LuraTech, the creators of the LuraWave image compression format (which we've covered previously) has release a JPEG2000 plug-in for Adobe Photoshop. You can download a 30 day trial copy TODAY for a glimpse into the future of JPEG compression. The full version of the plugin is priced at $79.95, an SDK is also available. JPEG2000 files (at least as loaded/saved by this plug-in have the .jp2 extension). We've done some side-by-side analysis of JPEG vs. JPEG2000 using a 4 megapixel TIFF from Sony's DSC-S85, the results are impressive. JPEG2000 also features a highly compressed lossless 'sub format' which we've calculated equates to approximately 1 MB per megapixel (very impressive).

Download the JPEG 2000 plug-in for Photoshop here (30 day trial)

After installation you can load / save .JP2 files, when saving the following dialog is shown:

Which allows you to choose from Lossless or Lossy (by compression rate, file size or image quality). There's also a live preview window so you can see what effect increasing the compression rate has on the final image.

JPEG vs. JPEG2000 Samples

The images below are 200% magnified crops from the same original file (TIFF) re-saved as JPEG and JPEG2000 (at differing compression rates). Remember to be able to open the .JP2 files you'll need the Photoshop plug-in (above).

JPG 1,135 KB
Quality 10 (Photoshop)
JP2 1,054 KB
Compression Rate 10:1
JPG 562 KB
Quality 8 (Photoshop)
JP2 568 KB
Compression Rate 20:1
JPG 315 KB
Quality 5 (Photoshop)
JP2 284 KB
Compression Rate 40:1
JPG 148 KB
Quality 1 (Photoshop)
JP2 142 KB
Compression Rate 80:1

What's clear from these samples is that the JPEG200 images are far cleaner and more detailed at the same (or similar) file size. Even at Photoshop JPEG quality 8 we can see artifacts creeping in (look a the diagonal on the 2 digit), the JPEG2000 image is still clean and detailed. Going for even higher compression JPEG soon looses a lot of detail and becomes 'blocky', even the heavily compressed 80:1 JP2 file still manages to maintain the detail and shape of the '60'.

You can also download the lossless JP2 file 4,310 KB, the original TIFF was 11,345 KB.

Thanks to for first reporting this release.