I’m looking for an image format to keep my photo archive. Currently I’m keeping compressed DNG + 80% quality JPG. JPG is useful because you can easily convert and manage, is small and is fast to read/resample. I’m still using Picasa as my image catalog, but I know I’ll have to change soon. For me the biggest limitation is that JPG is restricted to 8 bit. The next more widely used formats that support 16 bit are PNG and TIF, but they don’t compress as well. Also, with advance to compression algorithms, I believe would be easy to achieve JPG like sizes even with HDR, no need to be smaller. JPG2000 could be a solution, but it’s still much slower to read than JPG (I use Irfanview as my main image viewer and batch converter), Picasa don’t support it, and Windows don’t display the thumbnails. I read about openEXR but it seems far less usable than JPG2000. It would also be nice to be able to export from Lightroom (My main editor).
So in sum, what I need is:
- HDR support (10 bit, 12 bit or 16 bit)
- Fast encoding/decoding (even if I need to install specific software)
- Size comparable to JPG.
- Windows thumbnail (natively or plugin)
- Lightroom export plugin (optional)
- Compatible with some image catalog software (As fast and compact as Picasa)
So anyone have any ideas? The answer could be based on JPG2000 or openEXR.