This paper describes an objective comparison of the image quality of different encoders. Our approach is based on estimating the visual impact of compression artifacts on perceived quality. We present a tool that measures these artifacts in an image and uses them to compute a prediction of the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) obtained in subjective experiments. We show that the MOS predictions by our proposed tool are a better indicator of perceived image quality than PSNR, especially for highly compressed images.
For the encoder comparison, we compress a set of 29 test images with two JPEG encoders (Adobe Photoshop and IrfanView) and three JPEG2000 encoders (JasPer, Kakadu, and IrfanView) at various compression ratios. We compute blockiness, blur, and MOS predictions as well as PSNR of the compressed images. Our results show that the IrfanView JPEG encoder produces consistently better images than the Adobe Photoshop JPEG encoder at the same data rate. The differences between the JPEG2000 encoders in our test are less pronounced; JasPer comes out as the best codec, closely followed by IrfanView and Kakadu. Comparing the JPEG- and JPEG2000-encoding quality of IrfanView, we find that JPEG has a slight edge at low compression ratios, while JPEG2000 is the clear winner at medium and high compression ratios.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.