Back in July I interviewed Bill Crow about HD Photo, the image format that’s being considered for standardization as JPEG XR. One of the advantages of this new format, as Bill explained on his blog, is that it can preserve data that would normally be lost when a camera decides what color values to include in a photo. Now, there aren’t yet any cameras that implement HD Photo, but the idea is that when they arrive, you’ll get the the best of both worlds. As a JPEG camera does today, an HD Photo camera will produce an image that distributes color values as best it can. But unlike a JPEG camera, an HD Photo camera won’t throw away all the values it doesn’t include. More information will be preserved in the image, and will be recoverable in the editing process.
Bill demonstrates and explains that editing process in this 5-minute screencast (Silverlight, Flash). The editing application is nothing fancier than Windows Live Photo Gallery, and that’s an important point. Most people, myself included, are not wizards in the realm of color theory and advanced image manipulation. We’re happy snappers. We’d just like to be able to move a slider and pull in some information that the camera didn’t assign to the visible range but that we want to include. This screencast shows how easy that will be.