Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Panther supports JPEG 2000 with iPhoto?

MacInTouch Home Page
Tom Kornack shared some notes about JPEG 2000 and Mac support for it:

Large JPEG 2000 files in 16 bit format with a specialized color profile store my photography. It's the only compressed format that doesn't throw away 4 of the 12 bit dynamic range that comes out of my camera. On this subject I have three related points:
* iPhoto: I was floored when I plopped one of these files into iPhoto on my machine running 10.3 and saw it appear flawlessly, ready for manipulation, classification, etc. This was not possible using 10.2.
* SIPS: sips is a command line program that provides access to all of OS X's image manipulation routines. It is the only command line program that I know of that can handle JPEG 2000, high bit depth images, color profiles and everything else that one could want. All the images on my web site ( - while you're there, note the drop shadow css tag in effect if you're on 10.3 in Safari) are generated using this method. I believe that this is the single most powerful yet unadvertised new feature.
* Photoshop: I was surprised that the JPEG2000 plug-in that is provided with Photoshop CS produces files that do not open correctly in Preview or Graphic Converter. To see this effect, you must save a file for which the pixel dimensions are greater than the tile size.

This is quite extraordinary. It will be interesting to see how this will work with my Canon G2. I may start shooting G2 RAW images, then importing them and using GC to convert to JPEG2000 for import into iPhoto. Of course with an iBook with limited disk pace, a G3, and USB 1.x this would be strictly for test purposes. However if Apple does put out iPhoto 2.x or 3.x in the next few months, and especially if they put out the rumored thin client slate, I may have to buy a G5 sooner than I'd expected.

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