Photography has changed the way people record and remember images, events, and scientific information. Photography, which started in the mid 1800's, has continued to evolve over the last two centuries of scientific discovery. The development of flexible film in the late 1800s, color photography in the mid 1900s, and automatic cameras in the late 1900's changed the way photographs are taken and presented. The most recent addition of digital photography has also changed the way people collect, store, modify, disseminate and display images. Digital photography started with the advent of the first commercial digital cameras for consumers and professionals in the early 1990's, along with the first systems for digitizing film images. As the technology advanced, the cost of digital cameras and film digitization services has dropped, and the image quality has increased. The image size for professional portable digital cameras continues to grow, from about 1 Megapixel in 1993 to 10 Megapixels or more in 2003.
As digital cameras evolve, the requirements for the file format used to store the image data continue to evolve also. Digital cameras continue to increase the size and bit depth collected for an image to increase the resolution and extend the dynamic range and color gamut. Digital Photography requires the ability to compress three-band imagery of 8-to-16 bits per component. Digital photography requires efficient, high quality compression as well as rapid decoding of properly sized images for the camera's display screen. Metadata for the proper use and display of the image is a requirement for digital photography.
Almost all of the digital cameras sold over the last 10 years support JPEG (DCT). The current standard will continue to be a major part of the consumer digital camera market. It is expected that JPEG 2000 will add to this market as professional and consumer digital cameras continue to advance.
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