The new JPEG 9 Standard: Compression without loss of image quality?


Up to now the opinions about JPEG format differed. Beginners were quite happy with the compactness of files as well as the fact that they’re already “developed” and ready to be printed right away. On the other hand, serious photographers weren’t interested in working with limited processing options, i.e. it is very hard to change the white balance after the fact or that a very high compression rate combined with 8 bites of color depth, among other things, can lead to banding in case of extensive post processing. Often these serious photographers would just shoot RAW or RAW and JPEG in order to have a “reference value”.  The new JPEG-9-Standard  with its lossless compression makes the lives of serious photographers a lot easier.


Source: Independent JPEG Group

Just how much easier in practice, is a question only camera manufacturers can answer. It will be up to them to implement it into coming cameras and support it. I may be wrong, but I think that current cameras are not equipped to create files in the lossless format using the internal JPEG-engines (specialized hardware is often limited and “hard wired” in order to save energy) although it would be highly desirable. This also applies to more bits per colour channel…

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