorer thumbnail, and no known hack to get win XP to show them. Double crap.
    Bottomline: JPF’s been around a while and didnt get anywhere. HDP has got MS muscle behind, so maybe its time to change your focus to HDP. Maybe thats slated to be the next archival format.

  • Jan Mark Koopmans — 12:52 AM on June 04, 2008

    In March 2008 the national library of the Netherlands (de Koninklijke Bibliotheek) published an extensive report on the use of alternative file formats for storing master-images of digitisation projects. A large group of international specialists contributed to this report. Four file/compression formats are reviewed:
    1) JPEG 2000 part 1 (lossless and lossy)
    2) PNG 1.2
    3) basic JFIF 1.02 (JPEG)
    4) TIFF LZW
    The conclusion of the report is that JPEG 2000 part – lossles is the most suitable file format, viewed from the perspective of long-term sustainability and the File Format Assessment Method.
    The complete report (in English) can be found at:
    http://www.kb.nl/hrd/dd/dd_links_en_publicaties/publicaties/Alternative%20File%20Formats%20for%20Storing%20Masters%202%201.pdf

  • Fleet Command — 10:56 PM on June 28, 2008

    I use JPEG2000 (even more in the past) and I had to buy an additional plug-in to use it.
    Contrary to your statement, John, Photoshop never came with JPEG2000 Plug-in installed by default or even installable via main installer. (I double-checked right now.) It has always been in the Goodies folder and it and rife with bugs.
    If Photoshop had better JPEG2000 support, people would have flocked to it.
    Currently, I am vastly using JPEG XR, Microsoft’s purposed standard.

  • Eppe Tot — 3:26 AM on July 01, 2008

    Any news from the ‘QE folks’ on my bugreport (see august 11, 2007)?

  • shae — 8:21 AM on July 01, 2008

    Late comment, but maybe still relevant.
    Removing JP2K or not installing it by default doesn’t strike me as a good idea. The plugin already exists and provides some useful features — for me it’s the lossless mode. It’s much faster than PNG and compresses better in most cases.
    On the other hand, I find JP2K useless for lossy compression. In my tests it compresses about the same as JPEG or worse. JPEG’s added noise (at higher quality settings) usually looks like detail, while JP2K’s smoothening just blurs.
    While at it, it would also be nice to have native JPEG-LS support. It’s the ideal lossless format: even faster than JP2K, and on average compresses slightly better. The only problem is that it’s far from mainstream.

  • Morten Brakestad — 8:11 AM on July 18, 2008

    JPEG-LS support sounds like a good idea. Sounds like it could be an even better archival format than JPEG-2000. Maybe it is easier to implement too, as it is already used in the DNG format (according to Wikipedia)

  • theWoosh — 5:28 AM on July 23, 2008

    I would love to use JPPeg2000 format because of it’s support for high bit-depths – I have an archiving project of 60,000 negatives under way – I cannot store TIFF files, though obviously this would be ideal (at 64 megs per scan – and that’s just B&W!), as this would take nearly 4 terabytes of storage (not to mention problems with back-up) and I don’t have this available. But I can store them as JPeg2000 – at around 7 megs each (with a little lossy compression), and indistinguishable to my eye from the original.
    Please, please support JPeg2000 – it is a great format for when you just have to compromise, and if it were better supported, I, and many others could then use it in the assurance of it’s longevity…
    Otherwise I guess I’ll just have to wait for MS HD Photo to become JPEG XR or whatever..

  • matt pearson — 1:11 PM on July 24, 2008

    Our treatment studio generates an average of 25Gb of TIFFs each month. Storage costs and active maintenance fees for our server are prohibatively expensive. Using a good codec for generating lossless JP2s (Aware, Luratech, Kakadu) would allow us to mitigate the issue.
    We are using Lightroom for image processing and very basic DAM. Support for JPEG 2000 is highly desirable for our conservation center and for Lightroom-using institutions within the digital preservation community (conservation centers, small collection holding institutions, digitization centers, etc).
    Several major archives have already made the switch from lossless TIFF and DNG to JP2.
    Matt Pearson
    NEDCC

  • napi — 12:10 AM on August 18, 2008

    I use it John. Mapping industry is expanding, they all use jp2/ecw format John. They sure like to be able to edit those map picture in adobe. Image file are becoming larger and larger everyday John. I would say you keep the jp2 in adobe.

  • Tomasz — 11:35 AM on October 06, 2008

    I’m using jpeg2000 format and personally as a developer i think it should be support by Adobe because of many advantages and applications – not appreciated by ‘regular’ users (losslessly storage, very good quality..etc.)
    [It's not going away. --J.]

  • C. S. — 2:11 AM on October 07, 2008

    J2K is just starting to start through. Digital Cinema uses it and archives start to adopt it. I think J2K will get more and more important in the future, so it would be a mistake to stop supporting it.

  • Lars — 9:58 AM on October 07, 2008

    I think JPEG2000’s features are unique and should not vanish from the market. How do you want to keep huge images? On the basis of RAW files? The only real issue about the standard is that it was not really adopted by the software vendors and some of them didn’t do it efficiently so that the entire range of possibilities was available. Maybe PhotoShop could make a good point here?

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