Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

HD Photo

HD Photo

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Last week at PMA, Microsoft formally announced HD Photo. For more information on HD Photo, head over to Bill Crow’s blog. The official press release can be found here. Here’s a summary of the important details:

  • Microsoft is announcing HD Photo, a new format for end-to-end digital photography which offers higher image quality, greater preservation of data, and advanced features for today’s digital imaging applications
  • The HD Photo Device Porting Kit, used to implement HD Photo in devices and other platforms
  • Royalty free licensing
  • A free set of HD Photo plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, developed in conjunction with Adobe
  • Microsoft is committed to standardizing the HD Photo technology

HD Photo overview & details:

  • A new format for end-to-end digital photography which offers higher image quality, greater preservation of data, and advanced features for today’s digital imaging applications
  • Key benefits include:
    • Better Image Fidelity: Preserving all the original image content, enabling the highest quality exposure and color adjustments
    • State of the art compression: Up to twice the efficiency of JPEG with fewer damaging artifacts, and scalable to lossless
    • Powerful Features: Decode only the information needed for any resolution or region, or manipulate the image as compressed data
  • Technical Details
    • Support for the Widest Range of Pixel Formats
    • High Performance, Low Footprint Algorithm
    • Advanced Decoding and Transformation Operations
    • Better image quality in a file that is up to ½ the size of JPEG
    • Lossless and lossy compression with the same algorithm
    • Lossy compression is much less destructive than JPEG
    • An efficient, portable photo interchange format that preserves the entire dynamic range
  • HD Photo Support in Microsoft products:
    • Windows Vista in-box support
    • Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 support via Windows Imaging Component (WIC), a free download
    • Windows Imaging Component (WIC)
    • HD Photo Device Porting Kit
    • NET Framework 3.0
    • XML Paper Specification (XPS) – The XPS format utilizes the HD Photo format to store image data
    • Photo Info Power Toy
    • Microsoft Expression Family
    • HD Photo plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop

- pixblog