Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why we won't see JPEG2000 used much in cameras

I'd long been frustrated that JPEG 2000, a theoretically much superior compression format, was not showing up as an option in digital cameras. There are many reasons, but a usenet discussion, to which I added a 'yes' comment, points to power consumption. Power issues are big in every disconnected digital device nowadays, and heat (the corollary) is an issue in every connected device.
Google Groups : - Why is jpeg 2000 not in common use?

31. Martin Brown
Dec 20 2005, 12:21 pm show options

peter wrote:

" jpeg 2000 is superior to common jpeg and is supposedly licence fee free. Why is it not in common use, especially when digital camera file sizes are going up?"

It isn't better by a significantly large factor at high quality settings to be worth the upheaval. J2k encoders are slow and power hungry. JPEG is fast and extremely well optimised for use in digicams now.

In essence J2k isn't enough of an improvement to become mainstream. This may change one day, but don't hold your breath.
32. John Faughnan
Subject: Re: why is jpeg 2000 not in common use?


I asked a similar question about JPEG 2000 a while back:

My question also produced a range of responses, but none felt satisfactory to me. As I read more about the power drains on large sensor cameras I gradually settled on the explanation you have succinctly presented.

So, I just want to say, for what it's worth, that you've summarized the issues very well. I even read a report of a theoretical JPEG conversion optimization that reduced power drains by more than one order of magnitude. JPEG 2000 is computationally intensive, and the cost of storage has fallen much faster than the power-cost of computation.

The latest versions of Adobe Acrobat can use JPEG 2000 to compress documents. It's a great format for that as it maintains edges much better than JPEG at very high compression values, and documents can be huge and costly to transmit. It may even show up for sharing images on the web (I hope so!). Alas, in camera JPEG 2000 seems to be doomed.

meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, digital camera, compression, JPEG2000, standards adoption

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